Most Frequently Asked Questions On VMware vSAN

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Welcome to another blog on VMware vSAN. I’ll let you know about some interesting and most frequently asked questions on VMware vSAN. You can call it a fun fact of VMware vSAN. Let’s get started.


Is VMware vSAN free?

No. VMware vSAN is not free to use. vSAN Standard, Advanced, Enterprise, and Enterprise Plus licenses are required per-CPU (socket) licenses. All hosts in the
cluster must be licensed. VMware vSAN works with any edition of vSphere.

However, You can use a free version of VMware vSAN from Starwinds software. Virtual SAN Free will not bring you all the paid Virtual SAN’s glory, but it will help tighten your data security and significantly optimize and boost your environment’s productivity. Visit the site StarWind Virtual SAN FREE vs. PAID to know more about it. The StarWind VSAN trial version is limited by 3 nodes.

What are the two benefits of VMware vSAN?

VMware vSAN has many benefits over traditional storage systems. I’ll write to you about the top benefits of VMware Virtual SAN.

  • vSAN is simple to manage and operate through vSphere Client itself.
  • vSAN reduces the TCO for IT.
  • vSAN is HCI and cloud-ready with SDDC management.
  • vSAN is very agile for a dynamic environment.

Is vSAN included in vSphere?

Yes. vSAN is the native part of VMware vSphere. You just have to enable/disable it from the vSphere console.

How to Check if vSAN is enabled or not?

  • Navigate to Hosts and Cluster in vSphere Home Page
  • Click on any Cluster
  • Select Configure tab
  • Scroll down to vSAN -> Services
  • If vSAN is enabled you will the message ‘vSAN is Turned ON‘ otherwise ‘vSAN is Turned OFF‘.

What are the differences between SAN and vSAN?

There are many similarities between both the technologies such as in both DRS, vMotion, and HA works. Let’s have look at the basic differences between SAN and vSAN.


  • SAN stands for Storage Area Network.
  • SAN uses an external storage adapter to communicate with virtual machine and storage systems such as iSCSI and NFS.
  • With a traditional SAN, storage administrators are required to pre-allocate storage on different systems in the cluster.
  • SANs are shared amongst multiple ESXi host servers and virtual machines.
  • You have to configure the storage policy manually that could be a little bit hard in comparison with vSAN.
  • You can store data securely and configure multiple paths to your storage, eliminating a single point of failure.
  • You can perform a live migration of virtual machines using VMware vMotion.
  • Use VMware High Availability (HA) in conjunction with a SAN to restart virtual machines in their last known state on a different server if their host fails.


  • vSAN stands for Virtual Storage Area Network.
  • vSAN does not use any external storage adapter for its communication with devices.
  • vSAN automatically converts local storage resources into a single storage pool.
  • It aggregates the local storage capacity into a pool of shared storage.
  • With Virtual SAN usage, VM storage policies are automatically assigned when you deploy new VMs. The storage policies can be changed dynamically as needed.

Does vSAN use VMFS?

Yes. Along with the vSAN, vSphere can use VMFS and NFS file systems to store and migrate data around the cluster.

How does VMware vSAN work?

VMware vSAN uses a software-defined approach that creates shared storage for virtual machines. It virtualizes the local physical storage resources of ESXi hosts and turns them into pools of storage that can be divided and assigned to virtual machines and applications according to their quality-of-service requirements. VMware vSAN is the native part of the ESXi hypervisor. It does not require any additional plugins to enable this feature in vSphere.

You can configure vSAN to work as either a hybrid or an all-flash cluster. In hybrid clusters, flash devices are used for the cache layer and magnetic disks are used for the storage capacity layer. In all-flash clusters, flash devices are used for both cache and capacity.

How do I configure VMware vSAN?

Visit the link Configure a Cluster for vSAN Using the vSphere Web Client to know more on it.

Does vSAN require vCenter?

All ESXi hosts must be managed by vCenter Server 6.0 and configured as a vSAN cluster member.

Does vSAN require a vSphere License?

Yes, It will require a vSphere License. VMware vSAN works with any edition of vSphere license.

What is the primary feature of VMware vSAN?

The primary feature of VMware vSANs are:

  • Operational Simplicity
  • Storage-based policy management
  • Fault Tolerance capabilities
  • Hyperconverged Infrastructure ready.
  • Two models of deployment
  • Lower costs
  • Inbuilt with vSphere and ESXi Hypervisor

What does vSAN stand for?

vSAN stands for virtual storage area networks.

How many number of hosts are required for vSAN?

A minimum of three ESXi 6.0 or above hosts contributing local storage.
How do I assign my vSAN license?

You must assign a license to a vSAN cluster before its evaluation period expires or its currently assigned license expires. Follow the below steps for the same:

  1. Navigate to your vSAN cluster on vSphere Web Client
  2. Click the Configure tab.
  3. Under the Configuration tab, select Licensing, and click Assign License.
  4. Select a licensing option.
    • Select an existing license and click OK.

What is vSAN datastore?

After you enable Virtual SAN, a single data store is created. The size of the Virtual SAN datastore depends on the number of capacity devices as per the ESXi host and the number of ESXi hosts in the cluster.

what is vsan datastore?
vSAN datastore

For example, if a host has seven1 TB for capacity devices, and the cluster includes five hosts, the approximate storage capacity would be 7 x 1 TB x 5= 35 TB.

Does vSAN need RAID Configuration?

Yes. vSAN also provides support to create RAID configuration but not based on hardware RAID, instead, the data is protected at the software layer. vSAN uses a concept of disk groups with a minimum of one disk group required per host.

What happens when the vSAN license expires?

After the license or the evaluation period of a Virtual SAN expires, you can continue to use the current configuration of Virtual SAN resources. However, you cannot add capacity to a disk group or create disk groups.


Yes. vSAN is HCI ready software.
Does VxRail use vSAN?

Yes. VxRail uses vSAN as a storage system. That provides an SDDC stack.

What is vSAN FTT?

VMware vSAN FTT represent the number of Failures to Tolerate capability addresses the key customer and design requirement of availability. With FTT, availability is provided by maintaining replica copies of data, to mitigate the risk of a host failure resulting in lost connectivity to data or potential data loss.

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