Optimized for vSphere environments, VMware Virtual SAN applies the principles of the software-defined data center to storage, resulting in a high-performance and cost-effective alternative for virtualized environments. It puts the application in charge and handles storage provisioning and management from the hypervisor level.
Like any technology, vSAN needs to be configured correctly to work at its best. VMware recently released a technical brief that features some best practices worth sharing:
- Use multiple policies. If you already have a policy assigned to a large number of VMs, it’s best to create a new policy instead.
- Use the vSAN EasyInstall, vSAN Config Assist, and vSAN VMware Update Manager (VUM) baselines. These configuration tools exist for a reason and using them will get you up to a health configuration baseline for hardware, server, and vSAN.
- Test Accurately. VMware recommends using HCI Bench, a free wrapper for VDBench. It automates consistent benchmarks with multiple Virtual machine workers.
- Keep appropriate slack space. VMware recommends 20 – 30 percent free space as a good place to start.
- Reboot and shutdown (carefully). Use the maintenance mode before rebooting or shutting down a host to prevent object unavailability.
- Configure disk groups and cache devices for performance. For application environments with high performance needs, VMware recommends using two or more disk groups.
- Use the virtual distributed switch (vDS). The vDS license is included with all vSAN editions and together with the Network IO Control feature, you’ll be able to prevent vMotion or other traffic from using excessive bandwidth and disrupting storage traffic performance.
- Use dedicated and isolated VMKernel ports. You’ll boost performance as well as security by isolating storage traffic.
- Use vSAN health check. The vSAN health check performs dozens of tests that can check your environment for known issues.
- Use LogInsight and CEIP. LogInsight provides a dashboard so you can determine what is going on inside your hosts, and the Customer Experience Improvement Program (CEIP) can help VMware make ongoing improvements.
For more detail on these 10 vSAN operational tips, be sure to download the technical brief – VMware vSAN Top 10 Operational Tips.