Enabling The Green and Virtual Data Center

Greg Schulz

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VMware vSAN 6.6 hyper-converged (HCI) software defined data infrastructure

In case you missed it, VMware announced vSAN 6.6 hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) software defined data infrastructure solution. This is the first of a five-part series pertaining to VMware vSAN V6.6. Part II (just the speeds feeds please) is located here, part III (reducing cost and complexity) located here, part IV (scaling ROBO and data centers today) located 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.

Software-defined data infrastructure
Image via VMware

Excuse Me, What is vSAN and who is if for

Some might find it odd having to explain what vSAN is, on the other hand, not everybody is dialed into the VMware world ecosystem, so let’s give them some help, for everybody else, and feel free to jump ahead.

For those not familiar, VMware vSAN is an HCI software-defined storage solution that converges compute (hypervisors and server) with storage space capacity and I/O performance along with networking. Being HCI means that with vSAN as you scale compute, storage space capacity and I/O performance also increases in an aggregated fashion. Likewise, increase storage space capacity and server I/O performance you also get more compute capabilities (along with memory).

For VMware-centric environments looking to go CI or HCI, vSAN offers compelling value proposition leveraging known VMware tools and staff skills (knowledge, experience, trade craft). Another benefit of vSAN is the ability to select your hardware platform from different vendors, a trend that other CI/HCI vendors have started to offer as well.

CI and HCI data infrastructure
Image via VMware

Keep in mind that fast applications need a fast server, I/O and storage, as well as server storage I/O needs CPU along with memory to generate I/O operations (IOPs) or move data. What this all means is that HCI solutions such as VMware vSAN combine or converge the server compute, hypervisors, storage file system, storage devices, I/O and networking along with other functionality into an easy to deploy (and management) turnkey solution.

Learn more about CI and HCI along with who some other vendors are as well as considerations at www.storageio.com/converge. Also, visit VMware sites to find out more about vSphere ESXi hypervisors, vSAN, NSX (Software Defined Networking), vCenter, vRealize along with other tools for enabling SDDC and SDDI.

Give Me the Quick Elevator Pitch Summary

VMware has enhanced vSAN with version 6.6 (V6.6) enabling new functionality, supporting new hardware platforms along with partners, while reducing costs, improving scalability and resiliency for SDDC and SDDI environments. This includes from small medium business (SMB) to mid-market to small medium enterprise (SME) as well as workgroup, departmental along with Remote Office Branch Office (ROBO). Being a HCI solution, management functions of the server, storage, I/O, networking, hypervisor, hardware, and software are converged to improve management productivity. Also, vSAN integrated with VMware vSphere among other tools enable modern, robust data infrastructure that serves, protect, preserve, secure and stores data along with their associated applications.

Where to Learn More

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

What this all means

Overall a good set of enhancements as vSAN continues its evolution looking back just a few years ago, to where it is today and will be in the future. If you have not looked at vSAN recently, take some time beyond reading this piece to learn some more.

Continue reading more about VMware vSAN 6.6 in part II (just the speeds feeds please) is located here, part III (reducing cost and complexity) located here, part IV (scaling ROBO and data centers today) located 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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Greg Schulz is founder of the Server and StorageIO (StorageIO) Group, an IT industry analyst and consultancy firm. Greg has worked with various server operating systems along with storage and networking software tools, hardware and services. Greg has worked as a programmer, systems administrator, disaster recovery consultant, and storage and capacity planner for various IT organizations. He has worked for various vendors before joining an industry analyst firm and later forming StorageIO.

In addition to his analyst and consulting research duties, Schulz has published over a thousand articles, tips, reports and white papers and is a sought after popular speaker at events around the world. Greg is also author of the books Resilient Storage Network (Elsevier) and The Green and Virtual Data Center (CRC). His blog is at www.storageioblog.com and he can also be found on twitter @storageio.