For those of you considering the vSphere Storage Appliance as a shared storage solution, I bring you a piece of very good news. The RAID10 configuration requirement on the hosts has now been relaxed. As of today, VMware will now support RAID5 & RAID6 configurations alongside the original RAID10 configuration. This will mean that even more local storage can now be utilized as shared storage (NFS datastores). This is a common feature  request that we heard from a lot of potential VSA customers, so I'm glad we've been able to pull this into VSA 1.0.

The VSA documentation already reflects this change in support.

vSphere Storage Appliance Planning Checklist

The VSA cluster requires RAID volumes created from the physical disks. VMware recommends that you use RAID5, RAID6, or RAID10. The vSphere Storage Appliance uses RAID1 to maintain the VSA datastores’ replicas. The capacity of the VSA datastores depends on the number of physical hard disks and the RAID configuration that you use. The actual realized capacities are calculated separately for RAID5, RAID6 and RAID10.

We will be making an official announcement regarding the additional RAID configuration support on the VSA website ( very soon. I'd urge you to check out this website for regular announcements around the VSA.

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About the Author

Cormac Hogan

Cormac Hogan is a Senior Staff Engineer in the Office of the CTO in the Storage and Availability Business Unit (SABU) at VMware. He has been with VMware since April 2005 and has previously held roles in VMware’s Technical Marketing and Technical Support organizations. He has written a number of storage related white papers and have given numerous presentations on storage best practices and vSphere storage features. He is also the co-author of the “Essential Virtual SAN” book published by VMware Press.