VSAN – Installation

Installation of VMware’s Virtual SAN (VSAN) couldn’t be easier. No, really!

To start with, in my lab environment, I have 4 servers that will participate in the VSAN cluster, and 3 of which will provide storage resources to the VSAN cluster.

  • 3x DL160 G6 with:
    • 128GB SSD
    • 3x 250GB SATA drives (or larger)
  • 1x DL360 G6

At this point, I have already added all 4 servers into a cluster with HA off.

Step 1: Enable the VSAN service on a VMKernel port.

  • Create your virtual switches, and create at least 1 VMKernel port that will be
  • vmk-vsanused for VSAN traffic.
  • Be sure to keep the Switch names the same across hosts!
  • Edit the VMKernel port and check the box for Virtual SAN Traffic.
  • Save the port settings, repeat for each host.
  • Time Saver: Use host profiles!

In my lab, I am using standard switches, with 2 virtual switches, each with a VMKernel port. 1 is dedicated for VSAN traffic, and the other is shared with the Management and Virtual Machine Traffic.


Step 2: Enable VSAN on the Cluster

  •  Select your cluster, and choose the Manage tab, and the select General under Virtual SAN.
  • Edit, and check the box to Turn ON Virtual SAN.
  • Choose your setting for “Add disks to storage”
    • Manual – You will select each disk that will be a part of the Virtual SAN
    • Automatic – VSAN will select all eligible disks for you and add them
  • Click OK


Step 3: Add Disks to Disk Groups

Since I chose Manual mode, I will need to add my disks into Disk Groups.  A Disk Group is a collection of 1 SSD, and multiple HDD drives.  You can have multiple disk groups per host if capacity allows.

  • Still in Virtual SAN settings under the cluster, select the Disk Management section.
  • Click on the Claim Disks button, and select the drives for use in Virtual SAN.
    • Alternatively, select each host, and manually create Disk Groups per host.

Claim Disks:


Create Disk Group:


Step 4: Start building Virtual Machines!

Yes, it is that easy. You now have a datastore called vsanDatastore.

My DL360 G6 server can also access this datastore, since I enabled VSAN on the VMKernel port groups, even though it’s not providing any resources to the VSAN cluster.




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