24 models of VMware Virtual SAN Ready Nodes has just been announced to be available from your favorite server OEMs such as HP, SuperMicro, Fujitsu and Dell. The official VMware announcement blog can be found at http://blogs.vmware.com/vsphere/2014/06/virtual-san-ready-nodes-ready-set-go.html.
An accompanying document has been posted with the detailed configurations of the 24 models, and it is found here.
I see this to be a step in the right direction that it reduces (not completely gone) the due diligence customers will need to make sure they are getting the right hardware to use with Virtual SAN. Of course the option to go completely DIY is still there, one will have to go through the full motion to validate the hardware is on the Virtual SAN HCL, and that the hardware is sufficiently powerful to handle the workloads, and inevitable hardware failure and recovery situations.
In the accompanying document has it nicely laid out for different configurations, each suitable for an assumed set of virtual machine sizes. The emphasis is a reminder to do the proper due diligence in determining the actual compute, storage capacity and performance that is required for the targeted deployment. This is true for both server and desktop workloads.
In the document, there are nodes which are built to be VDI specific. An excellent starting point for anyone looking for a Horizon View deployment. A full desktop assessment is mandatory (beyond recommended) to study the real desktop demands in the environment. Only through an assessment can we determine the true required specifications of the infrastructure.
A SAN-less architecture is a reality I have seen in action. The challenge is the lack of experience in the IT world, and hence being able to put together a setup which performs well. I will caution that this is a good starting point for customers in terms of narrowing down the right set of hardware, but it is even more important to engage a Subject Matter Expert (SME) to design and build the environment. Having the right set of equipment is only half a battle won, and knowing what to do with the equipment is the other critical factor.