Microsoft Storage Spaces Direct Review

Scalable, but only if you go with more than two nodes

What is most valuable?

It's mainly about the storage expansion, like in hyper-converged solutions.

What needs improvement?

There is room for improvement in their network capabilities. Right now, if I'm going with the on-prem Storage Spaces Direct then I need to have a toll switch. They have a requirement: If I'm going for more nodes, they need to have raw traffic — which means FCoE traffic — that can only be through a toll switch. All other OEMs that have hyper-converged do not require a toll switch; I can just plug into a core or distribution.

The main reason that people are moving away from the existing, traditional, converged solution is to replace that toll switch.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Microsoft Storage Spaces Direct for about the last two years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

There haven't been many crashes because I'm not running a big database on it. There are specific, small applications running over the software. For an on-prem campus, it has been fine.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is scalable, but only beyond two nodes. If I go for two nodes it's not scalable. I need to build a complete cluster from the beginning if I'm going for two nodes.

How are customer service and technical support?

Whenever there is a requirement or a challenge, or if there is something specific regarding the requirements, the team usually contacts Microsoft. The technical support depends upon the contract you have with Microsoft. If you have a premium-level contract, you can even go up to the developer.

What other advice do I have?

You need to evaluate what your requirements are because the market is moving on with the cloud. You need to look at which cloud you are going with. If you're going with Microsoft cloud, it's good to go with the Storage Spaces Direct. But you need to see how it compares in the market right now. Look at the industry reviews that have already been done. If you look at industry reports, Storage Spaces Direct is not at the highest, leading level right now. Nutanix or VxRail are the market leaders for hyper-converged right now, overall. You need to see their roadmap and how they are going to proceed in the next two to three years.

What I see from Microsoft is the Azure Stack coming on-prem, and that will be a refreshment for Storage Spaces Direct.

The biggest lesson I have learned from using the solution is don't go with the two-node solution.

I would rate it at six out of 10. It depends upon our use cases; where I'm using it. I initially went with a two-node and I had to break the cluster and build it completely from scratch to expand it.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

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