How To Install VMware vSAN – Step By Step Guide

VMware vSAN can be installed to provide SAN storage for you VMs. This guide shows you how to install and setup VMware vSAN, step-by-step.

Setting Up The vSAN Environment

Firstly, we have to setup the environment. You’re going to want to have a VMware vSphere with at least 3 hosts running ESXi. Each of these hosts should have at least one spare SSD disk and a spare NIC for vSAN communication. It is recommended that these NICs are 10GB NICs and all hardware must by on VMware’s Hardward Compatibility List (There’s actually a list of SSDs stipulating relative performance, that you might want to consider before buying hardware for your vSAN).

Once you have the hardware in place with vSphere set up, you’ll need to setup the vSAN networking. This is all done with the vSphere Client.

  1. Create a distributed switch.
  2. On each host you want to use storage from for the vSAN, add a VMKernel Network Adapter to the distributed switch.
  3. Enable the Virtual SAN traffic service on the port properties

Installing vSAN

Now that your environment is setup, you are ready to install VMware vSAN. The following install steps can all be completed in the latest version of the vSphere Client and vSphere Web Client:

  1. Select the cluster and on the Manage tab, select Settings under Virtual SAN -> General click the Edit… button
  2. Tick the box to Turn On Virtual SAN
  3. Set Add disks to storage to be Manual
  4. Click OK
  5. Under Disk Management, select a host you wish to use disks from and click the Create Disk Group icon (looks like a pile of servers with a green plus on it)
  6. Select the SSD drives and hard drives you want to use and click OK
  7. Repeat steps 5 and 6 for each host you wish to add (you must add at least 3 ESXi hosts)
  8. Click on the Related Objects tab

You have now installed VMware vSAN. If you click on Datastores and click on the vSAN datastore, you can view details of the vSAN you have just installed 😉

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One thought on “How To Install VMware vSAN – Step By Step Guide

  1. 10GB NICs? That means 10GB switches too. Could end up spending the same kind of money as an entry level SAN…

    Thanks for the intro to vSAN it helped us alot.

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