Full speed ahead — VMware adds support for NVMe/TCP and Optane persistent memory snapshots

VMware has updated vSphere and vSAN to provide faster storage networking, better Optane support, more cloud-native features, simplified operations and better vSAN resilience and security in an Update 3 release.

vSphere now supports NVMe-over-Fabrics networking across a TCP/IP link (NVMe/TCP) providing remote direct memory access speed to external NVMe storage drives. Unlike NVMe-oF RoCE, which needs costly lossless Ethernet links, NVMe/TCP uses everyday Ethernet cabling — a tad slower but less expensive and an easy migration for iSCSI users. 

A VMware blog explains: “NVMe/TCP allows vSphere customers a fast, simple and cost-effective way to get the most out of their existing storage investments,” and provides more information. 

Dell Technologies, VMware’s owner and partner, is introducing SmartFabric Storage Software with support for NVMe/TCP in vSphere.

VMware’s vSphere and vSAN support the snapshotting of Optane persistent memory (DIMMs) in app direct (DAX) mode. This is another helpful brick in the wall of Intel’s expanding Optane ecosystem.

Update 3 to vSphere and VSAN 7 also provides enhanced cloud-native developer and deployment support with:

  • vSphere VM Service support for vGPUs Using the VM Service through Kubernetes API, developers can provision VMs that leverage underlying GPU hardware resources.
  • Simplified setup of vSphere with Tanzu Faster and easier setup of networking with fewer steps and inputs needed.
  • vSAN Stretched Clusters for Kubernetes Workloads Users can extend a vSAN cluster from a single site to two sites for a higher level of availability and intersite load balancing. VMware now supports Kubernetes workloads in a stretched cluster deployment.
  • Kubernetes Topology Support in vSAN Enables Kubernetes to see the underlying topology and manage data placement across availability zones (AZs) to ensure availability in case of a planned or unplanned outage.

The update also provides simplified operations and better vSAN resilience and security. Read more in another VMware blog by senior product marketing manager Glen Simon. 

Both vSphere 7 Update 3 and vSAN 7 Update 3 will become available by the end of VMware’s Q3 FY22 (October 29, 2021).