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Thursday, 10 December 2015

VMware Virtual SAN 6.0 Requirements (2106708)


This article provides information on the minimum requirements to create a VMware Virtual SAN cluster in VMware vSphere 6.0.

For more information, see the VMware Virtual SAN 6.0 Documentation. The documentation contains definitive information. If there is a discrepancy between the documentation and this article, assume that the documentation is correct.


Virtual SAN requirements

Hardware requirements

All hardware used for a Virtual SAN deployment must be on the VMware HCL. All I/O Controllers, HDD and SSD must be on the Virtual SAN HCL.

Warning: Using uncertified hardware may lead to performance issues and/or data loss. The reason for this is that the behavior of uncertified hardware cannot be predicted. VMware cannot provide support for environments running on uncertified hardware.

Cluster requirements

  • A minimum of three ESXi 6.0 hosts contributing local storage.
  • All ESXi hosts must be managed by vCenter Server 6.0 and configured as a Virtual SAN cluster member.
  • ESXi hosts in a VSAN cluster may not participate in any other cluster.

Memory requirements

  • The memory requirements for Virtual SAN depend on the number of disk groups and devices that are managed by the ESXi hypervisor. Each host should contain a minimum of 32 GB of memory to accommodate for the maximum number of 5 disk groups and maximum number of 7 capacity devices per disk group.

Processor requirements

  • Virtual SAN introduces not more than 10% of CPU overhead per host.

Software requirements

  • To use the full set of Virtual SAN capabilities, the ESXi hosts that participate in Virtual SAN Clusters must be version 6.0. During the ESXi host upgrade from version 5.5 to version 6.0, you can keep the disk format at version 1.0, but you cannot use many of the new features.
  • ESXi hosts participating in a VSAN 6.0 cluster must be running ESXi version 6.0, ESXi 5.5 hosts are only applicable to be a cluster member for the duration of the environment upgrade.

Networking requirements

  • For hybrid configurations, each host must have a minimum of a single physical 1 GB Ethernet NIC available solely for Virtual SAN use.
  • For all flash configurations, each host must have a minimum of a single physical 10 GB Ethernet NIC available for Virtual SAN use. This NIC can be shared with other traffic.
  • Layer 2 multicast must be enabled on the physical switch connecting all hosts in the VSAN cluster.
  • Each ESXi host in the cluster must have a vmkernel port, regardless of whether it contributes to storage. For more information, see theSet Up a VMkernel Network for Virtual SAN section in the VMware Virtual SAN 6.0 Documentation.
Note: Multicast addresses can be changed if required.

For more information, see Networking Requirements for Virtual SAN section in the VMware Virtual SAN 6.0 Documentation.

Storage requirements

  • For Caching:
    • At least 1 SAS/SATA Solid State Drive (SSD), or a PCIe flash disk.
  • For virtual machine data storage:
    • Hosts running in a hybrid cluster configuration must have at least 1 SAS, NL-SAS or SATA magnetic Hard Disk (HDD).
    • Hosts running in an all-flash disk group cluster configuration must have at least 1 SAS/SATA Solid State Drive (SSD), or a PCIe flash disk
  • A SAS or SATA Host Bus Adapter (HBA), or RAID controller that is set up in non-RAID (pass through) or RAID 0 mode.
  • Flash Boot Devices: When booting a Virtual SAN 6.0 enabled ESXi host from a USB or SD card, the size of the disk must be at least 4 GB. When booting a Virtual SAN host from a SATADOM device, you must use a Single-Level Cell (SLC) device and the size of the boot device must be at least 16 GB.
  • Virtual SAN requires exclusive access to the local disks in the ESXi host. Virtual SAN disks cannot be shared with another file system, such as Virtual Flash File System (VFFS), VMFS partitions, or an ESXi boot partition.
  • Do not format storage devices with VMFS or any other file system.
  • Ensure flash storage is not claimed by vSphere Flash Read Cache.
  • If you install ESXi on a USB or SD device and allocate all local storage to Virtual SAN, you do not have any local disk or datastore available for persistent logging. Configure a Dump Collector and a Syslog Collector to direct ESXi memory dumps and system logs to a server on the network, rather than to a local disk. For information, see the Configure ESXi Dump Collector with ESXCLI section in thevSphere Installation and Setup guide.

License requirements

  • Using Virtual SAN in production environments requires a special license that you assign to the Virtual SAN clusters. The capacity of the license must cover the total number of CPUs in the cluster.
  • The capacity of the license must cover the total number of CPUs in the cluster.
  • Depending on the disk group configuration in the cluster, you can assign one of two types of licenses: a license for hybrid configurations, and a license for hybrid and all-flash configurations. For information about assigning licenses, see the License Requirements section in the VMware Virtual SAN 6.0 Documentation.
VMware KB 2106708