What is a vSAN for?

I thought vSAN is really for a very big enterprise as SAN should be sufficient for medium/small companies. But I was wrong since I know many companies in different size use vSAN. So please help me understand what vSAN is and what it is for.
Thanks.
CastlewoodAsked:
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Mohammed KhawajaManager - Infrastructure:  Information TechnologyCommented:
vSAN is for hyper-converged environment. It allows local storage (i.e. cheap storage) to appear and clustered datastore.  Below are some good links for you to refer to:

http://www.vladan.fr/vmware-vsan-vsphere-5-5/
http://www.yellow-bricks.com/2013/08/26/introduction-vmware-vsphere-virtual-san/
CastlewoodAuthor Commented:
Thanks.
How much roughly is the cost to get vSAN from VMWARE?
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
vSAN from VMware, costs are as follows:-

Approx $2,500 per CPU in the host.

All VMware vSphere  hosts much be licensed, you will need a minimum of three.
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CastlewoodAuthor Commented:
We have three hosts of 2 CPUs each, currently without hard drive -- only with SD card loaded with hypervisor. So vSAN license will cost about @2,500 x 2 CPUs x 3 hosts = $15,000.
What are the benefits vSAN can provide ?
Also our ESXi liensing is Essential Plus. Would it be allowed for installing vSAN?
Mohammed KhawajaManager - Infrastructure:  Information TechnologyCommented:
If that is the kind of money you will be spending then it might be worth your while to invest in an external storage (i.e. SAN or NAS).  You could use iSCSI or NFS shares for your datastores and also note that external storage devices could provide thin-provisioning, deduplication and potential compression at the hardware level.

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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
You will need vSAN Ready Nodes and vSAN Certified Hardware, and 10GBe nics.

Any edition of vSphere can use vSAN,.

vSAN is very fast local storage., which can be hybrid, or all flash storage which is clustered across all hosts.

see here

https://www.vmware.com/files/pdf/products/vsan/VMware_Virtual_SAN_Datasheet.pdf
Carlos IjalbaIT Systems DirectorCommented:
Note that there is VSAN from Cisco, which also stands for Virtual SAN, and it permits you create virtual fibre fabrics over physical fabrics, very much like creating VLANs over a LAN.

VMware's vSAN is a particular storage product to be able to create a local SAN using ESXi nodes with SSD & HD disks, and that replicates storage between it's nodes, creating another implementation of a storage area network.

It's easy to get confused between them, usually VMware's is spelled as vSAN and the rest as VSAN.

But the truth is that both are "Virtual" SANs, one for use with VMware, and the other for use with Fibre/Storage Fabrics. And they use very different concepts and architecture.

vSAN is also better targetted at small clients, as it is very competitive price-wise, performance-wise and with a better learning curve that most traditional SANs. And it also scales as big as SAN storage cabins.
DanielleITCentralStationCommented:
You might find real user reviews for VMware VSAN on IT Central Station to be helpful. As an example, this System Administrator writes, "Benefits are being able to grow as needed. We don't have to drop half a million on a SAN for all the storage that we may or may not use and it just eases the pain of a lot of storage. You still have to deal with the, the networking of it, making sure that everything is networked together, but that radically simplifies the storage administration piece." You can read the rest of his review, as well as explore what others have to say about VSAN, here: https://goo.gl/rRbEvq
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