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VMware introduces Virtual SAN 6.5

In a move it says aims to "rapidly update its industry-leading hyper-converged solution", VMware has introduced  Virtual SAN 6.5, its fifth product release in less than three years.

Unveiled at the company's VMworld event in Barcelona yesterday, Virtual SAN 6.5 claims to improve total cost of ownership savings by an additional 50%.

It will do this by adding support for containers and physical workloads, unveiling iSCSI support, and eliminating networking hardware costs from two-node remote office/branch office (ROBO) configurations, the company said. It will also add all-flash hardware support to Virtual SAN Standard Edition.

According to VMware, Virtual SAN 6.5 will deliver several features. Firstly, iSCSI Support, which will enable Virtual SAN storage to be presented as an iSCSI target for external physical workloads, including clustered applications such as Microsoft SQL Server with Failover Clustering on a limited number of physical servers.

Another benefit is the added containers support. The solution will provide persistent data layer for containerised applications via VMware vSphere Integrated Containers. Two-node Direct Connect, is another new functionality, that will remove the need for routers and switches between Virtual SAN systems in ROBO sites helping customers lower infrastructure costs by 15 to 20% per site.

The REST APIs and Expanded PowerCLI feature will help customers accelerate responsiveness with enterprise-standard automation that brings cloud-like flexibility and management to Virtual SAN environments. "Finally, support for 512-byte emulated disk drives allows high-capacity drives to be supported."

In the fourth quarter of 2016, the company says it will update the packaging for Virtual SAN Standard Edition to introduce support for basic all-flash configurations enabling customers to further lower their TCO for their storage system.

The company also announced a VMware Ready for vSAN certification programme that it says will "give customers the confidence that file services and data protection partner solutions will seamlessly deploy, run and interoperate with Virtual SAN".

The programme aims to quicken customer time-to-value by assisting them to rapidly find a qualified solution partner. Dell EMC, NetApp and Nexenta are the initial file services partners, and Commvault, Dell EMC, Veeam and Veritas are the initial data protection partners participating in this programme. In time, VMware expects to add additional partners to enhance the ecosystem.

Finally, VMware released vSphere Virtual Volumes 2.0 that will feature enhanced enterprise-readiness through capabilities such as native support for array replication as well as support for business-critical applications like Oracle Database with Real Application Clusters.

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