VMware accelerates customers’ data centre modernisation

Vmware, a global leader in cloud infrastructure and business mobility, today introduced a new release of VMware vSAN featuring industry-first native hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) security, lower total cost of ownership (TCO), and up to 50 percent higher all-flash performance. These combined benefits will help customers accelerate their data centre modernisation efforts.
HCI systems are the fastest growing segment in the converged or integrated systems market, according to IDC. (2) By combining software-defined compute and storage capabilities with industry standard Intel Architecture (IA) servers, HCI systems enable customers to simplify IT operations and increase performance while lowering their upfront and ongoing costs compared to traditional storage.
VMware vSAN 6.6 will help customers evolve their infrastructure with minimal risk through native encryption, robust availability and the broadest choice of hardware platforms, including cutting-edge flash technologies such as Intel Optane solid-state drives (SSDs). The latest release will also further lower TCO via intelligent operations and cloud-based analytics while delivering the flexibility and performance to support modern applications and hardware.
“Since the initial release of VMware vSAN in 2014, customers have turned to vSAN because of its TCO savings and the simplicity of managing compute and storage together,” said Yanbing Li, senior vice president and general manager, Storage and Availability Business Unit, VMware. “VMware vSAN 6.6 is packed with innovations featuring several industry firsts, and will further drive mainstream adoption of HCI by helping customers modernize their data centres to gain a competitive edge through newfound agility.”

Evolve data centres with industry-first native HCI security
vSAN 6.6 is the sixth-generation of VMware’s simple, enterprise-grade native storage for vSphere. The storage platform is ideal for a range of use cases including business-critical and cloud-native applications, virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), remote office/branch office (ROBO), and disaster recovery environments. The new release will offer customers an efficient, non-disruptive path to a more secure infrastructure that is highly available for their business-critical workloads. New features will include:
• Native HCI security: A software-defined, data-at-rest encryption solution featuring simplified key management that is built to protect against unwanted access to data. vSAN 6.6 customers using vSAN Encryption will have the freedom to select any vSAN-certified hardware to further lower hardware costs by avoiding expensive self-encrypting drives (SEDs).
• Highly available vSAN management: vSAN 6.6 will enable monitoring and management of the storage platform in the event VMware vCentre Server is offline.
Lower TCO with enhanced site protection and intelligent operations
HCI solutions powered by vSAN are well positioned to help IT teams modernize their data centre infrastructure despite shrinking or static budgets and increasing demands from the business and end users. vSAN 6.6 will help customers address these challenges by alleviating the economic stress on businesses and IT through the following functionality:
• Efficient and economical site protection: vSAN 6.6 will deliver enhanced Stretched Clusters with local protection to provide resiliency against both site and local component failures. These highly available clusters can be deployed for up to 50 percent less than leading traditional storage solutions.
• Proactive cloud analytics: vSAN Cloud Analytics will introduce a new analytics framework that will initially provide real-time support notifications and custom recommendations to help customers optimize their vSAN environment. The cloud-based analytics can be continuously enhanced with new checks and functionality without requiring any customer intervention.
• Automated hardware maintenance: Intelligent operations and lifecycle management capabilities will accelerate initial hardware setup, simplify software install, and deliver 1-click controller hardware lifecycle management for a more predictable hardware experience–without sacrificing the broadest choice of hardware.
Scale HCI to Support Tomorrow’s Applications and Hardware
With technology advancing at a breakneck pace, VMware vSAN continues to deliver an efficient, high-performance architecture that provides customers the flexibility to support modern applications and the latest hardware. VMware vSAN 6.6 will deliver:
• Faster flash performance: Optimized data service algorithms in vSAN 6.6 will help accelerate flash performance of business-critical and cloud-native applications by up to 50 percent. (3) In addition to existing support for VMware Horizon, new validated architectures provide support for workloads such as Hadoop, Citrix XenApp, InterSystems Cache and Splunk.
• Support for next-generation hardware: vSAN is architected to support the latest flash technologies enabling vSAN-powered HCI solutions to adopt new technologies as they arrive on the market without delays and forklift upgrades to their infrastructure. For example, vSAN 6.6 will deliver industry-first support for recently launched Intel Optane SSDs, which can help boost the performance write-intensive applications like big data and streaming analytics.
“Being part of the vSAN 6.6 beta program has allowed us to see first-hand how vSAN is innovating around new features, like native security and simplified operations. We have enjoyed the chance to provide feedback to VMware’s product teams and influence the vSAN roadmap, which can bring value to us and all the 7 000-plus other customers.” — Johan Marais, virtualization manager, Discovery Limited.
“As legacy storage platforms come up for technology refresh, many enterprises are looking to modernize their IT infrastructure and reap the benefits of more scalable performance, easier expansion and management, and lower overall costs. Solutions like VMware vSAN that offer a full complement of enterprise-class data services, including a number of optimizations that take better advantage of optional all-flash performance, offer a highly scalable and resilient storage platform for the next generation of workload consolidation and provide compelling incentives for customers to move more quickly towards the software-defined datacentre.” — Eric Burgener, research director Storage, at IDC.
“CDW is at the forefront of selling HCI solutions and has been a thought leader on VMware’s vSAN since its launch. CDW’s force of highly skilled, dedicated and certified VMware technical and sales resources continues to drive the acceptance of vSAN in the marketplace. For our customers who want native security and data availability, VMware vSAN 6.6 will provide native encryption and local protection in stretch clusters. We look forward to working with our customers to leverage its potential.” – Neal Campbell, senior vice president, Strategic Solutions and Services, CDW.
“Clover School District deployed a new VDI platform powered by VMware vSAN and Horizon to enable us to administer standardized tests to students online. By choosing vSAN, we cut our storage costs by 75 percent and saved our staff from having to babysit the storage anymore. We anticipate that the new automation and intelligent operations built into vSAN 6.6 will help us further reduce management time and ensure optimal performance.” — Matt Hoffman, executive director, Technology, Clover School District.

Industry’s broadest consumption options from on- to off-premises
In conjunction with its expansive partner ecosystem, VMware provides the broadest set of consumption options for its HCI software from turnkey HCI appliances to certified hardware to public clouds. Today, customers can choose to deploy HCI solutions powered by vSAN through Dell EMC VxRail Appliances, fully integrated HCI appliances tailored for ease of deployment. Customers can also choose to deploy vSAN on 200-plus pre-certified VMware vSAN ReadyNodes from all major server vendors (15 in total) catering to their deployment needs and vendor preferences. Alternatively, customers can consume vSAN via managed clouds through the VMware vCloud Air Network of providers.
Customers seeking the fastest path to software-defined cloud infrastructure can purchase VMware Cloud Foundation, a new unified SDDC platform for private and public cloud. VMware Cloud Foundation delivers enterprise-ready, highly dynamic cloud infrastructure that is much simpler to operate by integrating VMware vSphere, vSAN and NSX into a single interoperable stack with powerful built-in lifecycle management automation (SDDC Manager). For a consistent operational experience across clouds, customers can extend their private cloud to the public cloud via VMware Cloud Foundation. Alternatively, they can begin their VMware Cloud Foundation deployment with one of the cloud service providers in VMware’s growing ecosystem including IBM Cloud today. VMware Cloud on AWS powered by VMware Cloud Foundation will follow later in 2017.

Read what partners have to say about VMware vSAN 6.6.

Pricing and Availability
VMware vSAN 6.6 is expected to become available by May 5, 2017. VMware vSAN list price starts at $2,495 per CPU. VMware vSAN for Desktop list price starts at $50 per user.
VMware vSAN Quality of Service capabilities are now available in all vSAN editions. New VMware vSAN Encryption and enhanced stretched cluster capabilities will be available solely in vSAN Enterprise Edition.

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