Looking into the new features of vSphere, Storage Distributed Resource Scheduler (SDRS) is probably one of the best and one of the coolest new features that comes with vSphere 5. DRS is one of the standard features in vSphere and is used to distribute the load of the workload evenly over all the ESXi host within a cluster.
Within vSphere 4.1 and previous versions this was based on the CPU and memory load which was generated by the virtual machines that were hosted on top of vSphere. Now with vSphere 5 VMware has added Storage DRS. This extends DRS with the storage stack.
Storage DRS provides smart virtual machine placement and load balancing mechanisms based on I/O and space capacity. Overall this comes down to four nice features that Storage DRS provides :
1. Smart initial placement of the VMDK on the LUNs
2. Migration recommendations (manual and automated)
3. Affinity and anti-affinity rules
4. Storage maintenace mode
Basically these features are similar to the features you see with “normal” DRS. It adds a whole new dimension to vSphere and makes it more flexible and contributes to the fact that vSphere is a cloud operating system. In my opinion this will make life a lot easier and in the end it will save time and money in operating your virtual infrastructure.
To see how Storage DRS in action, have a closer look at the following video created by VMware :
For more information on the topic of Storage DRS see :
And if you really want to dive into the new features of DRS, including Storage DRS, you have to take a look at the book written by Duncan Epping and Frank Denneman : VMware vSphere 5 : Clustering Technical Deepdive.