VxRail Review

Its flexiblity gives us rack space and it saves on manpower


What is our primary use case?

We use it in a infrastructure in a box-style setup for onsite deployments. We take certain assets to remote locations and record data for whatever sorties that they are doing.

How has it helped my organization?

The flexibility has improved our organization. If we went the traditional method, we would have to carry a lot more equipment. VxRail allows us to take all the systems that we would use in a full rack in a quarter rack.

What is most valuable?

It gives us tons of flexibility. We can create new machines, then destroy them if they don't work out. We test a lot of use cases that may or may not play out. We can build all types of scenarios into virtual machines that we may or may not use. If we don't use them, we just turn them off, no using up resources.

What needs improvement?

I would like them to include an easier solution to host its own DNS. When they changed to version 6.5, they took out the easy features of letting the rail be its own DNS. You can still trick the system and make the VxRail Manager another one of the rail-required VMs become the DNS, but it's a lot of extra work. I'd like to see it put back into the UI.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability of version 6.5 and above has been pretty good. 

Version 6.0 and below has always been kind of a pain to work with, but there have been huge improvements. I like the inclusion of the HTML5 vCenter.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is great. Thankfully, our data needs are in the 200 gigabyte range when we go out onsite, so we're not overloading it. We just have the single rail that has four hosts on it.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support is not so great. They had the VMware personnel trying to help us out. We had some issues on one of the rails, and it never got resolved. It is just one of those things on the to-do list. 

They were walking me through some of the diagnostic stuff, and it was clear that they had no idea. I ended up sending five different sets of logs to their FTP site, and there was no resolution. After I sent the last set of logs, which was right over Christmas break, they were like, "We can't keep this ticket open for two weeks while Dell EMC goes offline at the end of the year." 

This just something I haven't picked back up yet. Thankfully, it's not a production critical piece of equipment right now. However, I would love to figure out how to do a factory reset and start from scratch. This was from version 6.0, and I've got reservations with anything lower than version 6.5.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is straightforward for versions 6.5 and 6.7.

What was our ROI?

There is the logistical cost savings of the produced footprint of the equipment. 

There is an administrative cost savings. Instead of having seven to 15 separate boxes that someone has to administer on 15 different terminals, you can do the majority of it from one interface. Therefore, it saves on manpower costs.

What other advice do I have?

I don't think I would have picked a different product.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
1 Comment
author avatarMike (Michael) Evans
Consultant

Nice honest feedback for your specific use case. Doing the job. Have you done any review of the flexibility and license savings you could do by reviewing Cisco HyperFlex? Also don't have to suffer with vSan challenges.

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