News: VSAN and vSphere 5.5 Update 1 are available, finally pricing is released!

Today marks the release of vSphere 5.5 Update 1, you can find the release notes here and the links to the download are found here.  Why is this such a milestone? Well it also finally marks the release of VMware’s long awaited entry into the world of Software defined storage the VSAN, but before we move onto that what else is contained in Update 1?

Well apart from the gamut of bug fixes like:

  • SSO issues during upgrade from 5.1
  • Missing data in the performance chart display in the vSphere Clients
  • Java JRE update to 1.7.0_45
  • Etc

The vCHS (vCloud Hybrid Services) client plug-in is now available in the Web client, this is another example of VMware statement that new functionality will only be added to the Web client and a reminder that the C++ client is soon to depart this mortal coil.  Finally you can now install vCenter server on Windows 2012 without any errors.

However, as already alluded to the big shout in this update is the addition of VSAN into general support from this release.

VSAN is as already stated in previous posts, is VMware’s most open Beta to date, however they have been very reticent on releasing prices, leading many observers to comment that it will be expensive.

But the question is how expensive, Currently the following has been information has been “released”:

VSAN licensing is available in both User and processor options:

  • a single Processor for Server based Virtualization costs $2495
  • $50 per user for VDI/DaaS environments.

This is actually a cheaper cost than I expected, this is actually quite aggressive.

I have done some ball park figures for a 3 node Dell solution based on a PE R420, please bear in mind that these are list costs from the Dell Site, and do not contain any discounts:

  • Fully spec’d machine costs just shy of $17K List:
    • 2 x E2420 Proc,
    • 12 x 16GB,
    • 2 x 400GB SSD,
    • 6 x1.2TB SAS.
    • ESXi Enterprise Plus 2 x procs just shy of $10K
    • 2 license of VSAN at just shy of $5K

this means a list cost of $33K per node. so just short of 100K for a fully configured 3 node VSAN environment, the entry level.

Now let’s do the same with a traditional SAN as the storage layer.

  • Fully spec’d machine costs just shy of $8K List:
    • 2 x E2420 Proc,
    • 12 x 16GB,
    • 2 x 146GB SAS,
    • ESXi Enterprise Plus 2 x procs just shy of $10K

So here a Server costs $18K per node or $54K for a 3 node cluster. However, we now need to add a SAN capable of providing a minimum of 12TB useable space:

  • Powervault MD3220i fully spec’d, just north of $46K
    • 4G Cache Controller
    • 2 x 400GB NL SAS,
    • 18 x 1.2TB SAS
    • 4 x 400GB SSD
    • 1 x Powerconnect 6248

So over all the same list price as a VSAN, but let us look at this in perspective, With the VSAN we have Scale out ability, the next node will cost $33, but you expand your VSAN as well. If you need to expand your SAN capacity you are looking at another $46K + $18K and the additional issues with having to now support two discrete storage devices.

Do I think that VMware have a product to worry the incumbent storage providers, yes most certainly.  You only have to read the competitive marketing collateral to know that the vendors are taking the product seriously.

You have a completely converged infrastructure with VSAN, and a single throat to choke from an operations perspective, and sometime that is worth a lot more.

2 thoughts on “News: VSAN and vSphere 5.5 Update 1 are available, finally pricing is released!”

  1. Definitely the kind of discussions I want to see more of! Great job!

    Two things I have to quibble about though…

    1. Why not go with Enterprise licensing for such a small solution when cost is potentially a concern? You still get dvSwitches when you get VSAN licensing, so why Enterprise Plus?

    2. Why would you need a Dell PowerConnect 6248 switch with the array but not the VSAN?

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