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VMware vSAN 6.6: Storage Virtualization Addresses HCI Security

VMware announced today a new release of its vSAN storage virtualization platform that features industry-first native hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) security, a lower total cost of ownership (TCO) and improved all-flash performance, the company asserts.

vSAN 6.6 is also the first among competitors to offer support for Intel Optane NVMe solid-state drives (SSDs), which can help boost the performance of write-intensive applications like Big Data and streaming analytics, VMware claims.

Palo Alto-based VMware said the latest version of vSAN will help customers accelerate their data center modernization efforts. Many of the new features give customers and partners the flexibility that’s required as they prepare for the multi-cloud era.

Initially released in 2014, this is the sixth generation of VMware’s enterprise-grade native storage for vSphere and the first release this year. The storage platform is used for business-critical and cloud-native applications, virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), remote office/branch office (ROBO) and disaster recovery environments.

Customers looking for a complete software-defined data center (SDDC) can buy VMware Cloud Foundation, which brings together vSphere server virtualization, vSAN storage virtualization and NSX network virtualization.

Rapid Growth for HCI Systems

More than 7,000 customers now use VMware’s HCI software, the company reports.

HCI systems are the fastest-growing segment in the converged or integrated systems market, according to International Data Corporation (IDC). The HCI market reached $2.2 billion in global revenue in 2016, an increase of 110 percent from 2015.

A relatively new approach to data center IT, HCI brings the benefits of server virtualization to storage. Combining software-defined infrastructure with industry-standard hardware, HCI is growing in popularity because it simplifies IT operations and increases performance while also offering a lower total cost of ownership than traditional storage.

vSAN 6.6’s industry-first native HCI security offers software-defined, data-at-rest encryption that is built to protect against unwanted access to data. It allows customers to lower hardware costs by avoiding expensive self-encrypting drives (SEDs), the company said. Instead, customers can select any vSAN-certified hardware.

Additional Features and Benefits

VMware said vSan 6.6 offers greater security, lower TCO and better performance. IT teams should be able modernize their data center infrastructure despite shrinking or static budgets and increasing demands for the business and end users.

In addition to HCI security, notable features and improvements include:

  • Highly-available vSAN management – Enables customers to monitor and manage the storage platform even if the vCenter Server is offline
  • Enhanced site protection – Improved Stretched Clusters that provide resiliency against both site and local component failures
  • Proactive cloud analytics – Real-time support notifications and custom recommendations to help optimize the vSAN environment
  • Automated hardware maintenance – Intelligent operations and lifecycle management capabilities to accelerate initial hardware setup, simplify software installation, and offer one-click controller hardware lifecycle management
  • Faster flash performance – Accelerates flash performance of business-critical and cloud-native applications by up to 50 percent
  • Support for next-generation hardware – Enables adoption of new technologies as they arrive on the market

Pricing for vSAN 6.6, which should be available May 5, starts at $2,495 per CPU. vSAN for Desktop starts at $50 per user.

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