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VMware Virtual SAN 6.0: Bootstorm Demonstration

VSAN60-All-FlashSince the official announcement of VMware Virtual SAN All-Flash architecture, most of the conversations have been focused about the solutions incredible performance capabilities and attributes with regards to IOPS, predictable performance, sub-millisecond latencies. All of those attributes are great and part of the reason as to why Virtual SAN 6.0 as a storage platform and its use cases have been expanded to also focus on business critical applications and large enterprise environments.

I want to turn the spotlight onto one of the many supported use cases for Virtual SAN 6.0 and highlight one of the invaluable capabilities of the new platform with regards to Virtual Desktop Infrastructures (VDI).

Some of the functional requirements for large enterprise infrastructure designs for VDI include the characterization of boot, refresh, and provision times for standard operations and worst case scenarios.

I have seen a fair share of VDI designs and demonstrations of different platforms showcasing bootstorms, refresh and rebuilds times they all do a pretty good job. Now with that said I wanted to take the opportunity to showcase the powerful capabilities of the Virtual SAN 6.0 by demonstrating a bootstorm at the maximum supported capabilities of the platform. This bootstorm demonstration consists of 6401 desktops on a Virtual SAN 6.0 All-Flash 64 node cluster (BigDaddy).
The key and impressive items showcased as part of the demonstration are the following:

  • BigDaddy – 64 Node All-Flash Virtual SAN Cluster
  • Desktops – booting all 6401 desktops in the cluster at once (in batches of 1024 at a time)
  • Boot Time – 24 minutes booting all desktops plus allocation of IP address about 19 minutes for a total of about 40 minutes

This demonstration does not contain tampered or custom configurations of any of the Virtual SAN settings. This is what we generally call an Out-of-the-Box experience. Another important thing to point out here is my definition for completed boot time. What I mean by complete boot, is not just when the desktop is powered on, but when all the desktops have successfully acquired an IP address and are really up and running and ready to be use.

In the interest of time, the demonstration has been sped up from its original length of time to about 5 minutes. Feel free to pay attention to the timestamp as it is displayed in the command line interface to validate the accuracy of the booting time.

This demonstration successfully highlights the one of the many powerful capabilities of available in VMware Virtual SAN 6.0.


– Enjoy

For future updates on Virtual SAN (VSAN), vSphere Virtual Volumes (VVOLs) and other Software-defined Storage technologies as well as vSphere + OpenStack be sure to follow me on Twitter: @PunchingClouds

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Rawlinson Rivera

About Rawlinson Rivera

Rawlinson is a Principal Architect working in the Office of CTO for the Storage and Availability Business Unit at VMware. Focus on defining and communicating VMware’s product vision and strategy, and an active advisor for VMware's product roadmap and portfolio. Responsibilities revolved around connecting VMware's R&D organizations with customers and partners in the field. He specializes in enterprise architectures (private and public clouds), Hyper-converged Infrastructures, business continuity / disaster recovery technologies and solutions including Virtual SAN, vSphere Virtual Volumes, as well as other storage technologies and solutions for OpenStack and Cloud-Native Applications. Rawlinson is a VMware Certified Design Experts (VCDX#86) and main author of the blog punchingclouds.com.

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