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Tag Archives: Virtual SAN

VMware Virtual SAN Performance Testing – Part III

Virtual SAN ObserverIn the previous VMware Virtual SAN Performance Testing blog post we reviewed the benefits of running performance tests utilizing I/O trace files over synthetic workload tools such as IOmeter to more accurately characterize the performance of a Virtual SAN cluster. The VMware I/O Analyzer includes pre-created trace files of specific application profiles that allows you to quickly perform scale-out testing utilizing a mix of industry standard workloads But what if you want to characterize the performance of your existing vSphere virtualized environment within a new Virtual SAN configuration? This is were the use of custom I/O Trace replays can be useful. Continue reading

VMware Virtual SAN Performance Testing – Part II

Virtual SAN ObserverIn the first installment of the Virtual SAN Performance Testing series, we reviewed benchmarking performance using synthetic I/O generation tool Iometer, automated by the VMware I/O Analyzer appliance. Using Iometer, or other synthetic I/O generation tools is frequently the first option for benchmarking selected, as it is an operationally light weight method to benchmark storage performance. But what if you want to be able to simulate real world workloads within your Virtual SAN cluster, without the burden of building out applications. That is where I/O trace files can come into play.

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Myth versus Math: Setting the Record Straight on Virtual SAN

By Jim Armstrong

It seems hard to believe to me but it was just six short months ago that we officially launched our Virtual SAN product. I spent the months leading up to the launch and the months since learning about Virtual SAN and the storage market at large and since our launch I have watched as others shared their opinions of our product. By now, I have seen some common areas where people make key mistakes about how Virtual SAN works. What I’d like to do is discuss some common misconceptions about Virtual SAN and hopefully along the way help folks understand what sets Virtual SAN apart from other seemingly similar technologies.

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VMware Virtual SAN: Storage for the Software-Defined Data Center

VMware Virtual SAN delivers storage that’s as nimble as a VM. It’s a key part of VMware’s Software-Defined Data Center initiative and helps enterprises realize the benefits of virtualization for storage. Virtual SAN abstracts and pools server side disk and flash to deliver high-performance, agile storage for virtual environments. Virtual SAN does for storage what vSphere did for compute.

At VMware, innovation is a constant – and Virtual SAN is a product of that innovation. It’s being viewed as an industry “game-changer” that can redefine how enterprises buy storage. As part of the VMware vision for Software Defined Storage, Virtual SAN offers customers a new storage solution, one that’s purpose built for the agile, dynamic vSphere environments our customers depend upon.

Listen to Gaetan Castelein, VMware’s Sr. Director of Storage and Availability, explain the benefits of VMware Virtual SAN.

We’re excited to share our radically simple shared storage solution with you. To learn more about how VMware Virtual SAN can increase your IT agility, visit our Virtual SAN homepage, our VMware Virtual SAN blog, and follow our @vmwarevsan handle on Twitter.

InfoWorld Review: Virtual SAN Results

When it comes to leading the industry in hyper-converged software-defined storage for virtual environments, VMware Virtual SAN sets the pace.

Armed with hardware provided by Supermicro and Lenovo, Paul Ferrill of InfoWorld put VMware Virtual SAN to the test. Scoring 9.2 out of 10, including two perfect scores for scalability and availability, Virtual SAN earned an “excellent” rating from Ferrill.  His take away: VMware Virtual SAN is a significant step towards the software-defined data center and delivers performance on even moderately priced hardware.


“VMware’s Virtual SAN represents a significant step toward the stated goal of a software-defined data center,” Ferrill writes. “It’s also somewhat of a “back to the future” experience, with storage moving into the local host machines and away from a centralized and dedicated storage appliance. My testing shows that VSAN is capable of delivering respectable performance on moderately priced hardware. Throw in 10GbE networking and you’ll see impressive results on even the lowest-end hardware configuration.”

Ferrill ran his tests on two systems. The first was on the Supermicro system, which was a SuperSaver SYS-F627R3-R72B+ with four independent nodes a single 4U chassis. The nodes contained two Intel Xeon 2420 CPUS, 256GB of memory, five 2TB Seagate SAS 10K HDDS and one 400GB Intel S3700 Series SATA SSD. The unit also uses two 10GbE and two 1GbE network interfaces. Lenovo sent three ThinkServer RD340 1U servers, each with an Intel Xeon 35-2420 CPU, 64GB of memory, one 1TB Toshiba SAS 7200RPM HDD, one 100GB STEC M161SD2-100UCM SATA SSD, and three 1GbE network interfaces.

As Ferrill notes, creating VSAN clusters on those two setups was simple: install vSphere and vCenter, then check a box in the vCenter Server interface.

“The hardest part may be configuring the disk controllers,” Ferrill said.
If you’re lucky, your disk controller makes JBOD a simple check box item.”

Ferrill said he found that VMware Virtual SAN, especially in a VDI scenario, offers compelling advantages in its initial cost and long-term maintenance. For more details, you can read Ferrill’s review of VMware Virtual SAN here.

For more updates on VMware Virtual SAN and Software-Defined Storage, be sure to follow us on Twitter at @VMwareVSAN!

VMware Virtual SAN Network Design Guide

VSAN Network GraphicVirtual SAN is a scale-out hypervisor-converged software-defined storage solution that can scale up to 32 nodes in a cluster. The network serves as the backbone of a Virtual SAN cluster by providing the interconnects between nodes via an Ethernet network topology.

There are many design options when creating a vSphere network design that includes VMware Virtual SAN. Proper network design is critical to ensure the performance and availability of  both your Virtual SAN cluster, and other vSphere services and workloads utilizing the network. A holistic approach that considers all the network services within your vSphere cluster should be taken when planning networking for Virtual SAN. The VMware Virtual SAN Network Design Guide reviews design options, best practices, and configuration details, including but not limited to the following -

  • vSphere Teaming Considerations – IP Hash vs other vSphere teaming algorithms
  • Physical Topology Considerations – Impact of Spine/Leaf vs Access/Aggregation/Core topology in large scale Virtual SAN clusters
  • Virtual SAN Network Design for High Availability – Design considerations to achieve a highly available Virtual SAN network
  • Load Balancing Considerations – How to achieve aggregated bandwidth via multiple physical uplinks for Virtual SAN traffic in combination with other traffic types
  • Virtual SAN with other Traffic Types – Detailed architectural examples and test results of using Network IO Control with Virtual SAN and other traffic types

For an in-depth detailed review of Virtual SAN Network Design considerations and recommended practices, download the VMware Virtual SAN Network Design Guide today!

Virtual SAN 5.5 Validation Guide

Enabling Virtual SAN, if the environment is configured and ready, is an easy click of the mouse. If the environment is not ready however, the task of troubleshooting a new product, can easily become quite daunting. As we track the issues that have arisen during Virtual SAN deployments, we see that the majority of issues are common from deployment to deployment. The great news here is that these common issues can readily be identified and resolved. The real challenge is getting the information and guidance out into the hands of those who need it, before they actually have need of it.

It is for this purpose I introduce you to, the Virtual SAN 5.5 Validation Guide. This guide began as an internal collection of the most common Virtual SAN deployment troubleshooting scenarios. After receiving a number of requests from our customers, we have decided to publish this guide publicly as well.

The Virtual SAN 5.5 Validation Guide is a collection of common gotchas and recommended practices in spreadsheet form for easy reference and checkoff during the deployment process. There are two sections to this guide, the first section contains validation steps for common issues that can occur during the install process. The second section contains validation steps potentially required during post-install activities. Where possible, it contains both manual steps (vCenter Web Client actions) and CLI steps (RVC, ESXCLI, PowerCLI). These CLI steps can readily be translated into script form for easy automation.

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VMware Unveils New Disaster Recovery and Backup Product Releases; Virtual SAN and Virtual Volumes Featured at VMworld 2014

By Alberto Farronato, director of product marketing, Storage and Availability, VMware

VMworld 2014 will deliver plenty of news, customer testimonials, panels, sessions, demos and more on VMware’s software-defined storage and business continuity products and initiatives. Following are a few show highlights.

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SDS Challenge: Ready to play?

In a previous blog, Rawlinson Rivera highlighted the key events, sessions, group discussions and HOLs from the Software-Defined Storage and Business Continuity teams.

On top of all that, there is one more thing you can do to get the most out of VMworld 2014: You can play CloudCred!

Take your VMworld experience to the next level and play CloudCred – an online gaming platform that allows users to test their cloud knowledge. For VMworld, we’ve built a special contest in CloudCred – the VMworld SDS Challenge.  Attend selected sessions on Virtual Volumes, Virtual SAN, vDPA and Site Recovery Manager, complete labs, and visit product demos at the Solutions Exchange to earn points. Points lead to badges, and every badge earned enters you into a raffle for a Jambox Mini.

The Cloud Cred VMworld SDS Challenge contest badges include:

  • Lab Badge
  • Virtual Volumes Badge
  • Virtual SAN Badge
  • vDPA Badge
  • SRM Badge

Contest starts at 4pm Sunday and runs through 4pm Wednesday. Log on to CloudCred today to set up your account and get ready to play.

We look forward to seeing you at VMworld this year!

Stay tuned to the vSphere blog for the latest information. You can also follow us on Twitter at @VMwareVSAN for more updates. See you in San Francisco!

Get the Latest Session and HOL Schedules for Virtual SAN, Virtual Volumes and More at VMworld 2014!

As many of you know, VMworld is just around the river bend! That means there’s a lot of planning left to do between now and when you get to San Francisco. Luckily, we’re here to help.

As always, there’s a lot to see and do at this year’s VMworld, including learning VMware’s latest and greatest Virtual SAN products and betas. Take a look at the schedules below to see how you can take the next step to learning more!

Virtual SAN – Sessions

Get up to speed with VMware Virtual SAN — our Software-Defined Storage solution designed for vSphere environments. Sessions on vSAN cover everything from building business cases to best practices and a deep dive. Check out one of our previous blogs for more great sessions on storage and availability.


Session ID



4:00 – 5:00 p.m.


Virtual SAN 101 and Building a Business Case


5:30 – 6:30 p.m.


Virtual SAN Best Practices and Use Cases


1:00 – 2:00 p.m.


Virtual SAN Best Practices for Monitoring and Troubleshooting


11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.


Virtual SAN Architecture Deep Dive

Virtual Volumes – Sessions

VMware’s latest beta program, Virtual Volumes (VVols), will be making an appearance at VMworld. VVols encapsulate virtual disks and other virtual machine files and natively stores them on the storage system. This enables administrators to make manage storage on the granular level, use policy-based management for common storage management and easily provision all the necessary storage for an application.


Session ID



11:00 a.m. – 12:00p.m.


Software-Defined Storage: The Transformation of Enterprise Storage Has Begun


11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.


Virtual Volumes Business Overview


4:00 – 5:00 p.m.


Virtual Volumes Technical Deep Dive

vSphere Site Recovery Manager – Sessions

Discover the latest in vSphere Site Recovery Manager and learn how an automated disaster recovery can help protect your applications. These sessions will cover everything you need to know about vSphere Site Recovery Manager from recovery 101 to our technical deep dive.


Session ID



11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.


Site Recovery Manager 101: What’s New and Customer Case Study


1:00 – 2:00 p.m.


Site Recovery Manager and vCloud Automation Center: Self-service DR Protection for the Software-Defined Data Center


10:00 – 11:00 a.m.


Site Recovery Manager and vSphere Replication: What’s New Technical Deep Dive

vSphere Virtual Data Protection – Sessions

vSphere Virtual Data Protection protects and backs up your virtual machines and data. VMworld’s 2014 sessions for vSphere Virtual Data Protection will cover the basics of data protection in a virtual world, how it integrates with other VMware offerings and the best practices for VDP.


Session ID



1:00 – 2:00 p.m.


Data Protection for vSphere 101: Keys to Successful Backdrop and Replication in a Virtual World


11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.


Data Protection for Virtual SAN


1:00 – 2:00 p.m.


Data protection with VDP Advanced – What’s New Technical Deep Dive and Best Practices

Virtual Volumes Demos at Booth:

Of course, VMworld wouldn’t be complete with in-booth demos. This year, among other things, we’ll be demonstrating the advantage of Virtual Volumes (VVols) throughout the expo floor. You can witness how VVols have enabled a variety of companies at the following booths:

  • VMware
  • HP
  • NetApp
  • Dell
  • EMC
  • IBM
  • HDS
  • Nimble
  • Tintri
  • SolidFire
  • Symantec

Hands On Labs

Looking to get your hands on our products? Get some hands-on time and put what you’ve learned to practice at our hands-on labs at VMworld 2014. These exhibits will be available for you to use throughout the show, so be sure to stop on by!

Catalog SKU




VVOL Tech Preview

Virtual Volumes


VMware Software-Defined Storage



VMware Virtual SAN 101



IT Outcomes – High Availablity and Business Continuity/Disaster Recovery


 Join us in San Francisco to talk about all things Virtual SAN! There’ll be a lot more for you to digest as the days draw closer to VMworld 2014, so stay tuned to this blog for the latest information available. You can also follow us on Twitter at @vmwarevsan for breaking updates. See you on the show floor!