VMware Virtual SAN Intro

VMware has recently launched its newest add-on called Virtual SAN. VMware Virtual SAN™ is a new software-defined storage tier for VMware vSphere® environments. As I am reviewing the product, I will provide you information collecting via VMware and the blogger community.

Virtual SAN clusters server disks and flash to create radically simple, high performance, resilient shared storage designed for virtual machines.

This new solution addresses the needs of:

  • New and existing customers experiencing a high storage cost of ownership for a virtualization initiative.
  • New and existing customers plagued with complex storage management and unpredictable storage performance.


Key Features and Capabilities

Hypervisor-converged storage software – Virtual SAN is
embedded in the vSphere kernel. This unique characteristic of
Virtual SAN makes integration with vSphere seamless and
enables best performance and scalability.

VM-centric policy-based management – Storage requirements
are associated with individual virtual machines or virtual disks in
the form of policy statements. Virtual SAN automatically translates
these policy statements into system configurations to instantly
provision storage with the right SLAs.

Server-side read/write caching – Virtual SAN minimizes storage
latency by accelerating read/write disk I/O traffic with built-in
caching on enterprise-grade server-side flash technology.
Built-in failure tolerance – Virtual SAN leverages distributed
RAID and cache mirroring to ensure that data is never lost if a
disk, host, or network fails.

Single pane of glass management with vSphere – Virtual SAN
removes the need for training on specialized storage interfaces
or the overhead of operating them. Provisioning is now as
easy as two clicks.

Granular nondisruptive scale-up or scale-out – You can easily
and nondisruptively expand the capacity of the Virtual SAN
datastore by adding hosts to a cluster or disks to a host.
Hardware independence – Virtual SAN can be deployed on
hardware from any server manufacturer. This gives you the
flexibility to build out customized storage systems in
heterogeneous hardware environments.

Interoperability with VMware stack – Virtual SAN leverages
vSphere snapshots, vSphere clones, VMware vSphere® Data
Protectionâ„¢, and vSphere Replication for data protection,
backup, rapid cloning, and disaster-recovery (DR) purposes.
Virtual SAN interoperates with vCloud Automation Center and
vCenterâ„¢ Operations Management Suiteâ„¢ and can be deployed
in conjunction with VMware® Horizon View™ in VDI environments
and vCenter Site Recovery Manager in DR environments.

System Requirements


  • 1GB NIC; 10GB NIC recommended
  • SATA/SAS HBA or RAID controller (with pass-through or HBA mode)
  • At least one SSD and one HDD for each capacity contributing node


  • Minimum cluster size: three hosts
  • Recommended SSD capacity: 5 percent of HDD capacity

Hardware Compatibility List

  • http://www.vmware.com/resources/compatibility/search.php?deviceCategory=vsan


  • One of the following: vSphere 5.5 (VMware vSphere® Standard  Editionâ„¢ or above), VMware vSphere® with Operations  Managementâ„¢ 5.5 (any edition), or VMware vCloud® Suite 5.5 (any edition)
  • VMware® vCenter Serverâ„¢ 5.5
Technical Information

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