VMware Software Defined Storage Review

The ability to scale up without necessity of additional hardware is a key advantage


What is our primary use case?

I'm the senior project engineer for networks and infrastructure in our company and we're a customer of VMware.  We usually design the product for specific situations and then sell it. We're currently working on four different projects, it's primarily a data product.

What is most valuable?

The high visibility is a valuable feature. You can write a failure usually due to some hardware or technical issue.

What needs improvement?

The cost of the product is where an improvement could be made. It's generally very expensive and requires a lot of architecture that needs to be designed according to specific situations. If it could be designed with open architecture, it would increase the value of the product.

I would like to see a greater ability to work with any kind of infrastructure, and there are currently some restrictions. It should have the ability to be deployed on any kind of hardware and network connectors, or protocols for that matter, and it should be more open to cloud.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the product for a couple of years. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Because we don't have a huge number of operations, the solution is stable for us. For an enterprise data center it might be more challenging, but for our requirements, which includes about 80 workers, it's not that complex. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The best part of the solution is that you can actually scale up to a large number of operating systems without the requirement of additional hardware, which is the biggest advantage.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is relatively good. 

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is very customized, sometimes it's straightforward but most of the time it's very complex. I believe that's because the application that eventually runs on the architecture is always different and customer requirements are different too. Somehow we have to bridge those two areas using these solutions and then provide a product that is easy to use.

What about the implementation team?

Deployment probably takes three to four weeks per project and then of course we have a couple of months monitoring. We have about 35 team members involved in implementation. Each company then has its own person, sometimes two people who deal with maintenance. 
Most companies prefer controlling maintenance themselves, so we then transfer the contract to them. We also provide a help center, which isn't a dedicated team, it depends on the issue. 

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

I believe there is a yearly licensing fee of around $2000 - $5000. I don't think there are additional costs above that but it depends on the type of infrastructure you're booting. If it's very complex or quantitatively heavy with a large infrastructure, then you might need to add more licensing costs, but for us, the standard one does the job.

What other advice do I have?

I would suggest to anyone considering purchasing the solution that it's important to validate your requirements first, whether you actually need it or not, before purchasing. In addition, the product can be better optimized. In the first instance, we paid more than we should have because we didn't know enough, but in subsequent projects we designed it differently, it was a better product, and we were able to save a lot of fees. You have to actually spend time customizing the solution based on your need and then it becomes more cost-effective and a more valuable solution, 

I would rate this product an eight out of 10. 

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

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