Possibly a Stupid Question on vSAN, but anyone able to give a concrete answer?

Hi all,

I’m looking to setup a lab environment for my team, and wanting to use vSAN. I’m using hosts that were decommed from another project. Each host is as folows:

Dell PowerEdge R720xd

12x 600GB 15k SAS HDD

2x 300GB 10k SAS

2x Xeon E5-2670v2

8x 16GB RDIMM, 1866MT/s

Intel Ethernet X540 DP 10Gb BT + I350 1Gb BT DP – 2x 10Gbps 2x 1Gbps

Intel X520 DP 10Gb DA/SFP+

Can this be used to create a vSAN environment? Do I need to swap out the 2x 300SAS and buy 2x SSD? Will the X520 require FC, and if so, can vSAN run over FC?

Pretty new to designing vSAN, so want to ask this of anyone on here who knows the product well.

All help is greatly appreciated!

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  1. I’ve never used fc but the rest should be ok.
    You don’t NEED SSDs but it’s faster with it.
    We use Nexus 10g switches for the vsan stuff and it works fine.

  2. * VSAN runs across TCP/IP, so any recognized gigabit+ NIC should be fine
    * Ethernet over FC is thing, but a 10GBe NICs are cheap enough that I wouldn’t mess with it
    * Any drive can be flagged as an SSD if needed, so yes, you can simply flag the 10k SAS drives as SSDs and set them as the cache drives
    * That said, SSDs are cheap enough now that the performance boost you will get out of having your cache drives be actual SSDs rather than flagged HDDs will likely be perceptible
    * If at all possible use 3+ nodes – 2 nodes plus a purpose-built VM is technically possible, but its jankiness tends to show a lot any time you’re updating

    Overall I’d say you have 95% of a kickass lab, but I’d strongly recommend you spend an extra couple hundred bucks replacing the 10k SAS with SSD and the FC with copper (or twinax) and really get the most out of it.

  3. The 520 does not require the FC. You can configure and run everything without FC. Also, I would prefer to replace 300 SAS drive with 2 SSDs. It will give more speed for the hypervisor, but it is something that is required. Overall you have pretty good setup. You are ready to go.

    Additionally, you can check this article:


    It might give some good info on setting the vSAN.

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