One of the new products that was announced as part of the vSphere 5 launch was new vSphere Storage Appliance (VSA). It allows you to use the local storage of vSphere 5 ESX hosts to create shared storage that is accessible as NFS datastores. This shared storage automatically mirrors its data across the vSphere 5 hosts in the VSA cluster ensuring that it is always available, even in the event of the loss of a server.
VSA is integrated into vSphere 5 and is easily installed and managed. It works well and does not require SAN experience or knowledge to get up and running.
We recently published a white paper for those that are interested in looking deeper into VSA to understand the performance aspects. The paper includes information about the key factors to VSA performance, how to do a detailed analysis, and some examples based on testing.