VMware vSAN V6.6 Part III (reducing costs complexity)

April 11, 2017 – 10:10 pm

server storage I/O trends

VMware vSAN V6.6 Part III (Reducing costs complexity)

In case you missed it, VMware announced vSAN v6.6 hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) software defined data infrastructure solution. This is the third of a five-part series about VMware vSAN V6.6. View Part I here, Part II (just the speeds feeds please) is located here, part IV (scaling ROBO and data centers today) found here, as well as part V here (VMware vSAN evolution, where to learn more and summary).

VMware vSAN 6.6
Image via VMware

For those who are not aware, vSAN is a VMware virtual Storage Area Network (e.g. vSAN) that is software-defined, part of being a software-defined data infrastructure (SDDI) and software-defined data center (SDDC). Besides being software-defined vSAN is HCI combining compute (server), I/O networking, storage (space and I/O) along with hypervisors, management, and other tools.

Reducing cost and complexity

Reducing your total cost of ownership (TCO) including lower capital expenditures (CapEx) and operating (OPEX). VMware is claiming CapEx and OpEx reduced TCO of 50%. Keep in mind that solutions such as vSAN also can help drive return on investment (ROI) as well as return on innovation (the other ROI) via improved productivity, effectiveness, as well as efficiencies (savings). Another aspect of addressing TCO and ROI includes flexibility leveraging stretched clusters to address HA, BR, BC and DR Availability needs cost effectively. These enhancements include efficiency (and effectiveness e.g. productivity) at scale, proactive cloud analytics, and intelligent operations.

VMware vSAN stretch cluster
Image via VMware

Low cost (or cost-effective) Local, Remote Resiliency and Data Protection with Stretched Clusters across sites. Upon a site failure, vSAN maintains availability is leveraging surviving site redundancy. For performance and productivity effectiveness, I/O traffic is kept local where possible and practical, reducing cross-site network workload. Bear in mind that the best I/O is the one you do not have to do, the second is the one with the least impact.

This means if you can address I/Os as close to the application as possible (e.g. locality of reference), that is a better I/O. On the other hand, when data is not local, then the best I/O is the one involving a local or remote site with least overhead impact to applications, as well as server storage I/O (including networks) resources. Also keep in mind that with vSAN you can fine tune availability, resiliency and data protection to meet various needs by adjusting fault tolerant mode (FTM) to address a different number of failures to tolerate.

server storage I/O locality of reference

Network and cloud friendly Unicast Communication enhancements. To improve performance, availability, and capacity (CPU demand reduction) multicast communications are no longer used making for easier, simplified single site and stretched cluster configurations. When vSAN clusters upgrade to V6.6 unicast is enabled.

VMware vSAN unicast
Image via VMware

Gaining insight, awareness, adding intelligence to avoid flying blind, introducing vSAN Cloud Analytics and Proactive Guidance. Part of a VMware customer, experience improvement program, leverages cloud-based health checks for easy online known issue detection along with relevant knowledge bases pieces as well as other support notices. Whether you choose to refer to this feature as advanced analytics, artificial intelligence (AI), proactive rules enabled management problem isolation, solving resolution I will leave that up to you.

VMware vSAN cloud analytics
Image via VMware

Part of the new tools analytics capabilities and prescriptive problem resolution (hmm, some might call that AI or advanced analytics, just saying), health check issues are identified, notifications along with suggested remediation. Another feature is the ability to leverage continuous proactive updates for advance remediation vs. waiting for subsequent vSAN releases. Net result and benefit are reducing time, the complexity of troubleshooting converged data infrastructure issues spanning servers, storage, I/O networking, hardware, software, cloud, and configuration. In other words, enable you more time to be productive vs. finding and fixing problems leveraging informed awareness for smart decision-making.

Where to Learn More

The following are additional resources to find out more about vSAN and related technologies.

What this all means

Continue reading more about VMware vSAN 6.6 in part I here, part II (just the speeds feeds please) located here, part IV (scaling ROBO and data centers today) found here, as well as part V here (VMware vSAN evolution, where to learn more and summary).

Ok, nuff said (for now…).


Greg Schulz – Microsoft MVP Cloud and Data Center Management, VMware vExpert (and vSAN). Author Cloud and Virtual Data Storage Networking (CRC Press), The Green and Virtual Data Center (CRC Press), Resilient Storage Networks (Elsevier) and twitter @storageio. Watch for the spring 2017 release of his new book “Software-Defined Data Infrastructure Essentials” (CRC Press).

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