I got this question today and I thought I already wrote something on the topic, but as I cannot find anything I figured I would write up something quick. The question was if a disk controller for vSAN should have cache or not? It is a fair question as many disk controllers these days come with 1GB, 2GB or 4GB of cache.
Let it be clear that with vSAN you are required to disable the write cache at all times. The reason for this is simple, vSAN is in control of data consistency and vSAN does not expect a write cache (battery backed or not) in its data path. Make sure to disable it. From a read perspective you can have caching enabled. In some cases we see controllers where people simply set the write cache to 0% and the rest automatically then becomes read cache. This is fully supported, however our tests have shown that there’s little added benefit in terms of performance. Especially as reads come from SSD anyway typically, theoretically there could be a performance gain, but personally I would rather spend my money on flash for vSAN.
My recommendation is fairly straight forward: use a disk controller which is a plain pass through controller without any fancy features. You don’t need RAID on the disk controller with vSAN, you don’t need caching on the disk controller with vSAN, keep it simple, that works best. So if you have the option to dumb it down, go for it.