Brief review of vSAN – 2019

Brief review of vSAN – 2019

By Cobus Smit – 5 Jan 2020

Review of vSAN

A brief review of vSAN is that it uses internal disks from the ESXi Hosts to setup storage as a software-defined solution. So instead of using external SAN or NAS or DAS you use the normal drives inside of the server. vSAN is natively integrated with vSphere and it is configured separately. Since disks internal to the vSphere hosts are used to create a vSAN datastore, there is no dependency on external shared storage. Virtual SAN Simplifies and Automates Storage Management. You do not need LUNs or volumes with vSAN as vSAN is an object-store.

Virtual machine-centric storage policies can be created and assigned for various workload types. Policies are based upon the available services provided by the storage platform. You must run a plugin in vSphere to monitor the health of the vSAN and disks.

vSAN is native to the vSphere hypervisor and sits directly in the I/O data path. vSAN can deliver the highest levels of performance without taxing the CPU or consuming high amounts of memory resources.

Here is a link regarding a few questions to vSAN architecture

VMware has two hyper-converged solutions as of Sept 2019:

  • VSAN on x86 servers
  • VxRAIL – from DellEMC

For the New vSAN 7 features click here

Some comparisons between vSAN and Nutanix

VMware claims that VSAN can deliver up to 40 000 IOPS with hybrid disks and up to 150 000 with all-flash per ESXi host. I was always a skeptic and in some way still, are on the software-defined solutions. Although I must confess, they do perform much better than I assumed, and most vendors out there do an excellent job on software-defined storage these days. I do still hear complaints about not architecting enough nodes and the storage sometimes suffer.


One thing I read about is that Nutanix Pricing is quite a bit more than a VSAN solution.


I think the templates and backups amongst others are better integrated in VMware vSAN than Nutanix. VMware is in a better space where they use things like EUC, Cloud, and automation amongst others and Nutanix kind of reached a maturity level on software-defined only (only my opinion).  You can see this in their recent 2019 IDC results on July 25th. Nutanix recently lost some ground to VMware so it looks like VMware has a better strategy in 2019 and for now, I will choose vSAN over Nutanix but this differs depending on your unique situation.

More on this will follow in due time.

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