VMware vSAN Review

Easy to predict IOPS needs and we can design for low latency using all-flash

What is our primary use case?

We use it for all our virtual desktop storage.

How has it helped my organization?

It's definitely cheaper to buy it piece by piece, instead of an entire shelf at a time.

What is most valuable?

  • It's easy to scale.
  • It's easy to predict IOPS needs.
  • You can design for low latency using all-flash.
  • The whole hyperconverged notion is pretty neat.

Also, for setting up new clusters for VDI quickly, it's nice. You don't have to wait on an order for a storage vendor to ship you a system and help you configure it, you do it all yourself. It's kind of convenient that way. And the sizing guides are pretty straightforward.

What needs improvement?

I would like to see better performance graphs, maybe something that you can export outside to a different console, and maybe a little bit longer time period. The 18-hour maximum, or 24-hour maximum, is kind of short.

Also, the hardware compatibility limitations are a little frustrating sometimes, but as everybody's starting to adopt vSAN more, you get more options for hardware.

For how long have I used the solution?

One to three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's stable. We haven't had any major issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is easy. You just buy a node and go.

How are customer service and technical support?

The vSAN technical support guys are great.

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

We chose it because of cost considerations. We already had an enterprise agreement with VMware, so vSAN licensing was included.

How was the initial setup?

There was a small learning curve, but it's pretty straightforward once you understand the basics of how everything works.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We did evaluate other vendors initially but this was our second hyperconverged solution. We went with it because of the cost.

What other advice do I have?

Do your homework. Make sure you know what kind of IOPS and latency requirements you need to meet. Picking hardware is not hard anymore. Everybody has an HCL. vSAN has a great list. Just pick what you want and go, it's not that hard.

I rate it at eight out of 10 because nothing is perfect. I'm hard to please. I'm not saying there are growing pains, but vSAN was still new at the time. They didn't have dedupe and compression yet. The performance was pretty good. Most of it was hybrid in the beginning, but now with all-flash, it's speedy, when it needs to be. It's a young product and nobody gets a 10 out of the gate.

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