Technology Partners Virtual Volumes (vVols) vSAN

vVols & vSAN Interoperability: The Key to Integrating AFAs, HCI and Public Cloud

Authored by Vaughn Stewart, VP, Technology Alliance Partners, Pure Storage, Inc.


All-Flash Arrays, Hyper-Converged Infrastructure, and the Public Cloud – the three building blocks underpinning IT infrastructure modernization efforts. Individually each architecture provides tremendous advantages; however, collectively they can be a challenge to integrate into a comprehensive hybrid cloud strategy.

VMware vSphere provides customers the ability to easily integrate and operate a hybrid cloud comprised, on-premises, with vSphere Virtual Volumes (vVols), vSAN, and the public cloud with VMware Cloud on AWS (VMC). VMware’s software-defined capabilities provide a layer of abstraction across disparate x86 hardware platforms (both compute and storage) resulting in end-to-end interoperability and a common operating platform.

At this point, you may be asking yourself, “How does storage integration between vVols & vSAN relate to the public cloud?” That’s a fair question as the former are storage options and the latter is a platform. The default storage within VMC is vSAN, thus further references of vSAN include both on-prem and VMC deployment types.


 Single Platform Thinking is Antiquated. Interoperability Enables Platform Ubiquity.


The IT departments in every organization of every size want operational consistency and simplicity inherent in managing a single platform; however, that’s not the world we live in. Most mid-size and literally every large-scale IT organization manages a diverse and sophisticated set of infrastructure technologies, deployment types, workload requirements, compliance considerations, etc. For example…

  • Application Requirements – Focus on Performance or Cost Reduction
  • Data Center Fabric – Fibre Channel or Ethernet
  • Compliance Considerations – Data Sovereignty with On-Premises vs. Public Cloud
  • Storage Platform – Storage Array, Hyper-converged Platform or Public Cloud
  • Infrastructure Management – Separate Storage and Compute Teams or a Unified Platform Team
  • IT Skill Set at Deployment Location – Core Data Center, Co-Lo Data Center and Remote Office

Simply put, IT departments are collections of technology siloes designed and configured to support said variety. Siloes aren’t going away anytime soon; however, they don’t have to fragment the operational practices of your private and / or hybrid cloud.


vVols & vSAN Interoperability: The Key to Integrating AFAs, HCI and Public Cloud.


The software-defined initiative of VMware delivers significant depth and breadth with regards to integrating dissimilar infrastructure technologies.

Consider the elegance of simplicity on display with VMware Cloud on AWS. By running vSphere on AWS hardware, VMware eliminated the challenge and effort associated with extracting, loading and transforming virtual machines between the dissimilar VMware ESX and AWS EC2 platforms.

There’s a similar level of sophistication inherent in the interoperability between vVols and vSAN – which enables architects to leverage the appropriate hardware infrastructure technology in their private and hybrid clouds modernization plans.



Pure Storage and VMware are working together to help our mutual customers understand the interoperable capabilities between FlashArray vVols and vSAN. The library of vSphere ‘interoperabilities’ include…

  • Non-disruptive data migrations with Storage vMotion
  • Policy-based VM management via Storage Policy Based Management (SPBM)
  • Automation, Orchestration, and Monitoring with the vRealize Suite
  • Disaster recovery automation via vSphere Replication and Site Recovery Manager (SRM)
  • Storage hardware (vSAN) and external array (FlashArray) management within the vSphere Web Client

I’d like to highlight the level of sophistication in the disaster recovery / business continuance interoperability with vSphere Replication and Site Recovery Manager 6.5. By leveraging vSphere change block tracking, data stored in dissimilar containers, ala a vSAN virtual disk and a Pure Storage vVols, can be replicated. When combined with the enhancements in SRM 6.5, customers gain ubiquitous DR automation failover – which was previously only available when they deployed homogenous storage architectures.

The robustness of the vVols and vSAN interoperability enables cloud architects to design more comprehensive infrastructure modernization solutions that incorporate a multitude of infrastructure technologies into a standard operating model.


Closing out this Post.


Together VMware and Pure Storage are delivering innovation that simplifies our customer’s sophisticated and diverse infrastructure requirements across an assortment of use cases from mission-critical applications, to large-scale consolidations, to departmental deployments and hybrid cloud.

If you find this post has struck a chord, then I encourage you to learn more about how Pure Storage innovation simplifies and accelerates VMware hybrid clouds by visiting Pure Storage online and my blog.







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