What’s New vSAN 6.5

vSAN 6.5 was announced along with the vSphere 6.5 and it has also come with many enhancements and this post is to run you through the most important of them. vSAN is growing day by day and there are around 5500 customers now and that’s awesome. Well, to begin with, Virtual SAN is now vSAN; although you still see some VMware press releases mentioning Virtual SAN, remember that’s gonna go away soon. Let’s now review those ‘new’ things.

Separate Witness Traffic

In a two node cluster, vSAN 6.5 now has the ability to separate witness network traffic from the network that connects the two physical hosts. This reduces the need to maintain static routes on the hosts. For those who do not know what a Witness is, it is a virtual appliace that is utilized in stretched cluster and two node configuration that acts as a tie-breaker in events like network partition. The Witness virtual appliance stores the metadata such as witness components but now data components such as vmdk files.

Two-Node Direct Connect

Physical hosts in a two node cluster can be now connected using the existing 100Mbps or 1Gbps crossover cables. However, Virtual SAN and vMotion traffic need 10Gbps connections. It is always recommended to have a redundant network connection for the Virtual SAN and vMotion traffic so that performance does not degrade. One possible configuration is show below.

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iSCSI Traget Service

Block storage can be provided to worksloads such as Microsoft Clusters and Physical Servers. The vSAn ISCSI target service provides flexibility and reduces operational costs. Enabling the iSCSI traget service is very simple and can be done with a click. vSAN objects that serve as iSCSI targets are managed with storage policies like any other vm objects. After enabling the service, we can just create targets and LUNs easily.

512e Storage Devices

vSphere 6.5 andn vSAN 6.5 support the use of 512e drives. Due to increasing demands for larger capacities, the storage industry introduced new formats that use 4KB physical sectors, commonly referred as 4K native drives. Some 4K drives include firmware that emulates 512 byte logical sectors while the actual physical sectors are 4K. These devices are known as 512e drives.

I am pretty much excited to try out all the new features and waiting for the GA of vSphere 6.5. Hope you are also waiting for the day.

Thanks for reading!

©Graphic Thanks to VMware Press

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