VMware Virtual SAN (vSAN) will soon be released to the world, and companies will be exploring how they might be able to use this type of technology. As storage becomes more defined and controlled by software, how will processes adapt? When admins look to implement VMware vSAN they will need to understand storage profiles, a little-used feature that has existed since vSphere 5.0 was first released. In my travels with customers I have not seen many environments using storage profiles. VM storage profiles allows for the capabilities of the underlying storage to be presented to administrators for easier assignment to virtual machines.
Within clusters that are using vSAN for storage the use of storage profiles will play an important role. To properly control the performance or protection of individual virtual machines a storage profile will need to be assigned.
An example would be a number of virtual desktops that are using vSAN for storage. These desktops might be using the default vSAN values. While a database server running on a vSAN datastore might require additional performance, so a storage profile might be assigned that stripes the data across additional disks.
This might be one of the more important questions. If a single vSAN datastore has multiple storage profiles configured for it, how will they be assigned to virtual machines?
The following are a few options that are possible for applying storage profiles to VMs.
The real question here is how easy or difficult will it be to apply profiles to virtual machines in this new software defined world. If VMs are created but only get the default values, this could lead to confusion or performance issues.
A scenario that I am going to test on a later day would be a pool of virtual desktops being deployed with Horizon View. The parent template would be configured with a vSAN storage profile, but will that persist with the desktops automatically created or will additional automation be required to apply the profile?
Once I’ve built a VSAN cluster, a number of capabilities are presented and can be configured into separate or combined storage profiles. VMware has published a VSAN whitepaper that outlines some key new features of VSAN, but I’ll discuss some of the highlights here.
If you would like to know more about the design of a VSAN cluster refer to the official VMware VSAN Design and Sizing Guide.