What is our primary use case?
DataCore is the primary storage solution for all of our VMware hosts, installed on a Dell EMC RX740 server with a combination of spinning and NVMe storage. We have just moved to a 2-host, hyperconverged solution utilizing DataCore. All of our servers and services are running off the 2-node DataCore solution.
How has it helped my organization?
DataCore has helped provide flexible, highly available, high-performance storage that otherwise would have been outside our price range.
What is most valuable?
The most valuable feature is auto-tiering, which allows for storage pools containing different speed storage systems and the data automatically moved to the most appropriate pool.
What needs improvement?
The cost is becoming prohibitive since they moved to a subscription model. 'Education' pricing is such in name only (we are a school).
When we originally purchased Datacore (in 2014) it was on a perpetual basis and provided exceptional value for money. We have renewed our DataCore solution this year, in 2019, and have found that DataCore has moved to a subscription model. Not only was the initial licensing far higher than previously, partly due to additional storage requirements but also because we can no longer acquire a 'limited' license and we also find we now have a large subscription to pay each year.
For how long have I used the solution?
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
DataCore has been incredibly stable in the last six years that we've been using it, with zero downtime due to a failure in the DataCore component.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
DataCore gives me the impression that it is hugely scalable. We currently use it on a tiny scale of two nodes, but this would be expandable to many many more.
How are customer service and technical support?
DataCore support has always been top-notch whenever we've called on their services, although this has admittedly been rarely due to the stability of the product.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
Previously we had local storage on separate physical servers. DataCore seemed the ideal solution for our vSAN when moving to a virtualized environment in VMware.
How was the initial setup?
The initial setup of a conventional vSAN is straightforward.
Our recent setup of a two-node hyperconverged solution was a little more complicated, though this was mainly due to the Dell servers we had ordered as hosts, rather than DataCore itself. The DataCore consultants setting up the solution were very knowledgable and it was completed without too much trouble.
What about the implementation team?
Our solution was implemented through a DataCore specialist, external contractor, who helped configure the whole solution.
What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?
When we initially purchased DataCore, it was extremely cost-effective with a perpetual license. They have since moved to a subscription model, which may prove too expensive for us in the future.
Make sure you are made aware of the annual subscription cost when purchasing.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
DataCore appeared to be the most suitable, best-value solution at the time and as such, we did not evaluate other alternatives.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.