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vSAN versions What’s New

Vyhledem k tomu, že starší verze postupně přestávají být podporované a tím pádem se i dokumentace k nim “ztrácí”, rozhodl jsem se udělat stránku, na které budu vždy s novou verzí přidávat, co nová verze přináší za vylepšení.

První verze jsem nestihl předtím, než byly release notes z dokumentace staženy.


  • All-flash configurations
  • 64 host cluster scalability
  • 2x performance increase for hybrid configurations
  • New snapshot mechanism
  • Enhanced cloning mechanism
  • Fault domain/rack awareness


  • Stretched clustering across a max of 5 ms RTT
  • 2-node vSAN for remote office, branch office solutions
  • VRealize operations management pack
  • vSphere Replication 5 minute RPO
  • Health monitoring


  • RAID 5/6 over network (Erasure coding)
  • Space Efficiency (deduplication and compression)
  • QoS – IOPS limits
  • Software checksums
  • IPv6 support
  • Performance monitoring


  • iSCSI target service. The Virtual SAN iSCSI target service enables physical workloads that are outside the Virtual SAN cluster to access the Virtual SAN datastore. An iSCSI initiator on a remote host can transport block-level data to an iSCSI target on a storage device in the Virtual SAN cluster.
  • 2 Node Direct Connect with witness traffic separation. Virtual SAN 6.5 provides support for an alternate VMkernel interface to communicate with the witness host in a stretched cluster configuration. This support enables you to separate witness traffic from Virtual SAN data traffic, with no routing required from the Virtual SAN network to the witness host. You can simplify connectivity to the witness host in certain stretched cluster and 2 Node configurations. In 2 Node configurations, you can make one or more node-to-node, direct connections for Virtual SAN data traffic, without using a high speed switch. Using an alternate VMkernel interface for witness traffic is supported in stretched cluster configurations, but only when it is connected to the same physical switch as the interface used for Virtual SAN data traffic.
  • PowerCLI support. VMware vSphere PowerCLI adds command-line scripting support for Virtual SAN, to help you automate configuration and management tasks. vSphere PowerCLI provides a Windows PowerShell interface to the vSphere API. PowerCLI includes cmdlets for administering Virtual SAN components.
  • 512e drive support. Virtual SAN 6.5 supports 512e magnetic hard disk drives (HDDs) in which the physical sector size is 4096 bytes, but the logical sector size emulates a sector size of 512 bytes.


  • Unicast. In vSAN 6.6 and later releases, multicast is not required on the physical switches that support the vSAN cluster. If some hosts in your vSAN cluster are running earlier versions of software, a multicast network is still required.
  • Encryption. vSAN supports data-at-rest encryption of the vSAN datastore. When you enable encryption, vSAN performs a rolling reformat of every disk group in the cluster. vSAN encryption requires a trusted connection between vCenter Server and a key management server (KMS). The KMS must support the Key Management Interoperability Protocol (KMIP) 1.1 standard.
  • Enhanced stretched cluster availability with local fault protection. You can provide local fault protection for virtual machine objects within a single site in a stretched cluster. You can define a Primary level of failures to tolerate for the cluster, and a Secondary level of failures to tolerate for objects within a single site. When one site is unavailable, vSAN maintains availability with local redundancy in the available site.
    • Enhanced stretched cluster availability with local fault protection. You can provide local fault protection for virtual machine objects within a single site in a stretched cluster. Define a Primary level of failures to tolerate for the cluster, and a Secondary level of failures to tolerate for objects within a single site. When one site is unavailable, vSAN maintains availability with local redundancy in the available site.
    • Change witness host. You can change the witness host for a stretched cluster. On the Fault Domains and Stretched Cluster page, click Change witness host.
  • Configuration Assist and Updates. You can use the Configuration Assist and Updates pages to check the configuration of your vSAN cluster, and resolve any issues.
    • Configuration Assist helps you verify the configuration of cluster components, resolve issues, and troubleshoot problems. Configuration checks are divided into categories, similar to those in the vSAN health service. The configuration checks cover hardware compatibility, network, and vSAN configuration options.
    • You can use the Updates page to update storage controller firmware and drivers to meet vSAN requirements.
  • Resynchronization throttling. You can throttle the IOPS used for cluster resynchronization. Use this control if latencies are rising in the cluster due to resynchronization, or if resynchronization traffic is too high on a host.
  • Health service enhancements. New and enhanced health checks for encryption, cluster membership, time drift, controller firmware, disk groups, physical disks, disk balance. Online health checks can monitor vSAN cluster health and send the data to the VMware analytics backend system for advanced analysis. You must participate in the Customer Experience Improvement Program to use online health checks.
  • Updated Host-based vSAN monitoring. You can monitor vSAN health and basic configuration through the ESXi host client. In the host client navigator, click Storage. Select the vSAN datastore, and then click Monitor. Click the tabs to view vSAN information for the host. On the vSAN tab, you can click Edit Settings to correct configuration issues at the host level.
  • Performance service enhancements. vSAN performance service includes statistics for networking, resynchronization, and iSCSI. You can select saved time ranges in performance views. vSAN saves each selected time range when you run a performance query.
  • vSAN integration with vCenter Server Appliance. You can create a vSAN cluster as you deploy a vCenter Server Appliance, and host the appliance on that cluster. The vCenter Server Appliance Installer enables you to create a one-host vSAN cluster, with disks claimed from the host. vCenter Server Appliance is deployed on the vSAN cluster.
  • Maintenance mode enhancements. The Confirm Maintenance Mode dialog box provides information to guide your maintenance activities. You can view the impact of each data evacuation option. For example, you can check whether enough free space is available to complete the selected option.
  • Rebalancing and repair enhancements. Disk rebalancing operations are more efficient. Manual rebalancing operation provides better progress reporting.
    • Rebalancing protocol has been tuned to be more efficient and achieve better cluster balance. Manual rebalance provides more updates and better progress reporting.
    • More efficient repair operations require fewer cluster resynchronizations. vSAN can partially repair degraded or absent components to increase the Failures to tolerate even if vSAN cannot make the object compliant.
  • Disk failure handling. If a disk experiences sustained high latencies or congestion, vSAN considers the device as a dying disk, and evacuates data from the disk. vSAN handles the dying disk by evacuating or rebuilding data. No user action is required, unless the cluster lacks resources or has inaccessible objects. When vSAN completes evacuation of data, the health status is listed as DyingDiskEmpty. vSAN does not unmount the failed device.
  • New esxcli commands.
    • Display vSAN cluster health: esxcli vsan health
    • Display vSAN debug information: esxcli vsan debug


  • vSphere Update Manager build recommendations for vSAN. Update Manager can scan the vSAN cluster and recommend host baselines that include updates, patches, and extensions. It manages recommended baselines, validates the support status from vSAN HCL, and downloads the correct ESXi ISO images from VMware.
    vSAN requires Internet access to generate build recommendations. If your vSAN cluster uses a proxy to connect to the Internet, vSAN can generate recommendations for patch upgrades, but not for major upgrades.
  • Performance diagnostics. The performance diagnostics tool analyzes previously executed benchmark tests. It detects issues, suggests remediation steps, and provides supporting performance graphs for further insight. Performance diagnostics requires participation in the Customer Experience Improvement Program (CEIP).
  • Increased support for locator LEDs on vSAN disks. Gen-9 HPE controllers in pass-through mode now support vSAN activation of locator LEDs. Blinking LEDs help to identify and isolate specific drives.


  • 4Kn drive support. vSAN 6.7 supports 4K Native disk drives.  4Kn drives provide higher capacity densities compared to 512n. This support enables you to deploy storage heavy configurations using 4Kn drives with higher capacity points.
  • vSphere and vSAN FIPS 140-2 validation. vSAN 6.7 encryption has been validated for the Federal Information Processing Standard 140-2. FIPS validated software modules have numerous advantages over special purpose hardware, because they can be executed on a general-purpose computing system, providing portability and flexibility. You can configure a vSAN host using any HCL-compatible set of drives in thousands of form factors, capacities and features, while maintaining data security using FIPS 140-2 validated modules.
  • HTML interface. The HTML5-based vSphere Client ships with vCenter Server alongside the Flex-based vSphere Web Client. The vSphere Client uses many of the same interface terminologies, topologies, and workflows as the vSphere Web Client. You can use the new vSphere Client, or continue to use the vSphere Web Client. 
  • vRealize Operations within vCenter Server. The vSphere Client includes an embedded vRealize Operations plugin that provides basic vSAN and vSphere operational dashboards. The plugin provides a method to easily deploy a new vROps instance or specify an existing instance in the environment, one of which is required to access the dashboards. The vROps plugin does not require any additional vROps licensing. 
  • Windows Server Failover Clustering support.  vSAN 6.7 supports Windows Server Failover Clustering by building WSFC targets on top of vSAN iSCSI targets. vSAN iSCSI target service supports SCSI-3 Persistent Reservations for shared disks and transparent failover for WSFC. WSFC can run on either physical servers or VMs. 
  • Intelligent site continuity for stretched clusters. In the case of a partition between the preferred and secondary data sites, vSAN 6.7 will intelligently determine which site leads to maximum data availability before automatically forming quorum with the witness. The secondary site can operate as the active site until the preferred site has the latest copy of the data. This prevents the VMs from migrating back to the preferred site and losing locality of data reads. 
  • Witness traffic separation for stretched clusters. You now have the option to configure a dedicated VMkernel NIC for witness traffic. The witness VMkernel NIC does not transmit any data traffic. This feature enhances data security by isolating the witness traffic from vSAN data traffic. It also is useful when the witness NIC has less bandwidth and latency compared to the data NICs.  
  • Efficient inter-site resync for stretched clusters. Instead of resyncing all copies across the inter-site link for a rebuild or repair operation, vSAN 6.7 sends only one copy and performs the remaining resyncs from that local copy. This reduces the amount of data transmitted between sites in a stretched cluster.
  • Fast failovers when using redundant vSAN networks. When vSAN 6.7 is deployed with multiple VMkernel adapters for redundancy, failure of one of the adapters will result in immediate failover to the other VMkernel adapter. In prior releases, vSAN waits for TCP to timeout before failing over network traffic to healthy VMkernel adapters.   
  • Adaptive resync for dynamic management of resynchronization traffic. Adaptive resynchronization speeds up time to compliance (restoring an object back to its provisioned failures to tolerate) by allocating dedicated bandwidth to resynchronization I/O. Resynchronization I/O is generated by vSAN to bring an object back to compliance. While minimum bandwidth is guaranteed for resynchronization I/Os, the bandwidth can be increased dynamically if there is no contention from the client I/O. Conversely, if there are no resynchronization I/Os, client I/Os can use the additional bandwidth.   
  • Consolidation of replica components. During placement, components belonging to different replicas are placed in different fault domains, due to the replica anti-affinity rule. However, when the cluster is running at high capacity utilization and objects must be moved or rebuilt, either because of maintenance operation or failure, enough FDs might not be available. Replica consolidation is an improvement over the point fix method used in vSAN 6.6. Whereas point fix reconfigures the entire RAID tree (considerable data movement), replica consolidation moves the least amount of data to create FDs that meet the replica anti-affinity requirement.  
  • Host pinning for shared nothing applications. vSAN Host Pinning is a new storage policy that adapts the efficiency and resiliency of vSAN for next-generation, shared-nothing applications. With this policy, vSAN maintains a single copy of the data and stores the data blocks local to the ESXi host running the VM. This policy is offered as a deployment choice for Big Data (Hadoop, Spark), NoSQL, and other such applications that maintain data redundancy at the application layer. vSAN Host Pinning has specific requirements and guidelines that require VMware validation to ensure proper deployment. You must work with your VMware representative to ensure the configuration is validated before deploying this policy. 
  • Enhanced diagnostics partition (coredump) support. vSAN 6.7 automatically resizes the coredump partition on USB/SD media if there is free space on the device, so that coredumps and logs can be persisted locally. If there is insufficient free space or no boot device is present, then no re-partitioning is performed.
  • vSAN destaging optimizations. vSAN 6.7 includes enhancements to improve the speed at which data is written from the caching tier to the capacity tier. These changes will improve the performance of VM I/Os and resynchronization speed. 
  • Health check additions and improvements. vSAN 6.7 includes several new health checks and improvements to the health service for better proactive and reactive guidance.
  • vSAN Support insight. vSAN 6.7 has improved customer support by providing anonymized environmental data to VMware Global Support Services (GSS) for proactive support and faster troubleshooting. Customer enrollment in the Customer Experience Improvement Program (CEIP) is required to receive this benefit. 
  • Swap object thin provisioning and policy inheritance improvements. VM swap files in vSAN 6.7 inherit the VM storage policy for all settings, including thin provisioning. In prior versions, the swap file was always thick provisioned.

6.7 U1

  • Guided cluster creation and extension. vSAN 6.7 Update 1 introduces a Quickstart wizard in the vSphere Client. The Quickstart workflow guides the user through the deployment process for vSAN and non-vSAN clusters. It covers every aspect of the initial configuration, such as host, network, and vSphere settings. Quickstart also plays a part in the ongoing expansion of a vSAN cluster by allowing a user to add additional hosts to the cluster.
  • HBA firmware update through VUM. Storage I/O controller firmware for vSAN hosts is now included as part of the vSphere Update Manager remediation workflow. This functionality was previously provided in a vSAN utility called Configuration Assist. VUM also supports custom ISOs that are provided by certain OEM vendors and vCenter Servers that do not have internet connectivity.
  • Maintenance mode enhancements. vSAN now performs a simulation of data evacuation to determine if the operation will succeed or fail before it starts. If the evacuation will fail, vSAN halts the operation before any resynchronization activity begins. In addition, the vSphere Client enables you to modify the component repair delay timer, so you can adjust this setting. 
  • Historical and usable capacity reporting. vSAN 6.7 Update 1 introduces a historical capacity dashboard that reports on capacity usage over a period of time, including historical changes to the deduplication ratio. This release also includes a usable capacity estimator, which enables you to see the usable datastore capacity based on a selected storage policy. 
  • TRIM/UNMAP for storage efficiency.  vSAN 6.7 Update 1 now has full awareness of TRIM/UNMAP commands sent from the Guest OS, and reclaims previously allocated blocks as free space within the underlying vSAN objects. TRIM/UNMAP can be configured in automatic or offline mode, which is set within the Guest OS. 
  • Mixed MTU for witness traffic separation. vSAN now supports different MTU settings for the witness traffic VMkernel interface and the vSAN data network VMkernel interface. This capability provides increased network flexibility for stretched clusters and 2-node clusters that utilize witness traffic separation. 
  • Health check enhancements. Storage controller firmware health check now supports multiple approved firmware levels to provide additional flexibility. You can silence health checks from the UI. You can purge inaccessible swap objects that are no longer needed. The All hosts have matching subnets health check has been deprecated.  
  • Unicast network performance test. A new proactive network performance test, based on Unicast, determines if all hosts in the cluster have proper connectivity and meet bandwidth recommendations.
  • vRealize Operations enhancements within vCenter Server. Native vROps dashboards built into vCenter Server can display intelligence for vSAN stretched clusters. Additionally, the deployment process now supports virtual distributed switches and full compatibility with vROps 7.0. 
  • In-product support diagnostics. vSAN 6.7 Update 1 introduces product diagnostics to assist VMware Global Support in resolving customer cases more quickly. Specialized performance dashboards in vCenter Server, and an on-demand network diagnostic test, reduce the need to generate and upload support bundles to GSS, speeding time to resolution of support cases. In addition, health check history is stored in a log file to aid support personnel.   
  • Updated Advanced settings. The vSphere Client provides an Advanced settings dialog box (Configure > vSAN > Services > Advanced Options). You can adjust the component repair delay timer. You also can enable/disable thin swap files, and site read locality. 


  • vSAN performance enhancementsThis release provides improved performance and availability SLAs on all-flash configurations with deduplication enabled. Latency sensitive applications have better performance in terms of predictable I/O latencies and increased sequential I/O throughput. Rebuild times on disk and node failures are shorter, which provides better availability SLAs.
  • Enhanced capacity monitoring. The capacity monitoring dashboard has been redesigned for improved visibility of overall usage, granular breakdown, and simplified capacity alerting. Capacity-related health checks are more visible and consistent. Granular capacity utilization is available per site, fault domain, and at the host/disk group level.
  • Enhanced resync monitoring. The Resyncing Objects dashboard introduces new logic to improve the accuracy of resync completion times, as well as granular visibility into different types of resyncing activity, such as rebalancing or policy compliance.
  • Data migration pre-check for maintenance mode operations. This release of vSAN introduces a dedicated dashboard to provide in-depth analysis for host maintenance mode operations, including a more descriptive pre-check for data migration activities. This report provides deeper insight into object compliance, cluster capacity and predicted health before placing a host into maintenance mode.
  • Increased hardening during capacity-strained scenarios. This release includes new robust handling of capacity usage conditions for improved detection, prevention, and remediation of conditions where cluster capacity has exceeded recommended thresholds.
  • Proactive rebalancing enhancements. You can automate all rebalancing activities with cluster-wide configuration and threshold settings. Prior to this release, proactive rebalancing was manually initiated after being alerted by vSAN health checks.
  • Efficient capacity handling for policy changes. This release of vSAN introduces new logic to reduce the amount of space temporarily consumed by policy changes across the cluster. vSAN processes policy resynchronizations in small batches, which efficiently utilizes capacity from the slack space reserve and simplifies user operations.
  • Disk format conversion pre-checks. All disk group format conversions that require a rolling data evacuation now include a backend pre-check which accurately determines success or failure of the operation before any movement of data.
  • Parallel resynchronization. vSAN 6.7 Update 3 includes optimized resynchronization behavior, which automatically runs additional data streams per resyncing component when resources are available. This new behavior runs in the background and provides greater I/O management and performance for workload demands.
  • Windows Server Failover Clusters (WSFC) on native vSAN VMDKs. vSAN 6.7 Update 3 introduces native support for SCSI-3 PR, which enables Windows Server Failover Clusters to be deployed directly on VMDKs as first class workloads. This capability makes it possible to migrate legacy deployments on physical RDMs or external storage protocols to vSAN.
  • Enable Support Insight in the vSphere Client. You can enable vSAN Support Insight, which provides access to all vSAN proactive support and diagnostics based on the CEIP, such as online vSAN health checks, performance diagnostics and improved support experience during SR resolution.
  • vSphere Update Manager (VUM) baseline preference. This release includes an improved vSAN update recommendation experience from VUM, which allows users to configure the recommended baseline for a vSAN cluster to either stay within the current version and only apply available patches or updates, or upgrade to the latest ESXi version that is compatible with the cluster.
  • Upload and download VMDKs from a vSAN datastore. This release adds the ability to upload and download VMDKs to and from the vSAN datastore. This capability provides a simple way to protect and recover VM data during capacity-strained scenarios.
  • vCenter forward compatibility with ESXi. vCenter Server can manage newer versions of ESXi hosts in a vSAN cluster, as long as both vCenter and it’s managed hosts have the same major vSphere version. You can apply critical ESXi patches without updating vCenter Server to the same version.
  • New performance metrics and troubleshooting utility. This release introduces a vSAN CPU metric through the performance service, and provides a new command-line utility (vsantop) for real-time performance statistics of vSAN, similar to esxtop for vSphere.
  • vSAN iSCSI service enhancements. The vSAN iSCSI service has been enhanced to allow dynamic resizing of iSCSI LUNs without disruption.
  • Cloud Native Storage. Cloud Native Storage is a solution that provides comprehensive data management for stateful applications. With Cloud Native Storage, vSphere persistent storage integrates with Kubernetes. When you use Cloud Native Storage, you can create persistent storage for containerized stateful applications capable of surviving restarts and outages. Stateful containers orchestrated by Kubernetes can leverage storage exposed by vSphere (vSAN, VMFS, NFS) while using standard Kubernetes volume, persistent volume, and dynamic provisioning primitives.


  • vSphere Lifecycle Manager. vSphere Lifecycle Manager enables simplified, consistent lifecycle management for your ESXi hosts. It uses a desired-state model that provides lifecycle management for the hypervisor and the full stack of drivers and firmware. vSphere Lifecycle Manager reduces the effort to monitor compliance for individual components and helps maintain a consistent state for the entire cluster. In vSAN 7.0, this solution supports Dell and HPE ReadyNodes.
    With vCenter Server 7.0.0a, vSAN File Services and vSphere Lifecycle Manager can be enabled simultaneously on the same vSAN cluster.
  • Integrated File Services. vSAN native File Service delivers the ability to leverage vSAN clusters to create and present NFS v4.1 and v3 file shares. vSAN File Service extends vSAN capabilities to files, including availability, security, storage efficiency, and operations management.
  • Native support for NVMe hot plug. This enhancement delivers a consistent way of servicing NVMe devices, and provides operational efficiency for select OEM drives.
  • I/O redirect based on capacity imbalance with stretched clusters. vSAN redirects all VM I/O from a capacity-strained site to the other site, untill the capacity is freed up. This feature improves uptime of your VMs.
  • Skyline integration with vSphere health and vSAN health. Joining forces under the Skyline brand, Skyline Health for vSphere and vSAN are available in the vSphere Client, enabling a native, in-product experience with consistent proactive analytics.
  • Remove EZT for shared disk. vSAN 7.0 eliminates the prerequisite that shared virtual disks using the multi-writer flag must also use the eager zero thick format.
  • Support vSAN memory as metric in performance service. vSAN memory usage is now available within the vSphere Client and through the API.
  • Visibility of vSphere Replication objects in vSAN capacity view. vSphere replication objects are visible in vSAN capacity view. Objects are recognized as vSphere replica type, and space usage is accounted for under the Replication category.
  • Support for large capacity drives. Enhancements extend support for 32TB physical capacity drives, and extend the logical capacity to 1PB when deduplication and compression is enabled.
  • Immediate repair after new witness is deployed. When vSAN performs a replace witness operation, it immediately invokes a repair object operation after the witness has been added.
  • vSphere with Kubernetes integration. CNS is the default storage platform for vSphere with Kubernetes. This integration enables various stateful containerized workloads to be deployed on vSphere with Kubernetes Supervisor and Guest clusters on vSAN, VMFS and NFS datastores.
  • File-based persistent volumes. Kubernetes developers can dynamically create shared (Read/Write/Many) persistent volumes for applications. Multiple pods can share data. vSAN native File Services is the foundation that enables this capability.
  • vVol support for modern applications. You can deploy modern Kubernetes applications to external storage arrays on vSphere using the CNS support added for vVols. vSphere now enables unified management for Persistent Volumes across vSAN, NFS, VMFS and vVols.
  • vSAN VCG notification service. You can subscribe to vSAN HCL components such as vSAN ReadyNode, I/O controller, drives (NVMe, SSD, HDD) and get notified through email about any changes. The changes include firmware, driver, driver type (async/inbox), and so on. You can track the changes over time with new vSAN releases.
  • NewDefault gateway override. With ESXi 7.0b, vSAN enables you to override the default gateway for the vSAN VMkernel adapter on each host, and configure a gateway address for the vSAN network.


Scale Without Compromise

  • HCI Mesh. HCI Mesh is a software-based approach for disaggregation of compute and storage resources in vSAN. HCI Mesh brings together multiple independent vSAN clusters by enabling cross-cluster utilization of remote datastore capacity within vCenter Server. HCI Mesh enables you to efficiently utilize and consume data center resources, which provides simple storage management at scale.
  • vSAN File Service enhancements. Native vSAN File Service includes support for SMB file shares. Support for Microsoft Active Directory, Kerberos authentication, and scalability improvements also are available.
  • Compression-only vSAN. You can enable compression independently of deduplication, which provides a storage efficiency option for workloads that cannot take advantage of deduplication. With compression-only vSAN, a failed capacity device only impacts that device and not the entire disk group.
  • Increased usable capacity. Internal optimizations allow vSAN to no longer need the 25-30% of free space available for internal operations and host failure rebuilds. The amount of space required is a deterministic value based on deployment variables, such as size of the cluster and density of storage devices. These changes provide more usable capacity for workloads.
  • Shared witness for two-node clusters. vSAN 7.0 Update 1 enables a single vSAN witness host to manage multiple two-node clusters. A single witness host can support up to 64 clusters, which greatly reduces operational and resource overhead.

Simplify Operations

  • vSAN Data-in-Transit encryption. This feature enables secure over the wire encryption of data traffic between nodes in a vSAN cluster. vSAN data-in-transit encryption is a cluster-wide feature, and can be enabled independently or along with vSAN data-at-rest encryption. Traffic encryption uses the same FIPS-2 validated cryptographic module as existing encryption features, and does not require use of a KMS server.
  • Enhanced data durability during maintenance mode. This improvement protects the integrity of data when you place a host into maintenance mode with the Ensure Accessibility option. All incremental writes which would have been written to the host in maintenance are now redirected to another host, if one is available. This feature benefits VMs that have PFTT=1 configured, and also provides an alternative to using PFTT=2 for ensuring data integrity during maintenance operations.
  • vLCM enhancements. vSphere Lifecycle Manager (vLCM) is a solution for unified software and firmware lifecycle management. In this release, vLCM is enhanced with firmware support for Lenovo ReadyNodes, awareness of vSAN stretched cluster and fault domain configurations, additional hardware compatibility pre-checks, and increased scalability for concurrent cluster operations.
  • Reserved capacity. You can enable capacity reservations for internal cluster operations and host failure rebuilds. Reservations are soft-thresholds designed to prevent user-driven provisioning activity from interfering with internal operations, such as data rebuilds, rebalancing activity, or policy re-configurations.
  • Default gateway override. You can override the default gateway for VMkernel adapter to provide a different gateway for vSAN network. This feature simplifies routing configuration for stretched clusters, two-node clusters, and fault domain deployments that previously required manual configuration of static routes. Static routing is not necessary.
  • Faster vSAN host restarts. The time interval for a planned host restart has been reduced by persisting in-memory metadata to disk before the restart or shutdown. This method reduces the time required for hosts in a vSAN cluster to restart, which decreases the overall cluster downtime during maintenance windows.
  • Workload I/O analysis. Analyze VM I/O metrics with IOInsight, a monitoring and troubleshooting tool that is integrated directly into vCenter Server. Gain a detailed view of VM I/O characteristics such as performance, I/O size and type, read/write ratio, and other important data metrics. You can run IOInsight operations against VMs, hosts, or the entire cluster.
  • Consolidated I/O performance view. You can select multiple VMs, and display a combined view of storage performance metrics such as IOPS, throughput, and latency. You can compare storage performance characteristics across multiple VMs.
  • VM latency monitoring with IOPS limits. This improvement in performance monitoring helps you distinguish the periods of latency that can occur due to enforced IOPS limits. This view can help organizations that set IOPS limits in VM storage policies.
  • Secure drive erase. Securely wipe flash storage devices before decommissioning from a vSAN cluster through a set of new PowerCLI or API commands. Use these commands to safely erase data in accordance to NIST standards.
  • Data migration pre-check for disks. vSAN’s data migration pre-check for host maintenance mode now includes support for individual disk devices or entire disk groups. This offers more granular pre-checks for disk or disk group decommissioning.
  • VPAT section 508 compliant. vSAN is compliant with the Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT). VPAT section 508 compliance ensures that vSAN had a thorough audit of accessibility requirements, and has instituted product changes for proper compliance.


Scale without Compromise

  • HCI Mesh. HCI Mesh now enables vSAN clusters to share capacity with vSphere compute-only clusters, or non-HCI based clusters. You can also specify storage rules for recommended data placement, to find a compatible datastore. Scalability for a single remote vSAN datastore has been increased to 128 hosts.
  • vSAN File Service enhancements. vSAN File Service now supports stretched cluster deployments and two-node clusters. Scalability is increased to 64 hosts and 100 shares per cluster.
  • Stretched cluster enhancements. A stretched cluster now can include up to 20 hosts at each site. DRS awareness of stretched clusters provides more consistent performance during failback situations.
  • vSAN over RDMA. vSAN over RDMA delivers increased performance and enables you to obtain better VM consolidation ratios. 
  • Enhanced platform performance. Improves platform NUMA awareness to deliver increased performance. 

Boost Infrastructure and Data Security

  • vSphere Native Key Provider. vSAN supports vSphere Native Key Provider for built-in encryption.
  • Data-in-transit encryption for vSAN File Service. Security enhancements to File Service include support for data-in-transit encryption, when File Service is enabled along with vSAN data-in-transit encryption.
  • Data-in-transit encryption for shared witness. vSAN 7.0 Update 2 supports data-in-transit encryption for shared witness hosts. 

Simplify Operations

  • vLCM enhancements. vLCM now supports firmware updates for select Hitachi UCP HC servers, along with existing support for select Dell EMC, HPE and Lenovo servers. vLCM can update vSphere with Tanzu clusters configured with NSX-T networking. In addition, scalability is increased to 400 hosts managed by vLCM within a single vCenter Server. 
  • vSAN management and monitoring enhancements. Additional tools are available to analyze your environment, and rapidly identify root causes of issues and ways to remediate. Enhancements include proactive capacity management, networking diagnostics, insights into performance top contributors, and health check history.
  • Unplanned failure handling. vSAN 7.0 Update 2 includes enhanced data durability to tolerate unplanned host, disk, or network failures by creating additional durability components at the time of failure.
  • File Service snapshots. vSAN 7.0 Update 2 simplifies backup of file shares with snapshot support and APIs that allow backup and recovery software vendors to integrate with vSAN File Service.
  • vSphere Proactive HA support. vSAN now supports proactive HA, which detects hardware issues and can take proactive steps to place hosts into maintenance mode. 
  • VMFS6 file system support. A newly created VM on vSAN datastore will have VMFS6 file system on the VM namespace object if the object format version is 14. You can use SEsparse snapshots with the VM. 
  • Efficient VMDK moves. When you move a VMDK between two directories on same vSAN datastore using the vSphere Datastore Browser UI or API (VirtualDiskManager.moveVirtualDisk), only the VMDK descriptor file and object metadata is updated. This operation is faster because the VMDK backing vSAN object data is not copied. 


Developer Ready Infrastructure

  • CNS platform improvements. CNS platform has improved performance, scale, and resiliency, including better concurrency for Async CSI queries, better handling of orphan volumes, and improved troubleshooting tools.
  • Vanilla Kubernetes support enhancements. Enhancements include vSAN stretched cluster support and topology support.
  • vSphere with Tanzu. vSAN 7.0 Update 3 supports ReadWriteMany PVs for Tanzu Kubernetes Grid.
  • vDPp improvements. vSAN Data Persistence Platform now supports asynchronous installation and upgrades of partner services. New versions of MinIO and Cloudian are available in this release. Pre-checks when entering maintenance mode and disk decommissioning support are available. 

Simplify Operations

  • vSAN cluster shutdown and restart. You now can easily shutdown and restart a vSAN cluster. The Shutdown Cluster wizard performs prechecks, and enables you to review, confirm and track the steps needed before and during shutdown and restart process.
  • vLCM enhancements. vLCM’s hardware compatibility checks support validation of disk device firmware against the vSAN HCL before applying the desired cluster image. vLCM supports upgrade of vSAN witness host (dedicated) as part of the coordinated cluster remediation workflow for vSAN two-node clusters and stretched clusters.
  • Enhanced network monitoring and anomaly detection. vSAN 7.0 Update 3 provides additional network health checks for diagnostics, and enables you to tune network monitoring thresholds. 
  • vSAN health check correlation. The new vSAN health correlation engine helps identify the root cause of issues on the cluster. This information can simplify troubleshooting and help you remediate related warnings on the cluster. 
  • VM I/O trip analyzer. Visual representation of the vSAN I/O path and related performance information throughout the I/O path enables you to easily diagnose VM performance issues. 
  • Improved performance monitoring of PV/FCDs. Performance displays can provide an end-to-end view of Persistent Volumes and First Class Disk performance. 

Platform Enhancements

  • Stretched cluster site/witness failure resiliency. This release enables stretched clusters to tolerate planned or unplanned downtime of a site and the witness. You can perform site-wide maintenance (such as power or networking) without concerns about witness availability. 
  • Nested fault domains for two-node deployments. This feature provides the ability to make an additional copy of the data within the host in addition to making copies across the hosts in a two-node cluster. This delivers data-availability even after a planned/unplanned downtime of a host and losing a drive or disk group on the surviving host. The policy can be configured though SPBM.
  • Stuck I/O enhancements. vSAN gracefully detects stuck I/O (failure of I/O controller to complete an operation) on a host and redirects it to a replica. The vSphere Client alerts you of the condition, so you can migrate workloads non-disruptively and power-cycle the problematic host.
  • Encryption key persistence. Encryption keys generated by the Key Management solution can be stored in the TPM chip.
  • Access Based Enumeration. vSAN File Services now supports SMB Access Based Enumeration (ABE). ABE restricts directory enumeration based on access privileges configured on the directory. 


Performance without Tradeoffs

  • vSAN Express Storage Architecture. vSAN ESA is an alternative architecure that provides the potential for huge boosts in performance with more predictable I/O latencies and optimized space efficiency.
  • Increased write buffer. vSAN Original Storage Architecture can support more intensive workloads. You can configure vSAN hosts to increase the write buffer from 600 GB to 1.6 TB.
  • Native snapshots with minimal performance impact. vSAN ESA file system has snapshots built in. These native snapshots cause minimal impact to VM performance, even if the snapshot chain gets deep. The snapshots are fully compatible with existing backup applications using VMware VADP.

Supreme Resource and Space Efficiency

  • Erasure Coding without compromising performance. The vSAN ESA RAID5/RAID6 capabilities with Erasure Coding provide a highly efficient Erasure Coding code path, so you can have both a high-performance and a space-efficient storage policy.
  • Improved compression. vSAN ESA has advanced compression capabilities that can bring up to 4x better compression. Compression is performed before data is sent across the vSAN network, providing better bandwidth usage.
  • Expanded usable storage potential. vSAN ESA consists of a single-tier architecture with all devices contributing to capacity. This flat storage pool removes the need for disk groups with caching devices.
  • Reduced performance overhead for high VM consolidation. Resource and space efficiency improvements enable you to store more VM data per cluster, potentially increasing VM consolidation ratios.
  • HCI Mesh support for 10 client clusters. A storage server cluster can be shared with up to 10 client clusters.

Fast, Efficient Data Protection with vSAN ESA Native Snapshots

  • Negligible performance impact. Long snapshot chains and deep snapshot chains cause minimal performance impact.
  • Faster snapshot operations. Applications that suffered from snapshot create or snapshot delete stun times will perform better with vSAN ESA.
  • Consistent partner backup application experience using VMware VADP. VMware snapshot APIs are unchanged. VMware VADP supports all vSAN ESA native snapshot operations on the vSphere platform.

Availability and Serviceability

  • Simplified and accelerated servicing per device. vSAN ESA removes the complexity of disk groups, which streamlines the replacement process for failed drives.
  • Smaller failure domains and reduced data resynchronization. vSAN ESA has no single points of failure in its storage pool design. vSAN data and metadata are protected according to the Failures To Tolerate (FTT) SPBM setting. Neither caching nor compression lead to more than a single disk failure domain if a disk crashes. Resync operations complete faster with vSAN ESA.
  • Enhanced data availability and improved SLAs. Reduction in disk failure domains and quicker repair times means you can improve the SLAs provided to your customers or business units.
  • vSAN boot-time optimizations. vSAN boot logic has been further optimized for faster startup.
  • Enhanced shutdown and startup workflows. The vSAN cluster shutdown and cluster startup process has been enhanced to support vSAN clusters that house vCenter or infrastructure services such as AD, DNS, DHCP, and so on.
  • Reduced vSAN File Service failover time. vSAN File Service planned failovers have been streamlined.

Intuitive, Agile Operations

  • Consistent interfaces across all vSAN platforms. vSAN ESA uses the same screens and workflows as vSAN OSA, so the learning curve is small.
  • Per-VM policies increase flexibility. vSAN ESA is moving cluster-wide settings to the SPBM level. In this release, SPBM compression settings give you granular control down to the VM or even VMDK level, and you can apply them broadly with datastore default policies.
  • Proactive Insight into compatibility and compliance. This mechanism helps vSAN clusters connected to VMware Analytics Cloud identify software and hardware anomalies. If an OEM partner publishes an advisory about issues for a drive or I/O controller listed in vSAN HCL, you can be notified about the potentially impacted environment.

Additional Features and Enhancements

  • Enhanced network uplink latency metrics. vSAN defines more meaningful and relevant metrics catered to the environment, whether the latencies are temporary or from an excessive workload.
  • RDT level checksums. You can set checksums at the RDT layer. These new checksums can aid in debugging and triaging.
  • vSAN File Service debugging. File Service Day 0 operations have been improved for efficient validation and troubleshooting.
  • vSAN File Service over IPv6. You can create a file service domain with IPv6 network.
  • vSAN File Service network reconfiguration. You can change file server IPs including the primary IP to new IPs in the same or different subnet.
  • vSphere Client Remote Plug-ins. All VMware-owned local plug-ins are transitioning to the new remote plug-in architecture. vSAN local plug-ins have been moved to vSphere Client remote plug-ins. The local vSAN plug-ins are deprecated in this release.
  • vLCM HCL disk device. Enhancements improve vLCM’s functionality and efficiency for checking compatibility with the desired image. It includes a check for “partNumber” and “vendor” to add coverage for more vendors.
  • Reduced start time of vSAN health service. The time needed to stop vSAN health service as a part of vCenter restart or upgrade has been reduced to 5 seconds.
  • vSAN health check provides perspective to VCF LCM. This release provides only relevant vSAN health checks to VCF in order to improve LCM resiliency in VCF.
  • vSAN improves cluster NDU for VMC. New capabilities improve design and operation of a highly secure, reliable, and operationally efficient service.
  • vSAN encryption key verification. Detects invalid or corrupt keys sent from the KMS server, identifies discrepancies between in-memory and on-disk DEKs, and alerts customers in case of discrepancies.
  • Better handling of large component deletes. Reclaims the logical space and accounts for the physical space faster, without causing NO_SPACE error.
  • Renamed vSAN health “Check” to “Finding.” This change makes the term consistent with all VMware products.
  • Place vSAN in separate sandbox domain. Daemon sandboxing prevents lateral movement and provides defense in depth. Starting with vSAN 8.0, least privilege security model is implemented, wherein any daemon that does not have its custom sandbox domain defined, will run as a deprivileged domain. This achieves least-privilege model on an ESXi host, with all vSAN running in their own sandbox domain with the least possible privilege.
  • vSAN Proactive Insights. This mechanism enables vSAN clusters connected to VMware Analytics Cloud to identify software and hardware anomalies proactively.
  • Management and monitoring of PMEM for SAP HANA. You can manage PMEM devices within the hosts. vSAN provides management capabilities such as health checks, performance monitoring, and space reporting for the PMEM devices. PMEM management capabilities do not require vSAN services to be enabled. vSAN does not use PMEM devices for caching vSAN metadata or for vSAN data services such as encryption, checksum, or dedupe and compression. The PMEM datastore is local to each host, but can be managed from the monitor tab at the cluster level.
  • Replace MD5, SHA1, and SHA2 in vSAN. SHA1 is no longer considered secure, so VMware is replacing SHA1, MD5, and SHA2 with SHA256 across all VMware products, including vSAN.
  • IL6 compliance. vSAN 8.0 is IL6 compliant.

8.0 U1

Disaggregated Storage

  • Disaggregation with vSAN Express Storage Architecture. vSAN 8.0 Update 1 provides disaggregation support for vSAN Express Storage Architecture (ESA), as it is supported with vSAN Original Storage Architecture (OSA). You can mount remote vSAN datastores that reside in other vSAN ESA server clusters. You also can use an ESA cluster as the external storage resource for a compute-only cluster. All capabilities and limits that apply to disaggregation support for vSAN OSA also apply to vSAN ESA. vSAN ESA client clusters can connect only to a vSAN ESA based server cluster.
  • Disaggregation for vSAN stretched clusters (vSAN OSA). This release supports vSAN stretched clusters in disaggregated topology. In addition to supporting several stretched cluster configurations, vSAN can optimize network paths for certain topologies to improve stretched cluster performance.
  • Disaggregation across clusters using multiple vCenter Servers (vSAN OSA). vSAN 8.0 Update 1 introduces support for vSAN OSA disaggregation across environments using multiple vCenter Servers. This enables clusters managed by one vCenter Server to use storage resources that reside on a vSAN cluster managed by a different vCenter Server.

Optimized Performance, Durability, and Flexibility

  • Improved performance with new Adaptive Write Path. vSAN ESA introduces a new adaptive write path that dynamically optimizes guest workloads tht issue large streaming writes, resulting in higher throughput and lower latency with no additional complexity.
  • Optimized I/O processing for single VMDK/objects (vSAN ESA). vSAN ESA has optimized the I/O processing that occurs for each object that reside on a vSAN datastore, increasing the performance of VMs with a significant amount of virtual hardware storage resources.
  • Enhanced durability in maintenance mode scenarios. When a vSAN ESA cluster enters maintenance mode (EMM) with Ensure Accessibility (applies to RAID 5/6 Erasure Coding), vSAN can write all incremental updates to another host in addition to the hosts holding the data. This helps ensure the durability of the changed data if additional hosts fail while the original host is still in maintenance mode.
  • Increased administrative storage capacity on vSAN datastores using customizable namespace objects. You can customize the size of namespace objects that enable administrators to store ISO files, VMware content library, or other infrastructure support files on a vSAN datastore.
  • Witness appliance certification. In vSAN 8.0 Update 1, the software acceptance level for vSAN witness appliance has changed to Partner Supported. All vSphere Installation Bundles (VIBs) must be certified.

Simplified Management

  • Auto-policy management for the default storage policy (vSAN ESA). vSAN ESA introduces auto-policy management, an optional feature that creates and assigns a default storage policy designed for the cluster. Based on the size and type of cluster, auto-policy management selects the ideal level of failure to tolerate and data placement scheme. Skyline health uses this data to monitor and alert you if the default storage policy is ideal or sub-optimal, and guides you to adjust the default policy based on the cluster characteristics. Skyline health actively monitors the cluster as its size changes, and provides new recommendations as needed.
  • Skyline health intelligent cluster health scoring, diagnostics and remediation. Improve efficiency by using the cluster health status and troubleshooting dashboard that prioritizes identified issues, enabling you to focus and take action on the most important issues.
  • High resolution performance monitoring in vSAN performance service. vSAN performance service provides real-time monitoring of performance metrics that collects and renders metrics every 30 seconds, making monitoring and troubleshooting more meaningful. VMware snapshot APIs are unchanged. VMware VADP supports all vSAN ESA native snapshot operations on the vSphere platform.
  • VM I/O trip analyzer task scheduling. VM I/O trip analyzer can schedule based on time-of-day, for a particular duration and frequency to capture details for repeat-offender VMs. The diagnostics data collected are available for analysis in the VM I/O trip analyzer interface in vCenter.
  • PowerCLI enhancements. PowerCLI supports the following new capabilities:

vSAN ESA disaggregation

vSAN OSA disaggregation for stretched clusters

vSAN OSA disaggregation across multiple vCenter Servers

vSAN cluster shutdown

Object format updates and custom namespace objects

Cloud Native Storage

  • Cloud Native Support for TKGs and supervisor clusters (vSAN ESA). Containers powered by vSphere and vSAN can consume persistent storage for developers and administrators, and use the improved performance and efficiency for their cloud native workloads.
  • Data Persistence platform support using common vSphere switching. vSAN Data Persistence platform allows third-party ISVs to build solutions, such as S3-compatible object stores, that run natively on vSAN. vDPp is now compatible with VMware vSphere Distributed Switches, reducing the cost and complexity of these solutions.
  • Thick provisioning for persistent volumes using SPBM on VMFS datastores (VMware vSAN Direct Configuration). Persistent volumes can be programmatically provisioned as thick when defined in the storage class that is mapped to a storage policy.

8.0 U2

Disaggregated Storage
Enhanced topologies for disaggregation with vSAN Express Storage Architecture bring feature parity for vSAN OSA and vSAN ESA.

  • vSAN ESA support for stretched clusters in disaggregated topology. vSAN ESA supports disaggregation when using vSAN stretched clusters. In addition to supporting several stretched cluster configurations, vSAN also optimizes the network paths for certain topologies to improve the performance capabilities of stretched cluster configurations.
  • Support of disaggregation across clusters using multiple vCenter Servers. vSAN 8.0 Update 2 supports disaggregation across environments using multiple vCenter Servers when using vSAN ESA. This enables vSphere or vSAN clusters managed by one vCenter Server to use the storage resources of a vSAN cluster managed by a different vCenter Server.
  • vSAN ESA Adaptive Write path for disaggregated storage. Disaggregated deployments get the performance benefits of a new adaptive write path previously introduced in vSAN 8.0 Update 1 for standard ESA based deployments. VMs running on a vSphere or vSAN cluster that consume storage from another vSAN ESA cluster can take advantage of this capability. Adaptive write path technology in a disaggregated environment helps your VMs achieve higher throughput and lower latency, and do so automatically in real time, without any interaction by the administrator.

Core Platform Enhancements

  • Integrated File Services for Cloud Native and traditional workloads. vSAN 8.0 Update 2 supports vSAN File Service on vSAN Express Storage Architecture. File service clients can benefit from performance and efficiency enhancements provided by vSAN ESA.
  • Adaptive Write Path optimizations in vSAN ESA. vSAN ESA introduces an adaptive write path that helps the cluster ingest and process data more quickly. This optimization improves performance for workloads driving high I/O to single object (VMDK), and also improves aggregate cluster performance.
  • Increased number of VM’s per host in vSAN ESA clusters (up to 500/host). vSAN 8.0 Update 2 supports up to 500 VMs per host VM on vSAN ESA clusters, provided the underlying hardware infrastructure can support it. Now you can leverage NVMe-based high performance hardware platforms optimized for the latest generation of CPUs with high core densities, and consolidate more VMs per host.
  • New ReadyNode profile and support for read-intensive devices for vSAN ESA. vSAN ESA announces the availability of new ReadyNode profiles designed for small data centers and edge environments with lower overall hardware requirements on a per-node basis. This release also introduces support for read-intensive storage devices.
  • vSAN ESA support for encryption deep rekey. vSAN clusters using data-at-rest encryption have the ability to perform a deep rekey operation. A deep rekey decrypts the data that has been encrypted and stored on a vSAN cluster using the old encryption key, and re-encrypts the data using newly issued encryption keys prior to storing it on the vSAN cluster.

Enriched Operations

  • vSAN ESA prescriptive disk claim. vSAN ESA includes a prescriptive disk claim process that further simplifies management of storage devices in each host in a vSAN cluster. This feature provides consistency to the disk claiming process during initial deployment and cluster expansion.
  • Capacity reporting enhancements. Overhead breakdown in vSAN ESA space reporting displays both the ESA object overhead and the original file system overhead.
  • Auto-Policy management improvements in vSAN ESA. Enhanced auto-policy management feature determines if the default storage policy needs to be adjusted when a user adds or removes a host from a cluster. If vSAN identifies a need to change the default storage policy, it triggers a health check warning. You can make the change with a simple click at which time vSAN reconfigures the cluster with the new policy.
  • Skyline Health remediation enhancements. vSAN Skyline Health helps you reduce resolution times by providing deployment-specific guidance along with more prescriptive guidance on how to resolve issues.
  • Key expiration for clusters with data-at-rest encryption. vSAN 8.0 Update 2 supports the use of KMS servers with a key expiration attribute used for assigning an expiration date to a Key Encryption Key (KEK).
  • I/O top contributors enhancements. vSAN Performance Service has improved the process to find performance hot spots over a customizable time period to help you diagnose performance issues while using multiple types of sources for analysis (VMs, host disks, and so on).
  • I/O Trip Analyzer supported on two node clusters and stretched clusters. vSAN 8.0 Update 2 has enhanced the I/O Trip Analyzer to report on workloads in a vSAN stretched cluster. Now you can determine where the primary source of latency is occurring in a vSAN stretched cluster, as well as latencies in other parts of the stack that can contribute to the overall latency experienced by the VM.
  • Easier configuration for two node clusters and stretched clusters. Several new features to help management of two node and stretched cluster deployments.
    • Witness host traffic configured in the vSphere Client.​

    • Support for medium sized witness host appliance in vSAN ESA.

    • Support in vLCM to manage lifecycle of shared witness host appliance types.

Cloud Native Storage

  • CSI snapshot support for TKG service. Cloud Native Storage introduces CSI snapshot support for TKG Service, enabling K8s users and backup vendors to take persistent volume snapshots on TKGS.
  • Data mobility of Cloud Native persistent volumes across datastores. This release introduces built-in migration of persistent volumes across datastores in the vSphere Client.