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#vSANChat Recap: VMware vSAN 8

#vSANChats are back! In our most recent chat, we were joined by VMware Staff Technical Marketing Architects John Nicholson and Pete Koehler to answer important questions regarding the recently announced vSAN 8 with Express Storage Architecture (ESA), the new optional storage architecture that enables enhanced levels of performance, scalability and resilience. Dive in below for the full recap. 

Pete: Lots to look forward to with vSAN 8, but the new RAID-5/6 at the performance of RAID-1, adaptive RAID-5, all new snapshots, and new compression are some highlights. 

John: Express Storage Architecture brings a lot of benefits. Performance, better capacity efficiencies and lower overheads. The biggest update since the 5.5U1 GA. 

Q2: Can you tell us more about @VMware #vSAN Express Storage Architecture (#ESA for short)? (Tweet Link)  

Pete: Simply put, the new vSAN Express Storage Architecture (ESA) is a new way to process and store data. It achieves this through an all-new fast and efficient data path, and a highly scalable and efficient data structure. 

John: ESA is powered by a new patented log-structured file system. This is the basis of new data services, performance and efficiency. Further information can be found here.  

Q3: How does #vSAN 8 with #ESA help make infrastructure future-ready? (Tweet Link

Pete: Storage devices can store data in different ways. With the vSAN ESA, we’ve designed it so that it can accommodate the capabilities of existing high speed NVMe based storage devices, while also accommodating for new devices coming to the marketplace. 

John: Server and storage hardware has come a long way in 10 years and it is only getting more diverse. #ESA is built for where flash has gone (and is going!)

Q4: How do #vSAN 8 and @VMwarevSphere 8 work together to increase flexibility and enhance performance? (Tweet Link

Pete: Performance is all about using resources efficiently to process data. This has always been a strength of vSphere with its advanced schedulers. Since vSAN is built right into the hypervisor, we apply this same level of processing efficiency to storage as well. 

John: vSphere 8 has some fantastic offload (DPU) and performance scaling improvements. vSAN #ESA is going to enable denser and more powerful hosts. This increased density of performance should drive up consolidation ratios and lower cost. Further details can be found here.  

Q5: #HCI systems powered by @VMware vSAN continue to be ranked #1 in market share. What are the advantages of using #vSAN over other storage solutions? (Tweet Link

Pete: First and foremost, vSAN is simply a part of the hypervisor. So when customers want to introduce vSAN into their environment, it is just a matter of applying the correct licensing. Customers use the same software they already know: vCenter Server. 

John: vSAN uniquely offers a platform that can be scaled on-prem, on the edge, in Hyperscaler, or in sovereign clouds. #HCI (hyperconverged infrastructure) is a management framework that allows teams to consolidate their operations with their cloud platform for storage/compute and networking. 

Q6: What’s your favorite feature of #vSAN 8 with #ESA? 💙 (Tweet Link

  1. Supreme efficiency  
  1. Agile operations 
  1. Heightened Resilience 
  1. Optimized Performance 

Pete: I would say my favorite trait of the new vSAN ESA is the supreme levels of efficiency. By freeing up resources, this allows workloads to process activities more quickly, thereby improving the performance that the guest workloads see. 

John: Lower cost per GB (gigabyte), with better performance sounds impossible, but there’s a lot of cool work done in #ESA. 

Q7: Last week, we announced general availability of #vSAN8 to all customers and partners! 🥳 Using a GIF, explain how easy it is to upgrade to #vSAN 8 from your existing configuration. (Tweet Link)

Pete: Smooth. 

John: *Fires up vMotion and vLCM* 

Q8: Can customers use either #vSAN #ESA (Express Storage Architecture) or #OSA (Original Storage Architecture) in @VMware vSAN 8? (Tweet Link

Pete: Yes! We give our customers the choice based on their environment. For clusters running older hardware, they can continue to use the OSA. And for newer hardware approved for the ESA, they can run the ESA. More info here

John: I want to stress that OSA is not going away/being deprecated. For customers with older hardware improvements to OSA did ship with vSAN 8. That said ESA is the new hotness and where I would look for new clusters. 

Q9: How does #vSAN 8 simplify #HCI lifecycle management and support modern applications? (Tweet Link

Pete: vSAN and vSphere continue to improve the intelligence of updates, so that lifecycle management of the hypervisor is as easy as possible. When something is easy to update, customers will update it more frequently. 

John: I’m a big fan of the ability of vLCM to update not only vSphere and drives but also firmware/BIOS. Lifecycle needs to be “full stack” for HCI. it is the difference between upgrade planning and execution being hours vs. months. 

Q10: And last, but certainly not least, why is the #vSAN 8 release so important? (Tweet Chat

Pete: vSAN 8 is the most significant release in the history of vSAN because it allows our customers to do more with what they already have – thanks to the ESA. And this is all using software they already know. That is a winning combination. 

John: Express Storage Architecture #ESA is the foundation for the next decade (and beyond) of vSAN innovation. 

And that’s a wrap…for now! Stay tuned for the next #vSANChat and be sure to follow us on Twitter

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