You can decide between a traditional storage, VMware vSphere Virtual Volumes, and VMware vSAN storage.
- Traditional Storage
- Fibre Channel, NFS, and iSCSI are mature and viable options to support virtual machine needs.
- VMware vSAN Storage
- vSAN is a software-based distributed storage platform that combines the compute and storage resources of VMware ESXi hosts. When you design and size a vSAN cluster, hardware choices are more limited than for traditional storage.
- VMware vSphere Virtual Volumes
- This design does not use VMware vSphere Virtual Volumes because not all storage arrays have the same vSphere Virtual Volume feature sets enabled.
Traditional Storage and vSAN Storage
Fibre Channel, NFS, and iSCSI are mature and viable options to support virtual machine needs.
Your decision to implement one technology or another can be based on performance and functionality, and on considerations like the following:
- The organization’s current in-house expertise and installation base
- The cost, including both capital and long-term operational expenses
- The organization’s current relationship with a storage vendor
vSAN is a software-based distributed storage platform that combines the compute and storage resources of ESXi hosts. It provides a simple storage management experience for the user. However, you must carefully consider supported hardware options when sizing and designing a vSAN cluster.
Storage Type Comparison
ESXi hosts support a variety of storage types. Each storage type supports different vSphere features.
|Fibre Channel||FC/SCSI||Block access of data/LUN||Fibre Channel HBA|
|Fibre Channel over Ethernet||FCoE/SCSI||Block access of data/LUN||Converged network adapter (hardware FCoE)
NIC with FCoE support (software FCoE)
|iSCSI||IP/SCSI||Block access of data/LUN||iSCSI HBA or iSCSI enabled NIC (hardware iSCSI)
Network Adapter (software iSCSI)
|NAS||IP/NFS||File (no direct LUN access)||Network adapter|
|vSAN||IP||Block access of data||Network adapter|
|Type||vSphere vMotion||Datastore||Raw Device Mapping (RDM)||Application or Block-Level Clustering||vSphere HA and vSphere DRS||Storage APIs Data Protection|
|Fibre Channel / Fibre Channel over Ethernet||Yes||VMFS||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|NAS over NFS||Yes||NFS||No||No||Yes||Yes|
|vSAN||Yes||vSAN||No||Yes (using iSCSI Initiator)||Yes||Yes|