Is VMware VSAN ready for business critical VMs?

We're looking at a refresh of our virtual environment late this year or early next, and I'm taking the opportunity to reexamine our architecture. Currently we have a 9TB SAN with dual everything connecting to three hosts with a total of 55 VMs. However, even with this I don't like that the SAN is single point of failure, especially since we've had a dual controller reset on the SAN before (absolutely not fun). However, I understand a physical SAN, I understand its limitations, and it's a proven technology.

VSAN makes a lot of sense to me on the theoretical level, and I can see it being the future of virtualized storage. However, it's only been a year since VMware released their VSAN product.

So, is VMware VSAN ready for a production environment with business critical VMs on it?
donohoe1Asked:
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Dawid FusekConnect With a Mentor Virtualization Expert, Sr B&R, Storage SpecialistCommented:
That's true that technology need to stay some time on the market to be fully stable but with VMware ESXi solutions it's in most cases not really needed.

If you will use ONLY HCL hardware, all, mean server, SSD and HDD on the server you may be sure it will be fully stable solution for years, if vSAN looking ok for you there is no real objections not to use it.

So use vSAN and ESXi with ONLY HCL hw and your data will be safe.

best regards
NTShad0w
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Zephyr ICTCloud ArchitectCommented:
That's a very good question, difficult to answer and it will always start with a "it depends"... That being said, my opinion is also one of those it depends, I say it's kinda ready but depending on the needs might still need to grow a little.

My favourite source to read up on all things vsan is here
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donohoe1Author Commented:
What are the needs where it might still need to grow a little?
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Zephyr ICTCloud ArchitectCommented:
1 thing off the top of my mind, deduplication, if that is a feature you use right now ... You need to make sure your hardware is VSAN ready, same goes for VMware itself of course, but still, there are things to consider... Things are improving in VSAN6 though ... Optimally you also need 4 hosts, 3 works, but 4 is recommended...
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
VSAN 6.0 is!

We have been using it in beta for 18 months!

Test drive it and trial!
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donohoe1Author Commented:
We don't do anything special with our SAN. No snapshots, no dedup, no cloning, nothing. It's only a (fairly) reliable place to store our VMs. Our number one priority is reliability.
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Zephyr ICTConnect With a Mentor Cloud ArchitectCommented:
In my opinion VSAN would be a very good solution, if you have the room and need for the required hosts.
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donohoe1Author Commented:
We have plenty of room.

We're planning on running four hosts regardless, so the question would be are they hooked up to a SAN or do we load them up with local storage and run a VSAN?

As I mentioned, my largest concern is having the most reliable solution. We've already had a dual controller reset on our SAN which effectively took down our entire network. Not to mention, firmware updates on the SAN are tricky and difficult beasts.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)Connect With a Mentor VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
If you are having SAN issues then time for a stable software defined solution.

vSAN 6.0 now supports all Flashbir SSD so fully load all servers with flash on the HCL and Server HCLband your are set to go.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Valso remember vSAN is NOT a bolt on like VSA its part of the ESXi OS!

Jusy needs enabling with a license!
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