VMware vSAN Review

Enables us to scale out nodes independently and flexibly - we can put almost any type of server in them


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What is our primary use case?

We use vSAN primarily as an R&D tool to test our products and see how they work on it, and it is absolutely phenomenal. It is one of the best hyperconverged solutions I've been able to get my hands on.

How has it helped my organization?

vSAN has improved our organization by allowing us to perform faster workflows, get better overall performance, and create some really new solutions.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable features for us are the ability to scale out the nodes independently, and the flexibility of the nodes. We can put almost any type of server in there with our connectivity and everything works great. 

What needs improvement?

The biggest room for improvement I see in vSAN is the lack of SAN connectivity. I've kind of joked around that there is no "SAN" in vSAN. And it's something that we've worked to try and introduce some options for, and we're going to continue to work towards that. But it looks like the door is starting to open and there may be some options, with some of the announcements that came out of VMworld 2018.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

vSAN has been very stable for us. Once we get it up and settled in and the workflows going, usually we don't have to intervene at all. Things just keep working. Stability is important for us with vSAN because it becomes the rock that we depend on. When we need an application to stay up and maintain that ability to bounce between hosts, to work in a true hyperconverged manner, it's the only choice for us.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability in vSAN has been really good. It's very easy to add nodes in, to automatically generate the drives and the disk groups. It has been a piece of cake, surprisingly so.

How are customer service and technical support?

We have not needed to use vSAN tech support, believe it or not. We have not had any kind of an instance where we couldn't resolve it on our own, or it didn't fix itself.

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

We had no hyperconverged solution beforehand. We knew that we needed to do some testing with them. It started off as a compatibility (test) and just kept ballooning from there until we went and implemented it.

When choosing a vendor, our most important criteria are reputation and stability. You can't go into something without understanding just how good it is, and if you roll the dice, sometimes you get burned. We're a risk-averse company.

How was the initial setup?

I was involved in the initial vSAN setup. The experience was really wonderful, it was really easy, it was very intuitive. There were some learning curves for us because we had never done it before but, overall, the wizard and the experience with the online tutorials that we were able to find solved every concern or question that we had, very quickly.

What was our ROI?

ROI for us comes in uptime, keeping applications up and running. That's important to us because that's directly attributable to our revenue stream.

What other advice do I have?

Do your research, dig, find out what your particular needs are, what would the overall cost be to - sometimes it's a forklift, sometimes it's a migration. But look at all the factors, look at the requirements of vSAN, look at the requirements of other hyperconverged solutions, and then make the decision.

I would rate vSAN as a solid nine. To get it to a ten it would need: the ability to support a SAN and a little bit of a larger scale. Those would be the two things that I would request.

Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor. The reviewer's company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
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