In an earlier post, I described the witness appliance in a lot of detail. Using the witness appliance is VMware’s recommended way of creating a witness host. Ideally, customers should avoid building their own bespoke appliances for this purpose. Also note that the witness appliance is not a general purpose ESXi VM. It doesn’t store/run nested VMs, and it has no VM or HA/DRS related functions. It simply functions as a VSAN witness and plays no other role. In this post, I will take you through step by step instructions on how to deploy a witness appliance for either a VSAN stretched cluster deployment or a VSAN 2-node ROBO type deployment. Unfortunately this entails a lot of screen-shots, so apologies in advance for that. However I did want this post to cover all the angles. There are 6 steps to getting the appliance deployed and configured successfully.
Maxta are another storage vendor that I managed to get talking to at this years’ VMworld conference in San Francisco. Although they were present at last year’s VMworld, they only announced themselves in earnest last November (11/12/13) with the release of the Maxta Storage Platform (MxSP). I spent some time with Kiran Sreenivasamurthy, Director of PM & PMM at Maxta, and he was very open in sharing details on the Maxta product.
If you read the blurb on Maxta on the VMworld sponsor/exhibitor list, it states that they eliminate the need for storage arrays, provide enterprise class data services and has full virtualization integration from UI to data management.
So on the face of it, Maxta is another converged solution, similar in many respects to VMware’s own Virtual SAN, Nutanix, Simplivity, etc. So what makes Maxta so different? Kiran shared his views with me here.
I’d met Virsto Software at previous VMworld conferences, but never had a chance to have a meaningful discussion regarding their products and solutions. On a recent trip to the US, I had the pleasure of meeting with Eric Burgener at the Virsto offices in Sunnyvale. He kindly took the time to give me an overview of their Virsto for vSphere 1.5 product.
I recently had the pleasure of chatting with Jesse St. Laurent, Product Director at a new storage startup called SimpliVity. SimpliVity finally exited stealth mode today, but has been around since the end of 2009, with development starting in earnest in 2010.
The name of the hardware storage appliance which SimpliVity have just announced is the OmniCube. Having asked Jesse to describe the features of the appliance, he listed the following: