VMware vSAN Review

The increase in IOPS and reduction in TCO are valuable. The hardware compatibility list is a sore point.


What is most valuable?

Significant increase in IOPS: VMware, on paper, guarantees you up to 3 million IOPS on vSAN. The more efficient HDDs you have, the better is the IOP speed. And since this works on the local storage cluster, there is very little loss of IOPS compared to the traditional SAN boxes, where you need fiber channel connectivity.

Significant reduction in total cost of ownership: Because of local storage architecture involved in vSAN, the price of these are significantly cheaper if compared to the SAN disks that you have in the SAN boxes. The price difference is anywhere between 20% to 40%, which is a significant amount.

How has it helped my organization?

Working in the banking and finance industry, speed is of paramount importance to us since we deal in with millions of records fetching data everyday. vSAN helped us to leverage this and speed up the response time from our applications to the end-users.

What needs improvement?

The hardware compatibility list (HCL) is a sore point for vSAN. You need to thoroughly check and re-check the list with multiple vendors, like VMware in the first instance, and the manufacturer (like Dell, IBM, HPE, etc.), as the compatibility list is very narrow. I would definitely be happy if there were significant additional support for more models of servers from Dell, IBM, HPE, etc.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using vSAN for 1.5 years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We did have some stability issues. Initially, we faced issues due to lack of visibility of the HCL from VMware and the hardware vendor (Dell). But once the issue was sorted out, the product gave us rock-solid stability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We did have some scalability issues. Similarly, when we added a new host in the existing cluster, we faced a similar issue with the HCL, but that was resolved soon.

How are customer service and technical support?

I rate technical support 4/5.

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

We used traditional SAN technology before using vSAN.

How was the initial setup?

Initial setup was pretty straightforward.

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

Verify, and again verify, the hardware compatibility list before you place an order for the hardware.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We didn’t look at alternatives.

What other advice do I have?

This will definitely reduce your TCO by at least 50%. Hence, if you are planning to go with this product, just go ahead. But again, as I have said previously, please MAKE SURE that you take a look at the HCL up to the micro level.

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