What Is VMware VSAN?

VMware VSAN is an enterprise-class software, which is included under the vSphere umbrella, that clusters server disks in order to build simple shared storage specifically designed for VMs. The solution helps automate storage provisioning, as well as management of virtualized storage clusters in a self-tuning VM-centric way. Read/write SSD caching enables scaling out on your architecture, and multi-cloud capabilities ensure consistency of operations.

In the scope of VMware vSphere, VMware VSAN is the software-defined storage feature that is integrated into the VMware hypervisor, ESXi, which is an integral part of vSphere. VSAN from VMware pools storage resources from your designated hypervisor servers and provisions it by using various smart policies. Depending on your business needs, VMware VSAN can also bring in High Availability as a separate vSphere feature.

VSAN, being a vital component of VMware tools, has entered a new age in the latest vSphere 7.0 release. VMware continues to innovate and grows its ecosystem. Not only does it leverage the public cloud to ensure that legacy applications get the best performance and fault tolerance, but it is now also compatible with Kubernetes and introduced the Tanzu Kubernetes Grid. In other words, VMware server can now launch and run Kubernetes faster and better.

Why Do VMware Solutions Matter?

What is VMware Cloud?

It's a cloud virtualization platform that is part of the vSphere package from VMware. vSphere cloud can run Kubernetes instances and virtual machines of any size and complexity to ensure scalable applications hosted in VMware cloud.

Why are VMware Solutions good?

Customers predominantly opt for VMware vSphere as their data center virtualization solution of choice. VMware Solutions are also certified, partnered, and compatible with many other mission-critical hardware and software solutions.

What is VMware vSphere?

vSphere is a virtualization data center solution that covers networking, storage, and compute. Such VMware vSphere solution brings the core benefits of virtualization to your system, but don't forget to update on time.

How old is VMware vSphere?

vSphere from VMware was released all the way back in 2009. VMware tools have undergone significant changes and alterations. 2020 brought VMware vSphere 7.0, which recently received a serious revamp in Update 1 package.

What is the use of VMware vSphere for me?

The idea behind vSphere is to virtualize server activity entirely. Thanks to its growth and development, vSphere now offers even more, allowing for networking (NSX) and storage virtualization (VSAN) as well as other benefits.

Since its first iterations, VMware has simplified its barriers of entry. Previously, you would need a physical shared storage infrastructure and a minimum of three hosts to power your VMware vSphere infrastructure. Now, VMware VSAN makes it possible to go without physical shared storage hardware. VMware cloud utilizes various public cloud partners to make virtualization even easier and more efficient. vSphere offers three public cloud options.

VMware vSphere also has a virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) option. VMware Horizon enables businesses to run Windows desktops in the data center or in VMware cloud on Amazon Web Services (AWS). Considering 2020 working restrictions, it's a very useful offer among VMware tools. Thus, VMware vSphere can remove the need to introduce and manage individual desktops in each workplace and can help centralize security and management for VMware users of a particular vSphere IT environment.

Benefits of Using VMware:
  • VMware places a serious focus on its security. vSphere is built on the zero-trust principle and, among others, it brings significantly better security than containerized systems, like Marathon, Docker Hub, or Kubernetes
  • VMware vSphere is a good chunk of work. There are multiple VMware tools to manage and monitor. To that end, VMware offers vCenter, which encompasses everything necessary for data center management
  • Thanks to an elaborate set of features, VMware VSAN and other VMware tools allow for better applications and resources provisioning. VMware server offers solid performance and disaster resistance options
  • VMware cloud, along with other VMware tools, ensures high levels of flexibility and efficiency of your hyper-converged IT infrastructure. You get to achieve way more than you would have with just regular hardware
  • vSphere is a complex package of VMware tools that includes many aspects you won't necessarily get to use. You may end up paying for certain services that you don't actually need as much but you won't know it
  • There is also the debate about VMware vSphere hypervisor, ESXi. Some users argue for Microsoft Hyper-V or Citrix Xen to be better and more effective alternatives to VMware hypervisor, but it's for you to decide
  • VMware vSphere is a lot of services that need a lot of support. Many users point to inefficient support as well as errors when they couple VMware with Oracle products. Support from VMware can be quite slow
  • As a result of having very strict hardware compatibility lists (HCLs), VMware vSphere has very high licensing fees. Out of everything else, the licensing policies is something that brings the biggest VMware costs
Drawbacks of Using VMware:
VMware VSAN Licensing

There are several issues to consider regarding the VMware VSAN license. There are four licensing packages for customer consideration: Standard, Advanced, Enterprise, and Enterprise Plus. The features available for elevated virtual shared storage utilization and performance elevation vary significantly among these packages. Standard will only tie the cluster into a single hybrid cloud storage pool.

VMware virtual SAN has strict hardware compatibility requirements and performance limitations. It’s possible to have its features function to the fullest only with certified VMware VSAN ReadyNodes. The list of hardware that is compatible with the solution is also quite narrow. Considering this, any type of workload runs on the VSAN cluster with per CPU VSAN licensing.

VMware VSAN and
StarWind Virtual SAN (VSAN)


  • Form Heavy-duty software
  • Licensing Requires three nodes and gets installed on HCL-appropriate units / License per CPU
  • Hardware
    Compatibility Lists
    Strict HCLs, works only with vSphere
  • Feature Tiers and
    Higher-tier license packages unlock access to more sophisticated features
  • Monitoring and
    Built-in CLI (VMware vCenter is purchased separately)
  • Flexibility Scaling out is possible only within HCLs

StarWind Virtual SAN

  • Lightweight Linux-based VM
  • Requires 2 nodes / Installs on the existing cluster
    nodes — single universal license, SaaS model
  • Hardware-agnostic, can be installed in any infrastructure,
    works with any hypervisor configuration
  • No socket-derived licensing, no restrictions on features or
    capacity limitations
  • Unified console included
  • Scalability is available up or out regardless of
    the type of proprietary components


StarWind Virtual SAN

Heavy-duty software
Lightweight Linux-based VM
Requires three nodes, gets installed on HCL-permitted units, license per CPU
Requires 2 nodes, installs on the existing cluster nodes, clear per-node licensing
Strict hardware compatibility lists, works only with vSphere
Can be installed in any hardware, works with any hypervisor
Higher-tier license packages unlock access to more sophisticated features
No socket-derived licensing, no restrictions on features or capacity limitations
Built-in CLI (VMware vCenter is purchased separately)
Unified monitoring and management console included
Scaling out is possible only within HCLs
Scalability (up or out) regardless of hardware type

is StarWind VSAN?

StarWind Virtual SAN is a lightweight Linux-based VM that has been created explicitly to lower the TCO for ROBO & Edge. By using it, they can experience a dramatic and visible elevation in how much they can get out of seemingly limited IT resources. It’s an SDS that delivers high availability by mirroring internal hard disk and flash between hypervisor servers, creating a single fault-tolerant storage pool for seamless infrastructure performance. Any virtualization admin will be able to easily deploy, configure, monitor, and manage StarWind VSAN thanks to its user-friendliness. However, StarWind support engineers will swiftly respond to any help queries that may arise.

Features and Benefits of StarWind VSAN


StarWind VSAN merges your entire cluster (vSphere + any other hypervisor or non-hypervisor-managed) into a unified fault-tolerant storage pool. It is there to make you utilize all of the available IT resources to the fullest, enabling the maximum out of your underlying storage capacity, tying it with private/public clouds. All of your partitions, applications, and other workloads will be available and secure at all times.


StarWind VSAN is a VM that serves as a robust virtual storage pool. After you’ve installed it on any of your clusters, your entire cluster becomes highly available and fault-tolerant even if any disasters occur. There are no tricks: you buy a single solution that is integrable with any infrastructure compilation. The main idea is to bring enterprise-level SDS features to businesses of any size and budget.


StarWind VSAN offers unlimited scalability — up and out — with as many and diverse proprietary components as you need. In-line deduplication and compression provide maximum storage optimization and speed thanks to HA. You can upgrade or change your infrastructure compilation without any downtime at all. Data resiliency with the required Software RAID is assured.

Simple to Use
and Cost-Efficient

Customers pay a flat fee to receive all StarWind VSAN features without any feature/socket/capacity restrictions. Licenses vary only by capacity. StarWind VSAN fits into any hardware/software configuration. It ensures constant uptime regardless of whether you’re all-flash or not. You don’t have to buy any additional GUI or sift through CLI since StarWind VSAN comes with a neat unified console. TCO is significantly decreased, so you can focus your finances on other improvements.

Choose how you would like to start:
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Virtualization Platform [Hypervisor]
Virtualization Platform [Hypervisor]
Preferred Use Case
Number of Initiator hosts
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