VMware vSAN 8 U2 Announced at Explore 2023

Published by Christian Mohn · Read in about 4 min (809 words)

At VMware Explore US 2023 in Las Vegas, VMware announces vSAN 8 U2!.


At the time of writing, no set General Availability date has been published, but look for it being available some time this fall. Some details may also change before the product hits the market.

vSAN 8 U2 — What’s new #

Nothing really big and revolutionary in the core vSAN 8 U2 announcement, besides vSAN Max that is. It is nice to see that native file services in vSAN ESA are now in feature parity with vSAN OSA, and that the configuration of 2-Node and Stretched Clusters as been simplified. Other than that, everything else seems to be performance improvements, simplified management and scalability improvements but no stand-out new features in the core offering itself.

Here’s a quick rundown of the improvements in vSAN 8 U2 #

vSAN ESA now supports native file services #

  • Supports NFS and SMB protocols for traditional and cloud native clients
  • Feature parity with vSAN file services in Original Storage Architecture

Adaptive Write Path Optimizations in vSAN ESA #

  • Use of more in-memory I/O banks to process incoming writes more quickly
  • Dynamic and scalable based on the demands of the workloads
  • Improves aggregate and single object (VMDK) performance in vSAN ESA
    • Higher IOPS
    • Higher throughput — Lower latency

Improved Performance for Disaggregated Environments #

  • Dynamically uses optimal write path for guest VM writes

    • Default write path
    • Large I/O write path
  • Includes other optimizations made to Adaptive Write Path in vSAN 8 U2

  • Better performance in disaggregated environments

    • Up to 200% higher write throughput
    • Upto 70% reduction in latency

Higher Throughput and IOPs for I/O Intensive Workloads #

Improved parallelism with vSAN ESA’s object manager client

  • Delivers higher IOPS and throughput for single object, I/O intensive workloads
  • Compliments I/O processing improvements in vSAN 8 U1

Reduces potential bottleneck conditions high in the storage stack Most beneficial for:

  • Mission critical applications, databases, etc.
  • Resource intensive VMs
  • Single object (VMDK) performance evaluations

Support for up to 500 VMs per host in clusters running vSAN ESA #

  • 2.5x the density of earlier versions
  • Allows for new high-density cluster designs
    • Exploit benefits of vSAN ESA
      • Capacity efficiencies using erasure coding
      • Minimal resource overhead
      • High performance

New ReadyNode profile and support for Read-Intensive devices for vSAN ESA #

New ReadyNode profile ideal for small data centers and edge environments

Dramatically lower TCO while benefiting from capabilities in ESA

  • New snapshots

  • Smaller failure domains

  • Improved efficiency

  • New support for Read- Intensive NVMe devices

    • Available in some ReadyNode profiles
    • Supported on vSAN 8 U1 and later

Auto-Policy Management improvements in vSAN ESA #

  • Improves Auto-Policy Management feature introduced in vSAN 8 U1
  • Single click “Update Cluster DS Policy” to remediate change
  • Updates prescribed, cluster- specific storage policy if number of hosts in cluster change
  • Streamlines handling of ongoing changes to cluster reduces manual intervention

Capacity overhead reporting improvements in vSAN ESA #

  • Provides “ESA object overhead” in cluster capacity usage breakdown view
  • Represents capacity consumed for vSAN’s log- structured filesystem (LFS) for all object and replica data

vSAN ESA Prescriptive Disk Claim #

  • Uses new outcome oriented “desired state” disk claiming model
  • Define disk claim criteria for hosts in cluster, and let vSAN take care of the rest
  • Provides consistency to disk claiming process for initial deployment and cluster expansion
  • Continuous checks of compliance to desired state
  • Available using API and CLI

Support for key expiration with Data-at-Rest Encryption in vSAN OSA and ESA #

Support of key expiration standard for KMIP-based Key Management Servers Integrated with Skyline Health for vSAN Triggered health finding will provide:

  • Days remaining on valid keys
  • Convenient way to perform a shallow rekey

Skyline Health for vSAN remediation enhancements #

  • Health finding recommendations customized to specific versions of vSAN
  • Improved information on risks of not remediating triggered finding
  • More prescriptive options to fix identified issue
    • Default
    • Alternative
    • New endurance monitoring of NVMe devices in vSAN ESA

Top Contributors enhancements in vSAN OSA and ESA #

  • Find performance hot spots over a customizable time period when diagnosing performance issues
  • Multiple source types available for analysis
    • VMs
    • Hosts(frontend)
    • Hosts(backend)
    • Host disks
  • Transpose other top contributors in same performance view to understand correlations

I/O Trip Analyzer for 2-Node and Stretched Clusters in vSAN OSA and ESA #

  • Capture diagnostics data on workloads running in a vSAN stretched cluster or 2-node cluster
  • Easily identify primary source of latency
    • Outstanding I/Os of object
    • Network link across sites
    • Network links within sites
    • Host storage devices
    • Supports all data placement schemes
      • RAID-1
      • RAID-5
      • RAID-6

Witness Traffic Separation and other configuration improvements in vSAN OSA and ESA #

  • Easily configure Witness Traffic Separation in UI
  • Removes need for CLI commands to properly tag witness traffic
  • Applies to both 2-Node and stretched clusters
  • New support for “medium” sized witness host appliance in vSAN ESA
  • New support in vLCM to manage lifecycle of all witness host appliance types

This is a post in the VMware Explore US 2023 series. Posts in this series:

    Post last updated on January 2, 2024: Add author


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