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Announcing VMware vSAN 7 Update 1

 

We’re excited to announce the latest release of the market’s leading hyperconverged infrastructure software, vSAN 7 Update 1! With more features that any release over the past three years, this version focuses on boosting data center efficiency. vSAN 7 Update 1 enables customers to deliver developer-ready infrastructure, scale without compromise, simplify operations and expand file services.

In times of economic uncertainty, organizations are looking to invest in money saving technology that can provide high return on investment (ROI) in the short term. At the same time, they want to invest in products that will position them for growth in the medium to long term. vSAN 7 Update 1 provides a host of cost saving technologies such as VMware HCI Mesh™, and shared witness for 2-node clusters. These new features reduce compute and storage resource consumption and free up existing capacity. vSAN 7 Update 1 also prepares organizations for innovation through unique capabilities that support cloud-native applications, such as VMware vSAN™ Enhanced Persistence platform, vSAN Direct Configuration™, and expanded file services. When you add it all up, vSAN 7 Update 1 boosts the efficiency of your full-stack HCI.

 

Deliver Developer Ready Infrastructure

 

Efficient delivery of services for cloud native applications

 

vSAN makes three significant steps towards cost and performance optimization, as well as management ease for persistent volumes by offering an infrastructure that accommodates the needs of developers and administrators:

  • vSAN Data Persistence platform is a new framework for partners that provides modern applications awareness integration into VMware’s infrastructure. It allows modern databases and stateful services to plug into this framework through APIs and maintain an efficient persistence of these distributed applications and data.

  • vSAN Direct Configuration provides an alternative option for modern stateful services to interface directly with the underlying direct attached storage for optimized I/O and storage efficiency.

  • vSAN 7 Update 1 with vSphere enhance the capabilities of vSphere with Tanzu by introducing extension of volumes on TKG guest clusters and volume health for TKG supervisor and guest clusters.

 

Scale without compromise with HCI Mesh, Reserved capacity enhancements and Shared Witness

 

HCI Mesh is an industry-first, enabling compute and storage disaggregation through software. You can now mount vSAN storage resources across vSAN clusters that share the same vCenter instance and scale seamlessly, using the hardware and software resources you already have in your vSAN datastore. In addition, vSAN 7 Update 1 applies a new method for capacity reservations which frees up additional storage resources. Fixed capacity reservations are no longer applied, and the capacity requirements can decrease dynamically depending on the size of the nodes within a cluster. For example, a 48-node cluster can improve capacity savings up to 18%, resulting in greater resource optimization at lower cost.

For customers that use vSAN as a ROBO or edge solution, such at retail customers with dozens or hundreds of small deployments,the new shared witness feature will save valuable time and resources. Multiple 2-node vSAN deployments can now share a common witness host virtual appliance. A single shared witness can connect to a maximum of 64 clusters. Video

Key enhancements made throughout the stack in both vSAN 7 and vSAN 7 Update 1 led to significant performance improvements. Meaning, lower latency and higher levels of IOPS and throughput. CPU Optimizations, improved parallelization, faster resync operations and network enhancements are part of the reasons to upgrade your vSAN.
 

Simplify operations with vLCM

 

vSphere Lifecycle Manager (vLCM) enables simplified lifecycle management for vSAN including software, firmware and drivers. vSAN 7 Update 1 continues to ease admin work by reducing complexity. The latest version of vLCM in vSphere 7 Update 1 provides the ability to update VMware NSX-T and it is aware of specific vSAN configurations like fault domains and stretched clusters. vLCM also supports automated pre-checks in case the desired cluster image has been changed. Moreover, scalability improvements are accumulated as result of the greater parallel cluster scale operations. Lenovo ThinkAgile VX series servers join the list of hosts supported with vLCM.
 

Expanded File Services with enterprise-grade features

 

The latest vSAN File Services enhancements include support for SMB v2.1 and v3 along with NFS v3 and v4.1. In addition, vSAN Files now includes Active Directory integration and Kerberos support, making vSAN an enterprise-ready file solution. vSAN File Services now support the most common protocols for unstructured data, enabling more customers to move closer to achieving the vision of a standardizing on single storage architecture with a common operational model. Administrators can now manage broader use cases, moving beyond file for cloud-native applications to include virtual desktops, productivity applications and industry-specific applications.
 

Additional enhancements in vSAN 7 Update 1

 

Operational protection for reserved capacity

 
vSAN 7 Update 1 introduces soft thresholds that help you alleviate the consumption of reserved capacity by backend operations like provisioning, expansion and snapshots. New UI reports will be enabled to monitor capacity consumption.

 

Faster vSAN Host Restarts

 
vSAN now performs faster host reboots, resulting in great improvement in terms of restart times for vSAN 7 U1 hosts during planned host restart.
 

Data migration pre-check for disks

 
The maintenance mode data migration pre-check page now includes more exhaustive disk and disk group information. Offering detailed reports on important administration tasks as entering host in maintenance mode or disk group decommissioning.
 

Compression Only Option

 
Compression can be enabled without deduplication to provide storage space efficiency without the overhead of deduplication. This new option also reduces the impact of losing a capacity device when compared to clusters with deduplication and compression enabled.
 

Data-in-transit encryption

 
Encrypting data over the wire between vSAN nodes is now available. It leverages the existing FIPS 140-2 validated cryptographic module. Although an external KMS is not required for this specific encryption option as keys are managed internally, a KMS solution will still be a requirement in case you want to use full data encryption (both “at rest” and “in transit”) for your vSAN cluster.
 

vSAN I/O Insight and Consolidated I/O performance view for all VMs

 
I/O Insight is a new vSAN native feature within the vSphere client that helps you troubleshoot better, based on the I/O characteristics of a VM. I/O Insight also captures workload performance metrics like I/O latency, IOPS, throughput and more, at a 10sec sampling rate, providing much finer granular details of workload performance. All these metrics are found on a single page, making it easy to monitor and troubleshoot performance issues.
 

Simplified routing for L3 network topologies

 
Administrators can now take advantage of the new simplified configuration for routing settings for network topologies and easily override default gateway used by vSAN hosts.
 

Enhanced durability during maintenance operations

 
vSAN 7 Update 1 goes one step further in enabling high availability of your data by adding enhanced durability while a host is in maintenance mode using Ensured accessibility mode. It strengthens your data availability in case you have VM objects with failures to tolerate of 1 (FTT=1) and you place a host in maintence mode, and a second host containing the sole active replica becomes unavailable. vSAN will start storing the writes coming from the VM to another available fault domain (host) from the cluster at the moment when the hosts containing the original data object enters maintenance mode. This way in case of an unrecoverable node failure, when the host exits maintence mode, the object data will be updated accordingly using the so stored incremental writes.

vSAN 7 Update 1 offers an undoubtedly great package of efficiency boosting features and enhancements. vSAN 7 Update 1 will help organizations address today’s fiscal challenges as well as position them for future innovation. Upgrade today to get the most out of your existing investments and accelerate to the future.
 
Next Steps
Read the vSAN Datasheet
Take a technical deep dive at TechZone
Read more about vSAN 7 Update 1
Read the vSAN 7 Update 1 Technical Overview