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Virtual SAN: Scaling Storage Capacity

VSAN SizingOne of the most discussed topics about Virtual SAN has been around its scalable architecture design and the ability to scale up and scale out. In this article, I want to discuss and showcase the scale up capabilities of Virtual SAN.

Virtual SAN’s disk support is based on hybrid disk model that uses flash and magnetic disks to provide performance and storage capacity. Magnetic disks are the only disks devices that count towards the usable storage capacity of the Virtual SAN datastore. Flash devices compose the caching layer (read cache, write buffer). The Virtual SAN scale up methodology can be achieved in two different methods:

  •  Capacity
  • Performance

Scaling the storage capacity in Virtual SAN can be achieve by simply adding more magnetic disks to an existing disk group or by creating entirely new disk group. Virtual SAN supports up to 5 disk groups per host and each disk group supports up to 7 magnetic disks and one flash based device.

Scaling the performance layer (flash layer) of Virtual SAN is achieved in a similar way to scaling the storage capacity in the sense that you can quickly select the necessary disk devices and create a disk group. Virtual SAN disk groups require a minimum of one flash based device and one magnetic disk. In order to scale the performance of a Virtual SAN cluster, you will need to add a flash based device and at least one magnetic disk.

Either way you choose to scale up the Virtual SAN cluster for performance or capacity, the process and procedures is radically simple. Virtual SAN introduces one of the most costs effective and operationally efficient scaling models today.

The Virtual SAN storage scale up procedure is demonstrated in the video below.


- Enjoy

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Rawlinson Rivera

About Rawlinson Rivera

Rawlinson is a Principal Architect in the Storage and Availability Business Unit at VMware focused on Software-Defined Storage technologies and primarily responsible for Virtual SAN, vSphere Virtual Volumes, and OpenStack storage related technologies. As a previous Enterprise Architect in VMware's Cloud Infrastructure & Management Professional Services Organization, Rawlinson specialized on vSphere and Cloud enterprise architectures for VMware's fortune 100, 500 customers. Rawlinson is amongst the few VMware Certified Design Experts (VCDX#86) in the world, and author of multiple books based on VMware and other technologies.

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