vsan61-logoToday we are official announcing the launch of VMware Virtual SAN 6.1. Virtual SAN is VMware’s software-defined solution for hyper-converged infrastructure that is targeted towards vSphere administrators.

Now in its 3rd release, Virtual SAN has been already adopted by a large number of VMware customers in just 15 months. Customers of all industries and sizes, trust Virtual SAN to run their most mission critical applications. Virtual SAN 6.1 adds greater abilities around availability and the management that can perform in the most demanding storage environments. In this new release VMware continues to focus on delivering high performance and increased scale to provide enterprise-class storage for virtualized workloads, including Tier-1 production and business-critical applications.

VMware is expanding the capabilities of Virtual SAN as a platform and is introducing higher levels of enterprise availability and data protection by enhancing the replication capabilities of the solution as well as providing fault tolerance support for multi-processors virtual machines. A critical aspect of Virtual SAN is ensuring that data is never lost. Virtual SAN 6.1 stretched clusters further enable the ability for no interruption in operations even in the event of a complete site failure. The most significant new features and capabilities of Virtual SAN 6.1 are described below:

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FTYesterday, my boss and the CTO of the Storage and Availability business unit at VMware Christos Karamanolis, published an article in which he outlines the future of Virtual SAN as a storage platform. The article is an excellent write up and an excellent read as well. The article was great and it is one that I would like to echo so that more people can get an opportunity to read.

Take a look below and read what Christos wrote. If you’re attending VMworld Christos and I are delivering a session on that topic and I have to say, that is now session you don’t want to miss.

STO6050 – Virtual SAN: The Software-Defined Platform of the Future

The Software-Defined Storage Platform of the Future

Next week, at VMworld USA 2015, we will be announcing Virtual SAN 6.1, the third-generation of VMware’s hypervisor-converged storage for VMs. With this release we are introducing several major enhancements and new capabilities, including support for the latest generation of storage devices, new availability and disaster recovery features, and advanced management and serviceability tools.

These capabilities build on top of already proven, best-of-breed performance, scalability and reliability features to provide enterprise-class storage for all virtualized workloads, including Tier-1 production, mission-critical applications, and high availability demanding use cases.

VSAN-Overall

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VSAN-LENOVO-SANDISK-LOGOThis new reference architecture is focused on Online Transaction Processing (OLTP) workloads on Microsoft SQL Server 2014 and VMware Virtual SAN 6.0 All-Flash storage architecture. The reference architecture was developed by SanDisk and Lenovo with the goal of delivering a design and configuration that is ready to meet both application and storage demands with the ability to satisfy and comply all service level agreements.

The Virtual SAN 6.0 All-Flash architecture was designed to deliver more than just performance and extremely high number of IOPS, on top of that it delivers sub-millisecond latencies. Those are key attributes that are necessary to deliver high performance with consistency to business-critical applications successfully. These are some of the reason as to why Virtual SAN 6.0 in All-Flash shines so bright!.

This hyper-converged solution in the new reference architecture is composed of SanDisk and Lenovo hardware components and Virtual SAN 6.0 All-Flash (The Best Software-Defined Storage Platform Ever Created) in a design that delivers an impressive 3 million orders per minute (NOPMs) on a 4 node cluster.

The performance of this solution was evaluated using, the HammerDB performance tuning and benchmarking tool was used to run a 5000 Warehouse TPC-C like workload on a 4-node configuration with SQL Server Database. This system delivered 14.1 million transactions per minute (TPM) and 3.08 million New Orders per Minute (NOPMs) using 8 VMs executing Microsoft SQL Server Standard Edition. Read Full Article →

new-brandOut with the old and in with the new! In the spirit of simplicity for all things hardware related to Virtual SAN, today VMware released a newly revamped hardware compatibility guide portal.

The portal introduces a new and simplified hardware searching capability that is primarily focused around Virtual SAN Ready Nodes instead of the previous approach focused on individual certified hardware components.

The new portal is designed to deliver a concise, quick, and rich user experience for customers. Now, customers that are looking to identify the latest and greatest suitable hardware options for their respective Virtual SAN use cases can do so with a minimum of six on-screen clicks.

Customers can very quickly select their Virtual SAN architecture of choice, supported release, preferred vendor, hardware generation, performance and storage capacity profile, and lastly server form factor type.

new-vcg

 

The new portal introduces a new Virtual SAN Ready Node profile branding series that replaces the previous low, medium, and high profile identification. The new profile branding series consist of five different profile across both supported Virtual SAN storage architectures hybrid and All-Flash. The image below illustrates the mapping of the new branding to the previously supported branding model of low, medium, high profiles.

RDY-N-P

 

The portal also provides the ability to dynamically generate PDF files that containing the configuration requirements that is inputed into the portal. This PDF can be generated to be utilized as a purchasing references or to simply keep the record.

While the focus of the new portal points to all things Virtual SAN Ready Node, customers may still pursue building their own solutions with individual certified components.

For the most part it is strongly recommends to use certified Ready Nodes that are validated to provide predictable performance and scalability for your Virtual SAN deployment. If you would still like to build your own Virtual SAN with certified components, then click Build Your Own based on Certified Components.

The new VMware Compatibility Guide portal is the one-stop-shop location for all things related to Virtual SAN ranging from hardware, Virtual SAN Assessment Tool, Sizing and TCO calculator, and the new Virtual SAN Hardware Quick Reference Guide.

– Enjoy

For future updates on Virtual SAN (VSAN), vSphere Virtual Volumes (VVol) and other Storage and Availability technologies, as well as vSphere Integrated OpenStack (VIO), and Cloud-Native Apps (CNA) be sure to follow me on Twitter: @PunchingClouds

VSAN-VROPSNew vRealize Operations Management Pack for Storage Devices 6.0.2 released. The new version of the management pack offers full support for Virtual SAN 6.0 by introducing a new set of dashboards that provides a global visibility into all aspects of Virtual SAN 6.0 from a centralized location.

The new dashboards present customers with some of the most important and relevant information about Virtual SAN 6.0 right out-of-the-box.

  • Global View
    Get global visibility across Virtual SAN clusters for monitoring and proactive alerts/notifications on an ongoing basis
    Proactively monitor multiple Virtual SAN clusters using exploratory out of the box and customizable dashboards for deriving Virtual SAN Cluster Insights, Device Insights, Entity usage, Heat Maps etc.
    Simplify end to end troubleshooting by leveraging Virtual SAN topology and relationship between VM, Host, Datastore, Disk group, Host Bus Adapter etc. Get device/hardware specific reports, alerts using S.M.A.R.T.S.
  • Health Monitoring and Availability
    Proactively monitor and assess device connectivity issues and failures such as APD (All Path Down), PDL (Physical Device Loss), network congestion, SSD Life (based on S.M.A.R.T.S) and disk failures.
    Get proactively notified on failures, performance and compliance issues on an ongoing basis, review symptoms and recommendations for a remediation strategy Use exploratory dashboards and heat maps.
  • Performance
    Monitor aggregate performance (throughput in MB/s) and latencies at a disk group and disk level for SSDs and HDDs
    Assess how Virtual SAN is keeping up with specific workload by continuously monitoring metrics like SSD Read Cache hit ratio and SSD eviction rate. Monitor CPU, memory and network congestion metrics.
  • Capacity
    Monitor disk usage (available and used capacity) on disks across all hosts in a cluster.
    Perform capacity planning based on “what if scenarios” and plan for future hardware purchase based on historic demand and stress trends of Virtual SAN workloads.

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