Vmware Vsan Installation Guide – VMware vSAN versions 6.5, 6.6, and 6.7 are scheduled to reach end of general support on October 15, 2022, which is referenced in the VMware Lifecycle Matrix. See also How to Install vSphere 7.0 and How to Install vSAN 7.0. Upgrading to vSphere 7 can be achieved directly from vSphere 6.5.0 and later, while vSphere 6.0 requires an intermediate upgrade to 6.5 or 6.7 first. For more information, see the VMware upgrade matrix.
VMware vSAN uses server-attached flash devices and local hard disk drives to create a shared data store between hosts in a vSphere cluster. VMware vSAN achieves high availability by adding a software layer leveraging existing server hardware to provide the same resiliency and features as expensive SAN, NAS or DAS arrays. In addition to this, vSAN is uniquely embedded in the hypervisor core, directly in the I/O path, allowing you to make quick data placement decisions without installation of VIBs or additional virtual appliances. This post is intended to give an overview of vSAN 6.5/6.7 and how to enable it.
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VMware vSAN can be added to any version of vSphere and is licensed per CPU, per virtual machine, or per concurrent user. The current licensing model comes in three levels; standard, advanced and enterprise, as well as the standard and advanced versions of ROBO (remote office/branch office). Features such as data encryption at rest and extended clusters require enterprise licenses. RAID 5/6 erasure compression, deduplication, and encryption require advanced licenses. For more information, see the licensing guide for the appropriate vSAN version: vSAN 6.5 | vSAN 6.6 | vSAN 6.7.
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Before configuring vSAN, each host in the cluster must be configured with a VMkernel port for use with vSAN traffic.
In the vSphere Client (HTML5) or vSphere Web Client, find each host in the designated cluster for which you want to use vSAN, open the Configure tab, and select Network. Click VMKernel Adapters and the Add Network icon. Make sure the Connection Type is VMkernel Network Adapter and click Next.
Assign physical adapters to the switch using the green plus symbol. For production environments, ensure that multiple physical network adapters are assigned for redundancy. When you have finished configuring the network adapter, click Next.
Configure a name for the VMkernel port and a VLAN ID if required. Make sure Virtual SAN is selected under Enabled Services and click Next.
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For lab environments with limited physical interfaces, select Management Network and click the Edit Configuration icon. Add Virtual SAN traffic to the list of available services and click OK. vSAN traffic will now share the management network, this is obviously not recommended for production workloads.
In vSphere 6.7, the HTML5 client now includes support for vSAN. To enable vSAN, find the appropriate cluster in the vSphere client and click the Configure tab. Expand vSAN and select Services, vSAN is disabled by default, so click Configure.
Select the vSAN configuration and click Next. The standard option is a single site cluster where all hosts are in one site. A two-host cluster with a third token node (which does not contribute to capacity) or a cluster stretched between sites can also be used.
Select the disks you want to use in the vSAN configuration and click Next. For each host that contributes to the capacity, one flash device must be selected for the cache tier and at least one other device must be selected for the capacity tier.
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If your vSAN cluster spans multiple racks or chassis, you may have included fault domains in your vSAN design. Configure the required error domains here and click Next.
Review the settings on the summary page and click Finish. Selected resources are pooled into a single vSAN datastore and you can start provisioning machines immediately.
Additional vSAN services such as deduplication and compression can be configured after initial configuration using the vSAN menu options on the Cluster Configuration tab. The vSAN menu options under the Cluster Monitor tab also offer a decent number of tools and dashboards.
For vSAN 6.6.2 and earlier, the required features must be enabled from the vSphere Web Client, only vSAN 6.7 has HTML5 support.
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To enable vSAN, find the appropriate cluster in the vSphere web client and click the Configure tab. Expand Virtual SAN and select General, you will see a message saying Virtual SAN is not enabled, so click Configure.
By default, the appropriate disks will be added to the vSAN datastore. To select disks manually, change the disk claim setting to Manual. Review the other capability options by hovering over the gray information circle, select the appropriate features, and click Next. Changing any settings on the capabilities page will add additional menu pages for configuring those options.
The Network Validation page will confirm that each host in the cluster has a valid vSAN core port, click Next.
Review the details on the summary page and click Finish. Virtual SAN will now pool the selected resources into the vSAN datastore and you can start provisioning machines immediately. vSAN creates and presents a single datastore that contains all disks for each vSphere cluster. You can modify the vSAN configuration or add additional capabilities at a later date using the menu options under the Virtual SAN heading on the Configuration tab of a vSphere cluster.
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The vSAN Stretched Cluster feature was introduced in vSAN 6.1. A vSAN stretch cluster is a specific configuration implemented in environments where disaster avoidance/downtime is a key requirement. This guide was developed to provide additional information and insights for installing, configuring, and operating a vSAN stretch cluster infrastructure in conjunction with VMware vSphere. This guide will explain how vSphere handles specific failure scenarios and discuss various design considerations and operational procedures for stretched clusters using vSAN.
VMware vSAN stretched clusters with a token host refers to a deployment where a user configures a vSAN cluster with 2 active/active sites with an identical number of ESXi hosts distributed evenly between the two sites. The sites are connected via a high bandwidth/low latency link.
The third site hosting the vSAN Witness Host is connected to both active/active data sites. This connectivity can be done using low bandwidth/high latency links.
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Each site is configured as a vSAN failover domain. The nomenclature used to describe a vSAN stretch cluster configuration is X+Y+Z, where X is the number of ESXi hosts in datasite A, Y is the number of ESXi hosts in datasite B, and Z is the number of witness hosts. at site C. Data sites are where virtual machines are deployed. The minimum supported configuration is 1+1+1 (3 nodes). The maximum configuration is 15+15+1 (31 nodes). vSAN 7 Update 2 introduces support for a larger stretched cluster configuration, so the maximum is 20+20+1 (41 nodes). In vSAN Stretched Clusters, there is only one token host in any configuration.
A virtual machine deployed in a vSAN stretched cluster will have a copy of its data at site A, a second copy of its data at site B, and any token components placed on the token host at site C. This configuration s ‘achieves via fault domains on the host side and VM groups, and affinity rules. In the event of a complete site failure, there will be a full copy of the virtual machine data, as well as more than 50% of the components available. This will allow the virtual machine to remain available on the vSAN datastore. If the virtual machine needs to be restarted at the other site, vSphere HA will take care of this task.
VMware vSAN Stretched Cluster configurations require vSphere 6.0 Update 1 (U1) or higher. This involves both vCenter Server 6.0 U 1 and ESXi 6.0 U1. This version of vSphere includes vSAN version 6.1. This is the minimum version required for vSAN Stretched Cluster support.
Support for vSAN Stretched Clusters advanced features requires a combination of vSAN version, disk format version, architecture, and number of hosts. The following table indicates the minimum requirements for each feature. For more detailed information, see KB 2148493.
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The exception to this rule is vSAN 6.6 clusters that do not use per-site policies or encryption. The v3 disk format can be used with vSAN 6.6 or vSAN 6.7 when not in use.
VMware vSAN 6.1 introduced several features including All-Flash and 2 Node Cluster functionality. There are no limitations on the edition of vSphere used for vSAN.
For vSAN, vSphere DRS is highly desirable. DRS will provide initial placement assistance, load balance the environment when there is an imbalance, and also automatically migrate VMs to their correct location based on VM/Host affinity rules. It can also help with migrating virtual machines back to a node after recovery from a failure based on overall utilization. Otherwise, the administrator will have to do it manually
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