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Solution

  • Storage

Type

  • Document

Level

  • Intermediate

Category

  • Best Practice

Product

  • vSAN
  • vSAN 6.7
  • vSAN 7

Technology

  • vSAN 2 Node
  • vSAN Stretched Cluster

vSAN Stretched Cluster Bandwidth Sizing

Overview

The purpose of this document is to explain how to size bandwidth requirements for vSAN in Stretched Cluster configurations. This document only covers the vSAN network bandwidth requirements.  

In Stretched Cluster configurations, two data fault domains have one or more hosts, and the third fault domain contains a witness host or witness appliance. In this document each data fault domain will be referred to as a site.

vSAN Stretched Cluster configurations can be spread across distances, provided bandwidth and latency requirements are met.

General Guidelines

The bandwidth requirement between the main sites is highly dependent on the workload to be run on vSAN, amount of data, and handling of failure scenarios.

Under normal operating conditions, the basic bandwidth and latency requirements are:

 
Bandwidth
Latency
Site to Site Minimum of 10Gbps <5ms latency RTT
Site to Witness 2Mbps per 1000 vSAN Components <200ms latency RTT (up to 10 hosts per site)
<100ms latency RTT (11 to 15 hosts per site)
<500ms latency RTT (1 host per site)

There are also routing requirements that need to be considered:

Inter-Site Communication Deployment Scenario Layer Routing
Site to Site Default Layer 2 Not Required
Layer 3 Static Routes Are Required*
Site to Witness Default Layer 3 Static Routes Are Required*
  Witness Traffic Separation Layer 3 Static Routes Are Required* when using an interface other than the Management (vmk0) interface
Layer 2 for 2 Node Static Routes Are Not Required
*Static Routes are required because vSAN utilizes the Default TCP stack. A VMkernel specific gateway is not supported. The default gateway that is used by the Management VMkernel interface would be used by any other VMkernel interfaces using the same TCP stack. It is recommended that the vSAN network is isolated from normal infrastructure traffic on a dedicated network. As a result, the vSAN network cannot use the default gateway, and therefore static routes must be used to connect with Layer 3 addresses. While this is typically for Site-Witness communication over Layer 3, it can also include Site-Site communication when using Layer 3 for data node addresses. 
 

Bandwidth Requirements Between Sites

Workloads are seldom all reads or writes, and normally include a general read to write ratio for each use case.  

A good example of this would be a VDI workload. During peak utilization, VDI often behaves with a 70/30 write to read ratio. That is to say that 70% of the IO is due to write operations and 30% is due to read IO.  As each solution has many factors, true ratios should be measured for each workload.

Using the general situation where a total IO profile requires 100,000 IOPS, of which 70% are write, and 30% are read, in a Stretched configuration, the write IO is what is sized against for inter-site bandwidth requirements.

With Stretched Clusters, read traffic is, by default, serviced by the site that the VM resides on. This concept is called Read Locality.

The required bandwidth between two data sites (B) is equal to Write bandwidth (Wb) * data multiplier (md) * resynchronization multiplier (mr):

B = Wb * md * mr 

The data multiplier is comprised of overhead for vSAN metadata traffic and miscellaneous related operations. VMware recommends a data multiplier of 1.4

The resynchronization multiplier is included to account for resynchronizing events. It is recommended to allocate bandwidth capacity on top of required bandwidth capacity for resynchronization events.  

Making room for resynchronization traffic, an additional 25% is recommended.

Site to Site Examples

Workload 1
With an example workload of 10,000 writes per second to a workload on vSAN with a “typical” 4KB size write, that would require 40MB/s, or 320Mbps bandwidth. 

B = 320 Mbps * 1.4 * 1.25 = 560 Mbps.

Including the vSAN network requirements, the required bandwidth would be 560Mbps.  
 

Workload 2
In another example, 30,000 writes per second, 4KB writes, would require 120MB/s, or 960Mbps bandwidth. 

B = 960 Mbps * 1.4 * 1.25 = 1680 Mbps or ~1.7Gbps

The required bandwidth would be approximately 1.7Gbps.  

Workloads are seldom all reads or writes, and normally include a general read to write ratio for each use case.  

A good example of this would be a VDI workload. During peak utilization, VDI often behaves with a 70/30 write to read ratio. That is to say that 70% of the IO is due to write

operations and 30% is due to read IO.  As each solution has many factors, true ratios should be measured for each workload.

Using the general situation where a total IO profile requires 100,000 IOPS, of which 70% are write, and 30% are read, in a Stretched configuration, the write IO is what is sized against for inter-site bandwidth requirements.

With Stretched Clusters, read traffic is, by default, serviced by the site that the VM resides on. This concept is called Read Locality.

The required bandwidth between two data sites (B) is equal to Write bandwidth (Wb) * data multiplier (md) * resynchronization multiplier (mr):

Bandwidth Requirements Between Witness & Data Site

Witness bandwidth isn’t calculated in the same way as inter-site bandwidth requirements. Witnesses do not maintain VM data, but rather only component metadata.

It is important to remember that data is stored on vSAN in the form of objects. Objects are comprised of 1 or more components of items such as:

  • VM Home or namespace
  • VM Swap object
  • Virtual Disks
  • Snapshots

Objects can be split into more than 1 component when the size is >255GB, and/or a Number of Stripes (stripe width) policy is applied. Additionally, the number of objects/components for a given Virtual Machine is multiplied when a Number of Failures to Tolerate (FTT) policy is applied for data protection and availability.

The required bandwidth between the Witness and each site is equal to ~1138 B x Number of Components / 5s

1138 B x NumComp  / 5 seconds

The 1138 B value comes from operations that occur when the Preferred Site goes offline, and the Secondary Site takes ownership of all of the components.

When the primary site goes offline, the secondary site becomes the master. The Witness sends updates to the new master, followed by the new master replying to the Witness as ownership is updated.

The 1138 B requirement for each component comes from a combination of a payload from the Witness to the backup agent, followed by metadata indicating that the Preferred Site has failed.

In the event of a Preferred Site failure, the link must be large enough to allow for the cluster ownership to change, as well ownership of all of the components within 5 seconds.

Witness to Site Examples

Workload 1

With a VM being comprised of

  • 3 objects
    • VM namespace
    • vmdk (under 255GB)
    • vmSwap 
  • Failure to Tolerate of 1 (FTT=1)
  • Stripe Width of 1

Approximately 166 VMs with the above configuration would require the Witness to contain 996 components (166 VMs * 3 components/VM * 2 (FTT+1) * 1 (Stripe Width))

To successfully satisfy the Witness bandwidth requirements for a total of 1,000 components on vSAN, the following calculation can be used:

Converting Bytes (B) to Bits (b), multiply by 8

B = 1138 B * 8 * 1,000 / 5s = 1,820,800 Bits per second = 1.82 Mbps

VMware recommends adding a 10% safety margin and round up.

B + 10% = 1.82 Mbps + 182 Kbps = 2.00 Mbps

With the 10% buffer included, a rule of thumb can be stated that for every 1,000 components, 2 Mbps is appropriate. 

Workload 2

With a VM being comprised of 

  • 3 objects
    • VM namespace
    • vmdk (under 255GB)
    • vmSwap
  • Failure to Tolerate of 1 (FTT=1)
  • Stripe Width of 2

Approximately 1,500 VMs with the above configuration would require 18,000 components to be stored on the Witness.

To successfully satisfy the Witness bandwidth requirements for 18,000 components on vSAN the resulting calculation is: 

B = 1138 B * 8 * 18,000 / 5s = 32,774,400 Bits per second =
32.78 Mbps
B + 10% = 32.78 Mbps + 3.28 Mbps = 36.05 Mbps

Using the general equation of 2Mbps for every 1,000 components, (NumComp/1000) X 2Mbps, it can be seen that 18,000 components does in fact require 36Mbps.

Witness Bandwidth for 2 Node Configurations

Remote site Deployment

vSAN introduced 2 Node support in version 6.1. This is a specialized use case of Stretched Clusters.

In cases where remote offices have a small complement of VMs, 2 Node configurations can be very cost effective.

Remote Site Example 1

Take the example of 25 VMs in a 2 Node configuration, each with a 1TB virtual disk protected at FTT=1 and a Stripe Width=1.
Each vmdk would be comprised of 8 components (vmdk and replica) and 2 components each for the VM namespace and swap file. The total number of components is 300 (12/VMx25VMs).
With 300 components, using the rule of thumb (300/1000 x 2Mbps), 600kbps of bandwidth is required.

Remote Site Example 2

Take another example of 100 VMs on each host, of the same VM above, with 1TB virtual disk, FTT=1 & SW=1.
The total number of components would be 2,400. Using the rule of thumb (2,400/1000 x 2Mbps), 4.8Mbps of bandwidth is required.

Multiple Remote Office Deployments

It is important to remember, when deploying 2 Node configurations to include enough bandwidth for each site.

The two examples would require a combined bandwidth of 5.4Mbps (600Kbps + 4.8Mbps)

Next Steps

Additional Documentation

For more information about VMware vSAN, please visit the product pages at https://www.vmware.com/products/vsan.html

Below are links to online documentation:

 

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