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PEX 2015: 3 things you need to know about vSAN 6.0

Servers, Storage and Networking | Posted on February 6, 2015 by Emily A. Davidson

Part 2 of 3: The Softchoice team is wrapping up our time at the VMware Partner Exchange (PEX) 2015, and we’ve captured VMware’s vSAN 6.0 announcements.

In this series, we cover the top three announcements around VMware’s power plays: SDDC, data center virtualization, hybrid cloud and a unified platform for all applications. 

Quickly jump to the other two posts in this series:

Enterprise storage has become too complex and too costly. We all experience storage increases in the form of volume, types of data and all of the applications that consume large amounts of data. However, the cost and requirements for a storage infrastructure are becoming unsustainable with the rate of data growth.

vSAN is radically different storage. Your vSphere storage is now built in to the virtual machine.

Allow me to speculate. For most clients, a SAN layer costs $7.00-$10.00 per GB. At that rate of data growth, that price is now unsustainable. So with vSAN VMware added a second tier of storage that is about $1.00-$3.00 per GB for colder data. If that data freezes over (aka it’s completely unused), an additional tier of storage is added that is under $1.00 per GB. This last layer is made affordable using cloud storage. By delivering this flexibility, clients can now keep up with the pace of demand requirements.

Compare vSAN 6 specs to past editions:

  • Virtual SAN 5.5 32 hosts/cluster, 100 VMs/host, 20k IOPS/host
  • Virtual SAN 6.0 hybrid 64 hosts/cluster, 150 VMs/host, 40k IOPS
  • VSAN SAN 6.0 all flash 64 host/cluster, 200+ VMS/host 100k IOPS/host

You already know that vSphere takes a set of servers clusters them together and delivers a pool of computing resources. You take the microprocessors and memory and virtualizes them so you can deploy a variety of virtual machines.

Virtual SAN takes advantage of this layer of software, installs another layer of software and provides built-in storage to those machines. Building on the clustering abilities of the vSphere hypervisor and takes all the disks inside these servers, virtualizes them and clusters them into a pool of storage.  This is what automation is all about.

1. Dramatically simplified storage operations

All you need to set this up is to answer a few what capacity the VM needs, what availability unit would like to have and the performance threshold allocated to it. And that’s is, no LUNS no RAID levels, no zoning and masking.

2. High performance storage

Uses flash SSDs in about 10% of disk capacity in the given server (Note: The 1:10 rule is a configuration baseline, actual usage may vary based upon configuration) to accelerate the read/write operations of the virtual machines and allow their storage system to operate at very high throughput. Essentially it is a read cache and write buffer. All storage processing is in same layer of software as the compute processing, so all storage operations are being executed in the hypervisor. If you have been following data center architecture, you know that moving storage and servers physically closer together reduces latency! VMware is now introducing hypervisor converged systems and processing at the software layer is now fundamentally faster.

3. Dramatically reduced TCO

Combined operational savings with commodity X86 hardware reduces TCO dramatically. One challenge with expensive traditional storage is OpEx that increases costs. vSAN’s automation capabilities reduces this number overall.

vSAN is applicable to many types of clients and situations and there are a few use cases to note as well. For example, VDI, Test and Development or lab environment, remote offices, T1 applications and disaster recovery.

What this means

This is an opportunity for clients to take the SDDC vision and make it real, while dramatically simplifying storage operations. You can start as low as 3 servers and expand to 60+ servers. Clients who purchase vSAN typically refresh server hardware, and services to ensure it’s implemented properly.

Our dedicated team of VMware experts have been fully briefed on the deeper technical changes not covered by this post. If you have a question, please leave a comment below and they will get back to you.

See the other two posts in this series below:

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