VxRail flash configurationCo-authored with Biswa Bhattacharjee
Building on strong momentum from the February 2016 launch, VxRail 3.5, with a slew of ‘face-melting’ new features, is now shipping!
VCE VxRail is a jointly VMware and EMC developed hyper-converged infrastructure family of appliances built on the foundations of VMware Hyper-Converged Software (Virtual SAN, vSphere and vCenter). VxRail comes bundled with Virtual SAN, vCenter, Log Insight and a full suite of industry-leading data services from EMC and VMware, including recovery, data protection, cloud tiering and backup. With a single point of support for the hardware and software in a 2U, 4-node package, VxRail is the simplest building block for the Software Defined Data Center (SDDC).
What’s new: VxRail 3.5
Powered by Virtual SAN 6.2, VxRail 3.5 offers rich space efficiency data services for all flash models. Customers can now use deduplication and compression, erasure coding (RAID 5/6) and Quality of Service (QoS) to increase storage efficiency with very little compute overhead (below <5%).
VxRail 3.5 also supports active-active stretch cluster. This brings in site level protection with zero data loss. If a site fails, automated failover guarantees the availability of the virtual machines. Each appliance in the cluster can be configured to protect against site failure with a maximum configuration of 15 + 15 +1 (31 nodes). Stretched clusters are supported by both hybrid- and all-flash VxRail configurations.
VxRail now supports all-flash deployment. This release introduces five new all-flash models in addition to existing hybrid models. Each node provides lot of flexibility on compute, memory and storage for users to choose from. You can start small from 7.6 TB and grow up to 19 TB of raw storage per node. It means that each appliance can have up to 76 TB of raw storage. You can also configure up to 28 cores of compute per node. Similarly, different memory footprints can be chosen within each node.
VxRail 3.5 vSphere web client provides a single user interface for virtual machine management and day-to-day operational activities. VM provisioning and management functionality is now entirely on vCenter web interface. You can use it to create and manage VMs of desired configuration. VxRail also provides Virtual SAN Storage Policy-Based Management (SPBM), which makes VMs resilient and highly available when any type of failure occurs in the infrastructure components.
VxRail Manager now provides comprehensive hardware management and monitoring for all individual appliances and nodes, and other services including cloud tiering, backup and data protection.
External vCenter support
VxRail 3.5 supports external vCenter. Users can choose to deploy vCenter server which comes packaged with VxRail or can point to an existing vCenter server. This provides immense flexibility to manage VxRail as part of users’ existing datacenter management process. Users can choose the deployment options that best fit their environment.
VxRail vSphere licenses are no longer bundled with the appliance, offering greater flexibility to utilize existing vSphere licenses and to use different vSphere editions, including ENT+, STD, and ROBO.
You can now scale VxRail in single node increments, by adding individual nodes instead of full appliances. Users can also mix different models for compute and capacity optimization within the same cluster as long as each cluster includes either all-flash or all-hybrid appliances. This offers customers tremendous flexibility to buy only what they need and when they need it. With VxRail, you can scale from a single appliance with 4 nodes all the way to 64-node nodes (16 appliances).
You can also increase storage capacity for each node individually. As VMs grow, storage capacity can be increased without increasing compute capacity. Each node can have storage capacity of between 3.6 – 19 TB.
The future is bright
VxRail roadmap is as bright as its nascent past, with better delivery, more features and new use-cases, including:
• Rapidly accelerated and improved hardware supply chain. While the value is in software, the hardware supply chain matters for the offer. Demand exceeded supply for a large part of May, we’re now catching up (good problem to have!) VxRail will have the best HCIA hardware out there, bar none.
• Start even smaller (getting down to 3, then 2 node minimums from the 4 of today) – VxRail scales bigger than any HCIA out there.
• Expanded hardware configurations – while the 2U4N form factor is the right place to stop – we will rapidly expand to 1U1N (ridiculously small starting $$) and 2U1N (great for very storage dense, or GPU VDI use cases) form factors.
• … And a little further out, leveraging NVMe and NGNVM, the Purley generation refresh, next-gen vSphere and VSAN, and “linking” VxRail with it’s bigger sibling (VxRack SDDC) – stay tuned!