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VMware vSAN 6.6 Eases Hyperconverged Storage AdoptionVMware vSAN 6.6 Eases Hyperconverged Storage Adoption

Twenty-five-plus new features will help partners move customers into all-flash, software-defined future.

Channel Partners

April 11, 2017

5 Min Read
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d7913ff279a943499497e581ead0cab9.jpgBy Kurt Marko

The enterprise storage market is at a technological tipping point. Entrenched centralized architectures based on massive storage arrays and dedicated SANs are giving way to distributed virtual servers hosting pools of software-defined storage. Tomorrow’s storage array will more likely be a hyperconverged host running a mix of VM workloads and a storage stack versus a monolithic storage chassis. Indeed, one analyst’s assessment of the storage market shows HCI revenue growing faster than any other storage segment over the next decade, while Gartner expects software-defined storage on HCI systems to comprise 30 percent of enterprise capacity by 2019.

As the leading purveyor of enterprise virtual infrastructure, VMware is keenly aware of both the revenue opportunities and the risks should it fumble the storage technology transition. As such, vSAN is critical to the company’s future and that of its close corporate cousins at Dell-EMC; that makes this week’s announcement of the biggest set of feature enhancements in vSAN history a high-stakes one for the company and its partners.

The new vSAN 6.6, arriving midway between VMworld events and on pace to meet the product’s historical semi-annual release schedule, includes at least 25 new features targeting three categories: data security, performance and TCO. Michael Haag, VMware’s group manager for vSAN product marketing, says that the priorities result from larger trends affecting customers — namely, the pace of new IT projects supporting digital business, tight IT budgets with ongoing caps on growth and the continued onslaught of technology, particularly high-density servers like those used in HCI, flash memory and new storage components like 3D Xpoint used in Intel Optane. Haag insists that not only are customers expanding their use of HCI storage, like vSAN, from test and development to mainstream business applications, they like the ease with which HCI can be expanded and updated to rapidly take advantage of both new server and storage products.{ad}

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