January 29th, 2019 by Adam Armstrong
VMware Introduces Elastic vSAN
VMware has introduced its next generation of storage in its VMware Cloud on AWS, Elastic vSAN. This new version combines VMware vSAN with Amazon's Elastic block storage. This will give users flexibility along with new scale and size for ever expanding workloads.
In October of 2016, VMware introduce VMware Cloud on AWS. At the time we stated, VMware Cloud on AWS is powered by VMware Cloud Foundation, a unified SDDC platform that integrates VMware vSphere, VMware Virtual SAN and NSX virtualization technologies, and will provide access to the full range of AWS services, together with the functionality, elasticity, and security customers have come to expect from the AWS Cloud. Customers can purchase services through their existing VMware commercial agreement and use their existing VMware software investments to secure additional loyalty discounts for their VMware Cloud on AWS hybrid environment.
While the above has worked well for many since its inception, there are a few issues. Namely, the world is moving to Petabyte-scale and the issues of spinning up massive amounts of storage. VMware Cloud on AWS is based on the I3.Metal EC2 instance. Users can only hit so much capacity with I3 instances and can't just have AWS spin up more. Staying under the AWS umbrella, VMware was able to find a solution with Amazons Elastic Block Store (EBS). EBS is connected to EC2 programmatically making it an ideal building block or vSAN Storage.
Through EBS and VMware Cloud on AWS, VMware has created Elastic vSAN. According to the company this is created by using a new diskless host type that enables customers to specify at cluster creation how much storage they require on a per-host basis. TheVMware Cloud on AWS Service will then dynamically build the hosts from the component services inside AWS. Users can deploy fewer total hosts, thus reducing costs.