This week a new program “VSAN vExpert” was launched for vExpert’s and I was all excited to be a part of the VSAN vexpert community. I was thinking about learning VSAN since a while but due to time constraints I was not able to do so. Launch of this vExpert program provided me an opportunity to finally test my hands on highly talked VSAN.

Lets begin with Introduction of VSAN and we will look into its architecture and will see why it is becoming so popular among administrators these days.

What is VMware VSAN?

VMware Virtual SAN (VSAN) is a hypervisor-converged storage solution for your vSphere environment. It was built to be extremely easy to use and administrator, high performance and expandable.

VMware Virtual SAN is a new software-defined storage tier for VMware vSphere, bringing the benefits of the software defined data center to storage. By clustering server hard disk and solid state drives (HDDs and SSDs), Virtual SAN creates a flash-optimized, highly resilient shared datastore designed for virtual environments.

Why one should chose VSAN?

One of the main benefits of using VSAN is the simplified storage management, while delivering more performance. Using VSAN Administrator’s gets visibility into the storage layer through the virtual layer. It enables both compute and storage to be delivered to the VMs through a common virtualized platform.

VSAN can be setup as either hybrid or all-flash. In the hybrid setup the SSDs act as a cache. In the all-flash setup the SSDs act as both a cache and as data persistence enable overall better performance.

VSAN Architecture

VSAN is embedded in the vSphere kernel and optimized the I/O path to minimize the impact on CPU. Because it sits directly in the I/O data path, the product is able to deliver the highest levels of performance, scalability, and resilience without taxing the CPU with additional overhead.Administrators only need to create policies and assign them to VMs, VSAN automatically takes care of the rest and any changes will be applied by VSAN as well.

Virtual SAN has its own policy based approach to storage management. This management architecture enables administrators to specify storage attributes— such as capacity, performance, and availability—in the form of simple policies on a per-VM basis. These policies, governed by service-level agreements (SLAs), dynamically self-tune and load-balance the system so that each virtual machine has the right level of resources. The system can adapt to ongoing changes in workload conditions to ensure that each virtual machine has the storage resources it needs.


Graphic Thanks to

Virtual SAN distributed architecture leverages enterprise grade SSDs for high-performance read/write caching and HDDs for cost-effective data persistence. Using server-side storage, Virtual SAN delivers unmatched price/performance compared to other Virtual Storage Appliances (VSA) or midrange hybrid arrays in the market today. The Virtual SAN datastore granularly scales up by adding more disks or scales out by adding more hosts, allowing users to configure the system to meet their needs flexibly.

To know more about architecture of VSAN, I would recommend reading this Blog

Thats its for this post. There is a lot to talk about VSAN and we will cover it in our upcoming posts of this series.