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Learn more about VSAN: VMware's virtual SAN system manager

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October 18, 2016

In case you're not familiar, VSAN is VMware's virtual SAN software manager, which bundles storage on connected virtual servers to help provide a unified shared block storage array.

VSAN is used in many hyper-converged infrastructure appliance (HCIS) systems, such as Dell EMC's VxRail and a few others.

Primary Data's DataSphere software product provides a level-based storage abstraction layer across multiple silos: directly attached, private and public cloud storage systems.

VMware asserts that DataSphere offers the VSAN manager added scale-out file-serving (NAS) capabilities so that a VSAN-based HCIA can also be a scale-out NAS, converging block and file access.

VMware claims that enterprise customers no longer need a separate filer anymore. Primary Data states that competing products offer file services on VSAN, but are limited to two single nodes, instead of the entire 64-stack VMware vCenter Server cluster.

This simply means much larger file data sets can be supported, the company says. The combined offering means that file-based workloads could be migrated to VSAN-based HCIAs, enlarging the scope of their applicability.

The HCIA VSAN-using nodes processors will now be processing various applications, VSAN block storage and DataSphere file storage, meaning that the computing resource is split three ways, thus somewhat limiting the performance available to each resource.

It would be unrealistic to imagine that a DataSphere VSAN could replace a high-performance scale-out Isilon filer, for example.

It will probably be a neat idea to carefully test mixed file and block-based virtual workloads on a proposed HCIA/filer implementation before committing to it, however. You've been warned.

Just so that you know, the DataSphere platform is now available from Primary Data and its reseller partners. Pricing is in the low $100,000s.

Source: VMware.


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