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You might have seen the 6-part VMware Virtual SAN 6.0 review from StorageReview.com, an independent 3rd party – if not, we’re giving you a chance now. Chock-full of technical information and tips for configuration, performance optimization, and testing, this series of articles is invaluable if you’re considering Virtual SAN. Let’s dive in!

  1. VMware Virtual SAN Review: Overview and Configuration: Focus here is on Setup and Configuration. Here the reviewer notes that “deploying and configuring VSAN is a simple process for those used to working in a virtualized environment, and especially for those that are familiar with vSphere.”
  2. VMware Virtual SAN Review: VMmark Performance: The choice of benchmark is interesting, as VMmark is usually seen as a compute and memory test — however, when considering hyper-converged storage, server resource utilization becomes important. The reviewer was able to top out at an impressive 18 tiles on a modest, 4-node VSAN configuration, noting that “the overhead of the shared storage component of VSAN didn’t inhibit the overall performance of the cluster” and that “at 18 tiles, we still had CPU resources leftover on all the nodes.”
  3. VMware Virtual SAN Review: Sysbench OLTP Performance: In this test, the reviewer spun up four transactional databases, one per server, and achieved an impressive 2,829 transactions per second, with “plenty of additional CPU headroom as well as some storage I/O headroom for additional activities.”
  4. VMware Virtual SAN Review: SQL Server Performance: Four SQLserver images delivered an impressive ~12,000 transactions per second on the Virtual SAN cluster.
  5. VMware Virtual SAN Review: Scaled Sysbench OLTP Performance: Next, the reviewer sought to determine how the platform responds to ever-increasing MySQL workloads. They scaled the four Sysbench VM (1 per node) benchmark up to 8 and 12 total VMs. As the Sysbench OLTP workload was scaled, they measured a performance increase from 2,830 TPS in aggregate with 4 VMs, to 4,259 TPS with 8 VMs. This worked out to a 50% jump in performance with the workload footprint doubling.
  6. VMware Virtual SAN Review: HCIbench Synthetic Performance: To understand the peak I/O the Virtual SAN platform could generate, as well as peak bandwidth, the reviewer ran the HCIbench Synthetic Performance test. While the results shouldn’t replace application tests, they are helpful in comparing one platform to another and provide valuable insight for customers working on a PoC.

So there you have it! An extended review of Virtual SAN 6.0 from our colleagues at StorageReview.com.

Note: In some cases, pricing for the tested systems are shared.  However, head-to-head pricing comparisons vs. traditional arrays aren’t easy to get at, as the Virtual SAN clusters not only offer shared storage services, but also support a large number of VMs on the same hardware.

 

Virtual SAN (VSAN) Assessment

Now that you know how well Virtual SAN performs, the next step is try it yourself. The Virtual SAN Hands-on-Labs gives you an opportunity to experiment with many of the key features of Virtual SAN. To find out where VSAN would fit in your environment, sign up for a VSAN Assessment. This free, one-week analysis can reveal where Virtual SAN can reduce cost, eliminate complexity, and increase your agility. Sign up today!