With more than 30,000 customers, vSAN continues to innovate. We’re excited to announce the general availability of vSAN 7 Update 2, which delivers flexible, resilient, and future ready infrastructure that allows our customers to meet dynamic business and workload demands without compromising on efficiency, performance, or resiliency. We have enhanced the usability of vSAN deployed in various physical topologies, from mesh, to stretched clusters, to the edge, so that customers can better accommodate growth wherever workloads reside.
Scale without Compromise
HCI Mesh Compute Clusters
VMware introduces a significant new capability to vSAN HCI Mesh. In vSAN 7 Update 2, traditional vSphere clusters can mount a remote vSAN datastore. HCI Mesh compute clusters can consume storage resources provided by a remote vSAN cluster, in the same way that multiple vSphere clusters can connect to a traditional storage array. HCI Mesh compute clusters use native vSAN protocols for maximum efficiency and affords the customer the ability to easily meet a broad variety of use cases.
Most importantly, HCI Mesh compute clusters do not need any vSAN licensing. Scalability has also been improved, where the number of hosts connecting to a remote vSAN datastore has been increased to 128. One of the most interesting capabilities, as it relates to HCI Mesh, is the integration with storage policies. When defining a storage policy, an administrator will be able to define the types of data services they are interested in (such as Deduplication and Compression, or Data-at-rest Encryption).
Enhanced File Services
vSAN files services can now support stretched cluster and 2-node configurations. vSAN file services is a powerful solution for edge and ROBO file needs.
Stretched Cluster Improvements
Stretched cluster configuration must account for not only a variety of failure scenarios but recovery conditions. vSAN 7 Update 2 introduces integration with data placement and DRS so that after a recovered failure condition, DRS will keep the VM state at the same site until data is fully re-synchronized, which will ensure that all read operations do not traverse the inter-site link (ISL). Once data is fully re-synchronized, DRS will move the VM state to the desired site in accordance with DRS rules. This improvement can dramatically reduce unnecessary read operations occurring across the ISL, and free up ISL resources to continue with its efforts to complete any re-synchronizations post-site recovery. And finally, vSAN 7 Update 2 also increases the maximum host count to 40.
vSAN over RDMA
Remote Direct Memory Access (RDMA) is a technology that allows systems to bypass the CPU and send data with lower latency and compute overhead. This results in lower compute overhead and improved storage performance. A hyperconverged architecture is ideal for RDMA, and vSAN 7 Update 2 introduces the support of RDMA over Converged Ethernet version 2 (RCoEv2). Clusters will be able to automatically detect the support of RDMA, which will deliver the potential for improved application performance and improved ROI through increased consolidation ratios. The support of RoCE v2 is subject to qualified devices on the VMware Hardware Compatibility Guide.
In vSAN 7 Update 2, we have improved the performance and CPU efficiency of RAID 5/6. This enables the space efficiency of erasure coding while enhancing application performance and reducing CPU cost per I/O. Additional buffer tier performance improvements were also made.
Optimizations were introduced into the hypervisor and the vSAN data path to account for AMD EPYC processors.
Deliver AI and Developer Ready Infrastructure
S3-Compatible Object Storage for AI/ML, Cloud Native Apps
In early February, we announced the general availability of Cloudian HyperStore and MinIO Object Storage on the vSAN Data Persistence platform. Customers can now efficiently provision, consume and manage S3-compatible object storage for their AI/ML, cloud native apps right from VMware HCI. These modern applications can be provisioned with just a few clicks. This automation takes the complexity out of deployment and configuration. It also ensures the solutions are set up according to the vendor’s recommendations
Enhanced Cloud Native Storage in vSphere and vSAN
In vSAN 7 Update 2, Cloud Native Storage in vSphere and vSAN is enhanced to better support Kubernetes-based stateful apps running on vSphere. Existing users of the legacy vSphere Cloud Provider (vCP) can easily migrate to the Container Storage Interface (CSI) driver. This enables Kubernetes to provision and manages persistent volumes running on vSphere. These persistent volumes can be resized without interruption. Using the CSI driver with vSphere and vSAN makes it easy for administrators and developers to effectively deploy, monitor, and manage container applications alongside virtual machines on the same platform.
vSphere Native Key Provider Services
With vSphere and vSAN 7 Update 2, VMware introduces the support of the “Native Key Provider” feature which can simplify key management for environments using encryption. For vSAN, the embedded KMS is ideal for Edge or 2-Node topologies and is a great example of VMware’s approach to intrinsic security. This also works with ESXi Key Persistence to eliminate dependencies.
Tools for Isolated Environments
The Skyline Health Diagnostics tool is a self-service tool that brings some of the benefits of Skyline Health directly to an isolated environment. The tool is run by an administrator at a frequency they desire. It will scan critical log bundles to detect issues, and give notifications and recommendations to important issues and their related KB articles. The goal for our customers is a faster time to resolution for issues, and for isolated environments, this is the tool to help with that.
Data In Transit (DIT) Encryption Improvements
FIPS 140-2 validation of the cryptographic module for DIT encryption.
vSAN 7 Update 2 delivers three enhancements to vSphere Lifecycle Manager:
- vLCM extends the capability to select Hitachi Vantara UCP-HC systems and Hitachi Advanced Servers, adding to the Dell 14G, HPE10G, and Lenovo ThinkAgile servers that work with vLCM.
- vLCM now supports clusters running vSphere with Tanzu with NSX-T networking.
- Cluster creation has been simplified by allowing the selection of an image from an existing host.
Improved Data Durability
When an unplanned outage occurs on a host, vSAN 7 Update 2 will immediately write all incremental updates to another host in addition to the other host holding the active object replica. This helps ensure the durability of the changed data if an additional outage occurs on the other host holding the active object replica. This builds off of the capability first introduced in vSAN 7 Update 1 that used this technique for planned maintenance events. These data durability improvements also have an additional benefit: improving the time in which data is re-synchronized to a stale object.
vSAN 7 Update 2 now supports vSphere Proactive HA, where the application state and any potential data stored can be proactively migrated to another host.
Understanding the health and performance of a network is an important part of ensuring a hyperconverged platform like vSAN is running at its very best. vSAN 7 Update 2 introduces several new metrics and health checks to provide better visibility into the switch fabric that connects the vSAN hosts. Several new metrics are included to monitor the physical networking layer, including CRC and carrier errors, transmit and receive errors, and pauses. Not only do these metrics show up in time-based performance graphs, but new health alarms have been added to ensure an administrator knows they are approaching or surpassing critical thresholds. All of these new network metrics and alarms will augment the existing collection of networking metrics already found in vSAN to give administers better insight into the health and well-being of their network.
vSphere Quick Boot
Quickboot has been enhanced with the new “suspend to memory” option. This allows for rapid low impact patching of vSphere without the need to fully evacuate a host.
The latest versions of vSAN include several enhancements that further improve efficiency, resilience, and performance. VMware encourages organizations to run the latest version of vSphere and vSAN to take advantage of these benefits. Stay tuned for what’s new with VMware Site Recovery Manager.