vSAN clusters can share their datastores with other vSAN clusters. You can provision VMs running on the local cluster use storage space on the remote datastore.

Use the Datastore Sharing view to monitor and manage remote datastores mounted on the local vSAN cluster. Each client vSAN cluster can mount remote datastores from server vSAN clusters located within the same data center managed by the vCenter Server. Each compatible vSAN cluster also can act as a server, and allow other vSAN clusters to mount its local datastores.

Mounting a remote datastore with HCI Mesh is a cluster-wide configuration. You can mount a remote datastore to a vSAN cluster, which is then mounted to all hosts in the cluster.

When you provision a new virtual machine, you can select a remote datastore that is mounted to the client cluster. Assign any compatible storage policy configured for the datastore.

Monitor views for capacity, performance, health, and placement of virtual objects show the status of remote objects and datastores.

HCI Mesh vSAN has the following design considerations:

  • Clusters must be managed by the same vCenter Server and be located within the same data center.
  • Clusters must be running 7.0 Update 1 or later.
  • A vSAN cluster can serve its local datastore to up to five client vSAN clusters.
  • A client cluster can mount up to five remote datastores from one or more vSAN server clusters.
  • A single remote datastore can be mounted to up to 128 vSAN hosts, including hosts in the vSAN server cluster.
  • All objects that make up a VM must reside on the same datastore.
  • For vSphere HA to work with HCI Mesh, configure the following failure response for Datastore with APD: Power off and restart VMs.
  • Client hosts that are not part of a cluster are not supported. You can configure a single host compute-only cluster, but vSphere HA does not work unless you add a second host to the cluster.
The following features are not supported with HCI Mesh:
  • vSAN data-in-transit encryption
  • vSAN stretched clusters
  • vSAN 2-node clusters
The following configurations are not supported with HCI Mesh:
  • Remote provisioning of vSAN file share, iSCSI volumes, or CNS persistent volumes. You can provision them on the local vSAN datastore, but not on any remote vSAN datastore.
  • Air-gapped vSAN networks or clusters using multiple vSAN VMkernel ports
  • vSAN communication over RDMA

HCI Mesh Compute-only Client

vSAN 7.0 Update 2 and later enables you to configure a non-vSAN cluster as an HCI Mesh client. The hosts in an HCI Mesh compute-only client cluster do not need local storage. They can mount remote datastores from a vSAN cluster located within the same data center.

HCI Mesh compute-only clusters have the following design considerations:

  • vSAN networking must be configured on the client hosts.
  • No disk groups can be present on vSAN compute-only hosts.
  • No vSAN data management features can be configured on the compute-only cluster.

When you configure a vSphere cluster for vSAN, you can specify it as an HCI Mesh compute cluster. You can mount a remote datastore, and monitor the capacity, health, and performance of the remote vSAN datastore.