What’s New with Storage Based Policy Management for vRealize Automation

At VMworld 2017, I had the opportunity to work in the expert led labs for vSAN.  This was a great opportunity for me to learn about vSAN and also see first-hand how vSAN is growing.  The class room was full every session and vSAN was at the top of the list for most popular lab.  We had a lot of customers that had already adopted vSAN or in the process of implementing it and many of them were SAN admins.

Often, we forget about storage because it has been such an integral part of the vSphere architecture for so long. Discussions around automation tend to discuss all of the great things we can accomplish with networking, IPAM and numerous other solution integrations.  The Software Defined Datacenter allows us to take advantage of the virtualized layers of compute, networking and storage as services.  This allows us to develop services the business requires.

Storage Based Policy Management is a framework that allows storage capabilities to be assigned to policies.  Administrators can then assign those policies based on workload requirements to the appropriate virtual machine and/or object.   Virtual Machine objects or components are made up of the VMDK, VM Swap, VM Home Namespace, Snapshot Deltas and Snapshot Memory Maps.  The policies are created via the vSphere Web Client under the VM Storage Policies.

This gives us the opportunity to add new features and services for our customers as part of the service catalog.  Disk type, encryption, compression, deduplication, snapshots, replication and others features can then potentially be used.  As you can see below we can select the policies and assign these to the disk.


By extending these storage services we can now lifecycle and classify systems from a storage perspective.  This also allows for us to develop day 2 actions to improve performance, reduce costs or meet other business requirements.


A few examples of where these types of policies may be beneficial in your organization are:

  • Apply policies to objects on a virtual machine where they have different I/O workload requirements. Think about your database servers in many configurations you have multiple disks.  Each disk could be assigned a different storage policy one for your database and one for the logs.
  • Similar workloads may be assigned at deployment via the request. Policies can also be aligned for similar workloads.  Web servers, application or tier of service based on business requirements.
  • Tiers of service may have a gold, silver or bronze based around availability. When you think about day 2 actions you may have a server that may start out on bronze but as it becomes more valuable to the business they may request to have it migrated to a higher tier.

To get started here are the steps that you will need to follow.  Make sure to read the installation guide.

  • Download SPBM Plugin (2.1.0) from Market Place
  • Install SPBM Plugin for vRealize Orchestrator
  • Configure vCenter and vRA endpoints in vRO
  • Create Property Definitions for SPBM
  • Add Custom Properties to desired blueprints (and disks)
  • Add Custom Properties to vCenter Endpoint
  • Create Event Subscription for SPBM policy changes
  • Deploy a SPBM-enabled Blueprint
  • Create Custom Resource Action for Day2 SPBM

For additional information on Storage Policy Based Management make sure to read these other blogs:

Storage Based Policy Management Part 1

Storage Based Policy Management Part 2

See you at VMworld 2018!