VMware VSAN features and realities

Last updated:October 2014

Editor's note

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.

1Implementation 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.

2What 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.