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Introducing vSAN 6.7

vSAN 6.7 is here! This release offers features and capabilities that enable improved performance, usability and consistency. Significant improvements to the management and monitoring tools are also matched by lower level performance and application consistency improvements.

vSAN continues to see rapid adoption with more than 10,000 customers and growing. A 600 Million dollar run rate was announced for Q4FY2018, and IDC named it the #1 and fastest growing HCI Software Solution.

Let’s take a look at the new features included with vSAN 6.7…

 

Intuitive Operations Experience – Modern management interface and improved visibility

Ease of use drives productivity, lowers operating costs, and helps administrators manage a reliable and consistent computing environment.  vSAN 6.7 provides intuitive operations that align with other VMware products from a UI and workflow perspective to provide a “one team, one tool” experience.

 

New HTML5 User Interface Fast, efficient, and consistent

While many customers use CLI and API’s to interact with vSAN, the graphical UI is still the most common day to day management tool.  vSAN 6.7 introduces a new HTML5 UI based on the “Clarity” framework as seen in other VMware products. All products in the VMware portfolio are moving toward this UI framework. This interface is more than a simple, direct port from the old vSphere Web Client.  VMware took a long look at how tasks and workflows can be optimized and introduced new ways to accomplish tasks more intuitively with fewer clicks. Going forward all new functionality will be delivered in the HTML5 client; however, the legacy vSphere Web Client is still available in this release. The HTML5 UI is a great step forward in providing vSAN users an intuitive and efficient user experience. For more information check out this blog that goes into deeper detail.

 

vRealize Operations within vCenter – vRealize powered intelligence about your vSAN cluster, inside vCenter

Traditionally, using vRealize Operations with VMware vSAN meant that an administrator needed to use two separate interfaces.  A new feature known as “vRealize Operations within vCenter” provides an easy way for customers to see vRealize intelligence directly in the vSphere Client.  vCenter now includes an embedded plugin that enables a user to easily deploy and configure a new vR Ops instance or select an existing instance.  From there, vROps analytics are visible in the new HTML 5 based vSphere Client using built in dashboards for vCenter and vSAN. For situations requiring more detailed information, the full collection of dashboards in vR Ops can be launched from the vSphere Client with two simple clicks. This functionality makes it easy for administrators to see key metrics at a glance and troubleshoot more quickly when an issue occurs. Additional information can be found on StorageHub.

 

Support for WSFC Using vSAN iSCSI Service – Support legacy clustering technologies

 

vSAN 6.7 now expands the flexibility of the vSAN iSCSI service to support Windows Server Failover Clusters (WSFC).  vSAN already supports modern Windows application layer clustering technologies such as Microsoft SQL Always-on Availability Groups (AAG), Microsoft Exchange Database Availability Groups (DAG), and Oracle Real Application Clusters (RAC).  For organizations with WSFC servers in a physical or virtual configuration, vSAN 6.7 supports shared target storage locations when storage targets are exposed using the vSAN iSCSI service.  This enhancement allows data center administrators to run workloads using legacy clustering technologies on vSAN as they transition to more modern implementations of application layer clustering. For more information check out StorageHub.

Consistent Application Experience

 Adaptive data placement and improved failure handling

vSAN 6.7 introduces an all-new Adaptive Resync feature to ensure a fair-share of resources are available for VM I/Os and Resync I/Os during dynamic changes in load on the system. An improved vSAN storage scheduler uses congestion signaling to detect both the read and write throughput capabilities of a vSAN disk group.  When I/O activity exceeds the capabilities of the bandwidth provided, the Adaptive Resync feature guarantees a level of bandwidth to ensure one type of traffic is not starved for resources. Adaptive Resync is intelligent enough to allow for maximum bandwidth to be used during periods in which VM I/O and resync I/O are not contending for resources. Additional improvements to the consolidation of components will speed cluster maintenance actions. A Deep dive can be found in the technical note on StorageHub.

Performance Improvements through faster destaging

VMware is always looking for ways to improve the performance of vSAN and the consistency of its performance. vSAN 6.7 continues this drive for better performance and consistency through optimizations made in the data path.  vSAN 6.7 optimizes the de-staging mechanism, resulting in data that “drains” more quickly from the write buffer to the capacity tier.  The ability to de-stage this data quickly allows the cache tier to accept new I/O, which reduces or eliminates periods of congestion.  This optimization provides a positive impact for not only VM I/O, but all resynchronization traffic as well.

Holistic Support Experience

vSAN 6.7 continues to grow smarter about your infrastructure and provides even more health checks.  These health checks are found throughout the product. They ensure an environment is properly configured using HCL approved hardware.  vSAN 6.7 feeds additional health-related information gathered with vSAN Support Insight and provides the results directly to administrators in the vSphere Client. New health checks include:

  • Maintenance mode verification ensures proper decommission state
  • Consistent configuration verification for advanced settings
  • Improved vSAN and vMotion network connectivity checks
  • Improved vSAN Health service installation check
  • Improved physical disk health check combines multiple checks (software, physical, metadata) into a single notification
  • Firmware check is independent from driver check

These checks are in addition to automatically delivered online health checks. More info can be found here.

More information on vSAN Support Insight can be found on StorageHub here. Additional information on vSAN ReadyCare can be found on StorageHub.

For more details, see vSAN 6.7 Technical Overview

A Video walkthrough provided by Pete Flecha of both What’s news as well as a general technical overview can be found below.