I thought it might be useful to share some of the various VM Storage Policy status that I have observed whilst testing Virtual SAN (VSAN). I’m sure this is by no means a complete list but as I said, these are the ones that I have come across and I am sure these are the status that you will observe most often too.
Continuing on my set of posts related to Virtual SAN (VSAN) interoperability, let’s take a look at how vCenter Operations Manager (vC Ops for short) integrates with Virtual SAN. vC Ops version 5.8, which was released in December 2013, recognizes the VSAN datastore and can report various characteristics, as you might expect. Although vC Ops 5.8 was released around 3 months before VSAN GA’ed, this release works with ESXi 5.5U1 and vCenter 5.5U1, the vSphere release which introduced VSAN. However, this release of vC Ops does not present all the ‘storage’ metrics for VSAN like it does for datastores based on other storage types. But, having said that, there are still a number of useful vC Ops views and metrics that you might find useful which this post will cover.
At this stage, VSAN has only been in GA for a number of weeks, even though many of us here at VMware have been working on it for a year or two (or even more). Sometimes when we get into explaining the details of storage objects, components, etc, we forget that this is all so new for so many people. In a recent post, someone asked me to explain the concept of a witness on VSAN. Looking back over my posts, I was surprised to realize that I hadn’t already explained it. That is the purpose of this post – explain what a witness disk is in VSAN, and what role it provides.
In a previous post I spoke in-depth about the different objects which go to make up a virtual machine which resides on a VSAN datastore. To recap, these are the VM Home Namespace, the VM Swap, the VMDK objects and the snapshot delta objects. Now, VMDKs comply with the full set of rules that are placed in a VM Storage Policy and applied to a virtual machine. Snapshot deltas inherit the same VM Storage Policies as their VMDK base disk and also comply with the full set of rules in the VM Storage Policy – so far so good. VM Home Namespace is a little different – its behaviour and which capabilities it complies with are discussed in this earlier article. This leaves the VM Swap object, and that is what I plan to cover in this article.
It should come as no surprise but VMware Horizon View is also supported on VSAN. VMware released Horizon View version 5.3.1 to coincide with the vSphere 5.5.U1 and VSAN release. This release allows desktops to be successfully deployed on a VSAN datastore, using default policies for the desktop storage objects. Let’s go through the steps to get this configured and running, and then we can talk about the default policy settings afterwards.
In this post I though it might be useful to share some information about VSAN interoperability with VMware’s flagship backup and restore product, vSphere Data Protection also known as VDP. First a note about versions - that you will need to use the March 2014 release of VDP (version 5.5.6), not just to backup VMs running on VSAN, but to back up VMs running on vSphere 5.5U1. Here is a comment taken from the release notes for ESXi 5.5 U1:
- vSphere Data Protection. vSphere Data Protection 5.1 is not compatible with vSphere 5.5 because of a change in the way vSphere Web Client operates. vSphere Data Protection 5.1 users who upgrade to vSphere 5.5 must also update vSphere Data Protection to continue using vSphere Data Protection.
After spending a lot of time looking at the architecture of VSAN, I wanted to spend some time looking at how well it inter-operates with other vSphere products and features. vSphere Replication is a product which works quite well with VSAN. If you want to provide disaster-recovery using VSAN as a storage layer, you will need to use vSphere Replication version 5.5.1 which was released in March 2014. One thing with vSphere Replication is that it is agnostic to the underlying storage. Having said that, the consideration with using vSphere Replication with VSAN is down to the VM Storage Policies used by the virtual machines, and how these inter-operate.