HPE Hyper Converged Review

Performance is robust, but Dell EMC VxRail is easier to implement


What is our primary use case?

HPE Hyper Converged handles all the network setup for my servers and data.

My experience is in SMBs.

How has it helped my organization?

Before we bought the HPE Hyper Converged servers, we had scattered systems and servers. Our data was scattered. When the solution came into place, we were able to connect all our data and organize it in one place. Now, our storage and IT are at an enterprise level with all the necessary controls and restrictions being enacted.

We will also be using the HPE Hyper Converged solution for simulations going forward once we install SAP.

What is most valuable?

The performance is robust for HPE Hyper Converged. We have been underutilizing the storage. Though, we have almost consumed 70 percent of the storage, and I can access my data whenever I want without searching all over the place for it.

In comparison, the VxRail is better in resource utilization and performance. It is also faster. It automatically will detect anything and configure anything. Learning VxRail is easier, as everything is native and linked together.

What needs improvement?

The storage efficiency is weak and needs to be improved. However, I do not think HPE is planning to improve it at this time. They will probably look to EOL it, because HPE SimpliVity has resolved this issue, but at a higher price tag.

To resolve this issue with HPE Hyper Converged, I will buy a backup appliance, then I will shift my data which I am not using often to a backup appliance. This will be offline data and solve my issues.

For how long have I used the solution?

One to three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is a stable solution because combined with VMware, which is always stable. It is very robust. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

HPE Hyper Converged supports up to 60 nodes. It is scalable, but we have to use the HPE OneView solution and have it to pass through vCenter. This consumes 10 cores of CPUs, which compromises performance.

Dell EMC VxRail supports up to 32 nodes, but is more futuristic and easier to scale. If you want to scale up, you just plug the nodes, then the cluster will detect the new node and configure it.

How is customer service and technical support?

With Dell EMC, they own everything and create one solution altogether. They design it in the way where they know the weaknesses of every solution that they have. 

This is much better than HPE. For example, I remember during the last storage issue that I had. HPE technical guys weren't able to support it, so I had to go back to VMware. This creates a loop or weakness. 

When you buy from Dell EMC directly, you receive that one point of contact for service and support.

How was the initial setup?

The implementation took almost two days for us, even though HPE told us that it would take two hours.

When comparing VxRail vs HPE Hyper Converged, VxRail is easier to implement. You just initiate the start, then it automatically starts the configuration. It detects the nodes and everything else. Everything which is connected to the data center is set up within two to three hours (maximum). While I haven't done the set up, I have seen it done.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Pricing with Dell EMC is double the price which I paid for HPE. However, in the end, Dell EMC is double in performance. This is not an apple to apple comparison though, as I have a four node from Dell EMC and a three node.

I don't feel VxRail is that expensive.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

The competitors in the market are HPE SimpliVity, VxRail, and Nutanix. All these solutions are extremely pricey. 

I feel VxRail is one of the best solutions you might ever have because of the protection it offers. 

SimpliVity is good, and it's reliable. It supports one node.

HP 380 is not up to the level of VMware products. They have more features, such as duplication or compression. 

What other advice do I have?

My entire environment is actualized in VMware.

Before choosing a product, think why you are buying, the reason, and what you are looking to get from it. If you have too much data or you want to store data, seeking a hyperconverged storage will be costly. It will not be efficient for you. You should look into alternative storage solutions and ways of implementation before buying a hyperconverged solution. Make sure you are actually need those features.

The future is in hyperconverged solutions. They are much easier to manage and run. They are flawless. You can just log into VMware and have everything in front of you. However, it's costly compared to a traditional setup. 

A company should look at the data protection features, because in the end, the most valuable asset in any organization is its data. It should be protected as much as possible. Consider the way it works, with its space saving and space efficiency. Those are the key factors you should look at before deciding on a solution.

I would rate HPE Hyper Converged as seven out of ten.

I would rate VxRail as a nine out of ten.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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