VMware Virtual SAN 6.2 Sets New Record

VMware Virtual SAN 6.2 All NVMe Flash Array with Intel® SSD P3520 Sets New Record

At VMworld last year, we demonstrated the World’s First 64 node All Flash Virtual SAN with NVMe and SATA SSDs. The array achieved an impressive 6.7M IOPs setting a record of 100K IOPS per node. For this year’s VMworld in Las Vegas August 29th through September 1st we decided to do one better and demonstrate the first all NVMe Virtual SAN 6.2 storage array based on the new Intel® SSD P3520 Series.

VMware Virtual SAN 6.2 adds support for deduplication, compression, and erasure coding that promises to improve the cost performance and availability of VMware’s Virtual SAN. We put it to the test and achieved a 50% improvement in performance and an effective cost per unit capacity reduction of up to 7X.

If you want to know how to get the best cost-performance from your Virtual SAN then join us at VMworld to learn from John Hubbard and I. We will present our findings in the VMworld session STO9396-SPO “Real World Guidance for Implementing VMware Virtual SAN from Ready Nodes to Build Your Own” on Monday August 29th 2:30-3:30PM.

The All NVMe Cluster

The all NVMe array consists of eight Supermicro* SuperServer 2028U-TN24R4T servers with

  • Dual Intel® Xeon® E5-2687Wv4 (12 Core @ 3.0 Ghz)
  • 256 GB DDR4 RAM
  • Boot Drive - 1x Intel® SSD DC S3710 Series (200 GB, 2.5”)
  • Virtual SAN SSDs - 4 Disk Groups comprised of
    • 4x Intel® SSD DC P3700 Series (800 GB, 2.5” SFF)
    • 20x Intel® SSD DC P3520 Series (2 TB, 2.5” SFF)
  • Intel® Ethernet Server Adapter X540-DA2

The cluster specifications include:

  • 2,000 Virtual Machines With Windows* Server
  • 8 Hyper-Converged VMware* ESXi 6.2 Hosts
  • 192 Intel® Xeon® Cores
  • 2 TB DDR4 Memory
  • ~345 TB Raw Flash
    • 25 TB of Virtual SAN Cache
    • 320 TB of Raw Datastore Storage
  • 1 Cisco* Nexus 9372PX
    • 48x 10Gbase-CX4 Ports
    • 6x 40Gb QSFP Ports

Cluster Performance was tested across various configurations including: Performance Optimized with mirroring enabled and duplication & compression disabled, Balanced with mirroring enabled and compression & deduplication disabled, and Capacity Optimized as erasing coding, deduplication and compression all enabled.

The Results

The all NVMe cluster realized an impressive 1.2M average IOPS from the eight nodes setting a new record of 150K IOPS per node, 50% higher than last years all flash configuration.


Equally as impressive the cluster achieved build yields ranging from $1.86/GB to an impressive $0.25/GB. Deduplication and Compression alone reduce cost per Effective GB by over 7x!


If you've ever wondered how to get the most from your Virtual SAN, join us at VMworld.

Learn More

The first All NVMe Flash Virtual SAN using the latest Intel® P3520 NVMe technology will be displayed and discussed in depth during VM World in Las Vegas Aug29-Sep1.

Chuck Brown and John Hubbard of Intel will showcase this impressive All NVMe Flash Virtual SAN in the HCI Zone at VMworld. Be sure to stop by and speak to the experts and learn how to design an enterprise scale, all flash Virtual SAN storage.


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About Chuck Brown

Chuck Brown serves as an SSD Storage Solution Architect within Intel. He works with leading storage providers and enterprise accounts on architecture and usage for software defined storage infrastructure. He advises leading IT decision makers about best practices around storage and virtualization technologies. Prior to his current role, Dr. Brown served as Intel’s data center SSD product line manager and director Intel’s Emerging Compute Laboratory researching desktop virtualization technology. He holds nine U.S. patents on Flash technology.