When VMware vSAN™ Express Storage Architecture (ESA) first launched it was a signifigant leap forward as a data platform in efficiency, performance and scalability over vSAN Original Storage Architecture (OSA). Holding back some customers from adopting ESA where a number of sub features and interoperability requirements that OSA was capable of delivering on, and now with the launch of vSAN 8 Update 2 vSAN ESA is now at feature parity with vSAN OSA.
vSAN File Services Support
NFS and SMB support for vSAN allows container workloads, VDI profiles and other applications to consume NAS services from the VMware vSAN datastore. With the launch of vSAN 8U2 ESA now fully supports vSAN file services. Traditional and cloud native clients can now connect to vSAN using this service.
Cross-Cluster Support Improvements
Previously referred to as VSAN Mesh, vSAN OSA introduced in previous releases two unique abilities for connecting HCI clusters to each other that vSAN ESA is now capable of. One is the ability to support stretched cluster configurations. In this configuration, a stretched vSAN ESA cluster can provide durable, highly available storage across two unique data-centers while sharing storage to other vSAN ESA clusters. In previous versions this datastore sharing was limited to only sharing within the same vCenter. Now, vSAN ESA can share datastores between clusters in different vCenter environments.
While these features will benefit existing vSAN ESA HCI customers, these features also serve to help improve vSAN Max which opens up new Disaggregated Storage sharing use cases for block and file workloads. For more information about vSAN Max check out this post.