VMware Updates Its Virtual SAN Hyper-Converged Infrastructure (HCI) Software

Posted 2/15/2016 12:05:50 PM by RICHARD HARRIS, Executive Editor

VMware Updates Its Virtual SAN Hyper-Converged Infrastructure (HCI) Software
VMware Updates Its Virtual SAN Hyper-Converged Infrastructure (HCI) Software

VMware has released the next edition of its VMware Virtual SAN hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) software. The solution consists of VMware vSphere, Virtual SAN and vCenter Server which transforms x86 servers and direct-attached storage into HCI systems.

VMware Virtual SAN is designed to be a storage solution for VMware vSphere virtual machines enabling core storage services for virtualized production environments. Featuring storage policy-based management, VMware Virtual SAN shifts the management model for storage from the device to the application, enabling administrators to provision storage for applications in minutes. 

VMware Virtual SAN is appropriate for a range of use cases including business-critical applications, virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), remote office/branch office (ROBO), and test and development environments.

VMware offers its hyper-converged software on a broad set of consumption options from turnkey HCI appliances developed jointly by VMware and EMC to certified platforms in the form of VMware Virtual SAN Ready Nodes available from 11 OEMs. 

VMware Virtual SAN 6.2 now delivers up to 10x greater storage efficiency for software-defined data centers. The release introduces new advanced data efficiency capabilities for all-flash storage, in addition to new Quality of Service and performance and capacity monitoring capabilities. The new features will help customers to achieve a more cost-efficient performance, improve support for any application and accelerate time-to- value. With its new data efficiency capabilities, VMware Virtual SAN 6.2 will enable an all-flash HCI system for as low as a $1 per usable GB (3).

New features include:

- Deduplication and compression: Deduplication and compression optimizes all-flash storage capacity to provide as much as 7x data reduction with minimal impact on CPU and memory overhead.

- Erasure Coding (RAID 5/RAID 6): Erasure Coding helps increase usable storage capacity by up to 2x while maintaining the same high level of data resiliency.

- Quality of Service (QoS): New QoS capabilities will provide increased visibility, control and reporting of the IOPS consumed by each virtual machine helping to eliminate noisy neighbors.

- Enhanced performance, capacity, and health monitoring: New features in the unified management plane make it easier for all customers to predictably realize the benefits of HCI systems powered by VMware Virtual SAN.

In conjunction with the introduction of VMware Virtual SAN 6.2, VMware is releasing extensions to VMware Virtual SAN Ready Nodes (pre-certified configurations of servers) through its OEM partners. VMware has partnered with 11 server OEMs to deliver more than 100 systems certified to run VMware's hyper-converged software.

New extensions to the VMware Virtual SAN Ready Node program will provide the OEM partners with the option to factory install VMware vSphere and VMware Virtual SAN with certified drivers and firmware to simplify day-one operations and accelerate customer time-to-value. Fujitsu, Hitachi Data Systems and Supermicro are the initial OEMs to offer these new VMware Virtual SAN Ready Nodes. 

These extended VMware Virtual SAN Ready Nodes can also be bundled with software licenses or can accommodate customer-provided licenses. Additionally, OEM partners have the ability to offer unified support for both hardware and software components.

Over time, additional partner Virtual SAN Ready Nodes offerings will be introduced. VMware anticipates further expanding consumption options for its hyper-converged software partnering with EMC to develop a next-generation hyper-converged appliance family that leverages technology from EMC, VMware and VCE.

All-Flash Performance

Virtual SAN offers a hyper-converged storage solution delivered directly from the hypervisor, resulting in a flash-optimized architecture that delivers as much as 100,000 IOPS per all-flash node. Functionality includes:

- Hypervisor-embedded architecture: Leverage the shortest, most efficient I/O data path for optimized performance with the least impact on CPU and memory resources.

- All-Flash architecture: Deploy an all-flash architecture with flash-based caching and SSD data persistence to provide up to 100,000 IOPS per host with consistent, low latency.

- Server-side caching: Improve virtual machine performance and minimize storage latencies by caching and accelerating read/write disk I/O traffic through enterprise-grade, server-side flash cache.

- Self-tuning: Automatically rebuild and rebalance storage to align with the storage service levels assigned to each virtual machine in the cluster.

- Quality of Service (QoS): Automatically limits and monitors the IOPS consumed by specific virtual machines, eliminating noisy neighbor issues.

Storage Efficiency

Virtual SAN offers a cost-efficient all-flash performance by delivering up to 10x greater storage utilization through data reduction technologies to optimize data footprint. Functionality includes:

- Deduplication and Compression: Optimizes all-flash storage capacity with as much as 7x data reduction while having minimal impact on server CPU and memory resources.

- Erasure Coding: Increases usable storage capacity by up to 2x with the same high levels of data resiliency. Tolerate one or two failures with single parity or double parity protection.


Virtual SAN delivers enterprise availability for business critical applications, capable of delivering 99.999% uptime and beyond with built-in and tunable failure tolerance settings. Functionality includes:

- Built-in failure tolerance: Maximize resiliency with built-in distributed RAID, cache mirroring, and per-VM control by specifying how many host, network, disk, or rack failures to tolerate.

- Stretched Cluster: Enable enterprise-level availability that ensures no data loss and near zero downtime even in the event of an entire site failure with synchronous replication between two data centers.

- Interoperability with the VMware stack: Leverage core vSphere features such as High Availability (HA) and Distributed Resource Scheduler (DRS) along with vSphere snapshots and VMware Site Recovery Manager.

- 5 Minute RPO with vSphere Replication: vSphere Replication for Virtual SAN provides asynchronous VM replication with RPOs of up to five minutes.


Virtual SAN provides the simplicity of managing storage along with compute and networking in a single integrated interface - the vSphere Web Client. Functionality includes:

- Single-pane-of-glass management: Eliminate the need for training on specialized storage interfaces and tools by using vSphere Web Client-based management to provision storage in two clicks.

- VM-centric policy-based control and automation: Deploy storage policies with a single click to automatically provision storage resources - no LUNs or RAID configurations necessary.

- Health Service: Perform hardware, firmware, and driver compatibility checks directly from the vSphere Web Client, along with real-time diagnostics and reporting on performance and storage capacity.

Read More https://www.vmware.com/products/virtual-san...


About the author: RICHARD HARRIS, Executive Editor

As the Publisher and Editor for App Developer Magazine, Richard has several industry recognitions and endorsements from tech companies such as Microsoft, Apple and Google for accomplishments in the mobile market. He was part of the early Google AFMA program, and also involved in the foundation of Google TV. He has been developing for mobile since 2003 and serves as CEO of Moonbeam Development, a mobile app company with 200 published titles in various markets throughout the world. Richard is also the founder of LunarAds, a mobile cross-promotion and self-serv mediation network for developers. He has been a featured presenter at trade-shows and conferences, and stays active with new projects relating to mobile development.

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