Virtual SAN (VSAN) Announcement Review

Very exciting day today at VMware – Virtual SAN or VSAN has been officially announced. If you weren’t able to attend, here are some of the interesting parts of the announcement: 32 node support (up from the 16 node support announced at Partner Exchange last month, and up from the 8 nodes which we supported during the beta) 2 million IOPS (using IOmeter 100% read, 4KB block size). Also 640K IOPS achieved with 70/30 read/write ratio, 4KB block size and 80% random. 3200 virtual machines (100 per node) 4.4 PB of storage (using 35 disk per host x 32 hosts…

VSAN Part 17 – Removing a Disk Group from a Host

[Updated: 17th Feb 2016] Following on from my recent post on how to reclaim disks that were previously used by VSAN, I was asked how one can remove a disk group from a host that is participating in a VSAN [5.5] cluster. This is quite straight forward, but there is one minor caveat and it relates to whether the VSAN cluster has been setup in Automatic Mode or Manual Mode. If you want to learn more about the behaviour of the different modes, you can read up on it here.

VSAN Part 16 – Reclaiming disks for other uses

A number of customers have raised this question. How do you reclaim disks which were once used by VSAN but you now wish to use these disks for other purposes? Well, first off, if you are using some of the later builds of VSAN and you place the host into maintenance mode and remove the disk group from the host, this will automatically remove the partitions from the disks and you are good to go with reusing these disks for some other purpose. However, if you do something such as reinstall ESXi on the host but do not go through…

VSAN Part 15 – Multicast Requirement for networking – Misconfiguration detected

This is an issue which has caught a number of customers out during the Virtual SAN beta, so will probably catch some folks out when the product goes live too. One of the requirements for Virtual SAN (VSAN) is to allow multicast traffic on the VSAN network between the ESXi host participating in the VSAN Cluster. However, as per our engineering lead on VSAN, multicast is only used for relatively infrequent metadata operations. For example, object creation, change in object status after a failure and publication of statistics such as a significant change of free disk space (the publication of…

VSAN Part 14 – Host Memory Requirements

For those of you participating in the VMware Virtual SAN (VSAN) beta, this is a reminder that there is a VSAN Design & Sizing Guide available on the community forum. It is part of the Virtual SAN (VSAN) Proof of Concept (POC) Kit, and can be found by clicking this link here. The guide has recently been updated to include some Host Memory Requirements as we got this query from a number of customers participating in the beta. The actual host memory requirement directly related to the number of physical disks in the host and the number of disk groups…

VSAN Part 13 – Examining the .vswp object

I’ve seen a few question recently around the .vswp file on virtual machines. The .vswp or VM swap is one of the objects that go to make up the set of virtual machine objects on the VSAN datastore, along with the VM Home namespace, VMDKs and snapshot delta. The reason for the question is that people do not see the .vswp file represented in the list of virtual machine objects in the UI. The follow-on question inevitably is then around how do you see the policy and resource consumption of a virtual machine’s .vswp object.

VSAN Part 12 – SPBM extensions in RVC

In the Virtual SAN (VSAN) beta refresh, we released a number of new Ruby vSphere Console (RVC) commands to examine the Storage Policy Based Management (SPBM) settings. For those of you who have been participating in the beta, you will know that to deploy a virtual machine on VSAN, you create a storage policy for the virtual machine, which may stipulate the number of mirror copies of the virtual machine disk (FailuresToTolerate) or indeed a stripe width for the VMDK. SPBM is the underlying technology which controls this aspect of VSAN. In this post, we can look at some of…