VMware says its VSAN virtual storage array is selling well
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November 17, 2014
VMware says its VSAN virtual storage array was selling well recently, earning hardware-makers'
attention and demonstrating some value to today's software-defined data centre.
Be that as it may, but VSAN is also having some issues. In July, VMware was forced to change
its recommended VSAN system configurations because VSANs were choking on suggested setups back then.
Now comes news that an LSI component used by several server makers is causing some VSANs to fail. And
that was not expected to happen.
The component in question is the LSI 2208, a RAID controller that SynchroNet's John Nicholson says
is used by Dell, HP and Cisco in their VSAN implementations.
The 2208 is useful because it enables “pass-through” mode whereby the RAID controller is able to
optimize the system.
However, without a pass-through-enabled controller, VMware says “VSAN will not function efficiently” and
“performance on the VSAN datastore will not be maximized in this configuration.”
Nicholson added that the bug isn't persistent, and instead “affects every host in the cluster approximately
40 days after its last reboot”.
Once the hosts go down, they stay that way for about half an hour, during which time disks drop
out and data appears to be lost.
Nicholson's post suggest that the problem's been known for a while, and says he's been told
by VMware that for now the best workaround is dropping to RAID 0.
Another SynchroNet staffer has suggested “I know within VMware, that this has the highest level
of visibility possible”.
As he points out, this isn't really VMware's issue. LSI's driver appears to be at fault and
it's up to that vendor to set that right.
LSI's site and social media are silent on the topic. We'll keep you posted once we hear more
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