VMware's New vSAN 6.6 Improves Its Hyper-Converged Infrastructure With Increased Security, Performance

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VMware on Tuesday released its latest vSAN software-defined storage offering, calling it the first to include native hyper-converged infrastructure security.

VMware vSAN 6.6 is also the first version to be optimized for Intel's new Optane 3D XPoint NVMe storage technology, and includes a number of new analytics and site protection features, said Yanbing Li, senior vice president and general manager of the company's storage and availability business unit.

VMware's vSAN is the base on which VMware's hyper-converged infrastructure business is built. The company offers vSAN to server vendors who develop vSAN Ready Nodes for use as hyper-converged infrastructure appliances. vSAN is also at the base of VMware's own VxRail and VxRack hyper-converged appliances.

[Related: 23 Powerful Hyper-Converged Infrastructure Products]

Hyper-converged infrastructure is a hot market, one that is growing like crazy, Li told CRN. "It's one of the fastest-growing parts of the IT business," she said. "And we're happy to be a big part of it, growing faster than the market."

VMware vSAN, when combined with server and networking technology from Cisco, has proven to be a viable alternative to other vendors' hyper-converged infrastructure offerings, said John Woodall, vice president of engineering at Integrated Archive Systems (IAS), a Palo Alto, Calif.-based solution provider and partner to both VMware and Cisco.

"If customers already have vSAN-ready hardware in their data centers, they just need to buy the VMware vSAN licenses," Woodall told CRN. "This gives customers a lot of flexibility."

The new vSAN 6.6 is the first hyper-converged infrastructure offering to feature native encryption of the data, VMware's Li said.

"The encryption is hardware-agnostic," she said. "There's no need to add self-encrypting storage drives. It works on any hardware on our hardware compatibility list. It also allows deduplication and compression of data to be done before the encryption."

Also, vSAN 6.6's encryption has been submitted for FIPS [Federal Information Processing Standard] certification, and the application is currently under review, Li said.

The company addressed continuous operations by enhancing vSAN 6.6 with stretch clusters, which provide high availability across two sites with nested file domain.

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