VMworld EMEA Announcements : VSAN 6.5

Besides bumping their virtualization-platform to version 6.5, VMware also added some new features to the SDS-solution in the new version of VSAN it announced. This quick article talks about the main new features which stood out according to us.

VSAN Version History

To give a idea what the main new features were in the previous releases of VSAN here, a short overview:

Version Timeframe Added features
VSAN (1.0) 5.5 March 2014 Inital Version
VSAN 6.0 March 2015 All-flash
64 Node cluster
2x Hybrid Speed
VSAN 6.1 September 2015 Stretched Cluster
Replication RPO of 5 minutes
2-node ROBO
VSAN 6.2 March 2016 Deduplication

We really enjoy the pace in which this product is being developed and in such a incredible pace. Keep it going guys!

The main new features for this 6.5 release which is announced during VMworld EMEA 2016 (Oktober 2016) according to us among others are:

  • iSCSI-Access
  • Direct Connect for ROBO


VSAN target service makes it possible to use a VSAN as a iSCSI-target (what’s in a name!) and allows these targets to be presented to external (non-virtual) workloads (i.e. MSCS clusters or physical workloads). So no more need for additional storage boxes to tie to your (legacy) physical workloads, you can now also use VSAN for these workloads.

VSAN 6.5 as a iSCSI-target

Also allows for SPBM (Storage Policy Based Management) for these targets, so you can set dedup / compression / raid-level (1,5 or 6) and applies them respectively to these iSCSI-objects in your VSAN-datastore.

Direct Connect for ROBO

VSAN 6.5, allows for directly connecting to VSAN-nodes together in a ROBO-situation with a couple of crossover-cables which lifts the need for 10Gb network switching connecting the nodes.You can now suffice with only 1Gb-switching for management and witness traffic. So it simplifies the set-up and decreases the cost for setting up VSAN 6.5 for remote offices.

VSAN 6.5 direct connect robo

Further improvements

A short list of other enhancements / changes in the VSAN 6.5-product:

  • All-Flash now available in VSAN STD license (Compression en Dedup still needs ADV/ENT-licensing) and new VSAN ADV for ROBO offering.
  • Containers support. VSAN allows as a source of persistent storage for VIC (vSphere Integrated Containers)
  • Updated REST API and extended PowerCLI module for VSAN
  • Enhanced hardware support

More information

For more information on the new Virtual SAN 6.5, have a look at the following links:

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My main focus is infrastructure (Storage, Networking and Computing), but I'm also very interested in designing and implementing VDI and Server Based Computing-environments.
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