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VMware vSAN 6.6 Featuring Native Hyperconverged Infrastructure Security and Higher All-Flash Performance

Starts at $2,495 per CPU, and vSAN for desktop list price from $50 per user.
This is a Press Release edited by on 2017.04.20

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VMware, Inc. introduced a release of vSAN featuring native hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) security, lower TCO, and up to 50% higher all-flash performance.

These combined benefits will help customers accelerate their data center modernization efforts.

vSAN 6.6 delivers first native HCI security, increased savings and up to 50% higher performance to meet data center demands of today and tomorrow; VMware is #1 in HCI software with more than 7,000 customers (1)

HCI systems are the fastest growing segment in the converged or integrated systems market, according to IDC. (2) By combining software-defined compute and storage capabilities with industry standard Intel Architecture (IA) servers, HCI systems enable customers to simplify IT operations and increase performance while lowering their upfront and ongoing costs compared to traditional storage.

vSAN 6.6 will help customers evolve their infrastructure with minimal risk through native encryption, robust availability and the broadest choice of hardware platforms, including cutting-edge flash technologies such as Intel Corp.'s Optane SSDs. The latest release will also further lower TCO via intelligent operations and cloud-based analytics while delivering the flexibility and performance to support modern applications and hardware.

"Since the initial release of VMware vSAN in 2014, customers have turned to vSAN because of its TCO savings and the simplicity of managing compute and storage together," said Yanbing Li, SVP and GM, storage and availability business unit, VMware. "VMware vSAN 6.6 is packed with innovations featuring several industry firsts, and will further drive mainstream adoption of HCI by helping customers modernize their data centers to gain a competitive edge through newfound agility."

Evolve data centers with native HCI security
vSAN 6.6 is the sixth-generation of VMware's enterprise-grade native storage for vSphere. The storage platform is for a range of use cases including business-critical and cloud-native applications, VDI, ROBO, and DR environments. This release will offer customers an efficient, non-disruptive path to a more secure infrastructure that is highly available for their business-critical workloads.

Features will include:

  • Native HCI security: A software-defined, data-at-rest encryption solution featuring simplified key management that is built to protect against unwanted access to data. vSAN 6.6 customers using vSAN Encryption will have the freedom to select any vSAN-certified hardware to further lower hardware costs by avoiding expensive self-encrypting drives (SEDs).

  • Highly available vSAN management: vSAN 6.6 will enable monitoring and management of the storage platform in the event VMware vCenter Server is offline.

Lower TCO with enhanced site protection and intelligent operations
HCI solutions powered by vSAN are well positioned to help IT teams modernize their data center infrastructure despite shrinking or static budgets and increasing demands from the business and end users. vSAN 6.6 will help customers address these challenges by alleviating the economic stress on businesses and IT through the following functionality:

  • Efficient and economical site protection: vSAN 6.6 will deliver enhanced Stretched Clusters with local protection to provide resiliency against both site and local component failures. These highly available clusters can be deployed for up to 50% less than leading traditional storage solutions. (3)

  • Proactive cloud analytics: vSAN Cloud Analytics will introduce a new analytics framework that will initially provide real-time support notifications and custom recommendations to help customers optimize their vSAN environment. The cloud-based analytics can be continuously enhanced with new checks and functionality without requiring customer intervention.

  • Automated hardware maintenance: Intelligent operations and lifecycle management capabilities will accelerate initial hardware setup, simplify software install, and deliver one-click controller hardware lifecycle management for a more predictable hardware experience - without sacrificing the broadest choice of hardware.

Scale HCI to support tomorrow's applications and hardware
With technology advancing at a breakneck pace, vSAN continues to deliver an efficient, performance architecture that provides customers the flexibility to support modern applications and the latest hardware. VMware vSAN 6.6 will deliver:

  • Faster flash performance: Optimized data service algorithms in vSAN 6.6 will help accelerate flash performance of business-critical and cloud-native applications by up to 50%. (3) In addition to existing support for VMware Horizon, new validated architectures provide support for workloads such as Hadoop, Citrix XenApp, InterSystems Cache and Splunk.

  • Support for next-generation hardware: vSAN is architected to support the latest flash technologies enabling vSAN-powered HCI solutions to adopt new technologies as they arrive on the market without delays and forklift upgrades to their infrastructure. For example, vSAN 6.6 will deliver industry-first support for recently launched Intel Optane SSDs, which can help boost the performance write-intensive applications like big data and streaming analytics.

"As legacy storage platforms come up for technology refresh, many enterprises are looking to modernize their IT infrastructure and reap the benefits of more scalable performance, easier expansion and management, and lower overall costs. Solutions like VMware vSAN that offer a full complement of enterprise data services, including a number of optimizations that take better advantage of optional all-flash performance, offer a highly scalable and resilient storage platform for the next generation of workload consolidation and provide compelling incentives for customers to move more quickly towards the software-defined datacenter," said Eric Burgener, research director, storage, IDC.

"CDW is at the forefront of selling HCI solutions and has been a thought leader on VMware's vSAN since its launch. CDW's force of highly skilled, dedicated and certified VMware technical and sales resources continues to drive the acceptance of vSAN in the marketplace. For our customers who want native security and data availability, VMware vSAN 6.6 will provide native encryption and local protection in stretch clusters. We look forward to working with our customers to leverage its potential," said Neal Campbell, SVP, strategic solutions and services, CDW Corporation.

"Clover School District deployed a new VDI platform powered by VMware vSAN and Horizon to enable us to administer standardized tests to students online. By choosing vSAN, we cut our storage costs by 75% and saved our staff from having to babysit the storage anymore. We anticipate that the new automation and intelligent operations built into vSAN 6.6 will help us further reduce management time and ensure optimal performance," said Matt Hoffman, executive director, technology, Clover School District.

"Being part of the vSAN 6.6 beta program has allowed us to see firsthand how vSAN is innovating around new features, like native security and simplified operations. We have enjoyed the chance to provide feedback to VMware's product teams and influence the vSAN roadmap, which can bring value to us and all the 7,000-plus other customers," said Johan Marais, virtualization manager, Discovery Limited.

Industry's broadest consumption options from on- to off-premises
In conjunction with its expansive partner ecosystem, the company provides a broad set of consumption options for its HCI software from turnkey HCI appliances to certified hardware to public clouds. Today, customers can choose to deploy HCI solutions powered by vSAN through Dell EMC VxRail Appliances, fully integrated HCI appliances tailored for ease of deployment. Customers can also choose to deploy vSAN on 200-plus pre-certified vSAN ReadyNodes from all major server vendors (15 in total) catering to their deployment needs and vendor preferences. Alternatively, customers can consume vSAN via managed clouds through the vCloud Air Network of providers.

Customers seeking the fastest path to software-defined cloud infrastructure can purchase VMware Cloud Foundation, a unified SDDC platform for private and public cloud. It delivers enterprise-ready, highly dynamic cloud infrastructure that is simpler to operate by integrating vSphere, vSAN and NSX into a single interoperable stack with powerful built-in lifecycle management automation (SDDC Manager). For a consistent operational experience across clouds, customers can extend their private cloud to the public cloud via the firm's Cloud Foundation. Alternatively, they can begin their Cloud Foundation deployment with one of the cloud service providers in company's growing ecosystem including IBM Cloud today. VMware Cloud on AWS powered by VMware Cloud Foundation will follow later in 2017.

vSAN 6.6 is expected to become available by May 5, 2017. vSAN list price starts at $2,495 per CPU. vSAN for Desktop list price starts at $50 per user.

vSAN QoS capabilities are available in all vSAN editions.

vSAN Encryption and enhanced stretched cluster capabilities will be available solely in vSAN Enterprise Edition.

What partners have to say about vSAN 6.6
Businesses Rush to Hyper-Converged Infrastructure Solutions with VMware's Yanbing Li  
Register to VMware vSAN 6.6 course   

(1) Evaluator Group, Hyperconverged Infrastructures in the Enterprise, January 2017
(2) IDC, Software-Defined Storage Appearing in Production Deployments Across Organizations of All Types and Sizes, Sept. 2016 Doc # US41655116
(3) VMware Internal Analysis, March 2017: vSAN Stretched Clusters versus leading legacy storage
(4) VMware Internal Analysis, March 2017: VMware performance tests running 4-node all-flash vSAN with mixed workload. Comparison to same tests running vSAN 6.5.