What is VMware vSAN and what are its uses?

VMware (VMware vSAN) The VMware Virtual Storage Area Network (SDS) software-defined storage solution is a software-defined storage utility that introduces and seamlessly integrates into hypervisor through VM.

Creates a virtual storage network on multiple servers within a cluster.

In other words, vSAN is a distributed layer of software that runs locally as part of an ESXi hypervisor, and aggregates direct-to-storage (DAS) storage devices, or localized direct-attached storage headers, to a storage repository. Creates a shared pool for all hosts in a vSAN cluster.

vSAN is part of the VMware ESXi kernel and runs on x86 servers from manufacturers such as Cisco, Dell EMC, Fujisto, Lenovo, Super Micro and Hewlett Packard Enterprise runs.

Since the LAN is a native component, no additional software is need and the user can activate it with a few clicks. vSAN eliminates the need for external shared storage and simplifies the process of configuring the storage system and preparing virtual machine activities.

vSAN offers several important advantages for IT managers.

 It provides a simple solution for storing information on virtual machines, reduces the cost of ownership, and provides predictability, scalability and flexibility.

 Network administrators can use solid-state caches and hard drives connected to the server as a vSAN repository to create a distributed storage that is connected to the hypervisor.

One of the most important features of vSAN is the reduction of storage hardware dependency, which suggests a shared storage solution for virtual machines.

The question that some network executives are asking is basically why we should use this technology in the virtualization world.

Here are 10 of the most prominent features of this technology.

figure 1. The place of vSAN between virtual machines and storage resources

1 No need for extra external storage

VSAN uses all the disks or arrows connected to the server in repository format

to create a shared storage space for each cluster. This means that there is no need for separate external and internal storage, although this technology can work alongside external storage. Network administrators can define policies to load onto VSANs and external arrays, or simply transfer workloads to VMware vSphere Storage .

2 Virtual SAN is design for use by vSphere administrators

As we know, vSphere administrators have little free time,

so every aspect of vSAN is design to be easy to use. For example, you do not need to combine this technology with console or storage extensions, as all workflows are easily integrated into the virtual environment. This process is ideal for vSphere administrators and administrators, demonstrating that vSAN design is not as complex as managing storage media.

3 Define work policies for using vSAN storage

With vSAN, vSphere administrators create policies such as the level of protection,

the leveling of information, and the exact terms of use. When building a new virtual machine you can easily copy and paste existing work policies. In addition, vSAN automatically and dynamically separates the required space for the new machine from the data storage center. Unlike external storage devices, this technology does not need to be constantly monitored for performance and protection. Each virtual machine (and its vmdk) may have different policies if needed. For example, you can configure some virtual machines to tolerate one type of error, machines to tolerate two types of errors, and others to tolerate no errors, and you can eventually combine them into a data storage. Interestingly, if you change your policy, this technology will automatically make changes to other parts. The above approach is therefore much simpler and more efficient than traditional approaches.

4 vSAN design with the aim of choosing the best storage for virtual machines

vSAN does not directly support common storage protocols such as iSCSI and NFS. Each virtual machine communicates with vSAN using an internal protocol that is simpler and faster than standard storage protocols. If you plan to add vSAN capacity to external storage via iSCSI or NFS you have good solutions.

5 impressive vSAN speeds

vSAN can deliver a high level of performance based on the type of hardware selected, which is very important. As a result, the sensitive data transfer path is optimized and there is no need to execute input / output interrupts via external disk controllers. It should be noted that the hybrid vSAN (Flash and Disk combination) can provide a similarly low performance array of arrows. Also, the All-Flash vSAN version (which is all SSD-type equipment) can deliver great performance in the right way.

6 vSAN is an affordable technology

Depending on how vSAN works on standard server hardware,

the process of generating components is more cost-effective than buying them from different companies. The hybrid version of the technology costs less for each processor for heavy processing tasks. That is, the processor does not need to search the disk and perform I / O operations. In other words, the cost of using vSAN is cheaper than other storage devices due to its capacity. In addition, the more storage space for clusters, the more efficient vSAN will be.

7 vSAN strengths

Almost everyone who uses vSAN technology has forgotten traditional technologies,

servers, controllers, and networks because of the accessibility features offered by the above technology. Studies show that vSAN design has the important high resilient feature. IT administrators can use the new HealthCheck extension to quickly view network status and vSAN hardware and also ensure that unsupported drivers are not unintentionally added. Depending on the type of vSAN design, data will not be lost even in critical cases such as network failure or power failure.

8 Simplification with Virtual Storage Local Area Network

Due to the busyness of IT executives, deploying unique vSAN capabilities without the need for high expertise

in managing and maintaining storage and using the vCenter interface makes the workflow easier. This has increased the popularity of vSAN over time.

9 Convenience in updating vSAN

Increasing capacity or performance in vSAN is simply adding more hardware to the current (active) cluster. In addition, permissions can also be transferred if you move things to a new cluster. Since vSAN is part of vSphere, it is easy to update software.

10 Successful Combinations of Virtual SAN and Horizon

vSAN performs well on data center workloads, but offers more capabilities when combined with VMware Horizon . In addition to the simple and cost-effective operation of vSAN, this technology is capable of detecting the Desktop Pool in Horizon and is properly configured and configured. When using vSAN, there is no need to constantly group storage, and Horizon managers can take full control of the environment. It should be noted that using the Linked Clone in Horizon requires relatively little storage capacity, so using flash drives seems a good option. If your equipment does not require permanent stability and 100% error tolerance, you can remove it
Failures-to-Tolerate Use this technology in a more cost-effective way (Figure 2).

figure 2. Hybrid and All-Flash architecture

last word

The benefits of using software-centric data centers have reached the world of storages and now,

using VSAN technology, time-consuming manual tasks can be done automatically.

 VMware software has facilitated the management process for vSphere administrators. vSAN is fast, efficient, and simple, combining all the capabilities with a cost-effective feature to put this technology at the heart of today’s data centers.

So with this technology all you have to do is design the necessary policies

and assign them to your favorite virtual machines so you can finally use vSAN to control everything.

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