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When it comes to leading the industry in hyper-converged software-defined storage for virtual environments, VMware Virtual SAN sets the pace.

Armed with hardware provided by Supermicro and Lenovo, Paul Ferrill of InfoWorld put VMware Virtual SAN to the test. Scoring 9.2 out of 10, including two perfect scores for scalability and availability, Virtual SAN earned an “excellent” rating from Ferrill.  His take away: VMware Virtual SAN is a significant step towards the software-defined data center and delivers performance on even moderately priced hardware.

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“VMware’s Virtual SAN represents a significant step toward the stated goal of a software-defined data center,” Ferrill writes. “It’s also somewhat of a “back to the future” experience, with storage moving into the local host machines and away from a centralized and dedicated storage appliance. My testing shows that VSAN is capable of delivering respectable performance on moderately priced hardware. Throw in 10GbE networking and you’ll see impressive results on even the lowest-end hardware configuration.”

Ferrill ran his tests on two systems. The first was on the Supermicro system, which was a SuperSaver SYS-F627R3-R72B+ with four independent nodes a single 4U chassis. The nodes contained two Intel Xeon 2420 CPUS, 256GB of memory, five 2TB Seagate SAS 10K HDDS and one 400GB Intel S3700 Series SATA SSD. The unit also uses two 10GbE and two 1GbE network interfaces. Lenovo sent three ThinkServer RD340 1U servers, each with an Intel Xeon 35-2420 CPU, 64GB of memory, one 1TB Toshiba SAS 7200RPM HDD, one 100GB STEC M161SD2-100UCM SATA SSD, and three 1GbE network interfaces.

As Ferrill notes, creating VSAN clusters on those two setups was simple: install vSphere and vCenter, then check a box in the vCenter Server interface.

“The hardest part may be configuring the disk controllers,” Ferrill said.
If you’re lucky, your disk controller makes JBOD a simple check box item.”

Ferrill said he found that VMware Virtual SAN, especially in a VDI scenario, offers compelling advantages in its initial cost and long-term maintenance. For more details, you can read Ferrill’s review of VMware Virtual SAN here.

For more updates on VMware Virtual SAN and Software-Defined Storage, be sure to follow us on Twitter at @VMwareVSAN!