vSAN Ready Nodes – a design approach, a deep dive mind map & some useful links.

The use of vSAN ready nodes certainly reduces the complexity of running a vSAN strategy in the enterprise.

The benefits of pre-validated and tested hardware from an OEM vendor of choice are attractive both from operational and procurement perspectives.

However, from an architect’s perspective vSAN ready nodes are one of the ways of reducing the time to deploy a vSAN design. They are not a replacement for the design process itself.

An architect still needs to still consider the business intended use case and take care to understand the workload requirements such as performance, availability, and recoverability to really take advantage of the vSAN ready node approach.

Once a traceable logical design approach is created and validated, outputs such as IOPS, VM count and capacity can be quickly used in the vSAN ready sizing tools to create a flexible strategy BOM with easy SKUs for procurement teams.

Enterprise architects can use the vSAN ready node approach to select operationally familiar, multi-use base host patterns and amend physical components as required for specific cluster or pod use cases (ie Performance of workloads, licensing CPU planning, capacity and density need).

I regularly spend time with customers and partners discussing the use of vSAN Ready nodes with their projects.

Below is a link to my “vSAN Ready node design considerations” mind map and list of useful links for more detailed information an architect may require when using vSAN ready nodes as part of their SDS strategy.

vSAN Ready Node Deep Dive Mind Map

Useful vSAN Ready Node Links

vSAN Ready Node – Compatibility Guide https://www.vmware.com/resources/compatibility/pdf/vi_vsan_rn_guide.pdf
vSAN Hardware Quick Reference https://www.vmware.com/resources/compatibility/vsan_profile.html
vSAN Ready Node Sizer Tool https://vsansizer.vmware.com/
vSAN Cache Sizing Info https://blogs.vmware.com/virtualblocks/2017/01/18/designing-vsan-disk-groups-cache-ratio-revisited/
ESXi Boot disk Info https://blogs.vmware.com/virtualblocks/2017/04/05/m-2-ssd-boot-device-vsan/
What you can and cannot change on vSAN Ready node blog Post  – https://blogs.vmware.com/virtualblocks/2017/03/14/can-cannot-change-vsan-readynode/ Knowledgebase article – https://kb.vmware.com/articleview?docid=52084
How to configure a Ready node https://www.vmware.com/content/dam/digitalmarketing/vmware/en/pdf/products/vsan/vmware-how-to-configure-vsan-ready-node.pdf
Useful VMworld Breakout : vSAN Hardware Guidance on performance & Configuration –  HCI 2208BE  https://videos.vmworld.com/global/2018/videoplayer/27109
vSAN Tech Talk Video – vSAN Ready Nodes https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iPsd9f-4aY8
vSAN Ready Node Sizer demo video by John Nicholson  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cQS1yNNAOpg&t=251s
Hands-on Lab – vSAN Sizing Workshop Video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JSb8cx9ADco
Tools and Tips for vSAN Assessment and Design Video – vSAN Mythbusters https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OcyOFKnkeV4

vSAN Encryption Mind Map – Data at rest

When considering transformation & the operationalising of a platform area as important as enterprise storage,  there are numerous considerations for the enterprise.   

The security of data is an obvious key concern.   One feature of vSAN available since version 6.6  is the use of data at rest encryption.

vSAN Encryption Mind Map

Recently, I have found myself discussing the use of vSAN encryption more and more with customers. 

How the software feature fits a use case? Often compared with array-based encryption or VMware VM encryption functionality.

What is needed from an operational point of view?  When can you make a change? What happens when a specific component fails or event occurs?

To aid some of the conversations I have created a deep dive mind map on the subject and a useful list of links for review.


Useful links 

Official Docs

VMware Blog Content

Hands on with the feature 

vSAN phone home : vSAN Support Insight Mind map and useful links.

The introduction of any new technology to a business brings about risk and concern.   
The success of a project is often measured on how well the solution behaves in production and how easy it is to support.
vSAN Support Insight Mind Map
From a design perspective, planning and creating a solution with careful operational management considerations does indeed identify potential areas for enablement and process change.
However, this enablement or operationalizing phase is often shortened or left out due to project budget and time constraints.  
One feature within vSAN that does a lot for this part of a project process is vSAN Support Insight.
This feature is available to all vSAN production support customers,  and from a high level replaces the call home approach from traditional storage arrays. However, as with all software-defined technology, this feature offers much more.  
From automating the support logs upload process to performance and configuration reviews this feature covers the health, configuration, and performance of vSAN.
In recent discussions, I have found this feature of great interest by operational teams prior to going live. 
I have created a mind map on the subject and below are a list of some essential links to review the feature.
vSAN Support Insight info
Demo Video from Duncan Epping
VMworld Deep Dive Session
HCI2180BE – vSAN Support Insight – Inside Out
Working with vSAN Support Insight 
Finding you vCenter Guid & Enabling the service
Examples for discussions with security/compliance teams
Example of View from the backend
How to show what information is being sent to VMware.

VSAN 6.2 Design Thoughts Mindmap – Updated

I have just finished teaching  two weeks of the VSAN 6.2 ICM.VSAN 6.2 Design Mindmap Preview

It it great technology and has just been updated to the latest version of the product.

As part of  the last day I decided to update my design mindmap as a prompt for discussions and as a take home.

I have posted it here  for future courses,  or any one who is interested.  It should be relevant for the VCP6-DCV and the upcoming  VCAP6 certs.