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Does VMware Support Shared/Switched SAS?

An interesting observation was made on a previous blog posting of mine which compared different storage protocols. The commenter asked why I didn't include Shared SAS in the comparison (SAS is Serial-Attached SCSI). I personally have not seen a lot of shared SAS configurations, so I decided to have a look at what is on our HCL for Shared or Switched SAS.

I had a bit of bother locating the supported models however. On the VMware HCL (Hardware Compatibility List), I first selected Storage/SAN which only lists FC, iSCSI & NAS for the Array Type. At first glance, you might think we do not support SAS storage arrays.

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After some guidance from a few folks internally, I since learnt that there are a lot of SAS arrays on our HCL. To find a list of both Direct-Attached and Switched arrays that have been certified, you need to browse the Array Test Configuration window in the 'Additional Criteria' section and select either SAS Direct Attach or SAS Switched.

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An updated search with SAS Switched selected in the Array Test Configuration returned 30 arrays on our HCL, from partners that included DELL, Dot Hill, NetApp & Oracle, among others. Note that 'Test' here simply refers to the fact that the arrays went through a test certification process; it has nothing to do with arrays running in a 'test' environment. VMware fully supports Switched SAS in production environments, as long as the storage array is on our HCL.

We do understand that this is not the easiest information to find, and we are working on a mechanism which will make this a little easier to find going forward. Bottom line – VMware most certainly supports shared/switched SAS.

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