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Best practices when using vSAN and non-vSAN disks with the same storage controller (2129050)

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This article provides best practices when both VMware vSAN (formerly known as Virtual SAN) and non-vSAN disks are attached to the same storage controller.

  • The physical storage aspects such as vSAN disks managing IO, retries, and fault declaration are managed differently when the same elements are handled by non-vSAN workloads.
  • This applies only in circumstances where the non-vSAN disks are attached to the same storage controller as the vSAN disks.


To avoid conflicts or other issues with the vSAN infrastructure, consider these points when the same storage controller is backing both vSAN and non-vSAN disks:
  • Do not mix the controller mode for vSAN and non-vSAN disks.
    • If the vSAN disks are in pass-through/JBOD mode, the non-vSAN disks must also be in pass-through/JBOD mode.
    • If the vSAN disks are in RAID mode, the non-vSAN disks must also be in RAID mode.
    • Mixing the controller mode will mean that various disks will be handled in different ways by the storage controller. This introduces the possibility that issues affecting one configuration could also affect the other, with possible negative consequences for vSAN.
  • If the non-vSAN disks are in use for VMFS, the VMFS datastore should be used only for scratch, logging and coredumps.
    • Virtual machines should not be running from a disk or RAID group that shares its controller with vSAN disks or RAID groups.
    • ESXi host installation is permitted on non-vSAN disks attached to same controller.
  • Do not pass through Non-vSAN disks to virtual machine guests as Raw Device Mappings (RDMs).



special considerations, vSAN disks, same storage controller

See Also

Update History

08/05/2016 - Added Virtual SAN 6.1 and 6.2 to Products. 11/15/2016 - Added vSAN 6.5 to Products 01/24/2017 - Added note about H730 controllers and linked KB 2136374. 04/18/2017 - Added vSAN 6.6 to Products

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