During last VMworld US VMware unveiled a new product called VMware Virtual SAN, or VSAN. For those not yet familiar, VSAN leverages local storage from a number of vSphere hosts that are part the same cluster. A distributed datastore is then created leveraging the local storage from each host.
VSAN can be thought of as both a scale-out converged platform (of both compute and storage) as well as hybrid storage solution (since it leverages both Solid State Drives and traditional spinning disks). Built into the vSphere kernel for lowest latency, Virtual SAN uses read/write SSD caching in each host and provides intelligent data placement within the cluster.
My VMware colleague Cormac Hogan wrote a series of articles explaining how VSAN works under the hood and I recommend reading it for additional technical understanding.
- VSAN Part 1 – A first look at VSAN
- VSAN Part 2 – What do you need to get started?
- VSAN Part 3 – It is not a Virtual Storage Appliance
- VSAN Part 4 – Understanding Objects and Components
- VSAN Part 5 – The role of VASA
- VSAN Part 6 – Manual or Automatic Mode
- VSAN Part 7 – Capabilities and VM Storage Policies
How does VSAN help Horizon View?
VSAN reduces CAPEX for Horizon View deployments by leveraging inexpensive server disks for shared storage, avoiding the capital expense of specialized hardware.VSAN helps to reduce OPEX by greatly simplifying, and in most cases eliminating, day-to-day storage configuration and provisioning activities, yet allowing administrators to scale Horizon View deployments on-demand by adding hosts on the fly or hot-adding disks to existing server nodes.
One of the major VSAN benefits with Horizon View implementations relates to the ability to deploy persistent virtual desktops without traditional shared array infrastructure and yet being able to provide consistent and resilient fault tolerance and remarkable performance. In fact, VSAN provides a great blend of performance and capacity as it allows administrators to size the solution according to the workload and change or adapt it overtime.
Non-Persistent or Floating virtual desktops also may be deployed within a VSAN datastore and they will also benefit from the highly available and resilient foundation.VSAN will have support for both Linked Clones and Full Clones deployment models, and also support for persistent and floating pool user entitlements.
If you plan to utilize VSAN for non-persistent virtual desktops with some flavor of persona or roaming profile management solution you can utilize VSAN, your traditional SAN, or you may choose a stand-alone solution using local SSD devices. In fact, administrators may choose different storage architectures for different use cases on the same Horizon View deployment.
Over the next few articles I am going to discuss technical aspects and benefits of Virtual SAN when used in conjunction with Horizon View. This will include discussions about Storage Policy Based Management, VASA providers, replica and system disk configurations and the use of Content-Based Read Cache (CBRC).
This article was first published by Andre Leibovici (@andreleibovici) at myvirtualcloud.net.