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What’s New – VMware Virtual SAN 6.2

CaptureToday we are officially announcing the launch of VMware Virtual SAN 6.2. Virtual SAN is the foundation of VMware’s Hyper-Converged Software (HCS) that enables customers to experience industry leading  hyper-converged infrastructure. Customers are finding VMware HCS key in adopting a Software Defined Data Center (SDDC) approach of streamlining and automating storage, networking and compute. Learn more about VMware HCS here. Along with the Virtual SAN 6.2 launch, we are unveiling new extensions to the Virtual SAN Ready Node program enabling OEMs to offer customers the ability to build VMware HCS–based solutions with maximum flexibility of hardware, software, licensing, and support.

Now in its 4th edition, Virtual SAN is the market leader in Hyper-Converged Infrastructure. Over 3,000 customers of all industries and sizes trust Virtual SAN to run their most mission critical applications. Virtual SAN 6.2 adds greater abilities around lower cost and improving management and monitoring for the most demanding customer storage environments. In this new release, VMware continues to focus on providing a reliable and consistent storage environment for the biggest business critical applications.

VMware is expanding the capabilities of Virtual SAN as a platform and is introducing better data efficiency features by delivering deduplication and compression of data as well as providing RAID-5/RAID-6 support for all flash Virtual SAN environments.

A critical aspect of Virtual SAN is ensuring availability and visibility. Virtual SAN 6.2 Quality of Service (QoS) further enables the ability to prevent noisy neighbors and tenets from impacting competing workloads. Enhancements to usability and management provide for better visibility and proactive operations. The most significant new features and capabilities of Virtual SAN 6.2 are described below in detail:



Data Efficiency (Deduplication and Compression)

Dedupe and compression happens during de-staging from the caching tier to the capacity tier. You enable “space efficiency” on a cluster level and deduplication happens on a per disk group basis. Bigger disk groups will result in a higher deduplication ratio. After the blocks are deduplicated, then they are compressed. A significant saving already, but combined with deduplication, the results achieved can be up to 7x space reduction, of course fully dependent on the workload and type of VMs.

RAID-5/RAID-6 – Erasure Coding

Sometimes RAID 5 and RAID 6 over the network is also referred as erasure coding. In this case, RAID-5 requires 4 hosts at a minimum as it uses a 3+1 logic. With 4 hosts, 1 can fail without data loss. This results in a significant reduction of required disk capacity. Normally a 20GB disk would require 40GB of disk capacity, but in the case of RAID-5 over the network, the requirement is only ~27GB. There is another option if higher availability is desired. Learn more about the use of Erasure Coding in Virtual SAN 6.2.



Quality of Service (QoS)

This enables per VMDK IOP Limits. They can be deployed by Storage Policy-Based Management (SPBM), tying them to existing policy frameworks. Service providers can use this to create differentiated service offerings using the same cluster/pool of storage. Customers wanting to mix diverse workloads will be interested in being able to keep workloads from impacting each other.

IOP Limits


Software Checksum

Software Checksum will enable customers to detect the corruptions that could be caused by hardware/software components including memory, drives, etc. during the read or write operations. In the case of drives, there are two basic kinds of corruption. The first is “latent sector errors”, which are typically the result of a physical disk drive malfunction. The other type is silent corruption, which can happen without warning (These are typically called silent data corruption). Undetected or completely silent errors could lead to lost or inaccurate data and significant downtime. There is no effective means of detection without end-to-end integrity checking.



Virtual SAN can now support IPv4-only, IPv6-only, and also IPv4/IPv6-both enabled. This addresses requirements for customers moving to IPv6 and, additionally, supports mixed mode for migrations.


Performance Monitoring Service

Performance Monitoring Service allows customers to be able to monitor existing workloads from the vCenter. Customers needing access to tactical performance information will not need to go to vRO. Performance monitor includes macro level views (Cluster latency, throughput, IOPS) as well as granular views (per disk, cache hit ratios, per disk group stats) without needing to leave vCenter. The performance monitor allows aggregation of states across the cluster into a “quick view” to see what load and latency look like as well as share that information externally directly to 3rd party monitoring solutions by API.The Performance monitoring service runs on a distributed database that is stored directly on Virtual SAN.



Virtual SAN has even more storage greatness on the way! For more information visit the VMware Virtual SAN Product page and feel free to check out the Technical White paper.


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 Virtual SAN 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.

For future updates on Virtual SAN (VSAN) be sure to check Virtual Blocks, as well as follow me on twitter: @Lost_Signal