For those of you interested in a low cost shared storage solution, VMware now have a vSphere Storage Appliance (VSA). The initial release (1.0) came out last year. This year, we announced version 5.1 with a bunch of new features.

To get you started on your evaluation of the VSA 5.1, a number of evaluation videos were put together. These videos are now available on youtube. The first evaluation video, which covers the VSA 5.1 installation, is here:

The next video looks at how to deploy VSA 5.1 in a ROBO (Remote Office, Branch Office) environment. VSA 5.1 now supports a single VSA manager on a single vCenter server managing up to 150 remote VSA deployments.

The third video in the series takes a look at the new online storage grow feature. This is also something new in VSA 5.1. Previously, you had to decide how much storage was needed by the VSA cluster up front; there was no way to increase it after deployment. In VSA 5.1, storage can now be grown after deployment.

Finally we take a look at the resilience features of the VSA and how it can continue to provide a full complement of shared storage even when one of the ESXi nodes hosting an appliance has a catastrophic failure.

I hope you find these videos useful. We’d love to get your opinion on whether or not you find these videos beneficial, so please leave comments. It will help us with collateral direction for future product launches.

For more details around the new VSA 5.1 features, check out this  VSA 5.1 whitepaper.

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