VMware VSAN will be general available in March 2014

At VMware Partner Exchange 2014 some interesting details were made public about features of VMware Virtual SAN (VSAN) and it general availability.

VMware Virtual SAN (VSAN) is a very popular product even when it has not been released yet. It is currently available in public beta. Over 10.000 people joined this beta. More on the background of VMware VSAN in my blog here.

VMware is currently offering beta customers a 20% discount on Virtual SAN purchases.  The discount is available to those beta participants who have joined and downloaded the Virtual SAN beta product.

I guess VMware estimates  the GA of VSAN will lead to a significant growth in sales. VSAN can be used in many customer environments currently running vSphere. It might also boosts vSphere license upgrades as vSphere 5.5 or later is required to run VSAN.  It  promises to become a pretty disruptive technology.

VSAN creates out of local server storage (SSD and HDD) a shared storage solution provinding best performance for lower costs compared to general purpose storage arrays. Host based SSD is used for caching, HDD is used for persistent storage of virtual machine hard disk files.

Benefits of VSAN are:

  • Reduce investment costs by using cheap low cost storage instead of expensive SAN
  • Pay as you grow model instead of large upfront investments. If you need more storage capacity simply add SDD or HDD instead of having to buy a new SAN extension.
  • It lowers operational costs because it is simple to use, does not require a storage administrator and has increased automation

Some more details on VSAN became public in the last couple of days thanks to VMware Partner Exchange (PEX). The information below was extracted from a recent blogpost of Chuck Hollis.

1. VSAN will be generally available in Q1 2014 (confirmed). At March 6 a VSAN webinar is scheduled. This is hosted by VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger and CTO Ben Fathi. These executives are likely to announce some surprises. In the past we have seen announcements of new releases of VMware vSphere at similar webinars presented by the CEO. So a good *guess* would be that at March 6 the GA data of VSAN will be announced.  Maybe March 6 will be the GA date.

2. VSAN will be made available as a seperate stock keeping unit (SKU). This means VSAN is not included in the vSphere license.

3. A VSAN cluster will support at least 16 nodes at GA.

4. VSAN can be installed by customers by buying their own parts like controllers, SDD and HDD. It will also be possible to buy preconfigured servers of IBM, Dell and Cisco. These contain all the VSAN required components which are listed on the VSAN hardware compatibility guide. For example will combine SanDisk SSDs within the Dell PowerEdge R720 and PowerEdge T620 servers to power VSAN.

5. Each VSAN node can support up to 35 disk drives (in addition to up to 5 SSD or PCI-e flash devices). A max of 560 spindles in a single VSAN cluster is supported.

A lot of questions are asked on the pricing of VSAN. Pricing has not been announced yet. Licensing will be based on the number of CPU sockets in the nodes part of a VSAN cluster (unconfirmed).

Duncan Epping has another summary about VSAN here. 

 

 

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About Marcel van den Berg
I am a technical consultant with a strong focus on server virtualization, desktop virtualization, cloud computing and business continuity/disaster recovery.

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