HPE SimpliVity Review

Greatly reduced the amount of administration for our site


What is our primary use case?

The primary use case is its an offsite virtualization. It runs all our servers at an offsite office in Brazil. Our main sites are in New York and London. We bought a company in Brazil that had aging hardware, so we replaced that with three nodes of the SimpliVity solution. Since it is small office and it does everything, you don't need to have a SAN nor a fancy network. It is a one stop shop, which was really good for this particular thing.

What is most valuable?

The way it does backups is its most valuable feature. It replicates snapshots with very low bandwidth. We only have a 50 megabit link to that site, and it doesn't really use much of it at all. Therefore, it is a really good fit for getting our backups done.

What needs improvement?

SimpliVity has this thing where if a virtual machine is on the wrong node with two nodes, it will be optimized. However, if one of the nodes won't be optimized, then it will complain about that. It will give you a little warning to say the source is not optimized. Please move this to one of the other hosts. They should just add a little thing in SimpliVity to move all the VMs to the right host, because it is a pain to load balance across the three nodes when all these VMs are complaining and you have to move them to one. It's sort of silly. I feel like it would be like half a day of programming for somebody to write something that would just auto-balance it.

The vCenter integration could probably improve a little. It is just a plugin that you are interacting with, and it feels like it has been largely the same for a while. It could probably get better.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It used to be kind of touchy. Now, it is great. I have not touched it in about six months since it doesn't break.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is not very scalable. However, I think it is supposed to be like that. It is not supposed to be like a massive solution with about 30 clusters, and that is by design. I don't think that is a flaw. It is designed for small clusters, so it is not very scalable. 

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support is not the worst ever. It has changed, because it used to be bad. It used to be where they had amazing techs, but you could never get them on the phone. Now, you can get somebody on the phone but they never know what they are talking about. 

There is pretty good support for upgrades. I got a pretty senior tech the last time that we did an upgrade, so it is workable.

If you previously used a different solution, which one did you use and why did you switch?

We had an aging infrastructure that we didn't want to replace with a ton of physical servers. We went from a whole mess of old, difficult servers to support to three servers that we never have to touch. Therefore, it has greatly reduced the amount of administration for our site, and we basically don't touch it.

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

I believe that we bought the solution through some reseller in Brazil.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I feel like all the other companies gave up.

What other advice do I have?

For smaller node clusters, I wouldn't go with anybody else. For small node hyper-converged three-node clusters, it is the best game in town. It was great before HPE bought them. Now, it has a large organization standing behind it. I would definitely recommend SimpliVity. If people are using it for the right purposes, like we are, it is a really good solution.

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