VMware launches virtual SAN software

VMware's vSAN software harvests unused storage space on servers to park virtual disks

VMware has introduced software designed to make it much easier for its customers to store large numbers of virtual machines (VMs) created with the company's software.

"It is about management simplification," said Alberto Farronato, VMware director of product marketing for storage and availability.

The software, VMware Virtual SAN (vSAN), is the company's first foray into storage virtualization. The company made its name offering server virtualization and is also ramping up offerings for desktop and network virtualization as well. The software provides storage space for the virtual disks (VDs) that hold the data needed to run VMs.

The vSAN software is built directly into the kernel of VMware vSphere, the company's virtualization OS. "If you know how to manage vSphere, you already know how to manage Virtual SAN," Farronato said. "We have interoperability with all the key features of the vSphere platform."

For users of vSphere, the software pools together internal storage, either hard drives or solid state drives (SSDs), on x86 servers, which then can be used to store VDs. VMware has designed the software so it offers resiliency against server crashes. It also is capable of high throughput.

The company boasts that the vSAN across a 32 node cluster is capable of 2 million input/output operations per second (IOPS) on a read-only workload, and 640,000 IOPS with a workload of mixed reads and writes.

Overall, adding vSAN to a server adds 10 percent or less overhead to the CPU's, according to the company. Storage can be aggregated in pools as large as 4.4 petabytes, spread out across 32 nodes.

Virtual storage software is nothing new. Companies such as Hewlett-Packard, Nutanix and EMC's own ScaleIO have offered ways of aggregating server storage into a single pool. Embedding this directly capability into vSphere could simplify storage concerns for the administrator, VMware asserted.

"What VMware is hoping is that since you are using their software to virtualize your server, and potentially your network infrastructure as well, you can now also virtualize your storage as well using their software. But vSAN is a pretty different model to most traditional storage virtualization software," said Simon Robinson, 451 Research vice president of storage, in an email statement. "If you're a VMware-centric IT shop and are looking for a relatively simple way to provide storage, then you will probably take look at vSAN. If you're a multi-hypervisor shop then you'll probably look elsewhere."

The software stores VDs according to policies set by the administrators, eliminating the work of setting up storage pools that correspond to different policies concerning retention, security, performance and other factors.

"Before, you had to manage storage separately, allocating resources through LUNs [logical unit numbers] or volumes. Now, we flipped the approach. When you create a VM, you specify your requirements from a storage standpoint, using policies, and everyone else is taken care of," Farronato said.

The software offers routine storage data services backup, cloning, replication and snapshots. It also works with other VMware products, including VMware Horizon View virtual desktop manager, VMware vCenter Site Recovery Manager, VMware vCenter Operations Management Suite and VMware vCloud Automation Center.

VMware first announced the vSAN product at the VMworld conference, held last August. The company also fielded a series of beta versions for customers to test the product.

Early users of the technology found it beneficial in a number of ways, according to testimonies provided by VMware.

Adobe was able to use the software to avoid buying new storage hardware, by making better use of storage already on servers through VMware's built-in policy enforcement mechanisms. Services provider Itrica found the software handy in that it allowed the company to scale storage in relation to customer demand, and allowed it administrators to manage storage using the same interface they use to manage VMs.

VMware vSAN costs US$2,495 per processor. A version for desktop computers cost $50 per user.

Joab Jackson covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Joab on Twitter at @Joab_Jackson. Joab's e-mail address is Joab_Jackson@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags cloud computinginternetVMwarestorageManaged ServicesStorage servers

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Joab Jackson

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?