The new Virtual SAN 6.1 has also another new features related to a specific deployment scenario: a 2-Node Remote Office Branch Office (ROBO) configuration.

This configuration was possible with the previous VMware product (VSA) but was not suitable with VSAN, making space for other solutions like StorMagic SvSAN or StarWind Virtual SAN.


The new VSAN 6.1 deployment option is specific only for ROBO case (not suitable for a single SMB deployment with only two nodes) and it’s pretty interesting.

Basically is an extension of VSAN Stretched Cluster solution where each of the two nodes will be in a Fault Domain (FD) and there is (in the main office) one witness node per VSAN
cluster (witness node is just an appliance as discussed before).

In this way is possible have all sites managed centrally by one vCenter and patching and software upgrades performed centrally through this vCenter.

The needs of multiple witness (one of each remote office) is probably the biggest limit of this implementation (the VM is still and ESXi VM, so not exactly super-lite), but could be really interesting see if this product could maybe integrated with the vSphere ROBO kit, in this case it can become more and more interesting.

Also it need at least one SSD for each node (required for VSAN), that make other solutions (more specific only for the SMB) much interesting for really small cases.

Andrea MauroAbout Andrea Mauro (2375 Posts)

Virtualization & Cloud Architect. VMUG IT Co-Founder and board member. VMware VMTN Moderator and vExpert (2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015). PernixPro 2014. Dell TechCenter Rockstar 2014. MVP 2014. Several certifications including: VCDX-DCV, VCP-DCV/DT/Cloud, VCAP-DCA/DCD/CIA/CID/DTA/DTD, MCSA, MCSE, MCITP, CCA, NPP.