Tag Archives: VSPP

PowerCLI Script to Calculate VSAN vCAN Points Per Month

There is no doubt that new pricing introduced to vCAN Service Providers announced just after VSAN 6.2 was released meant that Service Providers looking at VSAN for their IaaS or MSP offerings that had previously written it off due to price, could once again consider it as a viable and price competitive option. As of writing this blog post there is no way to meter the new reporting mechanism automatically through the existing vCloud Usage Meter with the current 3.5 beta also lacking the ability to report billing info.

I had previously come across a post from @virten that contained a PowerCLI script to calculate VSPP points based on the original allocated GB model. With VSAN 6.2 pricing was now based on a consumed GB model which was a significant win for those pushing for a more competitive pricing structure to be able to push a now mature VSAN as a platform of choice.

Before I post the code it’s worth noting that I am still not 100% happy with the interpretation of the reporting:

The VsanSpaceUsage(vim.cluster.VsanSpaceUsage) data object has the following two properties which vCAN partners can use to pull Virtual SAN usage information: a) totalCapacityB (total Virtual SAN capacity in bytes) and b) freeCapacityB (free Virtual SAN capacity in bytes). Subtracting b) from a) should yield the desired “Used Capacity” information for monthly reporting.

I read that to say that you report for any fault tolerance or data resiliency overheads…that is to say if you have a VM with a 100GB hard disk consuming 50GB on a VSAN datastore utilizing RAID1 and an FTT=1 you will pay for the 100GB that is actually consumed.

With that in mind I had to add in a multiplier into the original script I had hacked together to cater for the fault tolerance and raid level you may run. The rest is pretty self explanatory and I have built on @virtens original script by asking for which vCenter you want to log into, what VSAN licensing model you are using and then finally ask for the RAID and FTT levels you are running. The result is the total amount of consumed storage of all VM disks residing on the VSAN datastore (which is the only value hard coded) and then the amount of vCAN points you would be up for per month with and without the overhead tax.

The code is below, please share and improve and note that I provide it as is and should be used as such. Please let me know if I’ve made any glaring mistakes…

If someone can also let me know how to round numbers and capture an incorrect vCenter login gracefully and exit that would be excellent! – [EDIT] Thanks to Virten for jumping on that! Code updated!

References:

PowerCLI Script to Calculate VSAN VSPP Points

VSAN 6.2 – Price Changes for Service Providers!

Who said big corporations don’t listen to their clients! VMware have come to the party in a huge way with the release of VSAN 6.2…and not only from a technical point of view. Ever since the release of VSAN the pricing structure for vCloud Air Service Provider partners has been off the mark in terms of the commercial viability in having VSAN deployed at scale. The existing model was hurting any potential uptake in the HCI platform beyond deployments for Management Clusters and alike.

I have been on VMware’s back since March 2014 when VSPP pricing was first revealed and I wrote a detailed blog post back in October where I compared the different vCAN bundles options and showed some examples of how it did not scale.

For me VMware need to look at slightly tweaking the vCAN cost model for VSAN to either allow some form of tiering (ie 0-500GB .08, 500-1000GB .05, 1TB-5TB .02 and so on) and/or change over the metering from allocated GB to consumed GB which allows Service Providers to take advantage of over provisioning and only pay for whats actually being consumed in the VSAN Cluster.

Since that post (obviously not only off the back of the noise I was making) the VSAN Product and Marketing teams have gone out to vCAN Partners and spent time going over possible tweaks to the billing structure for VSAN by surveying partners and trying to achieve the best balance going forward to help increase VSAN uptake.

With the release of VSAN 6.2 in ESXi 6.0 Update 2 this week, VMware have announced new pricing for vCAN Partners…the changes are significant and will represent a complete rethink of VSAN at scale for IaaS Providers. Furthermore the changes are also strategically important for VMware in an attempt to secure the storage market for existing vCAN partners.

The changes are indeed significant and not only is the billing metric based on used or consumed per GB storage now, but in somewhat of a surprise to me the VSPP Point Per Month component has been slashed. Further from that the Enterprise Plus was rumored to be listed at .18 VSPP Point per allocated GB which was going to price out AF even more…now with AF Enterprise costing as much as what the Standard cost in VSPP points per used GB that whole conversation has changed.

Below is an an example software only cost of 10 Hosts (64GB RAM) with 100TB of Storage (60% used capacity average) with an expected utilization of 80% assuming 2 hosts are reserved for HA. Old numbers are in the brackets to the right and is based on VSAN Standard. It must be noted that these are rough numbers based on the new pricing and for the specifics of the new costings you will need to engage with your local vCAN Partner Account manager.

VSAN 80TB Allocated
(48TB Used)
vRAM 410GB (205GB Reserved) Per Month
 $1,966 ($6,400) $1,433  $3,399 ($7,833)

If we scale that to 20 hosts with 128GB and 200TB of Storage (60% used capacity average) with an expected utilization of 80% assuming 4 hosts are reserved for HA.

VSAN 160TB Allocated
(96TB Used)
vRAM 1.6TB (820GB Reserved) Per Month
 $3,932 ($12,800) $5,734  $9,666 ($18,534)

In a real world example based on figures I’ve seen…Taking into account just VSAN…if you have 500TB worth of storage provisioned, of which 200TB was consumed with Advanced plus the Enterprise Add-On the approx. cost of running VSAN comes down from ~30K to ~6K per month.

The idea now that Service Providers can take advantage of thin provisioning plus the change in metric to used or consumed storage and makes VSAN a lot more attractive at scale…while there are still no break points in terms of total storage blocks the conversation around VSAN being to expensive has now, for the most disappeared.

Well done to the VSAN and vCAN product and marketing teams!

Disclaimer:

These figures are based on my own calculations and are based on the VSPP Point value being $1US. This value will be different for vCAN partners depending on the bundle and points level they are on through the program. I have been accurate with my figures but errors and omissions may exist.

VSAN for Service Providers

Since VMworld in San Francisco, VMware have been on a tear backing up all the VSAN related announcements at the show by starting to push a stronger message around the improvements in the latest VSAN release. Cormac Hogan and Rawlinson Rivera have published articles while Duncan Epping has also released a number of articles around VSAN since VMworld including this one on VSAN Licensing and what’s included as part of the different Enterprise Packages…There has also been an official post on the vCloud Team Blog on use cases for VSAN Storage Policies in a vCloud Director environment.

Last year I wrote a couple of posts around the time VSAN pricing was being released and also on the specifics of the vCloud Air Network program bundles that allow VSAN to be consumed via the VSPP. At the time there was no All Flash Array option and the pricing through the VSPP was certainly competitive when you compared it to a per socket price.

As a platform, VSAN is maturing as an option for hyper converged deployments and VMware Service Providers are starting to deploy it not only for their Management Clusters, but also main compute and resource clusters. The wording and messaging from VMware has shifted significantly from the first 5.5 VSAN release where they mainly talked about Test/Dev and VDI workloads to now talk about mission critical workloads with 6.x.

While doing research into our new Management Clusters that will use VSAN on top of the new Dell FX2 PowerEdge Converged Platform I was looking into the costs on the vCAN and how it stacks up next to per socket pricing…Shown below are the different Product Bundles included in the vCAN Program…each one contains a different combination of VMware Products which you get access to depending on the bundle of choice (details here).
While I can’t exactly disclose what level we get at Zettagrid (or other providers for that matter) due to the commercial nature of the programs its safe to assume that service providers at scale can drill that US $1 per point price point down by up to 50%…while some could actually pay more.

When you start to look at the cost of running a storage platform for IaaS you start to get an appreciation for the cost per month on the vCAN program that running VSAN offers. At a small to medium scale VSAN via the vCAN Program stacks up…mainly because the program is structured to make the Points Per Month value cheaper the more volume you transact against the program. So an SP consuming large amounts of vRAM will have a lower entry point for VSAN.

Looking at the larger picture, below is an an example software (only) cost of 10 Hosts (64GB RAM) with 100TB of Storage with an expected utilization of 80% assuming 2 hosts are reserved for HA.

VSAN 80TB Allocated vRAM 410GB (205GB Reserved) Per Month
 $6,400 $1,433  $ 7,833

If we scale that to 20 hosts with 128GB and 200TB of Storage with an expected utilization of 80% assuming 4 hosts are reserved for HA.

VSAN 160TB Allocated vRAM 1.6TB (820GB Reserved) Per Month
 $ 12,800 $5,734  $ 18,534.40

You start to see that the cost per month starts to get somewhat questionable when comparing OpEx vs CapEx costs of a traditional SAN purchase outside of the vCAN Program. As an example you should be able to source a traditional SAN under finance with roughly the same usable storage as whats in the second example for about US $4000-6000 per month on a finance plan over 36 months.

Personally I believe the cost per allocated GB is a little on the high side at scale and it could start to become cost prohibitive for Service Providers when comparing to traditional storage pricing models or even some of the latest pricing for newer scale out platforms on the market…and that’s not even thinking about the additional cost of the AFA Add-On.

So, for me VMware need to look at slightly tweaking the vCAN cost model for VSAN to either allow some form of tiering (ie 0-500GB .08, 500-1000GB .05, 1TB-5TB .02 and so on) and/or change over the metering from allocated GB to consumed GB which allows Service Providers to take advantage of over provisioning and only pay for whats actually being consumed in the VSAN Cluster.

If VMware can push those changes through it will make VSAN even more attractive to vCloud Air Network Partners and have VSAN move from mainly Management Cluster consideration to full blown production IaaS use.

References:

http://www.yellow-bricks.com/2015/09/14/virtual-san-licensing-packaging/
http://www.yellow-bricks.com/2015/08/31/what-is-new-for-virtual-san-6-1/
http://www.virten.net/2014/03/vmware-vsan-license-calculator/
https://blogs.vmware.com/vcat/2015/09/vcloud-director-and-virtual-san-sample-use-case.html

VMware VSAN: VSPP Pricing Revealed

Just after the release of VSAN a couple weeks back, I wrote this post talking about the need for VSAN to appear on the VSPP pricelist. At the time there only a little info on dates and more importantly pricing. A few days later it was confirmed that VSPP pricing would appear in Q2 of this year. Fast forward a couple weeks and I received word through @g_mulholland and @Euge_IT from VMware Australia that VSAN pricing had dropped on the VSPP Pricelist.

For those not familiar with VSPP pricing…based on Reserved vRAM, there are a number of different points levels which makes the overall value of a point decrease as reportable volume grows. That is to say that as you step up points level, you pay less per point for vRAM and other products listed on the VSPP pricelist.

As I predicted, for VSAN pricing is based on points per GB per month, and as you can see below (taken from the latest VSPP Product Usage Guide – not yet released online)

So in a nutshell you pay for as much VMDK storage you allocate to VMs living on a VSAN datastore…not the total size of your VSAN datastore, which is great news. From a Service Providers perspective it would have been nice to have this as provisioned/consumed storage so that we could take advantage of Thin Provisioning and Overcommiting Policies that gives SP economy’s of scale.

I read with interest that in describing VSAN, VMware is still suggesting that its ideally suited for several use cases in VDI, test/development, and disaster recovery…is there confidence to run critical workloads such are line of business application or VMware management stacks?

Finishing off this post, Depending what region you are in and who you get your VSPP through, point value can differ, but the pricing when compared to outright per socket pricing seems extremely competitive…especially when VSPP participants are on the higher Points Levels which reduces the overall cost per point. In my initial calculations over a 36 month period we would reduce the VSAN license cost per month by almost 50%. Exactly how much $$ wise you ask…I will write up another post over the next couple of days with actual pricing examples and comparisons to buying VSAN through non VSPP channels.

Quick Thought: VSAN Pricing…We need a VSPP Option

UPDATE: Looks like we will be seeing some VSPP Pricing for VSAN in Q2

vCenter and ESXi 5.5 Update 1 has reached GA, and we now have v1.0 of VSAN officially ready for production use. Technically it’s a winner, and from an industry maturity standpoint…it clearly sets a new direction in how storage is consumed on the back of other SDS vendors.

https://www.vmware.com/support/vsphere5/doc/vsphere-esxi-55u1-release-notes.html

  • VMware Virtual SAN  Virtual SAN 5.5 is a new hypervisor-converged storage tier that extends the vSphere Hypervisor to pool server-side magnetic disks (HDDs) and solid-state drives (SSDs). By clustering server-side HDDs and SSDs, Virtual SAN creates a distributed shared datastore designed and optimized for virtual environments. Virtual SAN is a standalone product that is sold separate from vSphere and requires its own license key.

In what many people in the community thought was a strange move, pricing for VSAN was held back even after the binaries went live. VMware have just released official pricing of VSAN, and even through those with NDA links knew of the approx. pricing structure I think the US$2495/CPU Socket pricing has still taken most by surprise.

Basically in addition to the pure licensing costs you need to consider how to design and build the other key components that makes a VSAN Cluster…namely compute and storage. This is where I think VSAN will prove a winner…ultimately, not withstanding the per socket price the rest of the cost is up to those that will ultimately consume it. However having a think about a typical Dual Socket Server these days, plus the minimum of 3 hosts in a VSAN Cluster, you are looking at $US14,970 before adding the compute, storage and other overhead costs…again, deciding if that is expensive of not is relative to how the rest is stacked out.

VSPP Option:

If VMware are still serious about supporting their VSPP pricing and vCloud Powered Partners they must look at releasing a pricing option that’s on the VSPP price list. This should be based similar to how those on the VSPP consume and pay for vRAM. (yes, in the SP world vRAM is not a bad four letter word) Ultimately Server Providers can consume VSAN per GB or TB used. Total monthly costs are worked out based on your points level and then multiplied by however many points VMware wants to make that per GB/TB unit worth.

I see massive potential to provide my clients with a VSAN backed tier of storage that can be exposed via Storage Profiles into client Virtual Data Centers. It’s a no brainier for mine and I am sure most of you in the VSPP world would agree the uptake of VSAN would be greatly enhanced by a move like this.

I won’t say more on VSAN, as there is plenty of Social Comment happening and million and one blog posts…however for a great post, check out @ChrisWahl‘s Post below…it covers all aspects of VSAN. Also check out the other links below…

http://wahlnetwork.com/2014/03/12/exploring-vmware-vsan-ready-nodes-per-socket-pricing-design-guides/

VSAN RESOURCES: http://virtualpatel.blogspot.com.au/2014/03/vsan-resources.html?spref=tw