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VMware's Virtual SAN to gain data-at-rest encryption

New beta kicks off with three big features plus 'various enhancements'

VMware's kicked off a new round of beta testing for its virtual storage area network (VSAN).

Duncan Epping, Virtzilla's chief technologist for Storage & Availability, has blogged that VMware is “in particular looking for feedback on the following 3 features”:

  • Software data-at-rest encryption
  • Nested Fault Domains (FDs) for two-layer protection of stretched clusters, across sites and locally
  • New operational management enhancements (vRA integration, health checks from vCenter, monitoring networking stats, and more)

The first is a nicety: encryption is seldom a bad thing even if it means an array gets a bit more work to do to implement it. But as VSANs run on servers with at least half-a-dozen cores (for all-flash VMware's recommended configuration is 2x10-core CPUs) there should be enough grunt in the box to get the job done. And of course at-rest encryption is something hardware SANs have had for years. So VSAN's catching up a little.

Nested fault domains will make VSANs more reliable in wide-area configurations. As Epping puts it, the feature “... allows you to protect your data within a site and across sites at the same time in a stretched cluster. In other words: RAID-1 across site and then RAID-1, 5 or 6 within a site.” Handy stuff for those considering VSAN on multiple sites or in disaster recovery rigs.

The last item Epping mentions is essentially deeper integration with VMware's management suite. Considering Virtzilla's fervent hope that you'll all adopt its Cloud Foundation, which tightens bond between VSAN, vSphere, NSX and vRealize Automation, extra integration is no surprise.

Epping's post says the beta otherwise tests “various enhancements”.

You can sign up for the beta here. If past VMware betas are anything to go by, news of the call for test pilots indicates the new version is at least a few months away. ®

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