What is most valuable?
The feature that I have found most valuable is that it is easy to deploy.
It is also easy to configure with the vCenter and the other solutions that we have. It is easy to create and delete virtual servers. It is easy to create the load balancing and the clustering, and the new version includes different features that allow us to quickly see what happened if we shut down a virtual server. It is an arrays of disks. It works like a RAID file. You shut down one server and you can start the two others that work together.
VMware vSAN is better than SimpliVity. We once tried to run SimpliVity, but it was difficult for us, because the people from HP were not easy to work with, the costs of their white papers where higher, and it was not as easy to deploy as VMware. VMware vSAN also costs for licensing, but it costs less than HPE SimpliVity and I'm not depending on the HP team. I can run it myself with my engineers.
What needs improvement?
The only negative point relates to the licensing. If you want multiple, different servers, it costs money, but you have all the capacity for vSAN. You do not reach the data, but the processor arrays and the current architecture.
For how long have I used the solution?
I have been using VMware vSAN for two and a half years.
We are using version 6.7 and we are processing now to switch to 7.0 because we are testing the new version.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
VMware vSAN is a stable solution.
We have made many tests, we have also shut down the servers and made an extraction of the disk and everything, and vSAN was very good.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
VMware vSAN is scalable, if you choose good servers at the beginning with many slots for disks, you can then add disks and extend the storage. You can add memory if you have good servers, and then you can enable your construction. But you have to choose good servers for production from the beginning.
How are customer service and technical support?
VMware has very good support. They have technical support which is divided into three areas. In each area you always have the one who can reply to you and they are really good at the technical support.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
We previously worked with Nutanix, which HP bought. At the beginning, we were also working with a free solution called KVM. There was no licensing cost with them, but there was also no real support and the customers were afraid of that. They wanted something that is known in the market. We also worked with Dell in the past.
How was the initial setup?
If you already work with vCenter and VMware, the initial setup is easy. The process is easy to understand and easy to configure. You just have to be sure that when you connect the servers with the LAN that everything is in 10 giga, then it will be easy to configure. You have to configure the root storage of the LAN and give it a switch.
You have to configure everything from the beginning to make everything work, so you must have an expert on vSAN from your side and an expert for LAN on the other side.
What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?
I do think that VMware vSAN's cost could be lower.
We pay for the license every year.
The cost depends on your contract. The pricing for the government is not the best, but for each licensing, because its arrays are in your servers, it can cost $4,000 for each of the servers for a simple solution and up to $20,000 per server for vSAN solutions. It's very, very expensive.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
I am also working with Microsoft and Safe Key, another solution for the clustering, and I tried HPE SimpliVity for simple cluster and for multi-cluster. When I saw the costs of HPE SimpliVity for multi-cluster, there were two points that made me not feel good about it: the price and that when we needed more than 20 or 40 terabytes of data, the HP license was such that I could not use this solution alone. We had to use the HP team at the beginning.
What other advice do I have?
On a scale of one to ten I would give VMware vSAN an eight for the technology, eight for scalability, and a six for the price. Overall, I give it an eight.