VMware Virtual SAN 6.2

Recently VMware have announced their next version of VSAN which has some significant new features and functionality. This release is the 4th edition of VMware’s Hyper-Converged Infrastructure since its original launch with vSphere 5.5. The link to the full technical whitepaper can be found at the bottom of this post and details all the new features available but there are a few I want to discuss in this post.

Deduplication and Compression

For those of you running a hybrid VSAN then sorry this is only supported in all-flash. VMware state this can reduce storage consumption up to 7x but this will heavily depend on the type of data and how it’s distributed. This is a great new feature and puts VMware on a level playing field with some of the larger storage vendors who offer all flash arrays with this feature set.

RAID-5/6 (Erasure Coding)

With previous releases the only option for fault tolerance was mirroring (RAID 1) which can be expensive in terms of RAW capacity consumption, especially when it comes to SSD drives or PCIe flash. This new method of redundancy reduces the amount capacity required by up to 50% allowing for greater efficiency - another great move by VMware! Again this is only supported for all-flash configurations.

Quality of Service

How many of us have suffered performance issues in the past from a “noisy neighbour” VM? For those of you not familiar with this term it’s where a single workload monopolises available resources, such as IO/CPU/RAM and this negatively impacts other workloads. With VSAN 6.2 Quality of Service is now available to limit IOPS – this is all applied at a policy level and can be for the entire virtual machine or individual components.

Performance Service

VSAN 6.2 introduces several new graphs and charts that provide information at the cluster, host, virtual machine and virtual disk level. This gives us visibility of key performance metrics across the vSphere environment and for those of you that have used tools such as DPACK 2.0 it appears to provide similar results for metrics such as IOPS, bandwidth and latency. There is also the ability to dive down into objects and look at the statistics at a granular level.

There is a new report detailing the capacity breakdown in VSAN. At a glance we can quickly see how the storage is being consumed. This will look familiar to those of you who currently use array management tools but I really like the simplistic layout.

Overall I’m very impressed with the amount of new features VMware have included with this release and a lot of work has gone into making the storage more efficient. I’m certainly keen to get it installed once released so stay tuned for more.