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vSAN is the cornerstone for VMware Cloud Foundation that provides the best-in-class platform for running any workload on-premises or in the cloud. vSAN 7 accelerates data center modernization and makes it easy to standardize on a single storage operational model with three new capabilities: simpler lifecycle management, integrated file services, and enhanced cloud-native storage.

vSphere Lifecycle Manager

Lifecycle Management is essential to maximize availability and performance outcomes in any environment. The process to ensure multiple components in the server stack are aligned with the supported versions of firmware and driver can be a daunting task. VMware HCI sets the foundation for a new, unified mechanism to update software firmware management that is native to vSphere called vSphere Lifecycle Manager(vLCM). This helps provide a consistent and simplified methodology to maintain the lifecycle of a server stack that enables HCI.

The following blog article has more information about vSphere Lifecycle Manager(vLCM)

Native Files Services

With vSAN 7, the file services is now fully integrated and can be enabled similar to other cluster services such as deduplication and compression and encryption. vSAN File Services supports NFS v4.1 and v3 and is suited for both traditional and cloud-native workloads. This drastically reduces the dependency on external storage and simplifies storage management.

This blog article discusses vSAN File Services in greater detail.

Enhanced Cloud-Native Storage

vSAN 6.7 Update 3 first introduced the ability to provision block-based persistent volumes to containers. vSAN 7 extends this capability and enables administrators to provision file-based persistent volumes to Kubernetes workloads. With a clear and distinct priority to support a broad set of cloud-native use cases, vSAN File Services currently focuses on NFS v4.1 and v3 protocols. This strongly resonates with the key theme for this release to modernize the data center.

An insight into Cloud-Native Storage and vSAN File Services Integration is discussed here: Cloud-Native Storage and File Services Integration

Summary

vSAN 7 modernizes hyperconverged infrastructure by providing administrators a unified storage control plane for both block and file protocols and offers significant enhancements that make it an excellent solution for traditional virtual machines as well as cloud-native applications. vSphere Lifecycle Manager reduces the complexity of monitoring and maintaining infrastructure by consolidating software, driver, and firmware update tools and introducing a desired-state model of implementing a desired image. vSAN 7’s file shares enable admins to rapidly provision a file share in a single workflow; integrated file shares also reduce dependencies on expensive third-party solutions and eases lifecycle management.

Next Steps

Here is a list of resources to help get familiarized with the features and enhancements of vSAN 7:

Product Downloads