VMware vSAN was developed about 10 years ago. The year was 2012, when magnetic disks were predominantly used for data storage and flash media was practically worth its weight in gold. It was during this time that the idea behind vSAN was born. Hybrid data storage with spinning disks for bulk data and flash media as cache. Flash devices at this time used the same interfaces and protocols as magnetic disks. As a result, they were not able to unfold their full potential. There was always the bottleneck of the interface.
Today – a more than 10 years later – we have more advanced flash storage with high data density and powerful protocols such as NVMe. The price per TB for flash is now on par with magnetic SAS disks, which has practically replaced magnetic disks. In addition, there are higher possible bandwidths in the network, higher core density in the CPU, and completely new requirements such as ML/AI or containers. The time has come for a new type of vSAN data storage that can fully leverage the potential of new storage technologies.
vSAN Express Storage Architecture (ESA)
Putting it in a nutshell: The vSAN ESA architecture is an optional data storage architecture. The traditional disk group model will continue to exist – even under vSAN 8.
VMware vSAN ESA is a flexible single-tier architecture. This means that it does not require disk groups and no longer distinguishes between cache and capacity layers. It is optimized for the use of modern NVMe flash storage. All storage devices of a host are gathered in a storage pool.
There is no upgrade path from the diskgroup model to ESA. Thus, the new architecture can only be used in greenfield deployments. The vSAN nodes must be explicitly qualified for this. There will be dedicated vSAN ReadyNodes for ESA.
Early bird registration for VMware Explore Europe is open. From November 7-10, 2022, the Fira Gran Via in Barcelona will once again open its doors.
As you may have heard, there is a name change. VMworld will now be called VMware Explore. Hopefully that’s the only change, because VMworld has been the epicenter of the vCommunity for years and the bond that holds the community together at its core.
Live again at last
I am very happy that for the first time since 2019, this event can be held on-site again. The pandemic forced us to suspend events like VMworld for two years and replace them with virtual events. It was good to have this possibility of virtual events and the organizers tried their best to provide the community with information. But after two years and hundreds of virtual events, we’ve all grown a little weary of virtual events. This is why the term “zoom fatigue” was born. There’s a big difference between attending a session live and watching a recording.