How has it helped my organization?
It is precisely the possibility of being able to extend the capacities of the cluster of storage and calculation by the simple addition of one or more physical server which makes us lean on this solution in a secure way.
Moreover, with the storage policy, we were able to create different security policies depending on the virtual machines according to their needs for performance or availability.
What is most valuable?
The most important functionality is the ability to extend cluster storage and cluster computing power securely without loss of data. Also, the ability to set up an extended cluster on multiple sites in a much simpler and easier way than with a traditional storage solution.
What needs improvement?
This product is usable in many cases. It can be used for a wide range of applications.
It is also possible, for example, to parameterize a stretch cluster at the very least without going to a costly solution based on conventional storage, such as MetroCluster, or another solution of the same level.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
No, for the moment, we have not had any unpleasantness related to stability from the time the technical prerequisites are met (hardware in the VMware Compatibility Guide, par example), as well as best practice to design.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
No. It's no problem. To be honest, we have not upgraded any vSAN infrastructure to date.
I just had to increase the capacity of a cluster in production by a simple addition of hosts, from the moment the compatibility with the existing one has been checked, there are no problems.
Adding this very simply by drag and drop from the host to the vSAN cluster, beforehand, the host must be placed in maintenance mode. Then, we have more than to add the HDD and SSD to the cluster vSAN in place -- either they are claimed automatically or manually. It all depends on the cluster configuration.
How are customer service and technical support?
I have never had to contact VMware technical support.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
No, I didn’t use other solutions previously, because converged solutions are new technologies and I knew VMware Technology's reputation. But, I am developing other competencies, especially with Nutanix Technology.
How was the initial setup?
From the moment you're used to the VMware vSphere Web Client interface, there are no problems.
The activation is really simple, since it is done with a simple click if one can stay at the level of the parameters of the cluster VMware vSphere.
Then, depending on the number of hosts in the cluster, it will be possible to define a certain number of Fault Domains, that is to say, a quantity of permissible hosts losses, for example.
Moreover, depending on the amount of RAM available in each host and the amount of SSD, we can define one or more Disk Group, as well as host more or fewer objects. But this is more a question of design, which must intervene upstream of course.
The biggest difficulty lies in the design of the solution in order to be closer to the Service-Level Agreement of the company. There are a lot of possibilities according to the number of fault domain one wishes to have, if one makes vSAN on a site or multi-site, the degree of protection of virtual machines, etc,
What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?
Basically, vSAN is a license in addition to that of the classic VMware Vsphere, which is also mandatory.
The easiest way is to get closer to VMware directly; it's much simpler and easier.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
Yes, at the time, like everyone else, we looked at the classic option, storage bay with SSD caches, but the prices were not necessarily interesting.
Moreover, it requires knowing all the management consoles and specificities related to particular types of storage, network, and infrastructure.
With the use of VMware vSAN, we have not had this worry, since by mastering the VMware vSphere Web Client, I manage all from a single interface, and it is very simple.
Today, I am looking at Nutanix products, and other VxRAIL, and the goal is to identify a concurrent product which can interest us.
What other advice do I have?
Test the product before implementation to see if it fits your needs. Above all, be careful with technical prerequisites and other technical constraints.
To be accompanied by the pre-sales of editor would be the simplest.
Most importantly, the interface is simple, but it is clear that bad handling can have unfortunate consequences.
A simple example: I lose a node in a cluster vSAN, which is also used as a cluster HA. I lose not only the storage part, which is not necessarily serious (depending on the configuration of the vSAN cluster), but on the other hand, I lose also a node of Compute, which can make things complicated quickly.