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VMware is pleased to announce that vSAN, the only vSphere-native storage software, is a finalist in Storage Magazine’s Product of the Year competition for the Cloud and Software-defined Storage Products category. We believe vSAN’s selection is significant, as it is the only hyperconverged infrastructure software in the running, highlighting VMware’s notable investments in innovation. According to TechTarget, nominees must “be designed to run on industry standard servers – with no dependencies on the underlying hardware – and cloud storage.” This year’s nominees showcase innovations that:

  • Enable customers to manage data storage across multiple clouds
  • Ease storage provisioning for containerized applications
  • Enable application deployment with speed and efficiency

We believe VMware vSAN uniquely addresses each of these challenges. Let’s review the advancements in 2018 that made this nomination possible.

 

VMware Supports the Most Hybrid Cloud Use Cases

According to Gartner, VMware powered hyperconverged infrastructure supports the most hybrid cloud use cases of any HCI in the market today. In the Gartner article, Four Factors That Will Shape The Future of Hyperconverged Infrastructure, the authors identified six critical capabilities for hybrid cloud, and only VMware HCI has all six capabilities which address all key use cases. VMware HCI enables customers to exploit the benefits of public cloud for critical use cases with the agility of public cloud infrastructure while retaining the operational simplicity of a single tool set for all infrastructure.

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In addition, VMware continues to innovate in public cloud storage. Announced at VMworld US in August 2018, Elastic vSAN will enable VMware Cloud on AWS customers the ability to dynamically add storage resources – EBS volumes – to nodes without scaling computer resources for storage-intensive workloads, enhancing agility while lowering cloud storage costs by more precisely adding resources where they’re needed. In addition, VMware introduced data-at-rest encryption for all VMware Cloud on AWS deployments in November 2018 and utilizes Amazon’s Key Management Service for encryption key management. Encryption is turned on by default to enhance security.

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VMware Innovating on Container Persistent Storage

VMware has invested in container persistent storage for years. In September 2017, at VMworld US, VMware announced Project Hatchway, VMware’s persistent storage availability platform for cloud-native applications. It enabled static and dynamic provisioning of persistent storage for cloud-native applications in Kubernetes and Docker swarm environments deployed on vSphere. By tightly integrating with the software defined storage (SDS) control plane in vSphere, Project Hatchway exposes a rich set of data services.

In August 2018, VMware announced a two-phase vSAN private beta to elicit feedback from customers on features under development; one of those innovations is native persistent storage control plane for containers, eliminating the complexity of a “DIY” approach. The beta features further simplify day two operations with tools built right into the UI and use enterprise grade data and health services for container volumes, the same as users receive for VMDKs today.

 

vSAN Increases Speed of Infrastructure Deployment

VMware launched two updates of vSAN in 2018 which greatly reduced time-to-value for many operations. Here are just a few of the added benefits:

  • Simplified Operations with an all-new, HTML5-based User Interface: The UI was rebuilt from the ground up, with a clean, modern look, with an experience like web browsers that you use every day: clean, simple and intuitive. The UI also contains new views that aggregate vital operations information, which has been prioritized and can be searched, which greatly simplifies management of vSAN deployments. In addition, dozens of workflows have been significantly streamlined, reducing clicks by emphasizing the most common options, and net new workflows were added to reduce time-to-value for common operations.
  • Rapid Cloud Infrastructure Deployment with a New Quickstart: In October, vSAN introduced a new guided cluster creation and extension workflow. This new workflow enables admins to stand up HCI clusters consistently and provides built-in checks and best practices along the way. No need to go to multiple places in the UI or feel uncertain that a step was missed in the process. This same workflow also guides users through stretched cluster creation.
  • Secure and Stable Infrastructure with Automated and Intelligent Lifecycle Management: vSAN introduced enhanced lifecycle management with the October 2018 release. vSAN leverages vSphere Update Manager, or VUM, to extend lifecycle management to storage, and the latest release includes more storage hardware components managed by VUM, as well as proactive alerts when upgrades or patches are available. In addition, vSAN ensures workload availability by establishing intelligent guardrails for maintenance mode.

Next Steps

While we look forward to the results of the competition, we’re proud to have been nominated and recognized as one of the most innovative storage products of 2018.

To learn more about the innovations that resulted in the nomination, visit the vSAN page.

To better understand the tech powering vSAN, visit StorageHub.