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Direct from Development: Tech Notes

Documents (2)

  • vSAN
  • ReadyNodes
  • vSAN 8 update 1
  • Dell vSAN Compatibility
  • ReadyNode Certification
  • Original Storage Architecture
  • Express Storage Architecture
  • OSA
  • ESA All Flash Profiles
  • vSAN Allowable Changes
  • PowerEdge ReadyNode Intel and AMD

Dell Technologies vSAN ReadyNode Certification Guide Part II

Thomas MM Linka Biaggi Thomas MM Linka Biaggi

Fri, 13 Oct 2023 14:50:27 -0000

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Read Time: 0 minutes

Dell and VMware collaborate to streamline and expedite the integration of software and hardware, enabling the delivery of tailored solutions for your business requirements. Leveraging our strong partnership, Dell vSAN Ready Nodes provides the latest versions of VMware vSphere®, VMware vSAN™, and VMware Cloud Foundation as soon as they become available. The introduction of VMware vSAN 8.0 - Express Storage Architecture, along with support for stretched clusters and expanded disaggregated storage capabilities, marks a significant milestone. In the ongoing development of vSAN 8 Update1, both vSAN OSA and vSAN ESA architectures are continuously improved and enriched with additional features, such as efficient data services and an optimized architecture for NAND Flash utilizing NVMe as the protocol bus. As vSAN 8 introduces groundbreaking updates that enhance performance and efficiency, this paper delves into the key factors that contribute to Dell vSAN ReadyNode as a differentiated but compatible certified hardware.

Dell vSAN Ready Nodes are x86 servers built on the Dell PowerEdge portfolio of Intel and AMD processors-based servers, which have been pre-configured, tested and certified for VMware Hyper-converged Infrastructure.

For more information on Dell vSAN ReadyNodes Certification, visit https://infohub.delltechnologies.com/p/dell-emc-vsanready-node-certification/.

vSAN OSA and ESA

vSAN Original Storage Architecture

vSAN is a software-defined storage solution built from the ground up for VMware vSphere Virtual Machines and containers. This solution abstracts and aggregates the server’s local disks in a vSphere cluster to create a storage solution that is provisioned and managed from the vCenter. As vSAN is embedded within the vSphere hypervisor, compute and storage for the VMs and containers are delivered from the same Dell PowerEdge server platform running the hypervisor. 

vSAN original storage architecture consists of two tiers: a cache and a capacity tier. The cache tier performs read caching and write buffering, and the capacity tier functions as persistent storage. vSAN uses disk groups to manage the relationship between cache and capacity tiers. Each host contributing storage (either an All-Flash or a Hybrid Configuration of magnetic disks and flash drives) to a vSAN cluster will consist of at least 1-disk group that contains one cache device and between one and seven capacity devices. Whether hybrid or all-flash configuration, the cache drive must be a flash drive. vSAN uses the cache device for both a read/write cache (70%/30%) in a hybrid configuration, and in an all-flash configuration, the cache device is dedicated (100%) as a write cache.

VMware vSAN OSA ReadyNode configuration with Cache & Capacity Tiers

vSAN OSA AF-6 Dell PowerEdge R760

Generation: Intel Xeon Scalable (Sapphire-Rapids-SP) - Profile: AF-6 Series - Raw Storage Capacity: Up To 38.4 TB

Components

Details

Qty

ESXi Pre-Installed?

Yes

 

System

PowerEdge R760

4

CPU

Intel Platinum 8470 2.00 GHz 52 Core

8

Memory

DIMM,32GB,4800,2RX4,16G, DDR5R

64

Caching Tier

800GB Solid State Drive SAS Mixed Use 24Gbps 2.5 inch Hot-Plug Drive

16

Capacity Tier

1.92TB SSD SATA 6Gbps 2.5in SE5031

80

Controller

HBA355i Front

4

NIC

Intel(R) Ethernet 25G 2P E810-XXV OCP

4

Boot Device

BOSS controller card + with 2 M.2 Sticks 240G (RAID 1) or higher

4

Supported Releases

ESXi 8.0 U1 (vSAN 8.0 Update 1), ESXi 8.0 (vSAN 8.0), ESXi 7.0 U3 (vSAN 7.0 Update 3)

4

Table 1. vSAN OSA ReadyNode Configuration


vSAN Express Storage Architecture

vSAN Express Storage Architecture is an alternative architecture that builds on the existing Original Storage architecture. Compared to OSA which is a two-tier architecture, the ESA architecture is single-tiered, optimized for high performance NVMe-based flash devices for both on-premises and cloud environments. Some of the structural changes include a new Log-Structured Filesystem-LFS, a write optimized log-structured object manager, a new native snapshot engine, and a new object format. Some of the achievements of the new capabilities are space efficiency of RAID 5/6 erasure coding with the performance of RAID-1, Adaptive RAID-5 erasure coding for space savings on clusters with as few as 3-hosts, HCI Mesh support for 10-client cluster, lower TCO by removing dedicated cache devices by using a single-tier, simplified management, and smaller failure domains by removing construct of disk groups. Customers can now choose the best architecture for their hardware while building new clusters with unprecedented levels of performance. Finally, vSAN Express Storage Architecture is available as new deployments, and an existing cluster cannot be upgraded to vSAN ESA.

 

Fig.1. Integrating optional hardware optimized architecture in vSAN


VMware vSAN ESA ReadyNode configuration with a single tier

vSAN ESA AF-6 Dell PowerEdge R760

Generation: Intel Xeon Scalable (Sapphire-Rapids-SP) Profile: vSAN-ESA-AF-6 Raw Storage Capacity: Up To 51.2 TB

Components

Details

Qty

System

PowerEdge R760

4

CPU

Intel Platinum 8462Y 2.80Ghz 32 Core

8

Memory

64GB DDR-4, 3200, 2RX4 ,8G, DDR4, R

16

Storage Tier

Dell Ent NVMe PM1735a MU 6.4TB

8

NIC

Intel(R) Ethernet 25G 2P E810-XXV OCP

8

Boot Device

BOSS controller card + with 2 M.2 Sticks 120G or higher (RAID 1)

4

Supported Releases

ESXi 8.0 U1 (vSAN 8.0 Update 1), ESXi 8.0 (vSAN 8.0)

4

Table.2. vSAN ESA ReadyNode Configuration


Allowable changes in vSAN ReadyNodes for both OSA and ESA

Components

vSAN OSA Modifiable

vSAN ESA Modifiable

vSAN OSA Guidance

vSAN ESA Guidance

CPU

Yes

Yes

  • Same or higher core count with similar or higher base clock speed is recommended.
  • All vSAN ReadyNode generation is considered as a separate ReadyNode.
  • One/Two/Four socket within the same vSAN ReadyNode generation is considered as a separate ReadyNode.                                     
  • Same or higher core count with similar or higher base clock speed is recommended.
  • Each vSAN ESA ReadyNode is certified against a prescriptive BOM.

Memory

Yes

Yes

  • Adding more memory than what is listed is supported. Maintain a balanced memory population configuration where possible.
  • Any additional memory is allowed only if it conforms to OEM guidelines and is not detrimental to performance.
  • Each vSAN ESA ReadyNode is certified against a prescriptive BOM.
  • Adding more memory than what is listed is supported. Maintain a balanced memory population configuration where possible.

 

Caching Tier

Yes

NA

  • Caching tier device needs to be same or higher endurance and performance class.
  • SAS SSDs must match or have a higher firmware version of that listed on the VCG.
  • NVMe SSDs must have an exact match of firmware and driver version as on the VCG.
  • If a ReadyNode is certified as Secure-wipe capable, then the associated Cache and Capacity devices should also be Secure-wipe certified.

 

Capacity Tier

Yes

NA

  • Higher or lower capacity of capacity tier device is allowed than listed in ReadyNode BOM.
  • Number of capacity drives may be changed, can add or reduce the number of drives depending on overall capacity needs.
  • Caching tier size need to be adjusted accordingly.
  • SAS and SATA SSDs must match or have a higher firmware version of that listed on the VCG.
  • If a ReadyNode is certified as Secure-wipe capable, then the associated Cache and Capacity devices should also be Secure-wipe certified.

 

Storage Device

NA

Yes

 

  • Device needs to be same or higher performance/endurance class.
  • Storage device models can be changed with vSAN ESA certified disk. Confirm with ***.
  • It is recommended to balance drive types and sizes (homogenous configurations) across nodes in a cluster.
  • Changing the number of drives and drives of different capacities are allowed (within the same cluster) if it meets the capacity requirement of the profile selected but should not exceed Max Drives certified for the ReadyNode as the performance is dependent on the quantity of drives.

Additional Certified IO Controller

Yes

NA

  • Additional certified controller can be added in each node and disk groups configured behind the controller for better performance.
  • Only tested, certified, and listed controller configurations for that vSAN ReadyNode is supported.
  • The firmware, driver, and mode (RAID/Passthrough/Mixed) for the controller must be an exact match as listed on the vSAN VCG. A controller with later firmware from what is listed on the VCG is not supported.
  • Any additional IO controller added to the ReadyNode should also be Secure-wipe capable.

 

Change in Storage Protocol

No

NA

  • Changing protocol within vSAN Ready Node is not supported. For example, a SAS drive cannot be replaced with NVMe drive having the same endurance and performance class and vice-versa.

 

NIC

Yes

Yes

  • Adding more NICs if slots are available in the server is supported.
  • NICs of similar or higher configuration allowed and supported, such as 10G speed or higher.
  • The NICs need to be IOVP (ESXi)-certified.
  • Management NICs should be at least 1G and vSAN clustering NICs should be 10G or higher.
  • NICs certified for IOVP can be leveraged for vSAN ESA ReadyNode.
  • NICs of similar or higher configuration allowed and supported, such as 25G speed or higher.
  • Adding more NICs if slots are available in the server is supported.

 

Boot Device Controller

Yes

Yes

  • Boot Device and vSAN data store need to be behind separate controllers.
  • Boot device needs to be same of higher performance/endurance class.
  • Boot device needs to be in the same drive family.

Table.3. Allowable configuration changes in vSAN ReadyNodes

For detailed FAQs on VMware vSAN, visit https://core.vmware.com/resource/vsan-frequently-asked-questions-faq#section1.


Dell vSAN Express Storage Architecture ReadyNode Configuration

Components

Description

Quantity

DellStar Quote No.

18070029

 

ESXi Pre-Installed

Yes

 

System

VSAN-RN R660

4

CPU

Intel® Xeon® Gold 6430 2.1G, 32C/64T, 16GT/s, 60M Cache, Turbo, HT (270W) DDR5-4400

2

Memory

32GB RDIMM, 4800MT/s Dual Rank, RDIMMs

16

Storage Tier

3.2TB Enterprise NVMe Mixed Use AG Drive U.2 Gen4 with carrier

10

NIC

Broadcom 57414 Dual Port 10/25GbE SFP28, OCP NIC 3.0

1

Boot Device

BOSS-N1 controller card + with 2 M.2 480GB (RAID 1)

1

Table.4. An example of Dell vSAN ESA ReadyNode configuration from the Dell Configurator


VMware vSAN compatibility guide

Dell vSAN Ready Nodes for both OSA and ESA are certified hardware for building vSAN clusters. These ReadyNodes are ideal for building data center and cloud environments that deploy hyperconverged building blocks for varied scenarios. Dell Technologies provides multiple vSAN Ready Node options that are built on the Dell PowerEdge servers and support multiple vSAN editions and versions till the latest vSAN 8 U1. Dell Technologies provides a wide range of options for selecting the vSAN server model and storage controller as well as magnetic disks, SAS SSD, NVMe, NIC controllers, and accelerators, combined with VMware ESXi for both OSA and ESA configurations. There are multiple ReadyNode options available for different performance and workload requirements.

Dell vSAN OSA Guide > https://www.vmware.com/resources/compatibility/pdf/vi_vsan_rn_guide.pdf

Dell vSAN ESA Guide > https://www.vmware.com/resources/compatibility/pdf/vi_vsanesa_guide.pdf

Dell Technologies and VMware strongly recommend using tested and certified ReadyNodes that are validated to provide predictable performance and scalability when building a vSAN Cluster. Dell Technologies provides varied options for vSAN ReadyNodes for both Original Storage Architecture and Express Storage Architecture. To configure a Dell vSAN ReadyNodes listed for ESA solution, visit https://www.vmware.com/resources/compatibility/search.php?deviceCategory=vsanesa. On the configurator page 1, for ‘Choose Step 1’, select the vSAN ReadyNode Vendor as Dell. Next, choose the ‘vSAN ESA Server Model’ and processor vendor from a range of validated and certified 15G and 16G server models and processor from Intel or AMD. Next, choose the ‘ReadyNode Profile’ from AF-0 to AF-8. Once the required options are chosen, click on ‘Configure vSAN ESA ReadyNode.’ In Step 2, for ‘Configure’, select host configuration of sockets, cores, memory, storage type, number of storage devices, capacity, network speed, and number of network adapters. Next, click Step 3 to ‘Consume’. The configurator then builds the configuration chosen as per the requirements for the solution.

Note: There is only one storage tier in vSAN ESA configuration, unlike OSA configuration that requires two types of disks for cache and capacity tiers.


Dell Technologies PowerEdge 16th Generation vSAN ESA ReadyNodes.

Dell Technologies vSAN ESA Ready Nodes

Server

PowerEdge R660



PowerEdge R760

PowerEdge R760xa

CPU

2 Sockets, 72 Cores

Intel Xeon Scalable (Sapphire Rapids-SP)

2 Sockets, 72 Cores

Intel Xeon Scalable (Sapphire Rapids-SP)

2 Sockets, 32 Cores

Intel Xeon Scalable (Sapphire Rapids-SP)

Memory

1024 GB

32 DDR5 DIMM slots, supports RDIMM 8 TB max, speeds up to 4800 MT/s

1024 GB 

32 DDR5 DIMM slots, supports RDIMM 8 TB max, speeds up to 4800 MT/s

512 GB

32 DDR5 DIMM slots, supports RDIMM 8 TB max, speeds up to 4800 MT/s

Storage

10 x 6.4 TB

Dell U.2 Ent NVMe PM1735a MU 6.4 TB [3 DWPD]

16 x 6.4 TB / 24 x 3.2 TB

Dell Ent NVMe CM6 MU 6.4 TB [3DWPD]

Dell U.2 Ent NVMe P5620 MU 3.2 TB [3 DWPD]

6 x 3.2 TB

Dell Ent NVMe CM6 MU 3.2 TB [3DWPD]

 

Network Speed


Host NIC

2 x 100 Gb

 


1

2 x 100 Gb

 


1

1 x 25 Gb

 


1

ReadyNode Profile

 

Available Profiles

AF-8

 

 

AF-0, AF-2, AF-4, AF-6

AF-8

 

 

AF-0, AF-2, AF-4, AF-6

AF-2

 

 

AF-0

 

 

 

 

Server

PowerEdge R6615

PowerEdge R6625

PowerEdge R7615

PowerEdge R7625

CPU

1 Socket, 64 Cores

AMD EPYC Genoa

2 Sockets, 128 Cores

AMD EPYC Milan

1 Socket, 48 / 64 Cores

AMD EPYC Genoa

2 Socket, 128 Cores

AMD EPYC Genoa

Memory

768 GB

12 DDR5 DIMM slots, supports RDIMM 3 TB max, speed up to 4800 MT/s

768 GB

24 DDR5 DIMM slots, supports RDIMM 6 TB max, speeds up to 4800 MT/s

768 GB

12 DDR5 DIMM slots, supports RDIMM 3 TB max, speeds up to 4800 MT/s

768 GB

24 DDR5 DIMM slots, supports RDIMM 6 TB max, speeds up to 4800 MT/s

Storage

10 x 6.4 TB

Dell U.2 Ent NVMe P5620 MU 6.4 TB [3 DWPD]

7 x 6.4 TB

Dell U.2 Ent NVMe P5620 MU 6.4 TB [3 DWPD]

16 x 6.4 TB / 3.2 TB

Dell U.2 Ent NVMe PM1735a MU 6.4 TB [3 DWPD]

Dell U.2 Ent NVMe P5620 MU 3.2 TB [3 DWPD]

14 x 3.2 TB

Dell U.2 Ent NVMe PM1735a MU 6.4 TB [3 DWPD]

Dell Ent NVMe CM6 MU 3.2 TB [3DWPD]

Dell U.2 Ent NVMe P5620 MU 3.2 TB [3 DWPD]

Network Speed


Host NIC

2 x 25 Gb

 


1

2 x 25 Gb

 


1

2 x 25 Gb

 


2

2 x 25 Gb


 

2

ReadyNode Profile

 

Available Profiles

AF-6

 

 

AF-0, AF-2, AF-4

AF-6

 

 

AF-2

AF-6

 

 

AF-0, AF-2

AF-6

 

 

AF-0, AF-2


vSAN ESA ReadyNode Hardware Guidance

When choosing the hardware, it is important to define the workload profile requirement for the use case. Once this is done, filter and search ReadyNode offerings to determine the approximate configuration that meets the defined requirement. Finally, choose the vSAN ESA ReadyNode aligned with the selected profile.

Description

vSAN-ESA-AF-0

vSAN-ESA-AF-2

vSAN- ESA-AF-4

vSAN- ESA-AF-6

vSAN- ESA-AF-8

vSAN-ESA-AF-High- density

Node Capacity (TB) (Min)

3.2             

15             

20            

40             

60             

100                            

CPU (#cores) per Node (Min)

16

32

40

48

56

48

Memory (GB) (Min)

128

512

512

768

1024

768

Number of storage devices (Min)

2

4

4

4

4

4

Device Endurance

1 DWPD or higher

3 DWPD

1 DWPD or higher

Network (GbE) (Min)

10

25

25

50

100

50

Device Guidance

Device Type and Protocol: NVMe TLC. The vSAN ESA ReadyNode is certified with NVMe and allows no change to the device type.

SSD Performance Class: Class F or higher, (Class F (100000 - 349999 WPS), Class G (350000+ WPS))

Endurance Class:1 DWPD or higher

Capacity:1.6TB or higher


Sizing Assumptions Used For vSAN ESA ReadyNode Profiles

Network: Dual port NIC recommended for redundancy.

Device Capacity: The capacity point is for guidance only. You can choose different capacity points as long as Node Capacity and Performance/Endurance classes are met. 

Number of Storage Tier Devices: The number of Storage Tier devices has an impact on the performance of vSAN ESA. The minimum quantity is 4 devices per node. We recommend configuring more for better performance.


Dell vSAN Ready Nodes are built on trusted and proven PowerEdge Servers, speeding up the deployment with pre-configured, pre-tested configurations that are validated and certified to run VMware vSAN and help build a solution to meet an organization’s growing needs from the start. vSAN ESA ReadyNode solutions are based for different workload requirements, built for capacity and performance, and are available in the above form factors for entry, mid, and high demand workloads as specified in the Available ReadyNode profiles, from AF-0, AF-2, AF-04, AF-06 and AF-8.


Dell Technologies and VMware

As newer technologies and innovations evolve with VMware vSAN, Dell Technologies vSAN ReadyNodes ensure the pace is maintained with the newer generation of PowerEdge servers that are certified as ReadyNodes to run VMware’s latest vSAN software, providing the much-needed computing, networking, and storage requirements.

Dell Technologies and VMware provide business value to customers, delivering integrated solutions that accelerate the journey to digital transformation. Our partnership offers deep integration of VMware’s innovative technology with the unique combination of hardware and vSAN software while providing choice and flexibility to consume the latest technology. The Dell Technologies and VMware partnership provides a unique advantage, given that our infrastructure solutions are optimized for VMware solution stacks.


Author: Thomas MM, Technical Marketing Engineering, Linka Biaggi, Product Marketing



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  • PowerEdge
  • VMware
  • Ready Node

Dell EMC vSANReady Node Certification

Thomas MM Thomas MM

Fri, 13 Jan 2023 10:00:33 -0000

|

Read Time: 0 minutes

Summary

Dell EMC vSAN Ready Nodes are simple solution that help accelerate VMware vSAN deployments, as the hardware is pre-configured and tested with optimally configured CPU, memory, Network Interface Controllers, SSD and HDD, pre- loaded with VMware vSphere and vSAN software, offered in varied capacities for different workloads, with a certification from both Dell EMC and VMware.

Dell EMC vSAN Ready Nodes lessen project risks and reduce the time taken to procure hardware and software, build, validate, certify and run a hyperconverged solution.

Introduction to the Dell EMC vSAN Ready Node Certification

Dell EMC vSAN Ready Nodes are hyperconverged building blocks built on Dell EMC PowerEdge servers that are preconfigured, tested and certified to run VMware vSAN™, a radically simply software-defined storage solution. Dell EMC vSAN Ready Nodes are offered in varied configurations designed to meet VMware vSAN specifications and are ideal for on-premises and cloud environments. For customers, it simplifies the path to HCI and reduces risks with a validated, tested, and certified ready to run Dell EMC vSAN Ready node.

The Certification Process

All Dell EMC vSAN Ready Nodes are required to go through a certification process. This involves jointly testing for performance, feature and faults, different types and quantity of CPU's, memory and disks, network controllers, and stress tests for a period that ensures the robustness and resiliency of the hardware.

The following diagram depicts the certification process for the Dell EMC vSAN Ready Nodes.


Figure-1. Dell EMC vSAN Ready Node certification process.

Certification Parameters and Outcome

VMware vSAN, is built from the ground up and certified to be listed on the VMware Compatibility guide-VCG website. Each vSAN Ready Node is configured with the right hardware, specific firmware and driver versions, configuration type of Hybrid or All-Flash drives, ESXi version, combined with the best performance and availability of support used in a VMware vSAN Cluster. The certification process requires the base server platform, and the driver versions of the peripheral devices of the hardware under test be I/O Vender Partner certified. This ensures that the Ready Nodes listed in the vSAN Compatibility Guide are specific versions for every certification and not just minimums. For customers, this means a vSAN HCI node has been tested thoroughly with the base hardware and exact configurations that is listed in the VCG, enabling in choosing the ‘Most Optimized vSAN Cluster’ configuration a simple task. A change in this combination requires recertification even if a specific component has been tested with or changed from the previous version. Dell EMC vSAN Ready Node Certification happens on three levels: vSAN Ready Nodes-comprising of one or more chassis, individual components, such as a Storage I/O Controller and PCIe or NVMe devices, with the rest of the base hardware made of certified components.

Benefits

Hyperconverged solutions offer inherent benefits, not just consolidated hardware with a license. Dell EMC vSAN Ready Nodes provides enterprises the right Ready Node profiles for your workloads, a single SKU, a modular and scalable platform with a lower TCO compared to a disparate solution and ease of use in managing resources. With the Dell EMC vSAN Ready Nodes created jointly with Dell EMC and VMware, hundreds of hours of testing and certification makes it the obvious choice for any enterprise’s need for a hyperconverged solution.

Figure-2. Benefits of Certified VMware vSAN solution.

In Conclusion

Dell EMC vSAN Ready Nodes are an ideal choice for enterprises planning to adopt a Hyperconverged Infrastructure solution. Choose a pre-validated reference architecture designed and tested to utilize the latest server and storage technologies that are ready to use as an exact end-to-end solution.

Today's enterprises face more stringent IT budgets, and customers are exploring technologies to lower the total cost of ownership drastically. Dell EMC vSAN Ready Nodes help streamline HCI adoption and reduce costs with a scale-up/scale-out architecture that adapts to a rapidly changing business need. To learn more on Dell EMC vSAN Certifications visit the website here.

 


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