Virtual SAN is a technology designed to provide a storage solution optimized for the most demanding virtualized workloads, including database, database-intensive, high-performance computing (HPC), high transaction volume Web applications, and video/media content management. Virtual SAN features a clustered storage array, data de-duplication, storage encryption, data access control, high availability, synchronous replication, and more.

The Basics

Virtual SAN is based on a proprietary virtualized storage system called a Virtual SAN Cluster, while ESXi hypervisor is a storage virtualization engine for the Virtual SAN Cluster. Virtual SAN is designed to improve performance and manageability, reduce downtime and storage costs, and increase data center flexibility and ease of use. With (vSAN) virtual SAN, you can consolidate the storage needs of multiple VMs into a single highly available cluster. It can be deployed on-premises, at a private data center, or in the cloud.

Virtual SAN Features

Many great features of Virtual SAN make users go for the solution. Let’s take a look at the most prominent ones.

Clustered Storage

Virtual SAN Clustering is a multi-node storage system that provides high availability and performance. With clustering, VMs can move from one node to another node in the cluster without data loss or downtime. One of the primary benefits of Virtual SAN clustering is creating a highly available and high-performance storage system that offers a simple solution for virtualizing many VMs. Clustering also improves data availability, and it provides advanced VM protection capabilities. 

Virtual SAN clustering is designed to provide high availability and is based on the technology known as DRS, Dynamic Re-partitioning, and Replication. DRS means Dynamic Re-partitioning and Replication. It is based on the distributed storage volumes network, meaning the VMs can move across the network and continue to work without downtime.

Data De-Duplication

The primary goal of Virtual SAN is to provide high-performance storage solutions that are easy to manage and that have low latency for accessing data. With VMware Virtual SAN, data is stored in a highly available and transparent manner, which means data is spread across multiple storage volumes. If one storage volume fails, the data is still available on the other storage volumes. In the event of a volume failure, the cluster automatically re-distributes the data to different storage volumes so that users do not experience a performance impact or data loss.

Data de-duplication is a feature that ensures optimal use of storage by identifying unnecessary copies of data and removing them. While redundancy is key for resiliency, deduplication eliminates duplicate copies of repeating data specifically. The process is automatic and allows to have only necessary copies of data and removal of the trash. 

Data Access Control

Data access control is a critical function in VMware Virtual SAN. Data access control provides an environment where users can control their data. In other words, shared data is locked so that the data remains available to users only if the users comply with the access management policies. This prevents users from sharing data not intended for them, such as confidential data or data meant for only one user, thereby ensuring that the data remains safe.

Data Encryption

Virtual SAN is designed to provide greater security and access to confidential data. vSAN uses encryption, data de-duplication, and data access control to ensure that data remains safe and secure. Virtual SAN offers various encryption options, such as NIST 256-bit AES and FIPS 140-2 encryption. It uses the Virtual SAN Encrypting Key Manager to ensure that only authorized users can access their data. Users can securely store their VMs, files, and other data with encryption.

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Virtual SAN Benefits

Many good things allow vSAN solutions to stand out from the crowd. And there are some of the most outstanding benefits Virtual SAN offers.

Performance

Virtual SAN provides high-performance storage solutions that are simple to manage. You can access your VMs and data anytime and from anywhere worldwide, and you do not experience downtime or performance issues. Users can access VMs without downtime or performance issues because Virtual SAN performs automatic recovery and re-distribution of data across multiple storage volumes.

In addition, Virtual SAN provides a solution that does not require you to manage multiple storage systems. For example, Virtual SAN can be deployed on-premises or in the VMware cloud. There is no need to manage multiple storage solutions. Virtual SAN also provides a highly efficient solution that can scale from a minimum of four volumes to a maximum of 4,000. vSAN is based on the technology known as DRS, Dynamic Re-partitioning, and Replication. This means that your VMs can be easily migrated to a different node in the cluster.

Security

The primary goal of Virtual SAN is to ensure that users can easily access their data. With vSAN, data is automatically stored multiple times. This means that the data is available to users, who can access it even in the event of a storage volume failure. With data access control, users can control data. Data encryption also provides an environment where users can securely access their info. Thus, you can securely store your VMs, files, and other assets and access them from anywhere in the world, at any time.

Cost Savings

With vSAN, you can efficiently use your storage resources. Virtual SAN can be deployed on-premises, at a private data center, or in the VMware cloud. With Virtual SAN, you can also perform cost-effective consolidation since the solution is optimized for virtualized applications and Web-based services. VMware Virtual SAN allows you to use fewer storage volumes, thus, easily managing and cost-effectively storing data. With Virtual SAN, you can consolidate multiple VMs into a single storage system, reducing storage costs by up to 90%.

Management

With Virtual SAN, you can manage the consolidation of VMs from any location in the world at any time. The solution offers a powerful set of management capabilities that can be used to consolidate and deploy multiple storage solutions. VMware vCenter Server helps you to easily and quickly perform the deployment and the management of VMware Virtual SAN, as well as the management of multiple ESXi hypervisors. VMware vCenter Server also provides the ability to consolidate multiple storage volumes into a single storage system.

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