Configuring vSAN iSCSI Targets

VSAN_AcceptedTest…Test…Test…This thing on?

Yes it has been awhile since I actually posted something here, so I thought I would kick out something that I have been recently playing with in my home lab and share some thoughts. That being, the ability in vSAN 6.5 to present physical or virtual guests with an iSCSI target served from a vSAN cluster.

Now some might be thinking to themselves “Isn’t the whole idea of HCI to get AWAY from the concept of provisioning storage on a per LUN basis?” And for those thinking that, you are correct! Sadly, that utopia doesn’t quite exist in the real world. Yet. I still have conversations with customers that still have a few hold out workloads or requirements for a bare metal server or some sort of in-guest iSCSI initiators (shivers) and see these a roadblock or limitation to moving to HCI.

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Notes From the Field – Hybrid or All Flash VSAN?

tier-whatOver the last several months I have been involved in a few customer meetings where the customer has been looking to migrate or move away from a “traditional” storage architecture/array and the subject of Hyper Converged Infrastructure (HCI) seems to come up. Usually the topic covers “one of the big three” in the HCI space, be it Nutanix (XC for us Dell partners), Simplivity, or VMware’s VSAN product.  Recently though I have come across two projects where the customer initial started out looking at VMware VSAN in its Hybrid configuration (SSD for cache/buffer and magnetic disk for capacity) but then switched over to (or at least the conversation) of looking at the All Flash version and its corresponding data reduction technologies in VSAN 6.2 (Deduplication/Compression/Erasure Coding).

For these two scenarios (actual customer scenarios), I was interested in seeing if going All Flash could pretty much be the “standard” deployment model based on VSAN 6.2 enhancements or if cost could be still be a limiting factor. For the pricing models that follow, I used list pricing for both VMware and Dell for the software and hardware. I would not expect one to pay these prices on the street, they were used strictly for a cost comparison.

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VMware VSAN 6.2–Document Collection

tier-whatWith the announcement last month of VMware Virtual SAN 6.2 and the product finally being GA’ed early this week (kinda hard to not to notice if you paid any attention to the Twitters) there are a few documents every VMware/VSAN administrator needs to have a look at. With new features announced around de-duplication, erasure coding, sparse swap files, etc there are new design elements to pay attention to, new licensing levels, and just a better overall understanding of how the new features function and operate in your environment. Each of the documents below well help address those items along with many more. Happy reading!

VMware Virtual SAN 6.2 – What’s New

VMware Virtual SAN 6.2 – Design and Sizing Guide

VMware Virtual SAN 6.2 – Licensing Guide

VMware Virtual SAN 6.2 – Space Efficiency Technologies

The Unofficial Official VCP6-DCV Study Guide

vmworld2015

We are just a few short days away from one of my favorite weeks of the year, VMworld! Well just like a few years back, Josh Coen (blog / twitter) and I have teamed up with our good friends at Veeam Software (website / twitter) to release the latest version of “The Unofficial Official VCP6-DCV Study Guide”. With the short turn around time  Josh and I had to complete the study guide we have our fingers crossed that hard copies of the guide will be available next week (watch Twitter for updates) at the Veeam booth. For those who can’t wait, clink on the cover below to download an electronic copy.

Hope to see you at VMworld and happy Studying!

-Jason

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