HPE SimpliVity Review

Crashes often when a VM has random, large IOPS requests, but lag-free restore is good

What is our primary use case?

We use it in a VMware environment that supports VMs.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is that it's easy to manage.

It also has instantaneous backup and lag-free restore. When everything is running, I can bring back a huge VM in less than 30 seconds. That's even better than Veeam. 

What needs improvement?

It crashes often. When one particular VM has random, large IOPS requests, it will bog down the node, and there isn't enough time for the replica to be brought up. So all the VMs on that one particular node will essentially become offline.

If it's not already included, an additional feature I would like to see would be better Storage vMotion. That would be number one on my wish list.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is not good. I have fewer than 20 VMs per node. I have nine nodes in my environment, and when it goes south, 20 VMs will go down, even though there's a replica on other nodes. There's a third copy which is a backup and I can't bring any of those online.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is very good. It's excellent for a branch office/remote office, instead of a data center.

How are customer service and technical support?

Most of technical support has been excellent. I can escalate my support case to a developer very quickly, in less than a day. That's unbelievable.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We switched because we have a most-excellent salesperson. He promised something more than what the SimpliVity environment can support.

What was our ROI?

The short version regarding ROI is that it's not good. It takes two engineers all day to solve an ESXi node-down issue, and it takes between two days and two weeks to bring it back.

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

We signed a three-year contract.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

On our shortlist there were only Vblock, which we didn't need, and Nutanix, which was more expensive. So we chose the least expensive, at least at the time.

What other advice do I have?

Do a proof of concept on everything, instead of just relying upon the salesperson's pie-in-the-sky promise.

I'll rate this solution as a five out of ten. It may not be terribly mature yet. I see disk, for example, becoming all-flash. That may have overcome my painful learning experience.

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