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Horizon View 6.0.2 and VMware Virtual SAN 6.0 Hybrid Reference Architecture

VSAN-Horizon-ViewThis new reference architecture is base on the latest versions of VMware Horizon View 6.0.2 and VMware Virtual SAN 6.0. Virtual SAN’s 6.0 hybrid storage architecture is the focus of the storage design and configuration with real-world test scenarios, user workloads, and infrastructure system configurations.

The hardware utilized in this reference architecture is based on Extreme Ethernet switches and SuperMicro rack mount servers with locally attached storage devices designed to support a scalable architecture and a cost-effective linked-clone desktop deployment model on VMware vSphere 6.0.

This technical paper highlights the results collected from the extensive user experience and operations testing performed, including Login VSI and desktop performance testing of up-to 1,600 desktops, and desktop provisioning operations of up-to 2,400 desktops.

The performed tests reveal the world-class performance and value of the solution at low cost. Virtual SAN’s technology allows easy scalability while maintaining superior performance at a competitive price point. The official document will be publicly available soon from the VMware technical resources page.

In the meantime, you can get early access to the final draft of the white paper directly from the link below.

– Enjoy

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

Running Microsoft Business Critical Application on Virtual SAN 6.0

VSAN-BCAVMware Virtual SAN 6.0 enables customers and partners to host Microsoft business critical applications such as Exchange Server, SQL Server, SharePoint, etc with consistent performance levels and constant availability. As part of the effort to extend the awareness of VMware Virtual SAN 6.0 ability to host business critical applications we have put together a solution white paper which covers the design, and configuration of Microsoft Exchange Server 2013, SQL Server 2014, and SharePoint 2013 and tested the solution’s capabilities and supported features of these Microsoft business critical applications on Virtual SAN 6.0 as Proof of Concept.

In this technical white paper we describe how concurrent Microsoft Exchange and Microsoft SQL Server workloads are configured to deliver the performance levels they demand as a Tier 1 application on VMware Virtual SAN. In the paper we cover the configuration procedure for Exchange Server 2013 with Database Availability Groups (DAG), SQL Server 2014 with AlwaysOn Availability Groups (AAG) and Microsoft SharePoint 2013 on an eight-node VMware Virtual SAN 6.0 cluster.

This proof of concept and test consists on the deployment and configuration has all three applications deployed in the same VMware Virtual SAN 6.0 cluster, along with other management components such as Active Directory and DNS servers. We used industry-standard test tools for both Exchange Server and SQL Server to generate simultaneous application load on the storage subsystem. During our testing and analysis, we discovered that performance for Exchange Server 2013 and SQL Server 2014 running on VMware Virtual SAN 6.0 was comparable to that of enterprise-class network-attached storage (NAS) and storage-area network (SAN) storage.

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Get hands-on with Virtual SAN – download the free 6 month evaluation!

Starting today you can download Virtual SAN for a free 6 month evaluation through VMUG. Sign up here: http://vmug.hs-sites.com/virtual-san-trial

Having seen the tremendous interest in learning more about VSAN, we think this would be a great way to test drive the product and play with all the features in your own lab or test cluster. Find out how easy and automated the policy-based management actually is or how VSAN just works with all your existing vSphere features like vMotion, HA, DRS etc….. Go check it out and see what other VSAN users rave about!

If you need any guidance around deployment, hardware, best practices check out the VSAN resources page: http://www.vmware.com/products/virtual-san/resources.html

Remember, if you are not already a VMUG member you can join for free at: http://www.vmug.com/Join and then download the VSAN evaluation.

Fujitsu Integrated System PRIMEFLEX for VMware VSAN

Fujitsu and VMware are pleased to announce the certification of PRIMEFLEX for VMware VSAN for VMware Virtual SAN 6.0. This Virtual SAN certification for Fujitsu is available now.

This will further expand the strategic Fujitsu/VMware collaboration with Virtual SAN Ready Nodes based on the latest Fujitsu Server PRIMERGY platforms. Fujitsu has updated their Virtual SAN Ready Node profiles for Server Medium, Server High, VDI Linked Clone and VDI Full Clone profiles for Virtual SAN 6.0- click here.

These reference architectures are based on Fujitsu x86 servers, which hold as of February 2015, 10 of the 15 number one positions in VMware’s VMmark® benchmark, and enable Fujitsu to continue their leadership position. Additionally, by using Fujitsu configuration tools like SystemArchitect, the complete configuration of an entire Virtual SAN environment can be quickly set up (rack, switch cabling, etc.) and adapted down to the level of each component to meet individual customer needs.

PRIMEFLEX for VMware VSAN provides the following benefits:

  • Easy setup of an entire Virtual SAN environment
  • Fast and easy design, at minimum risk
  • Built on reliable, efficient and agile Fujitsu x86 servers
  • Expansive scaling and sizing

Check out the following resources for the PRIMEFLEX for VMware VSAN

Please work with your Fujitsu sales representative to quote and order PRIMEFLEX for VMware VSAN listed on FTS’s.

VMware Virtual SAN Health Check Plug-in Now Available

The VMware Virtual SAN team is proud to announce the general availability of the new VMware Virtual SAN Health Check Plug-in.

The Health Check Plug-in was created to address one of the pain points many storage solution suffer from – hardware health and configuration – and VSAN is no different in that respect. The Health Check Plug-in will address this issue and in the same time maintain one of Virtual SAN’s core benefits  – keeping things simple. The simplicity aspect comes into effect in two ways:

  • It’s a simple vCenter plug-in seamlessly integrating with the rest of the vCenter UI – maintaining the single pane of glass benefit
  • It provides clear and detailed warnings and alerts including suggested ways to solve issues when they appear

Virtual SAN Health Check Plug-in implements several checks including:

  • Hardware Compatibility – scans your VSAN cluster and detects components not on HCL. Also will make sure you have the right drivers and firmware
  • Networking Configuration – checks for potential hosts getting disconnected, cluster partitioning and other network related issues
  • Limits Health – makes sure the cluster stays operational in cases like a host failure
  • Storage Device Health – checks for disk capacity issues, congestion, metadata health and other potential device problems
  • Virtual Machines Objects health – checks for objects metadata health, and other potential object complications

Overview screen of Virtual SAN Health Check Plug-in:

hc plugin


In addition to the ongoing monitoring of the Virtual SAN 6 cluster health, the Health Check Plug-in enables a set of proactive tests like:

  • VM creation
  • Storage Performance
  • Multicast Performance

Check out this short demo video to see how the Health Check Plug-in helps overcome a networking problem:

The Health Check Plug-in is a free vCenter Plug-in that is downloadable under the drivers & tools tabs in the Virtual SAN download page. If you are not a Virtual SAN 6 customer, you can still try out the plug-in by downloading your free 60 days evaluation copy – www.vmware.com/go/try-vsan-dl-en

You can also try our hosted evaluation by going to the Virtual SAN 6 hands on lab – www.vmware.com/go/try-vsan-hol

VMware Virtual SAN Health Check Plugin

VSAN Health Check LogoIntroducing the Virtual SAN Health Check Plugin, a tool designed to deliver a simplified troubleshooting and monitoring experience of all things Virtual SAN for vSphere Administrators. This plugin delivers over thirty different health checks specifically for Virtual SAN ranging from hardware compatibility, networking configuration, operations, advanced configuration options, storage device, and virtual machines.

The plugin enhances the Virtual SAN customer support and user experience by providing the ability for customers to join VMware’s Customer Experience Improvement Program (CEIP). CEIP is a program design to improve the quality, reliability, and functionality of Virtual SAN and its services. The membership to the CEIP is an optional feature that can be enabled or disabled at any point in time through the Virtual SAN Health check plugin user interface.

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VSAN Evaluation – How to use the VSAN sizing tool – Part 2

This blog post is the second in our series of blog posts of VSAN Evaluation using our integrated sizing and TCO tool ( vsantco.vmware.com ). For part 1 that discusses VM profiling go here:

VSAN Evaluation – How to use the VSAN sizing tool – Part 1

In this part of the blog series we will discuss how to adjust our default recommended ready nodes profiles to your specific scenario. I’m aware this part can be somewhat confusing, but after a few tries I’m sure you’ll get the hang of it and can do this in a matter of minutes.

First, let’s start by explaining what a Virtual SAN Ready Node is. Virtual SAN is a pure software product, but using it with non-certified hardware can have some unwanted results. This is why we decided to partner with all the major OEMs to create ready-to-go hardware solutions called ready nodes that can also be used as a reference architecture and be customized to your preferences. My team member and VSAN Product Manager, Rakesh Radhakrishnan, wrote a blog ( Virtual SAN Ready Nodes – Ready, Set, Go!) almost a year ago answering most common questions around the topic. Also check out the most updated list of ready nodes here – Virtual SAN Ready Nodes – and our Virtual SAN Hardware Quick Reference Guide .

vsan ready node

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VSAN Evaluation – How to use the sizing tool – Part 1


Sizing a vSphere environment for VMware Virtual SAN is not an easy task and if this is how you look like when you approach it you should continue reading. Nevertheless, even if you already did sizing for VSAN in the past there are some nuances that you might want to pay attention to.

First, before we go into explaining how to size for VSAN, it is imperative you understand why this is important:

  • If you undersize VSAN for your environment you might not get the performance you expect or won’t have the capacity you need for your virtual machines
  • If you oversize VSAN you might end-up with a higher hardware bill that can be at least partially deferred until you actually need to grow VSAN to that size – remember you can grow as you-go, no need for large upfront investments

OK, so when can I get this tool you ask? It is already available, just go to VSANTCO.VMware.com – the tool was recently updated to also allow you to size VSAN with an All Flash architecture.

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