VMware adds files, objects and more in vSAN two-step

VMware is extending Kubernetes capabilities by offering third party integration hooks to vSAN. The company today also announced the next vSAN update will add file services and Active Directory integration and cloud-native object and file storage.

The company is adding the Kubernetes API and vSAN Data Persistence platform with Tanzu to VMware Cloud Foundation 4.1. This enables certified ISV partners hook up their storage software to vSAN via a vSAN Direct facility. On launch day, three partners have signed up: MinIO, Cloudian and DataStax. 

AB Periasamy

AB Periasamy, CEO of MinIO, said the VMware initiative “represents a tectonic shift for the Kubernetes community. The native Kubernetes API enables VMware’s customers to immediately access a rich ecosystem of cloud-native applications, many of which are natively integrated with MinIO.”

vSAN Direct gives the ISVs direct access to the storage drives used by vSAN. It enables vSAN to present object storage, file storage and a NOSQL database to cloud-native applications controlled by VMware Tanzu through Kubernetes. A vCenter admin can provision such persistent storage services to the apps using these layers of functionality.

B&F diagram showing vSAN DP and ISVs

MinIO markets its object storage as being fast. The vSAN DP integration enables MinIO to operate at the supervisor cluster level, directly on top of vSAN Direct. By using this data path, MinIO operates at read and write speeds approaching 183 GB/sec and 171 GB/sec respectively. 

DataStax intends to introduce vSAN DP plug-ins to enable enterprises to use Kubernetes APIs to provision and scale its stateful services.

DataStax vSAN DP integration diagram

Lee Caswell, VP Marketing, CPBU, VMware said: “We have partnered closely with DataStax so that customers can run, manage, and protect DataStax Enterprise NoSQL stateful workloads seamlessly on the VMware vSAN Data Persistence platform and minimise replication and management overhead.”

Cloudian said proof-of-concept evaluations of coming Cloudian vSAN DP software are in planning with multiple customers, and the software is planned for release by year end. 

Dell said an as yet unannounced product, Dell EMC ObjectScale, will integrated with vSAN DP. It also said developers, with all this new software, can use Kubernetes APIs to provision and scale stateful services, from the ISVs. They can do this on-demand in a self-service model with minimal administrator intervention.

vSAN 7 update 1

VMware also today announced Update 1 to vSAN 7. With this, HCI Mesh is introduced to separate compute and storage. This allows incremental scaling and capacity sharing across a cluster. 

Jeff Boudreau, president, Dell Technologies Infrastructure Solutions Group, issued a quote: “As the first HCI solution with a fully integrated Tanzu portfolio, Dell EMC VxRail offers the fastest path to Kubernetes when deployed with vSphere with Tanzu and a fully integrated Kubernetes environment when deployed with VMware Cloud Foundation with Tanzu.”

Users also get the option of running in compression-only mode, whereas before they had to run both compression and deduplication. This releases CPU cycles back to applications while still providing a measure of data reduction.

The update brings in Active Directory integration and Kerberos network authentication support, and the addition of Microsoft’s SMB v3 and v2.1 file access protocols.

VMware vSphere with Tanzu, vSphere 7 Update 1, vSAN 7 Update 1, and VMware Cloud Foundation 4.1 with Tanzu, are all expected to become available in VMware’s Q3 FY21 (ending Oct. 30, 2020). 

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