Announcing vSAN 8 Update 1

vSAN 8 Update 1 is now generally available to all customers and partners. The last version of vSAN can be deployed on either the Original or Express Storage Architecture.

  • VMware is announcing the upcoming release of vSAN 8 Update 1, building off the success of vSAN 8 and Express Storage Architecture.
  • The release features expanded disaggregated storage capabilities including support for stretched clusters and vSAN Express Storage Architecture.
  • vSAN 8 U1 will deliver platform enhancements that improve performance and data durability. There are also new integrations for cloud-native applications and enhanced operations.

Building off the success of vSAN 8 and the Express Storage Architecture, we are excited to announce vSAN 8 Update 1. In the initial release of vSAN 8, we introduced vSAN Express Storage Architecture (ESA), ushering in the next generation of hyperconverged infrastructure. We’re thrilled to continue revolutionizing this solution, enabling customers to take advantage of modern, high-performance devices which provide new performance levels, scalability, resilience, and simplicity.

With the release of vSAN 8 Update 1, we continue developing and enhancing both architectures, adding new features across architectures and expanding many proven capabilities from vSAN OSA to vSAN ESA. The latest from vSAN will enable customers to unlock more flexibility, power, and applications from their hyperconverged infrastructure. Read on to discover the core focus areas of this release.

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Unbound Scaling with Disaggregated Storage

Disaggregation of compute and storage resources in clusters is enhanced with vSAN 8 U1. Customers can scale in new ways by sharing vSAN datastores with other vSAN clusters or compute-only vSphere clusters. vSAN datastore capacity can be accessed across virtualized environments, reducing stranded capacity, increasing ROI, and simplifying storage management.

Disaggregation with the Express Storage Architecture

In vSAN 8 U1, the flexibility of disaggregated storage is fully compatible with vSAN Express Storage Architecture (ESA), enabling customers to maximize resource utilization of next-generation devices by sharing storage across non-stretch clusters. Users can mount remote vSAN datastores living in other vSAN clusters and use a vSAN ESA cluster as the external storage resource for a vSphere cluster.

Consume Storage Externally using vSAN Stretched Clusters

In vSAN 8 U1, we introduce support for storage disaggregation when using vSAN stretched clusters powered by the vSAN Original Storage Architecture (OSA). Users can now scale storage and compute independently across non-stretch and stretched clusters.

Consume vSAN Storage across vCenter Server Instances

vSAN 8 U1 also supports disaggregated storage across environments using multiple vCenter Servers when using the vSAN OSA. This enhancement permits customers to use vSAN datastores across different vCenter environments.

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Core Platform Enhancements

VMware continues to enhance vSAN’s capabilities and functionality. With vSAN 8 U1, we are introducing several new enhancements to the core platform, which will deliver better performance, improved data durability, and all new levels of integration. 

Better Performance using New Adaptive Write Path

The newest release will introduce a new adaptive write path enabling workloads issuing many writes, or highly sequential writes, to write the data in an alternate, optimized way. Improved streaming writes on ESA will offer up to 25% higher throughput and lower latency for sequential write workloads within vSAN Express Storage Architecture. This update will not only impact applications with a predominantly sequential write I/O profile, but we expect it will also expand the diversity of workloads that perform exceptionally well on vSAN ESA.

Improved Performance for Discrete Workloads

To extract the most value from the higher performance of modern NVMe hardware, in vSAN ESA 8 U1, we’ve optimized the I/O processing for each object residing on a vSAN ESA datastore, increasing the performance per VMDK by up to 25%. These performance improvements to single objects on ESA will be incredibly impactful on mission-critical VMs, including applications like relational databases and OLTP workloads.

Enhanced Durability During Maintenance Mode Scenarios

In vSAN 8 U1, we enhance vSAN Express Storage Architecture with another feature found in vSAN OSA, providing ESA customers using RAID 5 and RAID 6 erasure coding with added protection against data loss during planned maintenance operations. This newly supported feature will ensure that data on ESA is stored redundantly in case of an unexpected host failure within a cluster while the host is in maintenance mode.

Datastore management improvements

vSAN 8 U1 will allow administrators to customize the size of namespace objects, enabling administrators to store ISO files and VMware content libraries more easily.

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Simplified Management

One of vSAN’s most notable characteristics is how it can significantly simplify storage operations and management. By utilizing Storage Policy Based Management or SPBM, customers can define and apply storage capabilities using policies and apply them at a VM level. vSAN 8 U1 will offer several new improvements that simplify the day-to-day operations of administrators, as well as introduce a few new enhancements to help VMware’s Global Support (GS) team resolve customer issues more quickly.

Auto-Policy Management for Default Storage Policies (ESA)

With vSAN ESA 8 U1, we are introducing a new, optional cluster-specific default storage policy that will help administrators run their ESA clusters with optimal resilience and efficiency. A new configurable “Auto-Policy Management” toggle will be available in the configuration at the cluster level. When this cluster feature is enabled, it will create and assign an efficient default storage policy based on the size and type of cluster.

Skyline Health Score and Remediation

In vSAN 8 U1, the vSAN Skyline module UX is redesigned to include a new health dashboard, giving customers a simplified view of the health status of each cluster. The new UI will help answer the fundamental questions.

“Is my cluster and the workloads it serves in a health state?”

“How severe is the condition? Should the issue be resolved?”

With this clear vision of potential problems and actions for remediation, you can reduce the mean time to resolution (MTTR).

Higher Levels of Detail for Improved Performance Analysis

Available in both the Express Storage Architecture and Original Storage Architecture, the vSAN 8 U1 Performance Service now includes a “real-time” monitoring of performance metrics that collects and renders performance metrics at just a 30-second sampling interval.

Capture Performance Diagnostics Information More Easily

In vSAN 8 U1, the VM I/O Trip Analyzer includes a new scheduler mechanism. You can run diagnostics programmatically, allowing for more & better data collection, which can be critical to capturing temporary performance issues. This enhancement will be ideal for environments where a VM has a repeated, albeit brief, performance issue.

New PowerCLI Integration

In vSAN 8 U1, PowerCLI supports many new capabilities in both the vSAN ESA and OSA architectures. With this integration, ESA customers will gain easy access to their inventory to monitor and automate the management of their environment and resource provisioning.

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Cloud Native Storage 

Dedicated DevOps environments add to overall data center complexity and increase costs. By using an existing vSphere environment to host DevOps Kubernetes workloads, customers are further increasing the value and ROI of the VMware virtualized platform. VMware remains focused on the needs of the developer. With vSAN 8 U1, we will offer new performance levels, simplicity, and flexibility for the developers who consume the environment and the administrators responsible for the platform.

CNS support for vSAN ESA

With vSAN 8 U1, we’ve added support for Cloud Native Storage (CNS) to vSAN ESA. Customers can take advantage of the vSAN ESA performance for their DevOps environments.

DPp support of common vSwitches

vSAN 8 U1 will lower the barrier in cost and complexity by now making our DPp solutions compatible with the VMware vSphere Distributed Switch. Customers will need only vSphere+/vSAN+ licenses to use the Data Persistence Platform—on either vSAN OSA or ESA— and run stateful applications with lower TCO and simplified operations.

Thick provisioning for vSAN Direct Configuration

Lastly, with vSAN 8 U1, we’ve improved clusters running vSAN Direct Configuration—Our unique cluster configuration custom tailored for Cloud Native Workloads. With vSAN 8 U1, persistent volumes can be programmatically provisioned as “thick” by the developer by defining it in the storage class.

Learn more about vSAN 8 U1:

Visit the What’s New with vSAN page

Watch the vSAN 8 U1 Technical Overview Video

Take a Technical Deep Dive at TechZone