Frequently Asked Questions

Consistent, high performance for all your mission critical apps: vSAN delivers high throughput and low latency storage for your most mission-critical applications. With the added power of vSAN Express Storage Architecture, you can expect to meet or exceed workload SLAs while maintaining the highest levels of data protection and space efficiency.

Cost-efficient OpEx and CapEx: vSAN lowers operating expenses by up to 73%1 compared to traditional storage and drives down capital expenditure by up to 60% with high-capacity, high-performance nodes2. Eliminating the need for costly, proprietary technologies like fiber channel networking, vSAN further reduces costs.

Rapid, agile scaling for deployments of all sizes: vSAN offers flexible scaling ranging from clusters as small as two nodes (plus witness) to clusters with up to 64 nodes. Whether scaling out by adding nodes to a cluster, scaling up by adding nodes to drives, or scaling compute and storage resources independently with disaggregation, vSAN enables you to optimize resource utilization and drive down costs.

Unified, robust operations and lifecycle management: vSAN provides operational consistency from edge to cloud, with complete visibility and lifecycle management of compute and storage from a single UI. You can also expect vSAN deployment times to be 73% faster than traditional storage.

Sources:

  1. VMware Internal Analysis, February 2024
  2. Evaluator Group. “Accelerating Hybrid Cloud: Comparing vSAN and Fibre Channel SAN.” Russ Fellows, September 2021.

A vSAN cluster needs at least two physical hosts, with dedicated local storage devices and shared witness. For more information, see VMware Compatibility Guide for Systems/Servers and VMware Compatibility Guide for vSAN.

vSAN is integrated with the VMware vSphere Hypervisor: unlike other solutions, there’s no need to install additional software or deploy storage controller virtual appliances to every host in the cluster. To configure and manage a vSAN cluster, only vCenter Server is required. vSAN requires a VMware Cloud Foundation or vSphere Foundation license.

Yes, vSphere can access and use traditional datastores with vSAN and vSphere Virtual Volumes. In most cases, vSphere Storage vMotion can be used to migrate VMs between these datastore types. This makes it easy to migrate existing workloads when performing maintenance or retiring a storage solution.

To evaluate an existing environment for migration to vSAN, request a free HCI assessment. This data can be used with the vSAN ReadyNode Sizer to determine suitable vSAN ReadyNode server configurations.

You can increase storage capacity in a couple of ways: scale out your clusters by adding nodes, or scale up existing nodes by adding capacity. vSAN can also share storage across clusters. Cluster Quickstart makes it easy to add compute and storage capacity to a vSAN cluster.

There are three vSAN deployment options: hyperconverged infrastructure appliances, vSAN ReadyNodes, and as a service with cloud providers. See vSAN deployment options for more information.

For detailed guidance on enabling vSAN, see vSAN documentation.

For step-by-step instructions on configuring a vSAN cluster, see vSAN documentation.

vSAN ReadyNodes are x86 servers that have been pre-configured, tested and certified for VMware vSphere and vSAN software. Each ReadyNode is optimally configured for vSAN with the required amount of CPU, memory, network, I/O controllers and storage. For more information, see vSAN ReadyNodes.

vSAN Express Storage Architecture is an optional next-generation architecture built into vSAN to deliver the highest levels of performance and efficiency from your NVMe storage devices.

  • Optimized performance: Maximize performance on NVMe-based TLC devices, without compromising space efficiency.
  • Supreme efficiency: Achieve higher data compression and space savings, lowering TCO.
  • Heightened resilience: Boost availability and meet higher SLA requirements.

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