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VMware Virtual SAN Now Available

By John Gilmartin, vice president and general manager, SDDC Suite Business Unit, VMware

Today marks a major milestone for VMware with the general availability of VMware Virtual SAN, a new, radically simple storage solution optimized for virtual environments. With VMware Virtual SAN, VMware delivers its first Software-Defined Storage product.

Setting the stage for today’s general availability was a March 6th VMware Virtual SAN online event  (replay available here). We demonstrated the product, shared the experiences of select beta customers, and highlighted performance and scalability details that show Virtual SAN scales up to 32 nodes in a cluster allowing for linear scalability of performance to 2 million IOPS on read-only workloads (1) and 640,000 IOPS on mixed workloads (2).

Pricing and Packaging

During and after the online event, we received a number of questions about pricing and packaging for VMware Virtual SAN. Without further ado, here are the details:

Virtual SAN 5.5 - Pricing & Packaging

Staying true to the value proposition of simplicity, we chose a per socket basis pricing model with no limits on scalability, performance or capacity that make forecasting and budgeting significantly easier without impacting hardware components selection and node configurations.

All editions feature the complete set of Virtual SAN capabilities – data persistency, read/write caching, storage policy based management, etc. – and include the vSphere Distributed Switch. This means that customers can take advantage of simplified network management of vSphere Distributed Switch for their Virtual SAN storage regardless of the underlying vSphere edition they use. Data services such as snapshots, clones, linked-clones and replication are available directly through vSphere, and are already available with every vSphere edition (Essentials Plus and above).

For customers seeking to complete their storage solution with backup and recovery capabilities, we are offering Virtual SAN with Data Protection. A promotional bundle available for a limited time, it brings together Virtual SAN with vSphere Data Protection Advanced, VMware’s simple, efficient, and robust backup product for vSphere environments.

Virtual SAN - Launch Promotions

Helping to Reduce Total Cost of Ownership

VMware Virtual SAN brings a new, more efficient operational model to storage – how it’s built, delivered and managed.  With VMware Virtual SAN, customers have a radically simple storage system that delivers high performance and help to reduce total cost of ownership (TCO).

From a Capital Expenditures (capex) savings stand point, Virtual SAN makes a big dent in hardware cost by taking advantage of server side storage economics. But it doesn’t end there. Thanks to its unique architecture embedded in the vSphere kernel, Virtual SAN delivers high performance with minimal CPU consumption (less than 10 percent) resulting in customers requiring less hardware to achieve high consolidation ratios. Several beta customers pointed out their ability to linearly scale performance and capacity in small increments by adding new hosts to their clusters enabled a more efficient consumption model without requiring a large upfront investment. It also allows them to more closely align revenue to cost.

It is not just about capex savings. Key to the success of Virtual SAN in beta is its ease of use from installation to on-going administration to tuning to integration with vSphere and other VMware products.

Why Virtual San?


The main driver for those operational savings is the extreme automation delivered through the solution’s storage policy-based management capabilities. The software shifts the management model for storage from the device to the application by taking a VM-centric policy driven approach to storage management that delivers service levels to individual VMs without the need of LUNs or Volumes. With Virtual SAN, complex operational processes such as set up, configuration, service level provisioning and change management happen in a fraction of the time and without the need of specialized skillset. In fact, because of Virtual SAN’s seamless integration with vSphere management workflows and consoles (i.e. vSphere Web Client), anyone who knows how to administer vSphere can also administer Virtual SAN. A third-party analyst firm estimates that customers can achieve 5x reduction in the operational cost of storage. The combination of capex and operating expenditure savings can result in an overall TCO reduction of up to 50 percent for customers.

Virtual SAN Reduces CAPEX & OPEX for better TCO


Beyond cost savings, Virtual SAN offers customers flexibility. If a customer is seeking to optimize their storage system for performance, they can tailor their hardware configuration to achieve a lower cost per IOPS. For customers that want to optimize for capacity, they can configure their systems to achieve a lower cost per GB. Of course, customers can configure a balanced system that delivers cost-effective performance and capacity.

Flexibly Configure for Performance and Capacity


At the Starting Gate

After a six-month public beta program, we’re excited about letting our customers do more than kick the tires on Virtual SAN. We look forward to receiving your feedback on Virtual SAN over the coming weeks and months. Let us know how you are using Virtual SAN.

To learn more about today’s GA, read the press release. If you didn’t test drive Virtual SAN in the public beta program, check it out on VMware Hands-on Labs Online.

(1)   2 million IOPS on read-only workloads achieved on 32 node VMware Virtual SAN cluster, based on IOmeter benchmark, February 2014

(2)   640,000 IOPS on mixed workloads (Mixed = 70 percent/30 percent Read/Write, 4K 80 percent random) on 32 node VMware Virtual SAN cluster, based on IOmeter benchmark, February 2014


VMworld 2013: Data Center Innovation at Scale

This year VMware is celebrating our 15th anniversary and coming together for our 10th VMworld. At VMworld 2013 we’re building on our leadership in compute virtualization and announcing new technologies that extend the role of virtualization into every domain of the data center, enabling the infrastructure for customers to transition to the mobile-cloud era.

The Software-Defined Data Center Today

Last year at VMworld, we introduced our software-defined data center vision. The software-defined data center vision builds upon our heritage in compute virtualization by using the same principles of abstraction, pooling and automation to bring flexibility, automation and efficiency to storage and networking. This year, we’re delivering on the vision we laid out for the software-defined data center.

Today, we’re announcing VMware NSX, VMware Virtual SAN, VMware vCloud Suite 5.5 and VMware vSphere with Operations Management 5.5, bringing the software-defined data center to life while fundamentally redefining the role of the hypervisor in the data center.

VMware NSX

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VMware vCenter Log Insight: A new approach to analyzing unstructured machine data

Today, I am very excited to announce the availability of VMware vCenter Log Insight, our new log analytics and management solution. vCenter Log Insight helps customers quickly search and analyze all their IT log data, providing them with meaningful, actionable operational insights.

With vCenter Operations Management Suite, VMware introduced an analytics-based operations management solution that targets structured data (metrics, KPIs, events, alerts). Today, vCenter Log Insight extends our analytics-based approach to logs and unstructured machine-generated data. Together, these offerings provide a complete and integrated solution for cloud operations management.

vCenter Log Insight is now available as a full-featured beta download that customers can access and try out for free here.

The Emerging Need for Log Analytics

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Introducing vCloud Hybrid Service

Bill Fathers, senior vice president and general manager, Hybrid Cloud Services Business Unit, VMware

A public cloud without compromise. Today it becomes reality. We are excited to unveil vCloud Hybrid Service, an infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) cloud built and operated by VMware that will enable our customers to achieve the benefits of the public cloud with the applications, skills and management tools they already trust.  Built on the foundation of VMware vSphere® and leveraging VMware’s software-defined data center technologies, vCloud Hybrid Service will  provide an easy, fast path for VMware customers to achieve the agility and efficiency of the public cloud.

As we talk to customers, we consistently hear that they want the benefits of a public cloud environment, but can’t afford the risk, cost and time of starting over. They want a credible option that is built on trusted, enterprise-grade technology that can be easily deployed. They also want a partner who can give them a platform that delivers the agility expected by the business and the security and reliability IT demands.

We know there are many cloud offerings to choose from, but only vCloud Hybrid Service is built on the same platform that VMware customers use in their own data centers.  Those customers have expressed a desire for a cloud offering that is completely compatible with what they are deploying internally and is built on the trusted, reliable foundation they have come to expect from VMware.  And vCloud Hybrid Service was designed to support all of their existing applications as well as the development of any new ones – without requiring any change.

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