A common question we receive when we meet with customers and talk about Virtual SAN is “whether or not VSAN is going to be able to run my particular workloads?” This is a great question to ask, as most customers are coming from a background of SAN or NAS storage arrays, fibre channel, FC switches, HBAs, CNAs, etc. Since VSAN is still relative new (18 months old at this point), being confident that this new product can successfully run existing virtual machines and applications is paramount. To that end, VMware has developed a number of tools that are simple to use and will provide customers with all relevant details on their current workloads, and whether or not these workloads will run on VSAN.
VMware Infrastructure Planner – VIP
The VIP tool, short for VMware Infrastructure Planner, has been updated to do a VSAN Assessment on your current vSphere environment. The tool is made up of two parts, a collector appliance that is deployed in a customers infrastructure and a public web portal. The collector appliance collects vSCSI traces on the VMDKs of each of the VMs for a period of 7 days and sends them to the portal. The portal then analyzes the traces and creates a report based on the analysis. The report provides recommendations on whether or not a particular VM/application is suitable for running on VSAN. Note that the tool does not collect or store any customer data; it only collects vSCSI traces which is information about the content, not the content itself. (e.g. is it a read or a write, what is the I/O size, etc). More details can be found here: https://vip.vmware.com/features. If you wish to get started with a VSAN Assessment, reach out to your local VMware representative who can sign you up.
Great – so the VSAN Assessment has come back and said you are “good to go”. In other words, your currently running workloads will also run fine on VSAN. What next? How do I size a VSAN configuration so that it can run my current workloads? Well, that’s easy too.
VSAN Sizing & TCO Tool
VMware has created a Sizing and TCO (total cost of ownership) tool, where you can simply populate your requirements for a VSAN cluster, and the report will return the required configuration. You can choose between a D.I.Y system or a VSAN Ready Node if you wish. Even easier than that, the report generated by the VIP tool will contain a link to the TCO tool. When you click the link, the TCO tool is automatically populated with the information from the VIP report. It couldn’t be easier. The VSAN Sizing and TCO tool is available here: https://vsantco.vmware.com/vsan/SI/SIEV and can be used outside of the VIP tool. The tool also allows you to review hybrid and all-flash configurations.
So, before you even start a Proof-Of-Concept on VSAN, there are tools available which will let you know if Virtual SAN is a good fit for your environment. That’s where I’d start.