Adam_a

VMware Virtual SAN Review

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Part one of a multi-part review on VMWare VSAN.

VSAN is managed through the vSphere Web Client, like other VMware solutions. It is built into the hypervisor, meaning that there is no new software that needs to be downloaded and installed, outside of the lightweight VSAN plugin. VSAN can be deployed in a number of ways, including low cost, industry standard x86 components that can radically lower the initial cost of deployment. Alternatively, users have the option of buying a ready-node from a vendor such as Dell or HP that come ready to go out of the box, reducing complexity.

VMware Virtual SAN Review: Overview and Configuration

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VMmark is ready to go.. planning on tomorrow for that. SQL Server and MySQL would be after that.

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VMmark is ready to go.. planning on tomorrow for that. SQL Server and MySQL would be after that.

Terrific, I'll look forward to that. I don't suppose there is any change you can present anything on VSA versus Nutanix?

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VSAN and Nutanix are different but play to similar use cases. I'm not sure many people are legitimately cross-shopping them in large numbers. There's some competing data in regards to that notion however.

We're working with Nutanix though to get in Haswell gear after working through some testing logistics on the 8150's.

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Good point about cross shopping. vSAN will probably gain a much high market penetration since it's bundled with ESXi and it's likely only a matter of a few more years before VMware is throwing it in for free. But, if Nutanix is providing better performance, it would be good to clearly understand the use case for each.

Thanks for what you all are doing, it's great coverage you provide.

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There's a ton going on in this space, Maxta, Simplivity, etc all trying to carve out their spots. Nutanix and VSAN are the clear leaders though by market share and ease of consumption.

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Part 2 of our multi-part review of VMware VSAN

VMmark by its very design is a highly resource intensive benchmark, with a broad mix of VM-based application workloads stressing storage, network and compute activity. When it comes to testing VSAN, there is almost no better benchmark for it, since VMmark looks at so many facets, covering storage I/O, CPU, and even network performance in VMware environments. VSAN deployments also gain the benefits of hyper-converged, with compute and storage bundled together in the same cluster.

VMware Virtual SAN Review: VMmark Performance

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I am confused -- you state that 96 drive slots are used (80+16), but the Dell has just 24.. is that 8+16? Also should the capacity be cut down as well, or were JBODs used? I'm trying to contrast this with Howard Marks article on EVO:Rail.

Thanks

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The VSAN cluster is made up from 4 hosts total (so 24 bays x 4 = 96 drives total)

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Rail is of course a somewhat related but entirely different beast.

What sort of deployment are you considering it for?

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Part 3 of our multi-part review of VMware VSAN

Each Sysbench VM is configured with three vDisks, one for boot (~92GB), one with the pre-built database (~447GB) and the third for the database that we will test (400GB). From a system resource perspective, we configured each VM with 16 vCPUs, 64GB of DRAM and leveraged the LSI Logic SAS SCSI controller. It should be stressed that this configuration wasn't designed to completely saturate all resources in our VSAN cluster and in fact it left many resources left over. Under full load with the benchmark running, we saw Sysbench VMs consume between 7,200 and 7,900MHz, with total host resources indicating about 10,000MHz utilized. That left over plenty of additional CPU headroom, as well as some storage I/O headroom for additional activites. Further, we had only consumed roughly 3.5TB of the 86.46TB total VSAN storage capacity in our configuration. In later performance anaylsis sections we will go into greater detail covering multi-workload tests as well as scaled sysbench VM testing.

VMware Virtual SAN Review: Sysbench OLTP Performance

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Part 4 of our multi-part review of VMware VSAN

VSAN does a pretty good job quickly caching the VM into flash at the onset of the benchmark. This particular benchmark is very latency sensitive once it is running in steady-state, meaning while bandwidth is important, application performance relies on responsive storage. From a capacity perspective, this test operating across all four nodes consumed a little over 2.3TB out of the 86.46TB available on the cluster, meaning the data resides almost entirely in flash. In an upcoming performance analysis section we will go into additional detail with scaled benchmarks and multi-workload tests drawing from additional resources on the VSAN cluster.

VMware Virtual SAN Review: SQL Server Performance

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Part 5 of our multi-part review of VMware VSAN

Knowing where the breaking points of your platform are is very important. The workloads deployed initially will usually grow as time goes on, both in number of VMs and in storage capacity. Every storage platform has a choke point (even all-flash arrays), which leads us into how this four-node VSAN cluster stacks up.

VMware Virtual SAN Review: Scaled Sysbench OLTP Performance

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I know I am a little late to the party, but I just found this review today. It is very well written, thank you!

I do have a question about your dollar figures. I have tried to configure a Dell R730xd with the same hardware as you have laid out in this review. I cannot get a server configured anywhere near what you have spec'd for $26,500. The cost alone for 20 1.2TB 10K RPM SAS 6Gbps and 4 800GB Solid State Drive SAS Mix Use MLC 12Gbps drives is over $34,000.

Am I missing something?

Thanks again for a great article!

Chance Ellis

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You may do better to call in. Our prices are quoted off the invoice. If you're spending this much or more with Dell there's wiggle room.

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