vSphere Review
Very simple to configure and use. No agnostic option of vSAN to use it with another hypervisor.

What is most valuable?

One of the most valuable features of this product is the integration of VMware vSphere. If you have experience with this product, it is very simple to configure and use. With minimal studying, you can configure and manage it.

How has it helped my organization?

The main improvement we found is the simplification of configuration. No more SAN configuration is required; no more complex configuration of LUN and presentation to the VMware infrastructure.

What needs improvement?

I think this product has a lot of areas for improvement.

First of all, there’s no agnostic option of vSAN to use it with another hypervisor. The only option is to present the storage via NFS (iSCSI will be available with version 6.5). The problem with this configuration is that you lose all the benefits of HCI. Essentially, you transform the vSAN into a network data store.

Also, no PIN to SSD: If you have a hybrid mix of disks, you can’t configure a PIN for a particular VM on a particular SSD.

Additionally, some features are only available on the all-flash version.

Deduplication and compression are enabled cluster-wide. There is a way to disable these options, but the problem is that you can’t enable this option in any combination you want. Essentially, compression and deduplication are either both on or both off. This is not good if you intend to use it for an application like SQL server and Oracle DB.

The vSAN license not very cheap.

For how long have I used the solution?

I’ve been testing and studying it for about 6 months.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability with these kind of nodes is fantastic, because you can scale out with any resource you want.

  • Storage space (each server has 24 hard disk slots).
  • RAM can be upgraded to 1.5TB for each node.

The only problem is that it’s not possible to scale on CPU. So if you want to scale on CPU, you have to buy 3 CPUs in one shot (with numbers of core), or buy another node. We know HCI work in this way.

How is customer service and technical support?

I have never used support until this point. We have good enough skills to fix problems without support for now.

Which solutions did we use previously?

We used old-style infrastructure with a SAN data store and blade center. We changed to simplify infrastructure management.

How was the initial setup?

Installing a complete VMware with three nodes, vSphere Software Appliance, and all things related took some time. So its not so easy and not so fast.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We evaluated lot of alternatives, both standard infrastructure and HCI infrastructure. Coming from a previous VMware vSphere installation, we choose the same product for continuity.

What other advice do I have?

Its important to have experience with VMware products, and licensing is not very cheap.

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

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