VMware vSAN Review

NVMe makes it very fast and the ease of use helps our ops group

What is our primary use case?

We use it for our management cluster. All of our network services are on this cluster, on vSAN. That way, it's off the production network, it's off by itself. We have four nodes in case there is an issue with it, it has the failover capabilities.

The performance is very good. We have NVMe performance in it so it's very fast.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable features are being able to keep it off by itself and the ease of use.

What needs improvement?

We have been talking to VMware about things we'd like to see and I think they have done them in their 6.6 release. I don't think we need any more enhancements at this time.

For how long have I used the solution?

One to three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is very good. We have some HCI solutions like this in our environment and this one is on par with those solutions.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is very good. If we know that we need more CPU, more memory, we can add more nodes to it. We don't need to do that today but we know, tomorrow, that we have that capability.

How are customer service and technical support?

We have a VMware TAM and they have helped us out with technical support. We haven't needed to call support. Things have been very smooth, no issues whatsoever.

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

We knew from doing the DR project and from having some issues with our production vSphere that we needed some type of solution to help us out, to keep it off the production network. But we did not have a product before this one. This is a new product for us.

For us, the most important criteria when selecting a new vendor are

  • ease of use, because we have an operations group that we need to worry about
  • cost is always up there
  • the future of it - making sure it has a future because we hate to get something and then, after a year or so, it goes out-of-support and no one is using it anymore and there are no upgrades.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was a little complex. We did it a couple of years ago and we've heard that it is so much easier now. I know that they are working on that capability right now.

What was our ROI?

I don't see this solution as an ROI type of thing. We tried to do it as a DR solution, or for making sure that it's a solution that is off by itself. At this point, cost was not a major factor for this.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We were using Dell and then we had a Dell EMC box, a hybrid. But it was a lot more money and it seemed we would always be a version behind. But with this one, the vSAN that we chose, we can upgrade it as needed. We can always be at the latest and greatest.

What other advice do I have?

Make sure you use a solution that is supported. There are a lot of companies out there that are new and sometimes they don't have a life. We have been in that situation before where we have bought something and then it has gone end-of-life or no more support. Make sure you get a solution that is going to be supported for five to seven years, such as vSAN.

I would rate it at nine out of 10. I know it's very young and that they're growing it or doing a lot of updates to it, so I'm thinking it will be a 10. It's just very new to us. To make it a 10 will take some time.

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