New VMware Hybrid Cloud Announcements – Summary

Cover Photo

As you may already know by now, VMware have just announced a number of new product versions along with few changes to their Cloud Management product positioning during the online event that took place on the 10th of Feb 2016 (If you missed the announcements, you can watch the recordings here). The announcements were made for products that fall under 2 tracks (Digital workspace & Cloud Management which effective means EUC &  Datacenter track respectively).

While I’m not going to cover what was discussed under the Digital Enterprise section (mostly EUC focused, around Horizon Suite and Workspace 1), I’m going to summarize some of the key points mentioned under the Hybrid Cloud track below and the related product positioning changes.

Hybrid Cloud related new Product updates – Summary

One Cloud (Hybrid Cloud with private, hosted and public cloud), Any application, Any device seems to be the new mantra going forward and is fully underpinned by VMware’s software Defined Datacentre (SDDC). VMware are seeing the Hybrid Cloud is playing a major part in the interim future in the industry (I know many customers agree too) and they appear to be seeing user owned kit (housed in an on-premise DC or an off premise hosted DC like Equinix) along with various different public cloud platforms all playing a part of a typical customer datacentre going forward. Each public cloud provider is almost seen as a new Silo in the customers new Hybrid Cloud Datacentre and VMware are focusing on providing a unified management platform across all these Silo’s. To be frank, this is not so much news, as their focus and the subsequent messaging has been the same for a while. But their have now added compatibility with almost all key Public cloud platforms (AWS, Azure, Google, IBM SoftLayer) and stressing the “any cloud” message through this announcement.

Here’s the summary of the related new products announced

  • VMware VSAN 6.2 Updates

    • VSAN 6.2 is announced
      • For key 6.2 (new) technical features – Refer to the 2 articles below
        • Duncan Epping’s legendary Yellow-Bricks here
        • Comac Hogan’s blog here
    • VSAN (together with vSphere) is a Hyper-Converged Software Solution (finally…!!)           HCS
    • All flash VSAN is key and most new features are available on all flash VSAN only – also inline with storage industry trends.
    • 2 new VSAN ready node options from Supermicro, Hitachi and Fujitsu (different to legacy VSAN ready nodes) VSAN - Ready Nodes
      • Customers can choose to factory install the VMware hyper-converged software (HCS), namely vSphere and Virtual SAN.
      • Customers can use their existing vSphere and VSAN licenses, or  buy new licenses from the OEM vendor. All OEMs offer the flexibility of perpetual licenses that are node-transferrable, while some OEMs may also offer embedded licenses, which are fundamentally tied to the hardware system
      • Customers can continue to purchase support from VMware, or leverage a single-vendor model by getting support for both hardware and software from their OEM of choice
    • VSAN is also available for VMware Photon – DevOps & CNA friendly                    VSAN for Photon

 

  • vRealize Suite Updates

    • vRA Version 7.0 (announced in December 2015)
      • More cloud endpoint supported: now supports Google, IBM SoftLayer, as well as AWS, Azure & vCloud Air
    • vRealize Business 7.0 announced
    • vROPS remain the same as version 6.2
    • vRealize Log Insight 3.3
  • NSX Updates
    • NSX is the common networking layer across private and public cloud platforms (including AWS & Azure)

 

Product Positioning & Packaging Changes – Summary

Number of VMware Product Suite / Packages have been changed to reflect 3 different use cases VMware trying to address with their product portfolio, going forward. These key use cases are as follows,

  1. Intelligent Operations: Basic, virtualised datacentre use case
  2. Automated to IaaS: Have advanced virtualisation with additional requirements such as some automation and orchestration and IaaS capability
  3. DevOps-Ready: True Hybrid Cloud requirement

Use Cases

And the content of these product suites have also changed. A quick summary of the key changes are explained below.

  • Core Platform – “Naked” vSphere                                               vSphere versions

    • Previous: Standard, Enterprise, Enterprise plus (for both the vSphere and vSOM bundles)
    • New: Standard & Enterprise plus only – No more vSphere Enterprise!
      • For existing vSphere ENT customers, there are 2 choices
        • Upgrade to vSphere ENT+ with 50% discount (available till 25th of June 2016) OR
        • Stay on vSphere ENT till product end of support
    • vCenter list price increased, but now include 25 OSI license for vRealize Log Insight (restricted to do log analysis for vSphere hosts, vCenter & VMware content packs only) in return.
  • vSphere with Operations Management (vSOM)

    • Previous: vSOM Standard, Enterprise & Enterprise plus
    • New: Enterprise plus only – No more vSOM STD or vSOM ENT!
      • For existing vSOM STD & ENT customers, there are 2 choices
        • Upgrade to vSphere ENT+ with 50% discount (available till 25th of June 2016) OR
        • Stay on current till product end of support
  • vRealize Suite (vRS) 7.0

     vrealize-suite-lineup

    • Previous: N/A
    • New: STD, ADV, ENT
      • Standard: vRealize Business for Cloud STD, Log Insight, vROPS Advanced
      • Advanced (with IaaS capabilities): vRealize Business for Cloud STD, Log Insight, vROPS Advanced, vRealize Automation Advanced (now cheaper since vRealize Configurations Manager is now excluded)
      • Enterprise (with DevOps capabilities): vRealize Business for Cloud STD, Log Insight, vROPS Advanced, vRealize Automation Enterprise with Application Automation, vROPS App monitoring. (cheaper now as vROPS ENT  & vCM removed from the suite now)
      • vRS licenses are now portable (between private & public cloud) – Applies to the Suite licenses only (standalone components don’t qualify)
        • On-Premise = per CPU socket
        • Public Cloud (vCloud Air,, AWS, Azure) = 15 OSI’s per license unit (portable license unit = 1 cpu socket license)
        • 3rd party On-Prem (Hyper-V, XenServer, KVM) = 15 OSI’s per license unit (portable license unit = 1 cpu socket license)PLU update
  • vCloud Suite (vCS) 7 – New Packaging & Licensing

    • Previous: version 6.0  in STD, ADV, ENT
    • New: version 7.0 also in STD, ADV, ENT. See comparison below.          vCS Comparison
      • All vCS editions now include vRealize Suite & vSphere ENT+
      • SRM & vCM both now removed from vCS 7 ENT
      • New licensing available from 1st of March (Existing vCloud Suite EOA by 1st of June FY16)
      • (Only) vRS Licenses are portable (between private & public cloud)
  • VSAN

    • Previous Categories (5.5 & 6.x): Standard & Advanced
    • New categories (from version 6.2 onwards): Standard, Advanced, Enterprise   VSAN 6.2 Editions

Additional info regarding packaging changes and price changes can be found on the following links

Re-Cap and My thoughts

  • There appear to be less and less focus on core products such as vSphere and VMware’s focus is somewhat shifting to other management and enablement areas. This makes sense as the hypervisor is increasingly becoming a commodity and the value-add now is in the Cloud Management Software suite that manage the Hypervisor as well as various other Public Cloud platforms.
  • In general, cost of basic vSphere will go up for many customers due to the removal of Enterprise edition and most medium to large corporate and enterprise customers will now be forced to buy ENT+ edition, which also just happened to cost a little more than it did before, at the same time.
  • New products like VSAN & NSX-v however will increase the sticky-ness of the vSphere customers (both needs vSphere) within the customer’s datacentre still so vSphere is not yet fully done with (for the foreseeable future anyway)
  • While all the new VSAN features are really awesome and great, do bear in mind that most of them if not all are going to cost you slightly more as,
    • They are only available with more expensive Enterprise edition of VSAN
    • They are only available for on all flash VSAN’s. Meaning more expensive SSD drives for capacity too so more expensive hardware.
  • All flash VSAN should still be cheaper overall though for the customer compared to having to buy the same servers (without disks) + a separate all flash SAN
  • So all in all, except for VSAN 6.2 announcement, not a whole lot of exciting new features. This is not a major announcement but more of a minor change of product positioning, along with a re-pricing exercise, however I do like the direction VMware is heading with their product portfolio.

 

Note: Slide credit goes to VMware. Note that the NDA on some of these contents have now elapsed (after the general announcement on the 10th of Feb) so I shouldn’t get in to trouble for sharing 🙂

Cheers

Chan

VMware VSAN 2016 Future Annoucements

I’ve just attended the VMware Online Technology Forum (#VMwareOTF) and thought I’d share few really interesting announcements I noticed from there around the future of VSAN in 2016.

Good news, some really great enterprise scale features are being added to VSAN which is aimed for release in Q1 FY16 (along with the next vSphere upgrade release). Really good news… Beta is now live (Apply at http://vmware.com/go/vsan6beta) but unless you have All Flash VSAN hardware, unlikely to qualify.

Given below are the key highlight features likely going to be available with the next release

  • RAID-5 and RAID-6 over the network – Cool….!!

Future-RAID

 

  • Inline De-duplication / Compression along with Checksum capabilities coming

Future-Dedupe

 

 

  • VSAN for Object Storage (read more on Duncan Epping’s page here)

Future-Object Storage

 

  • VSAN for External Storage – Virtual Disks natively presented on external Storage

Future-External

 

Great news. Looks like an already great product is going to get even greater…!!

Slide credits go to VMware & the legendary Duncan Epping (@DuncanYB)…..

Cheers

Chan

 

 

VMware VSAN – Why VSAN (for vSphere)?

I don’t really use my blog for product marketing or as a portal for adverts for random products. Its purely for me to blog about technologies I think are cool, awesome, and why I think they are really worth looking in to. On that note, I’ve always wanted to write a quick blog post about VMware VSAN when the first version of it was released with vSphere 5.5 a while back, because I was really excited about the technology and what it could do as it goes through the typical evolution cycle. But at the same time, I didn’t want to come across as I’m aiding the marketing of a brand new technology that I haven’t seen performing in real life. So I kinda reigned myself in a little from blogging about it as I wanted to sit back and wait to see how well it performs out in the real world and whether the architecturally sound technology would actually live up to its reputation & potential out in the field.

And guess what? It sure has lived up to it….. To be honest, even far better than I thought…. and with the most recent release (version 6.1 with ESX 6.1), its grown in its enterprise capabilities significantly as well. Latest features such as Stretched VSAN cluster (Adios Metro Clusters for vSphere), branch office solution (VSAN ROBO), VSAN replication, SMP FT support, Windows failover clustering support and Oracle RAC support….etc.. (more details here) have truly made it an enterprise storage solution for vSphere. And with the massive uptake of HCI solutions (Hyper-converged Infrastructure) by customers where VSAN is also a key part (think VMware Evo:RAIL) as well as with over 2500 global customer base who’re already using it for production use as their preferred storage solution of choice for vSphere (some of the key ones include Walmart, Air France, BAE, Adobe & a well known, global social media site), its about time I start writing something about it, just to give you my perspective…!!

I will aim to put a series of articles about VSAN, addressing number of different aspects of it over the course of next few weeks beginning with the obvious, below.

Why VSAN?

I’ve been a traditional SAN storage guy out in the field where I’ve worked hands on with key enterprise SAN storage tech from NetApp, EMC, HP….etc. for a long time. I’ve worked with these in all aspects, starting from presales , design, deployment and ongoing support. They are all very good I still like (some of) their tech and they sure do have a definite place in the Datacenter still. But they are a nightmare to size accurately, nightmare to design and implement and even a bigger nightmare to support when in production use, and that’s from a techie’s perspective. From a business / commercials perspective, not only are they expensive to buy upfront and maintain, but they typically come with an inevitable vendor lock-in that keeps you on the hook for 2-5 years where you have to buy substantially overpriced components for simple capacity upgrades. It is also very expensive to support (support costs are typically 17%-30% of the cost of SAN) and can be even more expensive when the originally bought support period runs out because the SAN vendor would typically make the support renewal cost more expensive than buying a new SAN, forcing you down to buy another. I suppose this is how the storage industry has always managed to pay for itself to keep innovating & survive but many customers and even startup SAN vendors are waking up to this trick and have now started to look at alternative offerings with a different commercial setup.

As an experienced storage guy, I can tell you first hand that the value of enterprise SAN storage is NOT really in the tin (disk drives or the blue / orange lights) but in fact in the software that manage those tin elements. Legacy storage vendors make you pay for that intelligence once, when you buy the SAN with its typical controllers (brains) where this software live and then every time you add additional disk shelves through guaranteed over priced shelf upgrades subsequently (ever heard your sales person tell you to estimate  all your storage needs for the next 5 years and buy it all up front with your SAN as its cheaper that way??). SAN vendors have been able to overcharge for subsequent shelf upgrades simply because they have managed to get the disk drive manufacturers to inject some special code (proprietary drivers) on to the disk firmware without which their SAN will not recognise the disks in its system so the customer cannot just go buy a similar disk elsewhere, even if that was the same disk made by the same end manufacturer (vendor lock-in). This overpricing is how the SAN vendor gets the customer to pay for their software intelligence again, every time you add additional capacity. I mean think about it, you’ve already paid for the damn SAN and its software IP when buying the SAN in the first place, so why pay for it again through paying over the odds when adding some more shelves to it (which after all, only contain disk drives with no intelligence) to expand its capacity?

To make it even more worse, the SAN vendor then comes up with a brand new version of the SAN in few years time (typically in the form of new software that cannot run on the current hardware you have, or a brand new SAN hardware platform all together). And your current SAN SW has now been made end of life therefore is not in support anymore (even though its working fine still). Now, you are stuck with an artificially created scenario (by the SAN vendor of course and forced upon you) where you cannot carry on running your existing version without paying a hefty support renewal fee (often artificially bloated by the vendor to be more expensive than a new HW SAN) nor can you simply  upgrade the software on the current hardware platform as the new SW is no longer supported by the vendor on your existing HW platform anymore. And transferring the software license you’ve already bought over to a new set of hardware (new SAN controllers) is strictly NOT allowed either.. (A carefully orchestrated and a very convenient scenario isn’t it for the SAN vendor?). Enters the phrase “SAN upgrade” which is a disruptive, labourous and worst of all an un-necessary expense where you are now indirectly forced by the vendor to pay again for the same software intelligence that you’ve already supposedly paid for, on a different set of hardware (new SAN). This is a really good business model for the SAN vendor and there’s also a whole eco system of organisations that benefit massively from this recurring (arguably never ending) procurement cycle, at the expense of the customer.

I see VMware VSAN as one of the biggest answers to this, for the vSphere shared storage use cases… With VMware VSAN, you have the freedom to choose your hardware including cheaper commodity hardware where you only pay the true cost of the disk drive based on its capacity without having to also pay a surcharge for the software intelligence every time you add a disk drive to your SAN. With VSAN which is licensed per CPU socket instead of per capacity unit (MB/GB/TB) so you pay for the software intelligence once irrespective of the actual capacity, during the initial procurement and that’s it. For every scale up requirement (adding capacity), you can simply just buy the disk drives at their true cost and add it to existing nodes. If you need to scale out (add more nodes), you then pay for the CPU sockets on the additional node(s). That to me sounds a whole lot fairer than the traditional SAN vendors model of charging for software upfront and then charging for it again indirectly during every capacity upgrade & SAN upgrade. Unlike traditional SAN vendors, every time a new version of the (VSAN) software comes out, you upgrade your ESXi version which is totally free of charge (if you have on going support) so you never have to pay for the software intelligence again (even when the ESXi host hardware replacement is required in future, you can reuse the VSAN licensing on the new HW nodes which is something traditional SAN vendors don’t let you do)

Typically, due to all these reasons, a legacy HW SAN would cost around $7 – $10 per GB whereas with VSAN, it tends to be around $1 – $2 mark, based on the data I’ve seen.

A simple example of upfront cost comparison is below. Note that show only shows the difference in upfront cost (CAPEX) and doesn’t take in to account ongoing cost differences which makes it even more appealing, due to the reasons explained above.

1

Enough of commercial & business justification as to why VSAN is better. Lets look at few of the technology & operational benefits.

  • Its flexible
    • VSAN being a software defined storage solution gives the customer the much needed flexibility where you are no longer tied in to a particular SAN vendor.
    • You no longer have to buy expensive EMC or NetApp disk shelves either as you can go procure commodity hardware to design your DC environment as you see fit
  • Its a technically better storage solution for vSphere
    • 4
    • Since VSAN drivers are built in to the ESXi kernel itself (Hypervisor), its directly in the IO path of VM’s which gives it superior performance with sub millisecond latency
    • Also tightly integration with other beloved vSphere features such as VMotion, HA, DRS and SVMotion as well as other VMware Software Defined Datacenter products such as vRealize Automation and vSphere replication.
  • Simple and efficient to manage
    • 2
    • Simple setup (few clicks) and policy based management, all defined within the same single pane of glass used for vSphere management
    • No need for expensive storage admins to manage and maintain a complex 3rd party array
    • If you know vSphere, you pretty much know VSAN already
    • No need to manage “LUNs” anymore – If you are a storage admin, you know what a nightmare this is, including the overhead of the management of the HW fabric too.
  • Large scale out capability
    • Support up to 64 nodes currently (64 node limitation is NOT from VSAN but from underlying vSphere. This will go up with future versions of vSphere)
    • 6,400 VMs / 7M iops / 8.8 petabytes
  • High availability
    • 3
    • Provide 99.999 for availability by default
    • No single point of failure due to its distributed architecture
    • Scaling out (adding nodes) or scaling up (adding disks) does not require downtime ever again.

This list can go on but before this whole post end up looking like a product advert on behalf of VMware, I’m going to stop as I’m sure you get my point here…

VMware VSAN to me,  now looks like a far more attractive proposition for vSphere private cloud solutions than having to buy a 3rd party SAN. Some of the new features that will be coming out in the future (NSX integration…etc.) will make it even a stronger candidate for most vSphere storage requirements going forward no doubt. As a technology its sound, backed by one of the most innovative companies on the planet, designed from ground up to work without the overhead of a file system (WAFL people might not like this too much, Sorry guys!) and I would keep a keen eye on how VMware VSAN would be eating in to lots of typical vSphere storage revenue from the legacy hardware SAN vendors over the next few years. Who knows, EMC may well have seen this coming some time ago which may have contributed towards the decision to merge with Dell too.

If you have a new vSphere storage requirement, my advice would be to strongly consider the use of VSAN as your first choice.

In the next post of this series, I will attempt to explain & summarise the VSAN sizing and design guidelines.

Cheers

Chan

VMworld Europe 2015 – Partner Day (PEX)

Quick post about the VMworld Europe day 1 (PEX day)….!! Was meaning to get this post out yesterday but there are too many distractions when you attend VMworld, let me tell ya….! 🙂

I arrived in Barcelona on Sunday and had already collected the access pass on Sunday evening itself. As such, I arrived at the venue on the Partner day on Monday around 9am and the venue was fairly busy with various VMware employees and partners.

As for my schedule for the day, I attended a VSAN deepdive session in the morning, presented by non other than Mr VSAN himself (Simon Todd @ VMware) which was fairly good. To be honest, most of the content was the same as the session he presented few weeks ago at VMware SDDC boot camp in London which I also attended. Some of the interesting points covered include

  • Oracle RAC / Exchange DAG / SQL Always on Availability Groups are not supported on VSAN with the latest version (6.1)
  • Always use pass through rather than RAID 0 on VSAN ready nodes as this gives full visibility of the disk characteristics such as SMART and removal of disks from disk groups causing less downtime with passthrough rather than RAID which makes sense.
  • Paying attention to SAS expander cards and lane allocation if you do custom node builds for VSAN nodes (rather than using pew-configured VSAN ready nodes). For example, a 12g SAS expander card can only access 8 PCI lanes where in an extreme case, can be saturated so its better to have 2 x SAS expander cards to share the workload of 8 channels each
  • Keep SATA to SSD ratio small in disk groups where possible to distribute the workload and benefit from maximum aggregate IOPS performance (from the SSD layer)
  • Stretched VSAN (possible with VSAN 6.1) features and some pre-reqs such as less than 5ms latency requirements over 10/20/40gbps links between sites, multicast requirements, and the 500ms latency requirement between main site and the offsite witness.

Following on from this session, I attended the SDDC Assess, Design & Deploy session presented by Gary Blake (Senior Solutions Architect). That was all about what his team doing to help standardise the deployment design & deployment process of the Software Defined Data Center components. I did find out about something really interesting during this session about VMware Validated Designs (VVD). VVD is something VMware are planning to come out with which would be kind of similar to CVD (Cisco Validated Design Document if you are familiar with FlexPod). A VVD will literally provide all the information required for a customer / partner / anyone to Design & Implement a VMware validated Software Defined Data Center using the SDDC product portfolio. This has been long overdue in my view and as a Vmware partner and a long time customer, would really welcome this. No full VVD’s are yet released to the public yet, but you can join the community page to be kept up to date. Refer to the following 3 links

I then attended a separate, offsite roundtable discussion at a nearby hotel with a key number of NSX business Unit leaders to have an open chat about everything NSX. That was really good as they shared some key NSX related information and also discussed some interesting points. Few of the key ones are listed below.

  • 700+ production customers being on board so far with NSX
  • Some really large customers running their production workload on NSX (a major sportswear manufacturer running their entire public facing web systems on NSX)
  • East-West traffic security requirements driving lots of NSX sales opportunities, specifically with VDI.
  • Additional, more focused NSX training would soon be available such as design and deployment, Troubleshooting…etc
  • It was also mentioned that customers can acquire NSX with limited features for a cheaper price (restricted EULA) if you only need reduced capabilities (for example, if you only need edge gateway services). I’m not sure on how to order these though and would suggest speaking to your VMware account manager in the first instance.
  • Also discussed the potential new pricing options (nothing set in place yet..!!) in order to make NSX more affordable for small to medium size customers. Price is a clear issue for many small customers when it comes to NSX and if they do something to make it more affordable to smaller customers, that would no doubt be really well received. (This was an idea the attendees put forward and NSBU was happy to acknowledge & looking in to doing something about it)
  • Also discussed some roadmap information such as potential evolution of NSX in to providing firewall & security features out on public clouds as well as the private clouds.

Overall, the NSX roundtable discussions were really positive and it finally seems like the NSBU is slowly releasing the tight grip they had around the NSX release and be willing to engage more with the channel to help promote the product rather than working with only a handful of specialist partners. Also, it was really encouraging to hear about its adoption status so far as I’ve always been an early advocate of NSX due to the potential I saw during early releases. So go NSX….!!!

Overall, I thought the PEX day was ok. Nothing to get too excited about in terms of the breakout sessions…etc, with the highlight being the roundtable with the NSBU staff.

Following on from the discussion with the NSBU, I left the venue to go back to the hotel to meet up with few colleagues of mine and we then headed off to a nice restaurant on the Barcelona beach front called Shoko (http://shoko.biz/) to get some dinner & plan the rest of the week… This is the 2nd time we’ve hit this restaurant and I’d highly recommend anyone to go check it out if you are in town.

Unfortunately, I cannot quite recollect much about what happened after that point… 🙂

Post about the official (customer facing) opening day of the VMworld event is to follow….!!

Cheers

Chan

VMware VSAN Assessment Tool – VMware Infrastructure Planner (VIP)

VMware has released an assessment tool called VIP – VMware Infrastructure Planner which is an appliance that a valid VMware partner can download and deploy at a customer environment in order to assess the suitability of VSAN based on the actual data collected from the infrastructure. This post primarily looks at using this VIP appliance to assess the suitability of VSAN. This assessment is  the pre-cursor to a VSAN sizing during which, the sizing data are automatically collected and analysed by VMware and a final recommendations will be made as to the suitability of VSAN and the recommended hardware configuration details be used for building the VSAN. Note that the same appliance can be used to assess the suitability of the vCloud suite components in that environment and I will also publish separate post on how to do that at a later date. The process of using the appliance to do a VSAN assessment involves the following high level steps.

  1. A VMware employee or a valid channel partner will have access to the VIP portal (https://vip.vmware.com) – Note that the partner would need to sign up to an account free of charge. 2. Create Assessment
  2. Once logged in, the partner can create an assessment for a specific customer by providing some basic details (similar to the VMware capacity planner that was heavily used by VMware partners during early virtualisation days to assess virtualisation and consolidation use cases).
  3. Once the assessment is created, a unique ID for the assessment is generated on the portal.   3. Assessment Settings
  4. VMware partner then adds the customer details and the customer gets an email sent with a link to login to the portal and download an .ova appliance (partner can download it also) 4. Customer Email 5. Customer Logs in 6. Download the collector appliance
  5. The customer or the partner then deploys the appliance in the customer’s vSphere cluster (Note that the appliance can be deployed on any vCenter server / Cluster regardless of the one being monitored, as long as the appliance will have the networking access to the cluster being monitored, including the ESXi servers)
  6. Once the appliance is deployed, you can access the appliance using the https://<IP of the appliance> and do a simple configuration.
    1. Enter the unique assessment key generated (above). This will tie in the deployed appliance to the assessment ID online so that the monitoring and analysis data will be forwarded on to the online portal under that assessment ID. You get to determine how long the data collection should take place for.
    2. It then prompts you to select either a VM migration to vCenter assessment or a full cluster migration assessment to vCenter (I’ve used the cluster migration for the below)
    3. Provide the vCenter address (FQDN) that the collector needs to be registered against to perform the assessment of the VM’s. This could also be the same vCenter that manages the cluster where the appliance deployed or an external vCenter instance. A valid account need to be provided to access the vCenter instance.
    4. During the vCenter registration process, a VIB file would be deployed to all attached ESXi hosts that will enable the monitoring capability. (no downtime required) – Note the below
      1. HTTP/S client ports (80,443) need to be open on the ESXi servers to be able to download the VIB.
      2. According to the deployment notes, ” Histogram analysis and possibly tracefile analysis will be run on these VMs, which will degrade performance by about 5 to 10%, and the hosts will become momentarily unreachable, so be sure not to select VMs that are running very performance sensitive or real-time tasks
    5. Once complete, you’ll be presented with a confirmation window similar to the below which lists out all the VM’s in the cluster7. Appliance config
  7. Data collection from the VM’s in the cluster & forwarding on to the online portal will now begin. Once the data collection is complete, an email notification will be sent. Note that all automated email notifications throughout the process will be sent to both the customer’s named contact as well as the VMware partner contact who set the assessment up within the portal. Given below is a screenshot of the portal once the data collection is completed.
    1. As you can see, its automatically analysed the data and recommended the use of a Hybrid VSAN with 400MB of SSD cache size. (This is based on my lab so the cache size is relatively smaller than what would be recommended in a production environment.           8 Data Collection complete 9 Collection report 2
  8. Once the data collection is complete, data can be directly fed to the VSAN sizer (https://vsantco.vmware.com/vsan/SI/SIEV) to size a potential VSAN solution up which is handy. All you need to do is to click on the button at the bottom that says “Go to VSAN TCO and Sizing Calculator” which will take you to the sizing portal with the data being automatically prefilled for the sizer. 10. Sizing calculator 12. Sizing results
  9.  If you then want to do a TCO comparison to using VSAN Vs traditional HW based SAN, you can go ahead by clicking on the TCO inputs button and providing financial information.    14 1315
  10. Sizing calculator then produces a simple TCO report outlining the cost of VSAN Vs traditional SAN (HW based)   16 17 18 19
  11. I should mention that the above screenshots were based on the default TCO assumptions that include default indicative pricing for various HW SAN’s. I’d encourage that you talk to your reseller / storage vendor to have an independent assessment done using their tools and then use the cost they provide for their SAN solution to update the VSAN OPEX assumptions (as shown below) to get an accurate comparison here in these graphs.             20

Pretty cool ain’t it?

Cheers

Chan