Stage XX: vSAN All Flash

After completing my HomeLab / HomeDC Backup and Desaster Recovery in the last Stage XIX: Backup and Desaster Recovery it was time to update my VMware VSAN environment.

I was able to get 2 x IBM x3690 X5 with the following configuration:


2x Intel Xeon X6550 8-Core 2.0 GHz

448 GB RAM

IBM ServeRaid M1015

1 x SanDisk FusionIO ioDrive Duo 640GB

4 x SanDisk X400M 1TB SATA SSD

1 x Dual Port 10GbE NIC

1 x Teradici APEX 2800

I installed vSphere 6.0 Update 2 onto these two beasts…. I wanted to configure VSAN 6.2 ROBO with the VSAN Witness appliance.

I used the Intel NUC for my vCenter since several years. Check the information here: Stage VII: Physical Expansion

I virtualized the vCenter Windows Installation with the VMware Converter and fired it up onto my existing VMware Mac Mini Cluster onto my FibreChannel storage.

The free Intel NUC will be used also for vSphere 6.0 U2 and should be used for the VSAN 6.2 Witness Appliance.


I replaced the mSATA 120GB SSD with a bigger one (512GB)

Intel NUC D33217GKE

Dual Core i3 1,8GHz



Intel Gigabit LAN

Passive Cooling Chassis

The configuration of VSAN ROBO is pretty easy and works without a problem. The Fusion IO cards are used for the cache layer and the X400M SSDs for the capacity layer. I setup dedup and compression for my All Flash monster…… 7,2TB VSAN capacity.



I migrated all my virtual machines from my existing FibreChannel storage to my new All Flash VSAN datastore. This setup runs very well for about 1 month. The only problem was the power consumption. Each server consumes 660W…..

I need to find a better solution for my All Flash VSAN HomeLab / HomeDC…..

I got 2 new servers, IBM x3650 M4 with this configuration:


2x Intel Xeon E5-2670 8-Core 2.6 GHz

192 GB RAM

IBM ServeRaid M5110e

2 x SanDisk FusionIO ioDrive2 365GB

4 x SanDisk Optimus Eco 2TB SSDs

1 x Dual Port 10GbE NIC

1 x Teradici APEX 2800

1 x Nvidia Quadro 4000 (for RDSH Passthrough)

1 x LSI External SAS (for Backup Server LTO Passthrough)

I installed again vSphere 6.0 Update 2 and configured VSAN 6.2 onto these new systems. The ROBO Witness appliance runs also onto my witness host (Intel NUC) together with the other VSAN Witness and my second DomainController.

Here is the network configuration for the witness host, both VSAN networks are separated using different VLANs. My nested VSAN environment runs on different VXLANs using VMware NSX.


Here is a screenshot of my Diskgroup configuration:


I used once again my favorite FusionIO cards for the cache layer and brand new SanDisk Optimus Eco 2TB drives for the capacity layer.

All tests except the HCL passed, but my FusionIO cards are officially supported. (Driver and Firmware are on the HCL)


My Deduplication and Compression ratio is pretty low, because I am using 2 VSAN Diskgroups with only 2 SSDs into each Diskgroup. I would receive higher ratios when configuring more capacity devices within my Diskgroups…..

I configured the swap sparse file, but I have not shut down and powered up all my VMs at this time……


Check out the next episode of my HomeLab journey: Stage XXI: vSAN 6.6 with 40GbE