EMC’s ScaleIO vs VMWare’s VSAN

VSAN is a hot topic today! Without getting into the weeds, I want to briefly describe the similarities between these two technologies and how they can help enable your IT department followed by their differences.

Put simply, EMC products will be hypervisor agnostic and VMWare products will be storage agnostic. Ask anyone (including analysts, but probably not NetApp), and they’ll say that EMC and VMWare products work best hand-in-hand, but they are free to move about each others competitors. While this strategy can be a pain in the side of EMC and VMWare, it is ultimately a great source of power. This relationship holds true for ScaleIO and VSAN

Both of these technologies essentially do the same thing — build a virtual SAN. By using the storage presented to a group of hosts, a virtual SAN is created and then shared within a cluster. ScaleIO is hypervisor agnostic, and can even support physical servers. VSAN, on the other hand, is ESX specific. And the fact that these technologies are DAS, VSAN being ‘storage agnostic’ isn’t much of an advantage in this case. You could say VSAN is like ScaleIO if it was only licensed for VMWare…

There are other differences. Both technologies enable hybrid storage (e.g. a combination of spinning disk and magnetic) in different ways. They architecture is different (VSAN code is in the kernal where ScaleIO needs it’s own virtual machine). ScaleIO can scale larger today. And the list goes on.

Candidly, I believe ScaleIO is a better product because users of this product will have a lots of options in deployment and supported infrastructure. That said, if you are a VMWare only shop and you aren’t plagued with excessive scale, then you already have this code on your ESX clusters, you just need to license it.



I have two goals with this blog.  Every post/page I have should tie back to one of these goals.

  1. Dive into market trends in IT and investigate the specific products and companies that are making it happen.
  2. Explore how to maximize success (work/life balance, financial, happiness), avoid mistakes made by others while reflecting on my own, and share this journey with my followers.

Why? My Obligatory First Post.

It is important for me to share with you who I am and why I am writing this.  I don’t expect this particular post to be the reason you come back, but hopefully it provides a foundation of trust and will give you an idea of the lens I am looking through.

Who am I?  I am Jon Leaman, a 27 year old Boston native.  This is my first real attempt to establish a personal brand online that embodies my values.  I am recently engaged, own a black lab named Argos, and love getting out on my motorcycle.  If you forced me to describe myself in a phrase, I would say I’m a prudent risk-taker.

Why am I writing?  To provide a platform for me to share ideas, insights, advice, and ask questions.  Ultimately, I will leverage this blog to foster personal development.  My topics will range from technical industry coverage (e.g. What’s the difference between VSAN vs ScaleIO?) to macro industry news/trends (e.g. Did the NSA kill America’s public cloud?), to how changes in IT affect the individual (e.g. What career advise and strategies are best to maximize your value in the long term?).  I kept my blog title vague to give me the freedom to cover a variety of topics, but more importantly to allow my blog to remain a relevant medium as I grow in my career.

Disclaimer: I’m currently working at EMC (3 years strong!).  This will undoubtedly affect my writing, but my writing is my own, and you can mark my word that all the content I produce is sincere.