VMworld is the time for announcements, and of course for vSAN that is no different. This year we have 3 major announcements and they are the following:
- VMware vSAN 6.7 U1
- VMware vSAN Beta
- VMware Cloud on AWS new features
So let’s look at each of these, first of all, VMware vSAN 6.7 U1. We are adding a bunch of new features, which I am sure you will appreciate. The first one is various VUM Updates, of which I feel the inclusion of Firmware Updates through VUM is the most significant one. For now, this is for the Dell HBA330 only, but soon other controllers will follow. On top of that there now also is support for custom ISO’s. VUM will recognize the vendor type and validate compliance and update accordingly when/if needed.
The other big thing we are adding os the “Cluster Quickstart wizard“. I have shown this at various sessions already, so some of you may be familiar with it. It basically is a single wizard that allows you to select the required services, add the hosts and configure the cluster. This includes the configuration of HA, DRS, vSAN and the network components needed to leverage these services. I recorded a quick demo that actually shows you what this looks like
One of the major features in my opinion that is introduced is UNMAP. Yes, unmap for vSAN. So as of 6.7 U1 we are now capable of unmapping blocks when the Guest OS sends an unmap/trim command. This is great as it will greatly enhance/improve space efficiency. Especially in environments where for instance large files or many files are deleted. You need to enable it, for now, through “rvc”. And you can do this as follows:
/localhost/VSAN-DC/computers/6.7 u1> vsan.unmap_support -e .
When you run the above command you should see the below response.
Unmap support is already disabled
6.7 u1: success
VMs need to be power cycled to apply the unmap setting
Pretty simple right? Does it really require the VM to be power cycled? Yes, it does, as during the power-on the Guest OS actually queries for the unmap capability, there’s no way for VMware to force that query without power cycling the VM unfortunately. So power it off, and power it on if you want to take advantage of unmap immediately.
There are a couple smaller enhancements that I wanted to sum up for those who have been waiting for it:
- UI Option to change the “Object Repair Timer” value cluster-wide. This is the option which determines when vSAN starts repairing an object which has an absent component.
- Mixed MTU support for vSAN Stretched Clusters (different MTU for Witness traffic then vSAN traffic)
- Historical capacity reporting
- VROps dashboards with vSAN stretched cluster awareness
- Additional PowerCLI cmdlets
- Enhanced support experience (Network diagnostic mode, specialized dashboards), you can find the below graphs under Monitor/vSAN/Support
- Additional health checks (storage controllers firmware, unicast network performance test etc)
And last but not least, with vSAN Stretched we have the capability to protect data within a site. As of vSAN 6.7 U1 we also now have the ability to protect data within racks, it is however only available through an RPQ request. So if you need protection within a rack, contact GSS and file an RPQ.
Another announcement was around a vSAN Beta which is coming up. This vSAN Beta will have some great features, three though have been revealed:
- Data Protection (Snapshot based)
- File Services
- Persistent Storage for Containers
I am not going to reveal anything about this, simply to avoid violating the NDA around this. Sign up for the Beta so you can find out more.
And then the last set of announcements was around functionality introduced for vSAN in VMware Cloud on AWS. Here there were two major announcements if you ask me. The first one is the ability to use Elastic Block Storage (EBS volumes) for vSAN. Meaning that in VMware Cloud on AWS you are no longer limited to the storage capacity physically available in the server, no you can now extend your cluster with capacity delivered through EBS. The second one is the availability of vSAN Encryption in VMware Cloud on AWS. This, from a security perspective, will be welcomed by many customers.
That was it, well… almost. This whole week many sessions will reveal various new potential features and futures. I aim to report on those when sitting in on those presentations, or potentially after VMworld.