August 26th, 2013 by Josh Linden
VMware Announces Virtual SAN Public Beta
VMware is announcing that it will begin a public beta for Virtual SAN, a new software-defined storage solution that extends the VMware vSphere Hypervisor in order to manage pools of compute and direct-attached storage, in Q3 2013. Virtual SAN clusters' server disks and flash for VM use this so that storage can be centrally managed using app-centric policies for automated storage provisioning. Virtual SAN abstracts heterogeneous storage resources into pools with a distributed architecture that leverages SSDs for caching and HDDs for data persistence. Built into the VMware vSphere kernel, Virtual SAN is managed directly from the vSphere Web Client.
Virtual SAN enables automated provisioning, specifying capacity, performance, and availability via policies associated with individual VMs or virtual disks. Virtual SAN dynamically self-tunes and load balances for each VM and delivers services such as backup, cloning, replication and snapshots as app-centric virtual data services from VMware vSphere.
Customers can start small and scale into new servers as performance and capacity needs grow. Virtual SAN uses distributed RAID and cache mirroring to guard against data loss from disk, server, and network level failures. The solution can also be deployed with VMware Horizon View and VMware vCenter Site Recovery for virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) environments.
VMware vSphere Flash Read Cache and VMware Virsto are two new application-centric data services which have also been announced. Flash Read Cache is a vSphere 5.5 feature that virtualizes server-side flash to provide a high-performance read cache layer. VMware Virsto accelerates external SAN performance without additional hardware as well as offering snapshot and cloning capabilities.
Pricing and Availability
VMware Virtual SAN will be available at no charge via a public beta program in Q3 2013. Pricing will be announced at general availability.