Essential Virtual SAN (6.2) available for pre-order

Our friends over at Pearson and VMware Press have informed us that the second edition of the Essential Virtual SAN book (that I wrote with Duncan Epping) is now available for pre-order on Amazon. It looks like it will be available on June 13th, but VMware Press have told us that they will do what they can to pull the date in a little closer. This new edition covers all of the new features added to Virtual SAN, up to the latest (yet to be released) VSAN 6.2. Here’s some blurb on the new edition, which gives a little insight…

VSAN 6.2 Part 9 – Replacing the witness appliance

There might be a reason in VSAN stretched cluster environments or in 2-node VSAN ROBO deployments to change the witness appliance. The one thing to keep in mind is that you must use a witness appliance that has the same on-disk format as the rest of the disk groups in the cluster. Right now, there is a 6.1 version of the appliance and a 6.2 version of the appliance, so make sure that you select the correct one. Replacing the current witness with a new witness is very straight forward, and the tasks can be summarized as follows: Deploy the…

VSAN 6.2 Part 8 – Upgrading VSAN Stretched Cluster from 6.1 to 6.2

This is an exercise that we ran through in our lab environment, and we thought that the steps would be useful to share here. By way of introduction, our 4 node cluster is split into a 2+2+1 configuration, where there are 2 ESXi hosts on site A (VLAN 4), 2 ESXi hosts on site B (VLAN 3), and a third site, site C (VLAN 80), hosting the witness appliance (nested ESXi host). All sites are connected over L3. In other words, static routes are added to each of the ESXi hosts so that ESXi hosts on site A can reach…

An overview of the new Virtual SAN 6.2 features

If you were wondering why my blogging has dropped off in recent months, wonder no more. I’ve been fully immersed in the next release of VSAN. Today VMware has just announced the launch of VSAN 6.2, the next version of VMware’s Virtual SAN product. It is almost 2.5 years since we launched the VSAN beta at VMworld 2013, and almost 2 years to the day since we officially GA’ed our first release of VSAN way back in March 2014. A lot has happened since then, with 3 distinct releases in that 2 year period (6.0, 6.1 and now 6.2). For…

VSAN Stretched Cluster – some possible warnings

We are hearing about a number of VSAN stretched cluster implementations going on at the moment, which is great news. I just set up such a configuration once again in my lab as we look at some various scenarios for the next release of VSAN. Now, for anyone looking at implementing VSAN stretched cluster, there is the VSAN 6.1 stretched cluster guide which should be your first port of call. However I noticed that once VSAN stretched cluster is implemented, you get a few warnings that you typically wouldn’t see in standard VSAN deployments. That is what I want to…

SMP-FT support on Virtual SAN

There have been a number of questions recently about SMP-FT on Virtual SAN. The Symmetric Multi-Processing Fault Tolerance (SMP-FT) is a feature that many VMware customers have been waiting for. With the release of vSphere 6.0, the SMP-FT capability¬† finally became available. This release did not include SMP-FT support when the VM was run on VSAN however. With the release of vSphere 6.0U1, which included VSAN 6.1, there is now support for SMP-FT when the VM is run on VSAN. There are some caveats when it comes to the different VSAN deployment methodologies: On standard VSAN deployments, SMP-FT is supported…

vSphere HA settings for VSAN Stretched Cluster

As part of the enhancements to Virtual SAN 6.1, stretched cluster support was announced. To provide availability for virtual machines in a VSAN Stretched Cluster, vSphere HA needs to be configured. This allows VMs to be restarted on the same site (with affinity rules) when there is a host failure, or restarted on the remote site when there is a complete site failure. However there are certain settings that need to be configured in a specific way that are fundamental to achieving high availability in a VSAN stretched cluster. In this post, I will call out the VMware recommended settings,…