#vSANChat Recap: VMware vSAN HCI Mesh

#vSANChat Recap: VMware vSAN HCI Mesh

#vSANChats are back! In our most recent chat, we were joined by John Nicholson, and Pete Flecha, to answer common questions pertinent to VMware vSAN HCI Mesh and how it works. Dive in below for the full recap of our vSAN HCI Mesh #vSANChat.

Q1: What exactly is vSAN HCI Mesh and when was it introduced? (Tweet Link)

Pete: HCI Mesh is a software approach to disaggregation of compute and storage in vSAN. John wrote a nice explanation of HCI Mesh here.

John:  The short: It allows a vSAN datastore to be consumed by other clusters

Q2: Are any externalized tools or hardware needed to use vSAN HCI Mesh? (Tweet Link)

Pete: No hardware requirements. The clients don’t even have to be vSAN.

John: The remote clusters can be powered by any vSphere compatible hosts. Yes… Even blades

Q3: What are some use cases for leveraging vSAN HCI Mesh? (Tweet Link)

John: A couple:

  1. Allowing for rich data services to multiple smaller clusters for licensing/isolation reasons.
  2. Allowing scaling for compute-heavy workloads.
  3. Tier 1 apps paper can be found here.

Q4: Are there requirements for setting up an HCI Mesh compute cluster? (Tweet Link)


  1. Good network connectivity from the cluster providing storage (5ms, ideally 25Gbps or better on storage cluster)
  2. vSAN enterprise licensing
  3. Same vCenter

Here’s the health check:

#vSANChat Recap: VMware vSAN HCI Mesh

Q5: Can you use HCI Mesh to accommodate cluster requirements in the new VMware vSphere Lifecycle Manager? (Tweet Link)

Pete: HCI Mesh works nicely for organizations using vLCM with separate OEM clusters. Easy to grab storage from a separate cluster without having to combine.

John: For vLCM you are going to want to not mix/match server OEMs in the same cluster. With HCI mesh you can have a Lenovo Cluster provide storage to an HPE Compute cluster etc. No need to try to mix OEMs in the same cluster to pool resources.

Q6: What are the latest enhancements to HCI Mesh introduced in vSAN 7 Update 2? (Tweet Link)

Pete: Host scalability also increased to 128.

John: Compute only Clusters. The ability to connect clusters that do not have local disks (or vSAN licensing).

Stephanie: Check out this great blog by John that deep dives into the latest enhancements with vSAN HCI Mesh.

Q7: Do HCI Mesh Clusters require vSAN licensing? (Tweet Link)

Pete: Only the host, not the clients accessing the datastore.

John: Only clusters providing storage needs to be licensed for vSAN.

Q8: What common challenges does vSAN HCI Mesh address? (Tweet Link)

Pete: Several. For one, consuming storage resources across clusters. Also, the ability to scale compute and storage independently.

Stephanie: Some of the challenges vSAN HCI Mesh addresses:

  • Use Stranded Capacity of Underutilized Cluster
  • Workloads in Smaller Clusters Needing Enhanced Performance
  • Shift Workloads from CPU Constrained Clusters

Q9: What is your favorite vSAN HCI Mesh feature? (Tweet Link)

Pete: Storage tiering across different cluster types is pretty handy.

John: SPBM integration.

Stephanie: Scale compute and storage independently based on app needs.

Q10: We’ve saved the best question for last! If you could use one GIF to describe vSAN HCI Mesh, what would it be? (Tweet Link)

Pete: That was easy.

That’s all…for now! Stay tuned for the next #vSANChat and be sure to follow us on Twitter.

Learn more about:

VMware vSAN

VMware vSphere

VMware vSAN HCI Tech Notes