Virtual SAN (VSAN)

A quick reference to VSAN (Virtual SAN) posts.

The Essential VSAN book that I co-authored with Duncan Epping is Out Now!

Many of these VSAN posts have been translated into Chinese.


51 thoughts on “Virtual SAN (VSAN)

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  6. Pingback: VSAN Part 9 – Host Failure Scenarios & vSphere HA Interop |

  7. Pingback: VSAN Part 10 – Changing VM Storage Policy on-the-fly |

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  17. Pingback: VSAN Part 13 – Examining the .vswp object |

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  22. Can you give us some detail on calculating Disk Yield? If I have 3 modes with 1tb, will I see 3 tb storage? does a VM that uses 50gb of storage take up 50gb, or 100 gb, or 150 gb?

    • There should be a sizing guide going live shortly, but all magnetic disks across all the hosts will contribute to the size of the VSAN datastore. The SSDs (or flash devices) do not contribute to capacity. So if you had 1TB of magnetic disk in 3 nodes, your VSAN datastore will be 3TB.

      The amount of disk consumed by your VM is based primarily on the failures to tolerate (FTT) setting in the VM Storage Policy. An FTT of 1 implies 2 replicas/mirrors of the VMDK. Therefore a 50GB VMDK created on a VM with an FTT=1 will consume 100GB. A 50GB VMDK created on a VM with an FTT=2 will make 3 replicas/mirrors and therefore consumes 150GB. Hope that makes sense. Lots of documentation coming around this.

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  25. Pingback: VSAN Part 18 – VM Home Namespace and VM Storage Policies |

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  31. Hi Comac,

    Need to understand on the “Note” of VSAN Part 9 topic:

    On the vSphere HA interop:

    ….”Note however that if VSAN hosts also have access to shared storage, either VMFS or NFS, then these datastores may still be used for vSphere HA heartbeats”

    If for example all the VSAN hosts also have VMFS shared datastore(s) (say using FC SAN), then I can have TWO kind of HA protections which are if the VM located on the VSAN datastore then it gets VSAN HA protection and if the VM located on the shared VMFS datastore then it gets a traditional HA protection?


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  39. Just to clarify on the whole disk consumption based on the FTT setting…going back to your example of a FTT=1 for a 50GB VM….

    Are you saying that it will consume an additional 100GB of space due to the 2 replicas created?…or are you saying that the original VM (VMDK) that is created is counted as one of those replicas?

    “therefore a 50GB VMDK created on a VM with an FTT=1 will consume 100GB”

    In regards to being completely clear, would it be better to say

    will consume an extra 100GB in addition to the 50GB VM (VMDK)”?

    I’ve done countless days and days of researching for the past ~6 months or so but every time I hear that, it throws me off on my understanding of FTT > disk consumption.

    Thank you in advance for your time, if you choose to respond.

    *I read your book BTW, you and Duncan Epping are rockstars in the world of virtualization….really good read. Couldn’t have asked for more.


    • It means that 2 x 50GB replicas are created for that VMDK James, meaning 100GB in total is consumed on the VSAN datastore (not an additional 100GB). Note however that VMDK are created as thin provisioned on the VSAN datastore, so it won’t consume all of that space immediately, but over time.

      Thanks for the kind words on the book – always nice to hear feedback like that.

      • Thanks for the reply and clarification…so to make sure I get this right, there will be a single VMDK for the actual VM running in the environment BUT since VSAN is in use, if your FTT=1, then 100GB will be consumed by the 2 replicas that are created (over time with thin provisioning).

        I think my confusion is in the semantics of how every everyone explains it.

        • Yep – you got it. A single 50GB VMDK, made up of two 50GB mirrors/replicas, each replica sitting on a different disks (and host) but the same datastore and eventually consuming 100GB in total on the VSAN datastore

  40. I have a question for you regarding Part 13 in which you refer to “the VM swap file” and the “swap object”. How does the vmx-*.vswp file fit into all this? This file was introduced in 5.0. Does this file belong in the swap object? Is there a second swap object for it? Or does it simply belong to the VM namespace object?

    • Yes – this is what we are referring to. This is now instantiated as its own object on the VSAN datastore, and does not consumes space in the VM namespace object.

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