A new Solution Overview paper discusses how Virtual SAN provides a resolution to the complexities originally plaguing dedicated infrastructure hardware. The white paper can be obtained here, but a summary of the piece can be found below.
VMware Hyper-Converged Software Premier Solution for Hyper-Converged Infrastructure (HCI)
Decoding the complexity of multiple infrastructure silos can be difficult – but we have a solution: VMware Hyper-Converged Software (HCS). Unfortunately, dedicated infrastructure hardware for multiple environments and applications leads to complexity, wasted resources, and higher costs. Often times, applications require much less compute & storage capacity than originally planned by an application’s owner. These original plans result in excess server and storage resources, with excessive capital spent.
Although this may seem daunting, VMware HCS is here to help! Hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) makes it easier to consolidate hardware silos, reduce complexity, and reduce capital expenditures. VMware’s HCS is the solution for HCI. The software combines VMware Virtual SAN storage, VMware vSphere hypervisor, and the vCenter Server unified management solution with the broadest set of deployment options. VMware HCS provides a complete platform consisting of compute, network, and storage resources for a wide variety of use cases – organized on inexpensive industry-standard x86 server components which remove large, upfront investments. Built on an optimized I/O data path, Virtual SAN ensures optimal performance. Conveniently, separate administration tools are not required because it is a core component of the vSphere environment.
Virtual SAN addresses challenges such as application uptime by aggregating local disks into a shared data store distributed across hosts. In order to deliver the highest levels of performance without taxing the CPU, Virtual SAN is uniquely embedded in the vSphere hypervisor kernel.
Storage Policy-Based Management (SPBM)
For this approach, virtual machine-centric storage policies are created and assigned for various workload types. A storage policy consists of one or more rules that define the levels of availability and performance provided by Virtual SAN. In regards to vSphere, granular provisioning of CPU can be accomplished through memory resources configured especially for the machine. Usually, the physical CPUs and memory are shared across virtual machines running on the host.
In regards to managing resources, vCenter server has the ability to configure resource pools. Virtual machines added to the pools are governed by the resource pool configuration. Please see below for the use of multiple resource pools. For ease of accessibility, virtual machines can be moved from one resource pool to another when demands and priorities change.
To Wrap Up…
The most accommodating solution for HCI is VMware HCS – providing defined controls for compute, network, and storage resource administration. Allocating and adjusting resources as demand changes is incredibly simple and straightforward. Virtual SAN allows for the creation of a strong storage platform, while the combination of Virtual SAN and vSphere streamlines administration through policy-based management. Finally, a variety of mixed workloads such as databases and websites, can benefit from a single HCI platform.
A deeper dive into the benefits of HCS can be found here within the Solutions Overview white page.