Essential Guide

Evaluate Weigh the pros and cons of technologies, products and projects you are considering.

VMware VSAN features and realities

VMware VSAN marks the virtualization vendor's step into the storage ring, but is it a sensible move? This guide dives into the pros and cons of VSAN features, and the product's place in the storage landscape.


Implemented with vSphere 5.5, VMware virtual SAN made a splash in the hyper-converged storage space. Not to be confused with the traditional "virtual storage area network," this VSAN is an important part of VMware's larger goal of creating a software-defined data center. Known to many as a virtualization company, VMware's entry into the storage market has generated curiosity and invited comparison to known hyper-converged storage vendors like Nutanix, Scale Computing and SimpliVity.

One of the most talked-about VMware VSAN features is its "hardware-agnostic" approach that allows it to be used on newly purchased hardware or existing systems. While this is a boon in that companies do not have to purchase expensive new gear to go with VSAN, beta testers had some initial issues with compatibility. With EVO:RAIL, hardware vendors can now build systems running VSAN, and everything can be purchased at once. This "one-stop shopping" is appealing to users and to the hardware vendors VMware has partnered with.

So, how does VMware's VSAN measure up? In the links below, you can read about VSAN features and issues and the reception the product received from users. Whether you're considering implementing it in your data center or just trying to see how VMware VSAN features work, this guide should have you well on your way to making your own judgment.

1Entering the storage game-

VMware VSAN in the storage landscape

From the beta stage to general availability, VMware VSAN made waves in the storage space. With a number of successful hyper-convergence vendors in the market, VMware had to take a unique approach to software-defined storage. With EVO:RAIL, VMware has made it clear it's looking to become a big player in the storage game.


VMware virtual SAN seen as a hyper-converged option in beta tests

Early beta testers gave the product high marks for simplicity and flexibility, but wanted to see deduplication and snapshots. Continue Reading


Users react to VMware VSAN

VMware followers shared tips and news on Twitter following the product's general availability release. Continue Reading


VMware virtual SAN shines spotlight on hyper-convergence

VSAN makes the virtualization company a full-fledged storage vendor, although it is not yet a threat to enterprise storage rivals. Continue Reading


EMC discusses ScaleIO, VSAN and ViPR

What's the difference between EMC's ScaleIO, VMware VSAN software and ViPR? That's a question EMC execs get a lot. Continue Reading


EVO:RAIL turns VSAN into a franchise

VMware's EVO:RAIL allows hardware vendors to build hyper-converged appliances running VSAN and other VMware software. Continue Reading


The differences between EVO:RAIL and VSAN

EVO:RAIL may be packaged with VSAN software, but the two aren't one in the same. Learn the pros and cons of each. Continue Reading


Could VSAN fuel SDS adoption?

VMware's VSAN 6 upgrade adds full integration with vSphere – which gives it a big advantage according to analyst Scott Sinclair. Continue Reading

2Overcoming VSAN obstacles-

Implementation and management best practices

Despite the buzz, users acknowledge that VMware VSAN lacks such features as deduplication and thin provisioning, and causes some hardware compatibility issues. You will need to do a bit of digging to decide if VSAN is right for your environment.


VSAN hardware difficult, management easy say early users

VSAN management wasn't an issue for early adopters of the hyper-converged storage products, but getting it to work with repurposed hardware was a challenge. Continue Reading


VMware VSAN comes with extensive requirements

VMware launched VSAN with the vSphere 5.5 Update 1, but there are important requirements to know before you make the switch. Continue Reading


Hardware for a VMware virtual SAN environment

The compatibility of VMware VSANs with hardware is flexible, but there are some requirements. Find out what hardware to use and what to avoid. Continue Reading


Is VSAN right for your environment?

Expert Brien Posey explains which types of environments VMware virtual SAN is most beneficial in and which environments can do without it. Continue Reading


The pros and cons of VMware VSAN

Expert David Davis drills into the benefits of using VSAN and notes some caveats to consider. Continue Reading


How can VSAN performance be improved?

Those experiencing latency in a VMware VSAN environment should take a look at their hardware configuration, according to expert Brien Posey. Continue Reading


VMware CTO talks VSAN developments

In this interview, VMware's Duncan Epping discusses how to use SSD with VSAN and how it can best be implemented into an environment. Continue Reading

3Features and functions-

What sets VMware VSAN apart?

While there are certain considerations to make, there are a number of VMware VSAN features that appeal to users. With more easily scaled storage and resilient security, the benefits make VMware a contender in the hyper-converged space.


VMware launches VSAN 6.1, still without dedupe

Data protection was added in version 6.1, but users will have to wait a bit longer for one of the most noticeably missing features in VMware's VSAN. Continue Reading


What safeguards does VMware VSAN offer?

Administrators using VMware virtual SAN have a new way to pool storage from servers, but how dependable is this latest technology offering? Continue Reading


Maximize ESXi cluster space in VMware VSAN

An administrator wishing to implement the VSAN software-defined storage functionality in vSphere 5.5 can spare a drive for the cause. Continue Reading


Hyper-converged storage users are fans of VSAN

VMware's VSAN beta appeals to customers who like having their storage, compute and hypervisor in one box and supported by one vendor. Continue Reading


VSAN 6 adds better performance, more snapshots

VMware launched an upgraded version of VSAN with vSphere 6. The hyper-converged technology now has support for flash and can scale to 64 nodes per cluster. Continue Reading


How to use VMware's VDPA with VSAN

VMware's Data Protection Advanced feature is the primary method of backing up virtual machines running on VSAN. Continue Reading

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

Please create a username to comment.