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vSAN Hyperconverged Infrastructure Technology Partners

vSAN Got a 2.5x Performance Increase: Thank You Intel Optane!

Today, March 19th Intel announced the Intel® Optane™ SSD DC P4800X—the first flash device built on the much-anticipated 3D XPoint technology. This is exciting news for vSAN customers, since—as a result of Intel and VMware’s active collaboration—we are pleased to offer day 1 support of vSAN 6.5 and ESXi 6.5 with the Intel® Optane™ SSD DC P4800X. This is the first Intel Optane NVMe drive (375GB) to be made available with more coming soon (750GB and 1.5TB).

The combination of vSAN and Intel’s Optane technology provides an optimal solution for a digital enterprise looking for the highest performance in all-flash storage and software-defined infrastructure (SDI). Thanks to the agile nature of vSAN and support for the broadest choice of hardware platforms, vSAN customers will be able to immediately take advantage of the performance and reliability benefits of the Optane SSD—no need to wait for the typical hardware refresh cycle of a traditional storage platform.

Intel Optane Workshop

Last week, Intel and VMware participated in a closed door Intel® Optane™ Technology workshop with leading industry analyst and press experts to share the joint testing we’ve been doing. The response was fantastic and demonstrated the level of excitement around both new flash technologies and software-defined storage, like vSAN.

Intel Optane Workshop with VMware


Intel Optane Benefits

Intel shared the key benefits of the new SSDs (see chart below)—highlighted by the fact that Optane will be the “World’s most responsive data center SSD.” This is a real game changer for workloads with heavy IOPS and write-intensive IO patterns.

Key Benefits of Intel Optane Technology

Performance Results: Up to 2.5X More IOPS

Leading up to the announcement, Intel and VMware performed a lot of joint testing running the Optane SSDs in both a bare ESXi server and as the caching layer in an all-flash vSAN configuration. The test results were fantastic and the joint Intel Optane and VMware tests delivered the following results::

  • Optane NVMe on ESXi delivers up to 95% of the raw device IOPS (both read and write) when there are multiple applications writing directly to the NVMe device
  • Optane NVMe as the caching tier for VMware vSAN enables up to 2.5X greater IOPS* for write-intensive workloads when compared to the same tests run using the Intel P3700 NVMe SSD as the caching tier. In addition, the Optane tests revealed up to a 2.5X reduction in disk latencies* for write intensive workloads.



For vSAN, the results demonstrate that the Intel Optane NVMe SSDs provide an extremely high-performance caching device for write-intensive workloads. Customers can see immediate benefits for applications like VDI persistent storage use cases and next-generation applications such as Big Data, video streaming and real time streaming analytics.**

An All-Flash vSAN system comprised of Optane-based NVMe cache devices delivers a very scalable and performant HCI solution for next-gen apps in the modern data center.

Ready to Get Started? Learn More!

For more information on the new the Intel® Optane™ SSDs you can learn more here: Intel® Optane™ SSD DC P4800X

Ready to evolve your IT infrastructure now with vSAN, then read more on How to Get Started with HCI.


Testing notes:

*Tests were run in a controlled environment and the actual performance improvements will vary depending on the environment and the nature of the specific write-intensive workloads in question.

**vSAN data services such as deduplication and compression were not turned on for the above test. The performance improvement with these services turned on may be lower depending on the workload.




5 comments have been added so far

  1. Hello,

    Would it be possible please to share with us how many IOPS we are talking about ? What was the IO workload type ? Was a change of the VSAN core needed in order to support Optane SSD ?

    Best regards.
    Roman Zajic.

  2. I’m afraid I don’t follow your math: what does “up to a 2.5X reduction in disk latencies” mean? A multiple-x reduction in something is a mathematically impossible in cases where negative values don’t makes sense (as with disk latency).

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