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Achieving optimal levels of performance, capacity, and availability in an environment requires proper design and planning. The datacenter in its current state comprises a wide variety of workloads from traditional applications to containerized solutions. This is coupled with varying requirements of data services related to availability, security, compliance, and space efficiency. The legacy methods of sizing based on approximation and conventional wisdom have become inefficient. Datacenter administrators and architects can benefit from a simplified and systemic approach to sizing an environment. Proper sizing helps ensure adequate resource capacity while avoiding excessive costs associated with over-provisioning.

vSAN Sizer provides a consistent methodology to design and size a vSAN backed software-defined datacenter. vSAN Sizer takes a holistic approach to design by factoring in compute, storage, and data services. Also, vSAN Sizer is continuously updated with new features and enhancements, keeping pace with VMware vSAN product releases. The latest vSAN Sizer tool includes support for new features such as Compression only, Capacity Reserve, and File Service, which specifically influence sizing. As a result, vSAN Sizer is a one-stop-shop to provide a prescriptive full-stack SDDC design recommendation.

 

Simplified UI

The latest version of vSAN Sizer provides a simple guided workflow to deduce the proposed design into an interactive dashboard. Customers can dynamically adjust system resources through the interactive dashboard to refine the design. The simplified UI and interactive dashboard significantly improve user experience with minimal iterations to arrive at the optimal design.

vSAN 7 U1 Simplified UI

 

Capacity Optimizations

With vSAN 7 Update 1, the fixed ratio of reserve capacity previously termed as Slack Space is effectively replaced with Capacity Reserve to reflect the methodical and improved approach to compute reserve capacity. The following blog article discusses this in greater detail- Effective Capacity Management. vSAN Sizer is built with an inherent awareness of the revised capacity requirements allowing customers to take advantage of the latest enhancements. Customers can immediately realize the reduced costs attributed to the product optimizations in their design.

 

Compression only awareness

Space efficiency techniques used with storage systems aim to achieve one goal: lower storage costs through reduced capacity consumption. Customers greatly benefitted from deduplication and compression (DD&C) capability since its introduction with vSAN 6.2. As with any storage platform, data services such as space efficiency include a performance overhead. vSAN 7 Update 1 introduces a new variant to space efficiency features called Compression only. This feature addition provides customers with greater flexibility to moderate space efficiency and performance based on the workloads related attributes. The following blog has more insights about the feature and its use cases – Space Efficiency Using the New “Compression only” Option.

vSAN Sizer is embedded with these insights and regulates recommendations based on user input. As an example, a workload profile of VDI workload based on linked clones automatically populates Performance Optimized space efficiency technique. The user can choose to proceed with the populated choices or override them based on their requirements.

Sample Workload Profile

The sizing workflow considers the workload type, the space efficiency objectives of optimizing cost, or performance to deduce the appropriate design. This makes the sizing effort minimal for the user while ensuring the workloads reap most benefits from the environment.

 

File Service

One of the top features introduced with vSAN 7 is File Services. vSAN now supports both block and file service to cater to a broad variety of use cases. Customers intending to provision file services can optionally include the estimated capacity for shares as part of the sizing workflow. This allows vSAN Sizer to calibrate the sizing recommendation to accommodate the storage capacity and compute requirements to run file services.

 

Vendor-specific filters

vSAN Sizer provides sizing recommendations from over 15+ Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) vendors. Customers typically have a preference towards specific hardware vendors. vSAN Sizer allows users to filter vendors based on their choices to limit recommendations.

 

Quick Sizer

vSAN Sizer also offers an alternate and expedited workflow to size with limited user input. The Quick Sizer tab allows users to directly choose attributes such as the number of nodes, vendor preference, and diskgroup composition to gain insight into compute and capacity estimates with the design. This is particularly useful for customers or partners that have a broad design framework or budget estimates. For example, a customer may want to start with a 6-node cluster from a preferred vendor that can accommodate two disk groups and a specific capacity requirement. These data points can be directly entered into Quick Sizer to gain insights into capacity distribution expected from the vSAN cluster design. This provides a simpler, alternate method to workload-based sizing.

 

vSAN Quick Sizer Mobile App

vSAN Quick Sizer is a mobile app that is available on iOS and Android platforms. This app helps customers to obtain a quick on-the-go sizing guideline. Similar to the Quiz Sizer feature on the web-based portal, the mobile app provides more generic sizing guidelines with minimal user input. In addition, users can export sizing reports as well as request for an HCI assessment directly from the app.

vSAN Sizer Mobile app

Summary

vSAN Sizer provides a consistent methodology to design and size a vSAN backed software-defined datacenter. A simplified UI and guided workflow greatly enhance user experience. vSAN Sizer supports the latest enhancements and features of vSAN 7 Update 1. It’s embedded with product intelligence, performance characteristics, and statistical data to propose the most accurate design recommendations. The new interactive dashboard helps fine-tune the design with minimal iterations. It eliminates approximation-based sizing through a systemic approach focused on right-sizing based on workload needs. With a built-in awareness of new features and enhancement, it enables customers to benefit from the latest features and optimizations. vSAN Sizer provides a great way to design and size clusters for VMware Cloud Foundation environments built on HCI with vSAN.

 

Next Steps

Access the vSAN Sizer
Read the vSAN Technology Overview
Take a technical deep dive at TechZone
Read more about vSAN 7 Update 1

@cedrictech