VMware PEX: VMware Introduces VSAN 6, Takes Wrapper Off VVOLs

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Alberto Farronato
Alberto Farronato

VMware Monday expanded its storage capabilities with the release of the latest version of its VMware Virtual SAN software-defined storage technology and the long-awaited release of its VMware vSphere Virtual Volumes technology for adding native virtual machine awareness to third-party storage systems.

The news was unveiled at this week's VMware Partner Exchange, or VMware PEX, and headlines what is expected to be a wide range of storage releases for VMware-centric virtualized environments.

The introduction of VMware Virtual SAN, commonly known as VSAN 6, and VMware vSphere Virtual Volumes, or VVOLs, are important releases that let VMware take a big leap forward in its storage road map, said Alberto Farronato, director of product marketing at VMware, Palo Alto, Calif.

[Related: EMC Combines VCE, VSPEX Into New $1B-plus Converged Infrastructure Business]

The big emphasis on storage technology should not be viewed as competing with EMC, which is VMware's parent company and the IT industry's top storage vendor, Farronato told CRN.

"We look at this from the EMC Federation viewpoint," he said. "It's not an us vs. them thing. The key here is, VVOLS is centered on the data center ecosystem, and not on EMC. Storage in the data center comes in many forms. The EMC Federation is in position to capitalize on the opportunities."

New from VMware this week is VMware VSAN 6, the latest version of VSAN that provides a simple hyper-converged storage solution for virtual machines that runs on any x86-based server hardware, Farronato said.

VSAN already has more than 1,000 paying customers in the nine months since it was released. "With the new capabilities, we will be able to expand the technology into new areas including business-critical applications," he said. "Customers and partners have asked why we are so conservative."

New with VSAN 6 is an all-flash storage architecture that allows customers to use flash storage including SSDs separately as cache and as primary persistent storage, Farronato said.

"It provides a 100 percent write cache buffer as the first tier, along with flash capacity at the second tier," he said. "Ideally, it can be deployed with expensive SSDs for caching and less expensive SSDs for capacity."

The scalability of VSAN has been doubled with version 6 to a maximum of 64 nodes, with each host able to run up to 200 virtual machines, Farronato said.

NEXT: Channel Take On VSAN 6's Improved Performance And Scalability

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