I thought this would be an informative post as the VMware VSAN is now GA as of yesterday!

The definition according to VMware’s product page says:  VMware Virtual SAN, a new software-defined storage tier, pools compute and direct-attached storage resources and clusters server disks and flash to create resilient shared storage.  

Crib notes on the site list the main features of VSAN as:

  1. Hypervisor-converged storage
  2. VM-centric policy-based management and automation
  3. Server-side Read/write caching
  4. Built-in Failure Tolerance
  5. Single pane of glass management with vSphere
  6. Granular non-disruptive scale-up and scale-out
  7. Hardware Independence
  8. Interoperability with VMware Stack

Virtual SAN is the first policy-driven storage product that simplifies how storage is provisioned and manage. Virtual SAN, automates many of today’s manual storage tasks, and is seamlessly integrated with the vSphere platform for ease of use.

The product will allow customers to build SAN-like shared storage from existing server-attached hard drive capacity.

The product will not compete with high-end storage arrays and will not allow users to pool storage in existing purpose-built arrays, but will allow them to create a single pool of storage from drives in up to 32 servers.

VSAN runs in the hypervisor on an x86 server as a virtual appliance and can create pools of storage with up to two million IOPS (input/output operations per second) on a 32-node cluster. Multi-level cell (MLC) flash is required for caching, while other disks can comprise serial-attached SCSI (SAS), nearline-SAS or SATA.

You might also like to check out the following resources:

Virtual SAN Datasheet

Virtual SAN Technical White Paper

Hardware Compatibility

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