VMware Virtual SAN Enterprise for Desktop (v. 6) - license

Mfg. Part: ST6-EN-D10-F-L1 | CDW Part: 4125151 | UNSPSC: 43232907
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  • (v. 6)
  • license
  • 10 CCU
  • federal
  • TPP
  • level 1 (50-599)
  • U.S. Federal only
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Product Overview
Main Features
  • (v. 6)
  • license
  • 10 CCU
  • federal
  • TPP
  • level 1 (50-599)
  • U.S. Federal only
VMware Virtual SAN is radically simple, enterprise-class storage for VMware hyper-converged software solutions. Uniquely embedded in the hypervisor, Virtual SAN delivers flash-optimized, high-performance storage for hyper-converged infrastructure.

Technical Specifications
Specifications are provided by the manufacturer. Refer to the manufacturer for an explanation of the print speed and other ratings.
Category: Utilities
Installation Type: Locally installed
Subcategory: Utilities - storage virtualization

Brand: VMware
Compatibility: PC
Manufacturer: VMware GSA
Model: Enterprise for Desktop
Packaged Quantity: 1
Product Line: VMware Virtual SAN

License Pricing: Federal government , Volume
Licensing Details: U.S. Federal only
Pricing Level: Level 1
Pricing Range: 50-599

License Category: License
License Qty: 10 CCU
License Type: License
Licensing Program: VMware Transactional Purchasing Program (TPP)
Version: 6

Product Reviews
VMware Virtual SAN Enterprise for Desktop (v. 6) - license is rated 4.0 out of 5 by 23.
Rated 4 out of 5 by from There is no need to manage separate storage areas in SAN/NAS environments. Storage management comes built-in. Valuable Features:The most important feature for us is the converged infrastructure, which is all this tool is about. There is no need to manage separate storage areas in SAN/NAS environments. Storage management comes built-in with the vSAN tool. Storage is managed via policies. Define a policy and apply it to the datastore/virtual machine and the software-defined storage does the rest. These are valuable features.Scalability and future upgrades are a piece of cake. If you want more IOPS, then add disk groups and/or nodes on the fly. If you want to upgrade the hardware, then add new servers and retire the old ones. No service breaks at all.The feature that we have not yet implemented but are looking at, is the ability to extend the cluster to our other site in order to handle DR situations.Improvements to My Organization:Provisioning virtual machines has been simplified, as there is no provisioning/management of the separate storage layer and it is no more in question.Room for Improvement:The management client, i.e., the Flash-based client, is just not up to the mark. I’m really waiting for the HTML5 client to be fully ready and all the features are implemented to it. This, of course, is not a vSAN issue but a vSphere issue.Use of Solution:I have used this solution for around a year.Stability Issues:Stability has not been an issue for us. We have not run into any serious software faults. VMware ESXi is a mature product with very few problems and today, vSAN is also getting there.Scalability Issues:The scalability of the product is way beyond our needs.Technical Support:L1 technical support, which I have mostly been dealing with, has been pretty solid, especially the guys in Ireland, who do handle it pretty well, both technically and in reference to the customer service aspect.Previous Solutions:We did not have any comparable solution previously. We did previously use traditional SAN / NAS environments from where the storage areas were provisioned for the VMware clusters.Initial Setup:The initial setup was quite straightforward. All in all, it took three days to complete the entire process; that included installation of the hardware itself, installation of ESXi onto the hardware, creating the data center and the cluster, configuring the networks and multicasting on the surrounding network infrastructure, defining all the disk groups and networks at the cluster, and finally turning the vSAN on. vSAN was the simplest part of the whole process.Cost and Licensing Advice:As VMware products are licensed per number of sockets, you need to think this fully through. However, don’t go cheap on the number of hosts. You’ll thank me later.Other Solutions Considered:We got presentations both from SimpliVity and Nutanix. No serious evaluation of other products was made. We did evaluate vSAN a couple months before the purchase, so as to get familiar with it, and we do have a lab environment now to play with.In hindsight, we could have carried out a more-thorough evaluation of vSAN to get a really good feel about it; maybe even run a part of your actual production there for an extended period of time to see all the pros and cons.Other Advice:Study the VMware Hardware Compatibility List (HCL) carefully with your server hardware provider and make sure all the components/firmware versions are on the HCL; either that or buy predefined hardware, a.k.a. vSAN-ready nodes, from a certified vendor. Always make sure that the hardware and firmware levels are on par with the HCL. You may have to upgrade; for example, you may need to upgrade the disk controller firmware when the updates to ESXi are installed. VMware does a pretty good job here and vCenter tells you that there are inconsistencies. However, you should still be prepared for that in advance, before actually installing the updates.Don’t go with the minimum number of (storage) nodes, as that won’t give you enough room for a hardware failure during a scheduled maintenance break. For a minimum setup, without advanced options in vSAN 6.5 such as deduplication, compression and when Failures to Tolerate (FTT) = 1, the required number of nodes is three. VMware recommends in best practices a minimum number of four nodes. Do yourself a favour and go with at least that or even five would be good.When disk groups are designed, it is always better to have more smaller disk groups than a few larger disk groups. This increases your availability, decreases time to heal from disk troubles and gives you an improved performance, as there are more cache devices.If your budget allows it, then go with the all-flash storage. If not, go with even more disk groups. Our cluster has pretty good performance; although we have spinning disks, the read latency usually stays below 1ms and write latency stays below 2ms.Plan your network infrastructure carefully, especially that part which handles the vSAN traffic. Go with separate 10G switches and dual interfaces for each server just for vSAN. Handle the virtual machine traffic, migration traffic and management traffic elsewhere. Go with 10G or faster, if you need that. Don’t use 1G for vSAN traffic, unless your environment is really small or is a lab.Plan your backup / restore strategy really well and test it through. Test restore periodically for both full virtual machines and single files inside virtual machines. To carry out test restore is always important, but with vSAN it is even more so, as all your eggs are in the same basket and there are no more traditional .vmdk files that you can fiddle with. A separate test / lab vSAN cluster would be really good to test various things such as installing updates, restoring backups etc.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2017-03-13
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Policies can be applied per virtual disk instead of applied on an entire volume. Valuable Features:I like this solution because policies (such as resiliency) are applied per virtual disk instead of applied on an entire volume.In a standard SAN solution, and in almost all software-defined storage solutions, the resiliency is applied to an entire volume. For example, you create a volume (or LUN) and you choose RAID 1, RAID 5, RAID 10 and so on. With vSAN, the notion of volume that we know with SAN doesn’t exist. Instead we have VVOL. Thanks to this, we can apply specific settings like the resiliency per virtual disk. It is more flexible because we don’t need to dedicate an entire volume for a specific resiliency.Improvements to My Organization:I’m a consultant, so I don’t have vSAN in my organization. But customers take this solution to increase efficiency, scalability and ease of management.Room for Improvement:Currently, vSAN supports stretched cluster. You need to have the exact same number of nodes in each room and only the RAID 1 resiliency is supported. I hope in the future that vSAN supports also the RAID 5 and RAID 6 resiliency mode for stretched cluster.Use of Solution:I have been working with this solution for seven months.Stability Issues:Some customers report that resync doesn’t work very well.Scalability Issues:We have not had scalability issues.Technical Support:I rate technical support 3.5/5.Previous Solutions:As a consultant, I use different solutions, such as Microsoft Storage Spaces Direct, and Nutanix.Initial Setup:The initial setup is straightforward because a wizard helps you to enable vSAN.Cost and Licensing Advice:The license price is too expensive compared to other market actors.Other Solutions Considered:I will evaluate alternatives depending on customer’s needs, but I compare it with Microsoft Storage Spaces Direct and Nutanix.Other Advice:Be careful about the chosen hardware, especially HBA, storage devices and CPU depending on deduplication or not.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2017-03-12
Rated 4 out of 5 by from We can set up storage policies and assign them at the disk level. Valuable Features:I find that vSAN allows for very easy administration. The fact that you don't have LUNs to set up and assign is great. The ability to set up storage policies and assign them at the disk level is also a great part of this product. You can allow for different setups for different workload requirements.Improvements to My Organization:vSAN allowed for the expansion of our Public Library Patron computer environment into a three-node VMware cluster using commodity servers. This eliminated the need for expensive disk arrays and controllers while providing greater reliability and performance.Use of Solution:We have been using vSAN in one environment for about eight months and another environment for about four months.Deployment Issues:The only issue I encountered during deployment was with the hardware and not with vSAN itself. The disks in the new servers were installed at the factory as RAID disks. I had to mark them as non-RAID disks, so that vSAN would be able to see them correctly for addition to disk groups.Stability Issues:We have had no issues with stability.Technical Support:Fortunately, I have not had to contact support for any issues with my implementations.Previous Solutions:We have a Nutanix environment running in production as well. We chose VMware vSAN for several reasons. First, the vSAN solution is part of the ESXi kernel. This allows for the product to be very fast with little overhead. Secondly, vSAN is included in the Enterprise Plus version of ESXi which, compared to competing products, provides a great cost savings.Initial Setup:The initial setup was straightforward, as was learning the vSAN environment. The complexity comes in setting up and managing the storage policies. These can be simple or complex depending on the environment. When using VMware Horizon View, there are several storage policies that are auto-created and -managed. Creating and managing your own policies and rule sets depend on your needs and workloads.ROI:VMware vSAN is included in the Enterprise Plus level of software that we purchase. Our cost savings is in buying commodity server hardware with local hard drives instead of investing in large SAN hardware.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2017-03-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from We are a service provider and we build IaaS clusters on top of it. Valuable Features:In our model, the price of vSAN storage space is a bit lower than SATA-based storage space from other storages, and vSAN usually has better characteristics (IOPS + latency).We can easily scale up our vSAN cluster horizontally. All we need is to buy the same hardware nodes and put them in racks.vSAN has better integration with virtualization than any other datastore.Stretched All Flash vSAN is the leading product to build a disaster recovery solution. We have a plan to build it in near future.Improvements to My Organization:It’s simple: We are service provider and if a solution can give us new opportunities, it is a good solution. We can build economically effective IaaS clusters on top of vSAN.Room for Improvement:vSAN is very complex inside. For example, you need to have a plan for any emergency situation, beginning from the PoC stage; how you monitor SSD and HDD; how you change them. It looks simple, but you cannot just remove a broken component and an install new one. Under the vSAN layer, you need many accurate steps to make these simple actions.And when you operate a big environment, you need to have more tools to control the health of the solution, to troubleshoot issues and so on. VMware has improved this side from 5.5 to 6.5, and there’s still room for it.vSAN is not a hardware-agnostic product. We would like to have more compatible SAS controllers and other components in the market. There is room for improvement for both hardware vendors and for VMware.On the other hand, vSAN is a production-ready solution and all these possible improvements are cosmetic issues.Use of Solution:We have used it from the vSAN 5.5 release date, more than two years.We use VMware vSAN 5.5 with the latest updates in our products.The first product is a B2B sector solution, CloudLine, and we sell space on vSAN as one of the storage tiers.The second one is our B2C solution, CloudLite.ru. It looks like Digital Ocean – we sell IaaS to retail customers in the mass market.We have plans to build new clusters using vSAN 6.5.Stability Issues:We have encountered stability issues. We had run many tests with vSAN before production. To avoid any issues with vSAN stability, one needs HCL hardware and compatible BIOS drivers for each of the components. The crucial part is that you need HBA without RAID and with disk pass-through, which is important. Finally, you need strong network expertise and a solid network.Scalability Issues:We have not encountered any scalability issues; you can scale vSAN horizontally without any issues. But you need to start from 5 (!) nodes; not 3 or 4. It’s a long story – why? :)Technical Support:Rating technical support is not a simple question. VMware has great technical experts at level 2 and 3, and they are always available if you have severity 1 issue. Technical support is not so good for minor issues.Previous Solutions:Previously we use traditional datastores - NetApp, EMC, IBM. And we continue to use it.Initial Setup:Initially, you need to have enough expertise. You need to read some popular bloggers and select hardware from “recommended nodes”. And then you can start a PoC.Cost and Licensing Advice:We are part of the VMware vCAN program, so our licensing is different from the retail model and it’s comfortable for us.Other Solutions Considered:We keep an eye on all solutions that come to the market. We have tested SimpliVity and Nutanix. We use MS Storage Spaces in our production. All these products have their pros and cons.Other Advice:You need to use it for the reason of economical efficiency. It’s one of VMware’s great products.vSAN is a great product, and we see improvement from 5.5 to 6 and 6.5.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2017-03-02
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Uses the same servers the hypervisor uses. Valuable Features:* Converged solution for shared storageWhen configuring a HA vSphere cluster, you need shared storage. Traditionally, one would need a SAN or NAS to provide this kind of HA. Using vSAN, you can use the same servers as the hypervisor uses for the vSAN storage. No SAN or NAS is needed and much less hardware is needed to provide the same HA solution.Improvements to My Organization:* No need for additional storage* Hypervisor can provide storage as well* Integration in a virtualization stackRoom for Improvement:I would like to see improvement in monitoring and performance statistics. When installing the product, it has limited statistics. The default vCenter statistics are available, but deep IOPS/latency and block sizing is absent. You can connect vRealize Operations to vSAN, giving much more information, but this is not available by default.Use of Solution:We have been using this solution for two years.Stability Issues:I did not encounter any issues with stability.Scalability Issues:I did not encounter any issues with scalability. I suggest starting with a four-node cluster.Technical Support:I would give technical support a rating of 7/10.Previous Solutions:We use this solution along with another solution, so there was no hard switch.Initial Setup:It is easy for a VMware administrator to install.Cost and Licensing Advice:We use it in a cloud-provider model based on usage. The end user pricing is not known.Other Advice:Start with a four-node cluster.Disclaimer: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer:Cloud Provider (customer using product in a usage model: vCAN)
Date published: 2017-02-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from It adapts to workloads with specific storage policies for virtual machines. Valuable Features:Centered on the VMs, it provides simple and centralized management from a single console. VMware vSAN is focused on the virtual machine and not on a datastore or mon. This allows it to adapt to the workload faster with specific storage policies for virtual machines, without needing to change the storage as in a traditional environment.Improvements to My Organization:Having a single data store for virtual machines, the production of IT administrators has improved because they do not need to work with many LUNs and storage.Room for Improvement:The web console, VMware vSphere Web Client, is not based on HTML5, which makes it difficult to manage. It slows down and page refresh is not fast; time is wasted. I know that vSphere 6.5 is already based on HTML5.Use of Solution:I have used it for one year.Stability Issues:I did not encounter any stability issues, as long as it complies with the compatibility matrix.Scalability Issues:I have not encountered any scalability issues; very easy to scale.Technical Support:I have not encountered any problems; no calls to support, but support is very good.Previous Solutions:We previously used a traditional environment. We switched because the hyperconverged systems is very easy to deploy, it can scale and provides performance.Initial Setup:If you do not know about this technology, you cannot put it into production easily, but I know about vSAN, so it was very easy to deploy a vSAN environment.Cost and Licensing Advice:It's a bit pricey. Indeed, there is hardly any price difference with a traditional setting, but it makes that up with the management and ease of use.Other Solutions Considered:Before choosing this product, we also evaluated HPE VSA, Nutanix, and DataCore.Other Advice:Both vSAN and Nutanix give very good performance, but the support when the infrastructure works with VMware is a simple support; with Nutanix, you have two support vendors if the hypervisor is VMware. Nutanix has a proprietary hypervisor based on KVM.Disclaimer: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer:We have a partnership with VMware.
Date published: 2017-02-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from You can populate an empty HDD slot on the host with a disk and the tool adds the additional storage. Valuable Features:The most valuable vSAN features are:* Ability to scale easy: Adding additional storage is so easy. You just populate an empty HDD slot on the host with a disk and vSAN will automatically add the additional storage to the storage pool. No specialized skills are required.* Performance and cost/storage efficiency: With vSAN, you get SSD-like performance with a mix of spinning and solid-state disks at a fraction of the cost. We use a ratio of 30/70 SSDs to spinning disks, respectively, for a high-performance SAN that is within our budget.* Resilience: We tried to break our vSAN PoC instance to test its robustness. We pulled out hard drives while they were being written to and we unplugged server nodes, and we never lost a VM.* Ease of use: We set up vSAN with a few mouse clicks in vCenter. We couldn’t believe how simple it was to setup and configure.Improvements to My Organization:We are able to deploy vSAN clusters to remote locations very easily at a fraction of the cost. This saves us time and money. We don’t have to worry about stability issues.Room for Improvement:Support for iSCSI access would be great, but this may be supported in the latest versions of vSAN.Use of Solution:We have been using this solution for two years.Stability Issues:In terms of stability, vSAN is very resilient, self-adapting, and self-healing. In the two years that I’ve worked with vSAN, I haven’t experienced any vSAN stability issues.Scalability Issues:There haven't been any issues with scalability. Adding additional storage was as simple as inserting a hard drive into a hard drive bay or adding an additional server node to the data center cluster. That was all we had to do, and vSAN auto-configured everything.Technical Support:We had a VMware vSAN engineer present to set up our very first vSAN cluster. There was nothing to it, but it was great to have an expert on-site for questions and to provide us with training. Other than that, we have never had to log a support request with VMware for vSAN.Previous Solutions:We didn’t use a virtual SAN solution previously. We just used traditional, and very expensive, SAN storage arrays. We moved to vSAN because our budget wasn’t getting any bigger, but our storage requirements were increasing.Initial Setup:The setup was straightforward. It literally took a few mouse clicks to setup vSAN.Cost and Licensing Advice:You get better value for your money with a vSAN solution than with a traditional SAN with lower TCO.Other Solutions Considered:We looked briefly at alternatives, but nothing stood out like vSAN. Nutanix was another solution, but surprisingly, it would have costed us more.Other Advice:Get a vSAN specialist to come out and spec your vSAN cluster according to your requirements. Have him configure it and test that it is performing properly.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2017-01-31
Rated 4 out of 5 by from I'm able to manage it easily from the web client as it's fully integrated in the VMware stack. As an improvement, I'm looking forward to VSAN Observer being transitioned into the web client. Valuable Features:The most valuable features of VSAN are consistent and increased performance with a linear cost which helped us in our data center.Using VSAN Observer, we were able to see exactly what the VSAN environment is doing on a day to day basis, so we've gotten to really enjoy that interface.Improvements to My Organization:The benefits that we're seeing are directly related to our customers. They have better experiences using their EMR and practice management systems.The manageability is better, it's definitely fully integrated into the VMware stack so it's very easy to use from the web client.Room for Improvement:The features I am most looking forward to are the performance monitoring capabilities of VSAN Observer being transitioned into the web client. That's what I'm really looking forward to.UPDATE: Capacity and performance monitoring is now available in the web client and works well in 6.2. I am looking forward to DARE(data at rest encryption) in the next version.Use of Solution:We have used vSAN for approximately a two years.Deployment Issues:We had one issue with deployment, which was related to using the legacy vsphere client to place the hosts into maintenance mode. Which is easily resolved by using the web client for maintenance.Stability Issues:The stability exceeds what we're currently on from a standard SAN platform.Scalability Issues:The scalability is much greater than the current SAN that we're on because we're technically locked in to a certain number of discs and a certain number of performance and so the scalability is drastically improved. We currently have a four node cluster and we're going to be just incrementally moving off of our legacy SAN.UPDATE: We expanded our cluster to five vsan nodes however we are now in process of retrofitting four legacy hosts for a total of nine vsan nodes.Technical Support:Technical support was very responsive, the technical support staff was. Specifically patching hosts, we inadvertently caused VSANdata evacuations during the middle of the day. Whereas, if you were to do a maintenance mode with non-evacuation, that wouldn't happen but they were able to get to the root cause and provide us an answer on why that happened.Previous Solutions:We made the jump to VSAN primarily due to cost renewals going up year over year on traditional platforms. The software and hardware costs that we see now is just linear, we know what it's going to be.We actually have been with VMware for quite a while so we made the choice to use VSAN because of that partnership that we have had over the years. We're fully focused in VMware and we love the product. That's why we chose VSAN.Initial Setup:I wasn't familiar at all with VSAN at the time, so there was a little learning curve there but outside of that it would be comparable to setting up a legacy SAN environment.Cost and Licensing Advice:We actually, just by incrementally increasing the cost of our servers, plus the licensing, we were able to linearly scale our environment as opposed to doing forklift upgrades.Other Solutions Considered:We evaluated other all-flash arrays and hyper converged infrastructure.Other Advice:Everybody wants to say 10 and I would say it's going to be a 10. I love VSAN and I would say it's probably an 8 and there's room for improvement. It's constantly being worked on and I think it's going to be the storage platform going forward.Colleagues looking into VSAN, I would recommend looking into the VSAN Ready Nodes, they're pre-configured and you can customize your build to whatever you want really, without having to build your own necessarily.We aren't currently using the Ready Nodes, but I could see where a Ready Node would be beneficial for deployment. The time to deploy would be improved using a Ready Node.Peer reviews and peer contents are amazing things to be doing. That's part of the reason why we come here. We want to maintain our relevance, industry wide, and so we always constantly bounce ideas off of other peers in the industry.Disclaimer: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
Date published: 2016-10-05
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