Dell EMC and VMware – Better Together for Virtual SAN

As customers move rapidly to realize the benefits of a true software-defined data center, huge numbers of businesses look to VMware-based solutions, and products that offer tight integration and support with VMware. For storage, many VMware users leverage VMware Virtual SAN, a storage feature integrated in vSphere that pools disk space from multiple vSphere hosts and provides administration of a cluster and implementation of storage policies natively via vSphere.

VMware today announced a new VMware Ready for vSAN program to provide customers with the confidence that file services and data protection partner solutions will seamlessly deploy, run and interoperate with Virtual SAN. The goal of the program is to accelerate customer time-to-value by helping them to quickly find a qualified solution partner. Within the program there are two specific focus areas: File Services partners with Virtual SAN, and Data Protection partner solutions for Virtual SAN.

Because adoption of virtual infrastructure is critical to any organization’s modern data center strategy, Dell EMC is a charter member of the VMware Ready for Virtual SAN program. Additionally, based upon the breadth of our portfolio and close relationship with VMware, Dell EMC is also the only vendor to deliver Virtual SAN integrated solutions across both file services and data protection. Our integrated solutions include:

File Services

  • VMware has chosen to work with Dell EMC to provide file capabilities for Virtual SAN storage environments. The UnityVSA unified storage offering runs atop VMware environments and consumes VMDKs provided on the Virtual SAN Within UnityVSA, the Unity File System differentiates itself in several key ways:
    • The interface was designed for radical simplicity. An HTML5 graphical user interface, with integrated file and VMware provisioning, enables novice administrators to get a file storage environment up and running quickly.
    • It’s flexible enough for traditional and transactional NAS use cases. Whether configuring home directories or deploying performance-intensive applications on file storage, the Unity File System provides the feature set and deep virtualization integration necessary for any storage environment.
    • Finally it’s designed for today’s modern data center with a 64TB file-system size, full RESTful API, full multiprotocol support, file shrink and reclaim, self-optimizing, support for NDMP backup, asynchronous replication and integrated quota management.

Data Protection

Protection of data is critical in any Virtual SAN deployment. Dell EMC data protection solutions extend and enhance the capabilities of VMware Virtual SAN by natively offering industry-leading data protection, operational recovery and disaster recovery for VMware and VMware Virtual SAN environments. The tight integration between EMC’s data protection portfolio and VMware software also empowers vAdmins to provision, monitor and manage the protection of their virtual workloads through the standard VMware interface.  Product integrations include:

  • RecoverPoint for VMs employs advanced multi-site synchronous and asynchronous replication technology, offering up to zero RPO with any point in time recovery via a highly resilient, no-single-point-of-failure architecture for the most advanced Virtual SAN topologies. Because RecoverPoint for VMs is storage agnostic, leveraging VMware vSphere APIs for IO Filtering (VAIO), replication is supported between Virtual SAN and non- Virtual SAN environments, enabling even greater flexibility.
  • Data Protection Suite for VMware includes Avamar and RecoverPoint for Virtual Machines and enables industry-leading data protection, operational recovery, and disaster recovery (DR) support for VSAN environments. Because the Data Protection Suite for VMware, as well as NetWorker, integrate natively with VMware Virtual SAN, data orchestration happens at the VM layer rather than the SAN layer, thus delivering efficiency and compatibility for Virtual SAN deployments.
  • Data Domain Virtual Edition (DD VE) builds upon the Dell EMC Data Protection Suite and enables protection storage for Virtual SAN deployments such as Dell EMC VxRail. With DD VE 3.0 now supporting scalability to 96 TB as well as support for DD Cloud Tier, Dell EMC has extended the capabilities of VSAN for protection use cases by giving users the ability to leverage low cost object storage for long-term retention.

“The VMware Ready for vSAN program will provide assurance to our customers that the partner solutions they deploy in VMware and VMware Virtual SAN-enabled environments will operate and interoperate seamlessly,” said Lee Caswell, vice president, Storage and Availability, VMware.  “Together with Dell EMC, we are delivering uniquely integrated solutions.”

Dell EMC is committed to offering exceptional outcomes for customers implementing VMware technology. Through our close relationship and design philosophy of native support with VMware environments, Dell EMC solutions, with the powerful combination of our server, storage and data protection portfolios, are better together with VMware.

About the Author: Peter Smails