This blog was co-authored by Kathryn Erickson, Director of Strategic Partnerships at DataStax Enterprise


Cloud native applications can prove challenging to deploy, as the most efficient means of deployment may require building out a unique silo to handle the specific storage requirements of the platform. While it is true that you can force these architectures onto traditional storage, this often comes at overhead as features like replication layer on top of each other increasing cost.

VMware and DataStax are proud to announce a joint collaboration to power big data environments on VMware’s vSAN. We took this effort on for our cloud-native customers that wanted the operational simplicity that comes with centrally managed storage, as well as the cost savings of hyper-converged environments.

DataStax EnterpriseDataStax is underpinned by Apache Cassandra™ and utilizes a masterless architecture where data is replicated between nodes to achieve availability requirements. Most customers opt for fast local storage to fulfill these requirements without sacrificing performance, but this limited the infrastructure choices for customers that wanted VMware’s Enterprise management options. Partial solutions included:




  • Adopting a traditional vSAN infrastructure. This doubled the capacity requirements for a system already storing data replicas and risked performance SLAs.

  • Disabling replication at the vSAN layer. This eliminated the unneeded replicas but couldn’t guarantee that a virtual machine’s data was stored within the same host. Also, because storage access was still remote, performance SLAs were still at risk.

To solve this issue, VMware worked with DataStax to engineer a unique solution. Referred to as Host-Affinity, this policy offers customers additional flexibility to configure vSAN placement and replication specific to the application that has been deployed.

Host Affinity delegates replication to DataStax Enterprise, while maintaining data locality with DataStax Enterprise compute. The Host Affinity policy is available in addition to standard vSAN replication policies and intended to offer customers choice of deployment based on their criticality, uptime and maintenance requirements.

This solution also gives you the benefits of simplified visibility, lifecycle, and consolidation of computing workloads. This validation has come together in the form of a Reference Architecture that can be followed. This Validation determined that performance consolidation, failure mitigation, and linear scaling could be achieved using vSAN and Datastax together.

For more details on the benefits that DataStax Enterprise brings, see the vSAN DataStax Reference Architecture.