Virtual SAN 6.0 Design and Sizing Guide

Wrote by Cormac Hogan
Storage and Availability Business Unit
VMware, v 1.0.5/April 2015


VMware® Virtual SAN™ is a hypervisor-converged, software-defined storage platform that is fully integrated with VMware vSphere®. Virtual SAN aggregates locally attached disks of hosts that are members of a vSphere cluster, to create a distributed shared storage solution. Virtual SAN enables the rapid provisioning of storage within VMware vCenter™ as part of virtual machine creation and deployment operations.

Virtual SAN is the first policy-driven storage product designed for vSphere environments that simplifies and streamlines storage provisioning and management. Using VM-level storage policies, Virtual SAN automatically and dynamically matches requirements with underlying storage resources. With Virtual SAN, many manual storage tasks are automated – delivering a more efficient and cost-effective operational model.

Virtual SAN 6.0 provides two different configuration options, a hybrid configuration that leverages both flash-based devices and magnetic disks, and an all-flash configuration. The hybrid configuration uses server-based flash devices to provide a cache layer for optimal performance while using magnetic disks to provide capacity and persistent data storage. This delivers enterprise performance and a resilient storage platform.

The all-flash configuration uses flash for both the caching layer and capacity layer. There area wide range of options for selecting a host model, storage controller as well as flash devices and magnetic disks. It is herefore extremely important that the VMware Compatibility Guide (VCG) is followed rigorously when selecting hardware components for a Virtual SAN design.

This document focuses on the helping administrators to correctly design and size a Virtual SAN cluster, and answer some of the common questions around number of hosts, number of flash devices, number of magnetic disks, and detailed configuration questions to help to correctly and successfully deploy a Virtual SAN.


Download out the full VMware® Virtual SAN™ 6.0 Design and Sizing Guide.

Download also VMware® Virtual SAN™ 6.0 Administrators Guide.

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