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Virtual SAN 6.0 Performance: Scalability and Best Practices

A technical white paper about Virtual SAN performance has been published. This paper provides guidelines on how to get the best performance for applications deployed on a Virtual SAN cluster.

We used Iometer to generate several workloads that simulate various I/O encountered in Virtual SAN production environments. These are shown in the following table.

Type of I/O workload Size (1KiB = 1024 bytes) Mixed Ratio Shows / Simulates
All Read 4KiB Maximum random read IOPS that a storage solution can deliver
Mixed Read/Write 4KiB 70% / 30% Typical commercial applications deployed in a VSAN cluster
Sequential Read 256KiB Video streaming from storage
Sequential Write 256KiB Copying bulk data to storage
Sequential Mixed R/W 256KiB 70% / 30% Simultaneous read/write copy from/to storage

In addition to these workloads, we studied Virtual SAN caching tier designs and the effect of Virtual SAN configuration parameters on the Virtual SAN test bed.

Virtual SAN 6.0 can be configured in two ways: Hybrid and All-Flash. Hybrid uses a combination of hard disks (HDDs) to provide storage and a flash tier (SSDs) to provide caching. The All-Flash solution uses all SSDs for storage and caching.

Tests show that the Hybrid Virtual SAN cluster performs extremely well when the working set is fully cached for random access workloads, and also for all sequential access workloads. The All-Flash Virtual SAN cluster, which performs well for random access workloads with large working sets, may be deployed in cases where the working set is too large to fit in a cache. All workloads scale linearly in both types of Virtual SAN clusters—as more hosts and more disk groups per host are added, Virtual SAN sees a corresponding increase in its ability to handle larger workloads. Virtual SAN offers an excellent way to scale up the cluster as performance requirements increase.

You can download Virtual SAN 6.0 Performance: Scalability and Best Practices from the VMware Performance & VMmark Community.

4 thoughts on “Virtual SAN 6.0 Performance: Scalability and Best Practices

  1. Pingback: Virtual SAN 6.0 Performance: Scalability and Best Practices - VMware360

  2. Pingback: [White Paper] Virtual SAN 6.0 Performance | Breaking Ban

  3. Christian Hansen

    Great paper, but since the Intel P3700 used in the All-Flash Array configuration is not on the VSAN HCL, I’m curious as to what firmware and driver were used.

    Reply
    1. Amitabha Banerjee

      We are working on qualifying P3700 and other PCIe devices. For the whitepaper, we used firmware revision 8DV10110 and the inbox nvme driver, version 1.0e.0.35-1vmw.600.0.0.00000. We recently upgraded the firmware to 8DV10131 and also plan on updating the nvme driver soon.

      Reply

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