VSAN for ROBO Changes with VSAN 6.5


Previously I have described why I think VSAN and ROBO use cases are a perfect match (see http://vsanteam.info/why-vsan-and-robo-is-a-perfect-match/) however here are several key changes for VSAN ROBO customers in Virtual SAN 6.5 which I believe make it even more compelling

  • Supporting the use of network crossover cables in 2-node configurations.
  • Extending workload support to physical servers and clustered applications with the introduction of an iSCSI target service.
  • Addition of VSAN Advanced for ROBO SKU (Allowing for Space Efficiency features)
  • VSAN Standard and VSAN Standard for ROBO (Allows All-Flash hardware, without Space Efficiency features)

Let’s focus on the first two initially.

In many cases customers have told me that the cost of a single or multiple 10gb switches at remote sites can be somewhat cost prohibitive. Whilst we have supported 1gb networking in these scenarios, almost all of the servers now days ship with 10gb interfaces and using them has become highly desirable for most customers. In addition, for some customers the network infrastructure onsite is sometimes out of scope or unable to be upgraded during this process. In this case, with VSAN 6.5 we allow customers to use a crossover cable to directly connect the two servers, essentially cutting out the network costs, providing significant savings especially when rolling out many sites.


In addition we now also allow customers to use VSAN as an iSCSI target. The use cases we support are allowing customers to connect clustered servers (SQL etc) or physical servers to use the VSAN storage capacity.


Why I say that this in an interesting addition for VSAN ROBO customers, is there are many many customers who have told me they also have the odd physical server on site which requires some form of redundant storage. By bringing these two features together customers can now remove the need for external storage for these servers, further reducing the cost of infrastructure to support remote office/branch office deployments and additionally reducing the operational overhead of supporting external storage.

The other two changes are purely from a pricing and packaging standpoint where we now allow customers who by VSAN Standard licences (including VSAN for ROBO Standard) to use All-Flash hardware. Many customers wanted the ability and flexibility to purchase Flash technology and didn’t feel they should have to pay a premium. However customers who purchase VSAN Standard are not able to turn on Space Efficiency features such as deduplication, compression and erasure coding.

Lastly, in previous releases VSAN for ROBO was only available as a Standard SKU meaning customers were unable to use the features mentioned above in the ROBO 25 VM pack. This is a great change for customers who are now standardising on VSAN Advanced and particularly All-Flash configurations.

For a further look at what we announced in Virtual SAN 6.5 check here https://blogs.vmware.com/virtualblocks/2016/10/18/vmware-virtual-san-6-5-whats-new/