Hi vAdmins and storage admins,

Recently, a new ESA ready node profile has been added to the vSAN supported profiles.

The addition of ESA-AF-0 to the ReadyNode profiles for VMware vSAN Express Storage Architecture (ESA) enables customers with lower performance needs and smaller environments to take advantage of the many benefits of vSAN ESA.

This new offering eliminates many of the reasons customers historically used the traditional vSAN On-Disk Architecture (OSA). ESA-AF-0 offers improved efficiency, lower TCO, smaller failure/maintenance domains, and new capabilities (e.g. snapshots, etc.).

All things considered, the vSAN ESA is now the best choice for all new installations and hardware refreshes, from the edge to the core.

vSAN Exoress Storage Architecture (ESA) in a nutshell

The vSAN Express Storage Architecture (ESA) is an optional, alternative architecture in vSAN that is designed to process and store data with all new levels of efficiency, scalability, and performance.  This optional architecture is optimized to exploit the full capabilities of the very latest in hardware.  It is introduced in vSAN 8, and enhanced in vSAN 8 U1, it can be selected at the time of creating a cluster.  The ESA in vSAN is an alternative to the Original Storage Architecture (OSA) found in all previous editions of vSAN, as well as an optional architecture in the very latest version.

So what’s new?

The AF-2 has twice the CPU, four times the RAM, four times the storage, and more than twice the networking bandwidth per host than the ESA-AF-2 profiles.

The new vSAN-ESA-AF-0 minimum requirements are:

  • Host CPU:  16 or more cores
  • Host Storage devices:  2 or more NVMe storage devices  (1.6TB or greater Mixed-Use devices, or 1.92TB or greater Read-Intensive devices)
  • Host RAM:  128GB or more
  • Host networking:  10GbE or more

Network considerations

10Gbps Networking considerations

Many customers are probably going to purchase ESA ReadyNodes with 10Gbps support due to their existing switch lifecycle.

Although 10Gbps networking NICs are compatible, customers are encouraged to invest in 25Gbps NICs as they provide additional value and features beyond just their interface speed.

These features include additional CPU offload functions, RDMA support, and overlay offload support. Additionally, 25Gbps NICs using SFP28 interfaces are typically backwards compatible with SFP+ 10Gbps optics, cables and transceivers.

Even for 2-node cluster setups, it is still recommended to use the faster network interfaces when possible and take advantage of the direct connection option to bypass the need for switches for vSAN/vMotion traffic.

vSAN ESA Profiles

All vSAN ESA Profiles details can be found at vSAN ESA ReadyNode Hardware Guidance.

It is allowed to make some changes to certain components(CPU, Storage Device, Memory, NIC, Boot Device) of the vSAN ESA ReadyNode™ configuration.

End of this post.

Disclaimer: This blog is based on my personal title and assumptions. No rights can be derived from this blog

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