Specific Virtual SAN configurations, such as a stretched cluster, require a witness host. Instead of using a dedicated physical ESXi host as a witness host, you can deploy the Virtual SAN witness appliance. The appliance is a preconfigured virtual machine that runs ESXi and is distributed as an OVA file.
Unlike a general-purpose ESXi host, the witness appliance does not run virtual machines. Its only purpose is to serve as a Virtual SAN witness.
The workflow to deploy and configure the Virtual SAN witness appliance includes this process.
- Download the appliance from the VMware Web site.
- Deploy the appliance to a Virtual SAN host or cluster. For more information, see Deploying OVF Templates in the vSphere Virtual Machine Administration documentation.
- Configure the Virtual SAN network on the witness appliance.
- Configure the management network on the witness appliance.
- Add the appliance to vCenter Server as a witness ESXi host. Make sure to configure the Virtual SAN VMkernel interface on the host.