Thursday, October 2, 2014

VMware Virtual SAN – Delivering Radically Simple Storage

In today’s data centers, conventional storage systems are overwhelmed as a result of huge data volumes and complex solutions. With a new approach to storage, VMware Virtual SAN is a new software-defined storage tier for VMware vSphere that clusters server-side disks and flash to create simple, high performance, flash-optimized shared storage that is designed for virtual machines.

As hypervisor-converged storage software, Virtual SAN is embedded in the vSphere kernel, which allows optimal data placement and I/O optimizations. With this unique characteristic, Virtual SAN makes integration with vSphere seamless and provides the highest levels of performance, scalability and resilience. With the flexibility to build customized storage systems in heterogeneous hardware environments, Virtual SAN can be deployed on hardware from any server manufacturer.

Storage management is made simple because Virtual SAN is integrated with the vSphere Web Client. This integration allows for simple management of both storage and compute through a single interface. At the core of VMware Virtual SAN is policy-based provisioning. Policies are created and assigned to a VM and Virtual SAN handles the rest. As workloads shift, policy adjustments are made simple and allow users to make the policies while Virtual SAN adjusts them without interrupting service. When there is a need to expand capacity or performance, hosts can be added to a cluster or disks can be added to a host. VMware Virtual SAN also has no LUNs or RAID configurations while removing the need for manual adjustments by automating time-consuming tasks.
VMware Virtual SAN

VMware Virtual SAN works seamlessly with the entire VMware stack and leverages VMware snapshots, VM clones, VMware vSphere Data Protection, and vSphere Replication for data protection, backup, rapid cloning, and disaster recovery. With built-in fault tolerance, Virtual SAN supports a failures-to-tolerate setting on a per-VM or per-policy basis allowing for granular protection of important data by distributed copies across vSphere hosts.

There are many benefits of VMware Virtual SAN including the fact that it is the first policy-driven storage product that simplifies how storage in managed. High performance is achieved through the use of server-side flash technology which enables true server-side read/write caching.

With the use of enterprise-grade HDDs and SSDs to create a converged and resilient SAN-like storage tier within the hypervisor, Virtual SAN lowers the Total Cost of Operation (TCO) by up to 50 percent over virtual storage appliances and mid-range hybrid arrays. Virtual SAN also allows users to make a low upfront investment and grow the aspects of storage that their environment requires over time. 

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