I had this question a couple of times already, so I figured I would write a quick post. In short: yes you can put a VAIO Filter in front of vSAN. The question really is, which one would you like to use and why?
First of all, the VAIO Filter needs to be certified to be placed in front of vSAN storage. Just like it needs to be certified for VMFS and NFS. You can go to the VAIO HCL and check this yourself:
- Go to: http://www.vmware.com/resources/compatibility/search.php?deviceCategory=vaio
- Select the Vendor, for instance Infinio
- Then click the product that comes up and open up the version of vSphere you want to use it for, for instance 6.5
- Now it should state something like this : VMFS5, vSAN, VVOL
In this example Infinio supports VVols, vSAN and VMFS. Great! Now the next question is: why? Well that is the bigger question, personally I don’t see a real compelling reason. For traditional storage it makes a lot of sense, as you want to keep IOs local and add cache in a “cheap way” instead of expanding, a potentially close to end of life, storage system. For vSAN that is different. vSAN has a distributed architecture and every node has a flash device that is being used for write caching, and also read caching in a hybrid scenario. If this is a new deployment invest your money in NVMe instead. If you want to repurpose existing hardware and it is not on the vSAN HCL, ask yourself if you should complicate your deployment or not?
I would personally recommend to keep it simple, but than again I can also understand you do not want to let flash resources go to waste if vSAN does not support the devices. If you want to go VAIO, make sure to check the HCL and take the potential risks and operational complexity in to account and weigh that against the cost.