Also known as VM-aware storage, virtualization-aware storage is storage technology that facilitates management and monitoring of storage performance and integration in virtualized environments where virtual machines (VMs) are utilized. Virtualization-aware storage enables the storage infrastructure to be managed together with the VMs rather than as separately managed volumes or LUNs (logical unit numbers).
A key role of virtualization-aware storage is to facilitate communication between the storage array and the hypervisor for more efficient automation and management of storage performance, reliability and cost-efficiency. The storage infrastructure for VM-aware storage is tuned to the distinct input and output patterns of virtual environments and set up to automatically manage quality of server (QoS) for each virtual machine (VM).
While the terms virtualization-aware storage and software-defined storage (SDS) tend to be used interchangeably, virtualization-aware storage is actually more a subset of software-defined storage, as it applies only to software-managed, VM-aware infrastructure that has been specifically designed to enhance data migration and performance in virtualized environments.
See also: VM-aware storage, Storage virtualization and Software-Defined Storage (SDS)