Storage resources overview

Storage resources are infrastructure resources that enable you to allocate physical storage space with a service request. For example, a virtual hard drive is a storage resource. NetApp is the BMC Cloud Lifecycle Management provider of storage resources. Storage resources are delivered as separate offerings, which end users can request to supplement other services.

BMC Cloud Lifecycle Management can provision remote attached storage for physical and virtual servers. The remote attached storage can be either a virtual system disk (VSD) or a virtual network disk (VND).

Cloud end users can request storage to suit a variety of storage needs. For example, a cloud end user who is a database administrator might expand the table space for his database by requesting a block device from a storage area network (SAN) array. Another cloud end user who is a marketing manager might request file system storage from a network-attached storage (NAS) array to expand her web content repository.

Installation packages for servers include local storage that is typically used for system disks. For physical servers the installation package is called a system package, and for virtual servers the installation package is called a virtual guest package (VGP). Extra remote attached storage that is provisioned for a server is typically used for application disks.

If BMC Remedy Change Management is installed, the cloud administrator can specify whether change control is required when configuring a storage offering. If change control is required, when a cloud end user requests a storage offering, the request will not be fulfilled until the change is approved.

Virtual system disks

A virtual system disk represents storage that is connected to a virtual machine (VM) via a hypervisor data store such as a VMware virtual machine file system (VMFS). When a VM is created, the compute virtualization layer creates one or more disks for the VM. These disks are an integral part of the VM — to the VM they appear like peripheral component interconnect (PCI) devices. Although a VSD has the same life cycle as its parent VM, an end user can delete the VSD.

A VSD can be created on a data store that can be hosted on many different kinds of SAN and NAS arrays from vendors such as EMC, Hitachi, NetApp, IBM, Hewlett Packard, and so on.

The cloud administrator models a VSD as a compute resource in a service blueprint. For information about adding a VSD, see Creating, copying, or editing a service blueprint. VSDs are provisioned from virtual disk repositories (VDRs), which are managed as compute resources. For more information about compute resources, see Compute resources and compute resource pools overview.

To make VSD storage resources available in the Service Catalog, the cloud administrator configures a service blueprint so that a VSD is part of a service offering. If the cloud end user does not want to pay for extra storage, the VSD can be an optional feature of the service offering. To specify a script that formats a file system onto a VSD, the cloud administrator can configure a post-deployment action for the compute resource.

Cloud end users can request a VSD as a post-deployment operation.

Virtual network disks

A virtual network disk represents storage that is connected directly to a physical or virtual server rather than to an underlying hypervisor. Storage attached to a VM can be SAN or NAS. Both NetApp and EMC often use the term pass-through LUN (logical unit number) to describe this type of storage resource. The NetApp functionality provided in BMC Cloud Lifecycle Management is an example of a VND. A VND is not an integral part of a VM — a VM uses a VND as a mount point to a remote file system. A VND has an independent life cycle and can be detached from a VM.

The cloud administrator models a VND as a storage provider. For information about adding a VND, see Registering resource providers.

NetApp is storage provider that can host a VND for BMC Cloud Lifecycle Management without customization. With assistance from BMC Professional Services, you can configure EMC as an additional storage provider.

To make VND storage resources available in the Service Catalog, the cloud administrator first creates storage offerings that are independent of other service offerings. Next, the cloud administrator maps those storage offerings to a registered storage provider. For example, the cloud administrator could map a storage offering to offerings in the NetApp service catalog.

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