April 11th, 2017 by Adam Armstrong
VMware Releases vSAN 6.6
Today VMware Inc. announced the first update to vSAN so far this year with version 6.6. The latest release of vSAN is packed full of new advanced enterprise features. According to VMware, these newly announced features are aimed at improving performance, saving costs, and increasing security.
VMware vSAN has been on quite a roll of late highlighted by vSAN's ability to hit over 7,000 customers in a relatively short amount of time. It has also won several editors’ choice awards including our own. We were also able to do a thorough review (with version 6.2) and found that vSAN was the best performing software-based platform, with data reduction, that we had ever tested; not to mention that it was easy to setup and manage. VMware doesn’t want to sit on its laurels while it is in the lead. Instead it is continuing to innovate and advance with today’s update.
New features include:
- Native HCI Encryption: vSAN offers the first native HCI encryption solution for data-at-rest, protecting critical data from unwanted access. vSAN encryption delivers lower costs and greater flexibility by being hardware agnostic and by offering simplified key management. No more requirements to deploy specific self-encrypting drives (SEDs). vSAN encryption is also built for compliance with support for 2-factor authentication (SecurID and CAC) and is the first HCI solution with a DISA-approved STIG.
- Stretched Cluster with Local Site Protection: New enhanced stretched clusters with local site protection provide protection against both site failures and local component failures at 50% lower cost than traditional solutions. With a comprehensive stretched cluster solution, you can extend the cost and simplicity benefits of HCI to your disaster recovery and business continuity needs.
- vSAN Cloud Analytics: With vSAN Cloud Analytics, you can decrease operational costs with pro-active, real-time support notifications and recommendations. The analytics tool can help provide recommendations for optimal performance and deliver custom, real-time alerts through vSAN Health Service with custom actionable insights and remediation recommendations.
- Unicast Networking : vSAN now supports unicast networking to help simplify your initial vSAN setup. You can utilize unicast for vSAN networking and there is no need to setup multicast anymore. This enables vSAN to be deployed in a wider set of on-premise and cloud environments without requiring network changes.
- vSAN Management Pack for vRealize Operations : The new vSAN Management Pack for VMware vRealize Operations Manager provides additional options for monitoring, managing and troubleshooting vSAN along with end-to-end infrastructure solutions. With the vSAN management pack, you can gain insights about the impact of vSAN in your infrastructure quickly, and bring your business greater efficiency in shorter time.
- Always-On Protection with Enhanced Availability: With new always-on protection features, vSAN keeps your applications running and available despite potential hardware challenges. New Degraded Device Handling (DDH) intelligently monitors the health of drives and proactively evacuates data before failures can happen. New smart drive rebuilds and partial rebuilds deliver faster recovery during hardware failures and decrease cluster traffic for greater performance.
- Intelligent Operations and Lifecycle Management: New intelligent operations and lifecycle management capabilities accelerate initial hardware setup, simplify software install, and deliver 1-click controller hardware lifecycle management for a more predictable hardware experience. You can reduce management time up to 80% for common tasks with 1-click automation.
- Up to 50% Higher All-Flash Performance:Optimized data services further extend vSAN’s performance advantage by delivering up to 50% more IOPS per all-flash host versus previous versions of vSAN, enabling over 150K IOPS per host. The increased performance helps accelerate mission critical applications and provides higher consolidation ratios for workloads.
- Support of Next-Generation Workloads: New validated architectures provide a proven path for deploying next-generation applications like Splunk, Big Data, and Citrix XenApp. In addition, vSAN for Photon is now available in Photon Platform 1.1 and a new Docker Volume Driver delivers support for multi-tenancy, policy based management, snapshots and clones.
- Day 1 Support of New Hardware Technologies: Customers can accelerate new hardware adoption with Day 1 support of the latest flash technologies, including solutions like the new Intel 3D XPoint NVMe SSDs. These solutions can deliver up to 250% greater performance for write-intensive applications. In addition, vSAN now offers larger caching drive options, including 1.6TB flash drives, so that customers can take advantage of the latest and larger capacity flash drives.
- Certified File Services and Data Protection Solutions: The VMware Ready for vSAN Program enables customers to extend and complement their vSAN environment with proven, industry-leading data protection and file service solutions from 3rd party partners.