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Requirements and considerations for the deployment of VMware vSAN (2068911)

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This article provides guidance on the hardware and support requirements for a successful deployment of VMware vSAN.


vSAN Support

Important notes on VMware support for vSAN:
  • Upgrading a BETA release version of vSAN is not supported by VMware, a fresh deployment of vSAN is required.
  • Using uncertified hardware may lead to performance issues and data loss as the behaviour of uncertified hardware cannot be predicted.  VMware cannot provide support for environments running on uncertified hardware.

Hardware Requirements

To deploy a supported vSAN configuration, your environment must comply with these requirements:
  • A minimum of three ESXi 5.5 Update 1 (or later) hosts and a maximum of 32.

    Note: The maximum number of hosts allowed in VMware vSphere 6.0 is 64.

  • At least one Solid State Disk (SSD) and one Magnetic disk per ESXi host, for a three-node cluster. For larger clusters, a minimum of three ESXi hosts are required to contribute storage to vSAN; the requirement for SSD and Magnetic disks in additional hosts depends on the storage policies to be used within vSAN. VMware recommends that all ESXi hosts in a vSAN cluster contribute approximately the same amount of storage to vSAN.

    • Supported SSD Drive types are SATA, SAS and PCIe.
    • Supported Magnetic disk types are SATA and SAS. At this time, using SSDs to substitute for bulk-storage/capacity tier (magnetic drives) is not supported.

  • A RAID controller that supports NON-RAID mode or Pass-Through Mode, or individual RAID 0 configured for each device to be used by vSAN.

    Note: If you are to use RAID 0, a custom claim rule may be required to set an SSD drive with the SSD flag. For more information, see  Enabling the SSD option on SSD based disks/LUNs that are not detected as SSD by default (2013188).

  • A dedicated 1 Gb network card (minimum) or a 10 Gb network card (recommended) with a VMkernel port for vSAN enabled.
  • Switching network for vSAN communication must be enabled for multicast, please consult your switch vendor.

Hardware Certification

It is important that any deployment of vSAN is deployed on certified hardware. Follow these guidelines:
  • The physical server must be certified for the version of ESXi you are installing.
  • The Hardware RAID Controller, Solid State Drives and Magnetic disks must be certified for VMware vSAN. Controller firmware must be a version that is certified and documented in the vSAN Compatibility Guide.
  • SSD and magnetic disk firmware must be at the specified level or newer, than the version that is certified and documented in the vSAN Compatibility guide.

For more information on certified hardware, see the VMware Compatibility Guide for vSAN.

See Also

Update History

03/12/2015 - Added vSAN 6.0 to Products. 06/29/2015 - Added 2 lines about vSAN hardware firmware levels.

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