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Catalysing Hyper-Converged Innovation: Exploring vSphere vSAN 8’s HCI Mesh Revolution

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Hyper-Converged Infrastructure (HCI) has revolutionized the way organizations manage and deploy their IT resources. VMware’s vSphere and vSAN have been at the forefront of this transformation, providing robust solutions for virtualization and storage needs. Now, with the introduction of vSphere vSAN HCI Mesh, VMware takes HCI to a new level by enabling dynamic resource sharing across clusters, making it an essential tool for modern IT environments. In this blog, we’ll delve into the world of vSphere vSAN HCI Mesh and explore its capabilities, benefits, and real-world applications. 


Understanding vSphere vSAN HCI Mesh

vSphere vSAN HCI Mesh is an extension of VMware’s vSAN technology, designed to address the challenges of resource fragmentation in HCI clusters. Traditional HCI clusters have been isolated islands of compute and storage resources. Each cluster operates independently, which can lead to inefficiencies in resource utilization and capacity planning. 

With vSphere vSAN HCI Mesh, clusters can be interconnected, creating a unified pool of compute and storage resources. This means that workloads can dynamically access resources from other clusters, breaking down the barriers between clusters and enabling more efficient use of available resources. 


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Key Features and Benefits

  1. Resource Flexibility: vSphere vSAN HCI Mesh allows workloads to use resources from any cluster in the mesh, enhancing flexibility in resource allocation. This ensures that workloads have access to the resources they need when they need them.
  1. Improved Resource Utilization: By sharing resources across clusters, vSphere vSAN HCI Mesh optimizes resource utilization. Idle resources in one cluster can be utilized by workloads in another, reducing wastage and increasing efficiency.
  1. Simplified Management: Managing resources across multiple clusters becomes more straightforward with vSphere vSAN HCI Mesh. Administrators can allocate resources at a higher level, reducing the need for manual intervention.
  1. Enhanced Scalability: As your organization grows, adding new clusters to the mesh is a seamless process. This allows you to scale your HCI environment without disrupting existing workloads.
  1. Resilience and Redundancy: vSphere vSAN HCI Mesh enhances resilience by allowing workloads to fail over to resources in other clusters in case of hardware failures or maintenance activities.

Real-World Applications

  1. Data Center Consolidation: Organizations with multiple data centres can consolidate their resources using vSphere vSAN HCI Mesh. This results in more efficient resource utilization and reduced operational costs.
  1. Disaster Recovery: vSphere vSAN HCI Mesh can be leveraged for disaster recovery scenarios. In the event of a disaster, workloads can be migrated to clusters in different locations, ensuring business continuity.
  1. Dynamic Workload Management: Resource-intensive workloads can benefit from vSphere vSAN HCI Mesh by accessing additional resources during peak demand periods. This ensures consistent performance without over-provisioning.
  1. Development and Testing: Development and testing environments often require varying levels of resources. With vSphere vSAN HCI Mesh, these environments can flexibly scale as needed without creating dedicated clusters.

Use Case

Bob is the vSAN administrator for XENOLegit Pvt Ltd Data centre.  and have the following requirements: 

  1. To reduce the need of vSAN Ready Nodes & vSAN license 
  2. To optimize the administrative and configuration efforts.   
  3. To mount remote vSAN datastore of other vSAN cluster on Compute Only Cluster and deploy workload which is remotely accessible. 


  1. Two Clusters – One vSAN Cluster as a Server & one Compute Only Cluster 
  2. Consistent Network configuration across all vSAN hosts of both clusters 
  3. vSAN Cluster must have host with Local Disks attached to claim and create Local vSAN datastore. 
  4. Must have at least one vSAN datastore having sufficient capacity.   


Solution Diagram

 vSphere vSAN 8's HCI Mesh

Figure 1: Cross Cluster Storage Capacity Sharing at Bob’s Data Centre – XENOLegit Pvt Ltd – Mounted Datastore 

Step by Step Demonstration – Mounting remote HCI Mesh Datastore

Step 1: Log in to the vSphere Client UI to access your environment.

vSphere vSAN 8's HCI Mesh Step 2: After login, from inventory verify your data center & required clusters.

Step 3: Make sure that vSAN Cluster – SENO-vSAN-01 has an eligible vSAN datastore with sufficient capacity ready to be mounted on the XENO-Compute-01 vSphere cluster. Here in this example, we have vsanDatastore with a capacity of approximately 300 GB.  

Step 4: Make sure all hosts of both clusters are connected through common Distributed Switch – SA-VDS and Distributed Port Groups enabled for vSAN and vMotion traffic. 

Step 5: Select XENO-Compute-01 Cluster, Go to Configure, Under vSAN Click on Services, and select I don’t need local vSAN datastore then click on Configure button. 

Step 6: Click on Apply to create an HCI Mesh compute cluster. 

 vSphere vSAN 8's HCI Mesh

Step 7: HCI mesh cluster is configured with storage type=Remote vSAN. Click on MOUNT REMOTE DATASTORE to mount vsanDatastore of the XENO-vSAN-01 storage cluster. 

 vSphere vSAN 8's HCI Mesh

Step 8: View and Manage remote vSAN Datastores from here. Then click on the button – MOUNT REMOTE DATASTORE.  

 vSphere vSAN 8's HCI Mesh


Step 9: Select vsanDatastore of XENO-vSAN-01 and click on NEXT. 

Step 10: Observe that all compatibility checks must be passed and should be all green. 

Step 11: Now we can see that vsanDatastore of the vSAN Cluster is mounted on the vSphere cluster which Is Only a Cluster and ready for usage. 

 vSphere vSAN 8's HCI Mesh

In case, you do not want to keep it attached or mounted, you can select and unmount it if it is no longer needed. 


vSphere vSAN HCI Mesh represents a significant advancement in hyper-converged infrastructure technology. By breaking down the barriers between clusters and enabling the sharing of resources, organizations can achieve higher resource utilization, enhanced scalability, and improved resilience. Whether you’re consolidating data centers, planning for disaster recovery, or optimizing your workload management, vSphere vSAN HCI Mesh offers a versatile solution to meet your IT needs. Embrace this technology to bridge the gap in your HCI environment and unlock its full potential for your organization’s success. 

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WRITTEN BY Rahulkumar Shrimali



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