In my many conversations with customers I hear the same feedback over and over:
- Customers spend too much money on ROBO solutions.
- Customers do not have infrastructure staff on site
- Customers don’t run enough compute to justify large amounts of infrastructure
- Customers typical scale storage capacity on site, rather than compute and performance.
In VSAN 6.1 we are removing the requirement for 3 physical VSAN Nodes. By placing the witness VM offsite in the customers central datacenter or even vCloud Air this will allow the customer to deploy only 2 physical nodes on site.
Removing the 3 physical nodes requirement provides a lower cost option, yet still allows remote management from a remote vCenter.
Some of the benefits I can see with this model for such use cases are:
- Capex and Opex reduction per site
- Granularly scalable for capacity, compute or performance in the same model.
- Automated failover on site.
- Single upgrade/maintenance procedure
- Single support call
- Single architecture for Datacenter and Remote Sites (inc 3+ Nodes for larger sites)
- Integration with DR, Backup, Cloud and Management framework.
Apart from the physical design the VSAN ROBO licensing now provides for a per-vm model (purchased in 25 VM pack). This per-vm model allows for customer running fewer than 25 VM’s per site and is generally a more cost effective way of achieving licensing nirvana vs the per-cpu model in smaller sites. The beauty of the per-vm model is that a customer can break up the 25 vM pack amongst many sites. Many customers have 5-10 VM’s per site, which means potentially a single pack could stretch across 5 (or even more) sites. Note you cannot use more than 25 VM’s per site in this model. If you have more than 25 VM’s per site then per-cpu will be more cost effective anyway.
To get started you’ll need:
- 2 low cost economy Ready Nodes (2 or 4 Series might be ideal, can be a very low cost option)
- VSAN + vSphere ROBO SKU (25 VM pack) split across sites if required.
- Witness VM deployed in DC. (One required per site)
- vCenter in the main Datacenter or in the remote site if required.
Here is a look at the HP Ready Node HY-2 (Hybrid). You can check out the others from other vendors http://www.vmware.com/resources/compatibility/search.php?deviceCategory=vsan
Other optional add-ons
- vDPA and VSAN Replication (5 min RPO) included
- DR or Backup could be to a separate VSAN Cluster in the DC (avoid prod infra for DR)
- vCloud Air DRaaS
- vRealize Operations Management Pack for Storage Devices (Manage VSAN with vROPS)
I think this is a breakthrough for many customers looking for a robust, low cost, model for their remote sites. It changes the economics for a customer for their remote sites. The cost savings also grow linearly across all sites as they are deployed which for many customers can lead to $100,000’s in Capex savings. The additional benefits of using VSAN such as simplified configuration, lower operational overhead and a scalable architecture all start to come into play now as well which is only the icing on the cake for many customers.