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Cisco HyperFlex HX-Series Competitors and Alternatives

Get our free report covering Dell EMC, Nutanix, VMware, and other competitors of Cisco HyperFlex HX-Series. Updated: November 2021.
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Read reviews of Cisco HyperFlex HX-Series competitors and alternatives

Vasanth_Kumar
Director Of Information Technology at a outsourcing company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 20
Stable with good technical support and good integration capabilities

Pros and Cons

  • "You don't have to worry too much about the hardware and you don't have to work on integrating a storage device. We instead have this as an all-in-one solution and everything is available as a box."
  • "Right now, it's difficult for a non-technical person to participate in using the product. It could be made more consumer-friendly."

What is our primary use case?

We primarily use the solution to run the loudmouth to host our virtual server's core courses.

What is most valuable?

There's user integration with VMware so you don't have to load VMware on top of it and it works right out of the box. 

There's good integration between VMware as my hypervisor and the hardware and it is specifically to size. 

You don't have to worry too much about the hardware and you don't have to work on integrating a storage device.  We instead have this as an all-in-one solution and everything is available as a box. 

What needs improvement?

They could make something like an actual catalog where you could just put your weblogs and then you cold can get the recommended specs along with the utilities like which processor to get. That would be an economical way to figure out the specs of the solution in relation to your requirements. 

Right now, it's difficult for a non-technical person to participate in using the product. It could be made more consumer-friendly. 

It should give output or recommend orders and dissolve effects. 

They could be more clear in terms of which options to choose. For example, they could say, "We recommend, if you want high performance, to go with this pack." Or "if you want an economical option, try this".

The solution could improve on some existing features, especially experience-based access or something like that. 

The product could benefit from more tightly integrated management.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've only been using the solution for the past six months or so.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This generation, the third generation, seems to be the most stable compared to the initial bracket in the market. Of course, after learning from our myriad mistakes through the initial implementation allowed us to make changes and choose more stable options compared to a few years ago. 

Especially in the Philippines, we are the number one matching reseller for business-critical items. We utilize multiple units to ensure we have a failover in place. If repairs are delayed for hours, we're covered. 

Generally, Dell has a very good presence here. Therefore, we are very stable. The quality of the algorithm is better. You can see the quality of components inside the hardware. They manufacture everything in their own plants in Malaysia. Therefore, they already have hardware components inside the region that are easily accesible.

Failure rates are low compared to Cisco hardware.  

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution is pretty scalable. There are a lot of items that keep adding onto the computing power and storage. It's not like other platforms where you have to plan far ahead if you plan to scale. 

How are customer service and technical support?

We've dealt with technical support in the past. We dealt with HP, IBM, and Cisco a long time ago, and we find Dell works hard for us. Their service levels are very good in comparison to other organizations. We're quite satisfied with their level of service.

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

I've used Cisco in the past. I find this solution is easier to implement and offers good hardware and software integrations. We've also worked with IBM and HP a very long time ago. Dell has better customer services than all of them.

How was the initial setup?

In terms of the initial setup, compared to any other platform, it pretty simple. I've used Cisco UCS in the past, and have experience with that solution, and compared to that, this implementation is easy.

It's got a very good integration between hardware and software specific configurations. You just need to watch out for technical inputs.

The maintenance we negotiated as a bundle over years of use. Our partner handles the maintenance of the solution.

What about the implementation team?

We actually had that alteration done through our Dell partner. We chose a partner based on input from Dell about our limitations, what sort of skill set they had, how many engineers were verified, etc., and then we chose our partners. 90% of the population was done by the partner and 10% wherever delegation was needed, they would assist as necessary.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The pricing varies. We were able to negotiate a pretty good position

In India, they gave us something like three years without interest. However, there are various categories in terms of getting the correct payment options on the pricing, they have a lot of options.

They gave us 40% off of this year in the Philippines whereas in India they gave a monthly payment option without interest. 

A company can negotiate a price. At my organization, we've always managed very good pricing. Therefore, we have no regrets when it comes to the pricing we have to pay. If you have a good relationship with them, they'll try to take care of you.

What other advice do I have?

We're just a customer. We don't have a relationship with Dell.

We just procured the latest version of the solution.

When we decided on our requirements, we had multiple calls with Dell and the attorneys to ensure that we received what we needed. Apart from choosing various generations or various models on VxRail boxes, we also took to deep dive into the actual configuration on each processor to understand how much memory to use.

It's easier if you have a technical professional on your side when you're dealing with Dell. I'm a technical person, so I could get into the weeds with them. If you are a company without the technical expertise, you're going to run into a bit of trouble as you won't necessarily understand the product or the technical aspects that are being discussed.

I would advise organizations considering implementing the solution to choose your partner really carefully. Ask questions like how many engineers do they have and find out how transparent they are about how they handle the process. I'd look at at least two potential partners and compare their capability and expertise.

Overall, I'd rate the solution nine out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
JB
Consulting Solutions Architect at a tech services company with 5,001-10,000 employees
MSP
Everything is core centralized; it's a significant cost saver for those not leveraging a hypervisor

Pros and Cons

  • "Everything is core centralized on the UI."
  • "Could have better visibility with the main OEM backup integrators."

What is our primary use case?

We deliver a lot of different solutions on various platforms, including different HCI solutions and solutions like Nutanix and Cisco HyperFlex and NetApps, later HCI mile. Most of them have been on Nutanix and on Cisco HyperFlex and as well as VxRack. Our primary use case has of Nutanix has been for virtualization consolidation. We are partners and resellers of Nutanix and I'm a consulting solutions architect.

What is most valuable?

Nutanix has several feature sets that we like. For example, everything's core centralized on the UI. You don't have multiple interfaces that you have to jump between like in some other solutions. It's more integrated for the overall management of the infrastructure. The other part too which is very attractive, is the fact they provide an option if you're not leveraging your OEM hypervisor like VMware or HyperV. That was a significant cost saver for us as well as enabling us to look at alternatives to the VMware tax. 

What needs improvement?

For now, I can't think of anything that can be improved. They've been pretty innovative and have provided a fairly comprehensive roadmap. I've worked directly with some of the backend TME guys and they're very responsive and have addressed anything that's come up. However, I would like to see better visibility with the main OEM backup integrators to have a full backup recovery from site to site and from site to cloud and cloud to cloud - the full range. The cloud ecosystem for public/private, site to site visibility with a single backup product.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using this solution for five years. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

From a software perspective, it's incredibly stable and portable. The only caution I would give is that since it is a software-defined solution, be careful of the underlying hardware. It's nothing to do with Nutanix, it's a hardware issue. You may have a highly available, reliable software platform, but it's on commodity hardware so you might experience more failures on the hardware because you decided to go for commodity. You need to be careful how you're architecting your solution and your application factors as you build up your data center, and not sell yourself short and get the cheapest hardware on the market to save costs, because that can turn out to be an expensive decision. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I haven't seen any issues with scalability. Most people I know for the most part are very sensitive about the fault domains. So they tend to go off from smaller clusters. You do have the ability to go pretty much as far as is humanly possible, it depends how much risk you want to take, but at the same time the scalability is definitely there. Most systems are capped at where you can scale out cluster-wise of VMware, 64 nodes and HyperV at 64. There are two factors to the scalability equation. There's the storage within each node, which is fine and then obviously the scalability as far as CPU and memory go. You can mix and match your platforms on your favorite vendor, but then you need the ability to go beyond 64 where necessary. We do have a couple of accounts that we've worked with where they have some fairly large clusters and I think that's a great option for people needing that level of scalability.

What other advice do I have?

The biggest thing that I've seen has been the backup and recovery which has been challenging for them over the past couple of years. They partnered with Beam and with Rubrik and Cohesity. They had their OEM go-to's, but didn't initially deliver a very good story for application integration for backup and recovery where they had good copy data management. Most of the OEMs are very good at backing up single clusters for local backup and recovery. That said, whenever true disaster recovery was needed and you're leveraging multiple Nutanix missions site to site, there wasn't the visibility of being able to backup or being able to have the application integration.

I would rate this solution an eight out of 10. 

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Reseller
GN
IT Infrastructure Specialist at a computer software company with 51-200 employees
MSP
Good unified administration, very stable, and easy to set up

Pros and Cons

  • "The solution's unified administration is its most valuable aspect."
  • "The solution could maybe improve failure protection."

What is our primary use case?

We primarily use the solution for remote offices as well as medium-sized businesses.

How has it helped my organization?

The solution works well to help businesses simplify their administration. They unify the technology in boxes like vSAN. You see the performance improvements in the configuration with All-Flash.

What is most valuable?

The solution's unified administration is its most valuable aspect.

Our customers like the HCI functionality, and tiering. My customers enjoy the portion of the solution that can improve the performance of virtual machines

There isn't too much learning involved when picking up the system.

What needs improvement?

The solution could maybe improve failure protection. The failure protection for vSAN is very expensive sometimes within the clients. The customers want to be able to tolerate two or three nodes in failure. However, sometimes, the budget is limited. Implementing hyper-converged solutions sometimes are very expensive with the dozens of tolerance of failure.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for at least the last 12 months.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

In terms of vSAN functionality for stability, I haven't had any client complaints. It seems to work as it is supposed to. There aren't bugs or glitches. It doesn't crash or freeze at all. Our customers are happy.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Sometimes our clients find the scalability to be lacking and it affects performance. They're not sure, if they scale up, how much performance they will have left afterward.

Our clients are small to medium-sized businesses typically. They aren't to big.

I'm not sure if any of our clients plan to increase usage. It's hard to predict, due to the pandemic situation. The majority of my customers don't have plans to upgrade or acquire some additional equipment.

How are customer service and technical support?

I'm usually in pre-sales and therefore don't have any experience with VMware support. I've never personally reached out to them.

The company does, however, offer good documentation.

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

We also sell other solutions. We aren't exclusively using VMware. We also, for example, sell HP solutions. We also work with UHCI with Nimble and SimpliVity and with Cisco, with Nexus, Huawei, or hyper-convergence solutions like Cisco HyperFlex.

My customers typically choose VMware as it is a known platform. The main deciding factor seems to be knowledge of the product itself.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup isn't too complex. It's pretty straightforward. The entire implementation process, in fact, is very simple.

If I have an infrastructure already in place then deploy it, the configuration of vSAN will take less than an hour. If the implementation is happening from the scratch, with new equipment, then it will take four hours approximately.

What other advice do I have?

We are a partner of VMware.

Customers considering the solution should be aware that the principal benefits they will get from the solution include integration with HCI, NSX, and cloud solutions.

Overall, I would rate the solution nine ut of ten. We've had a good experience overall and our clients are happy with the product.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
RahulKumar6
Solutions Executive at Tech Data Limited
Real User
Quick to backup and transfer, and it is easy to scale

Pros and Cons

  • "The most valuable features of this solution are the backup rate and the backup transfer."
  • "The centric management could be simplified or more user-friendly."

What is our primary use case?

We are resellers. We provide HPE products to our customers.

This solution is used with UDI, HCI, the hybrid cloud, Microsoft Azure, and other Microsoft products.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable features of this solution are the backup rate and the backup transfer.

You don't have to purchase any other licenses other than Microsoft or for VMware, everything is included in your box.

Your backup and transfer time is less. You can move one TB of VM data in one minute, which is one of SimpliVity's benefits.

What needs improvement?

In my experience, the only improvement that can be made is the price. It is much more costly than other solutions such as VxRail.

We would like to provide our customers with a virtual demo and have not been able to find this available. We don't have access to show the demo virtually to our customers or partners. This is lacking in this sector. We are not able to provide hands-on experience.

The centric management could be simplified or more user-friendly. Customers require an easier way to handle any product.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been selling this solution for two years.

We always register our clients with the newest versions.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

For stability, our customers prefer on-premises solutions, but they can also deploy the hybrid cloud, which allows them to instantly transfer from on-premises to the cloud.

This solution is quite stable. We have not found any issues with stability to remote to our customers.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

HPE SimpliVity is easy to scale.

How are customer service and technical support?

We have been in contact with technical support when we have had some issues. We have always received answers in a timely fashion.

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

VxRail is the only competitor, no other product comes near HPE SimpliVity.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is straightforward. It's simple. 

Maintenance is required because it is complex. You are getting your storage, the server, and the networking protocol in one box. It requires a few technical engineers, otherwise, you can manage this product after the installation. 

What about the implementation team?

We provide our customers with a demo in our data center and an hour per day.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

It's a costly solution and is more expensive than VxRail.

When you compare with other competitors, such as Cisco HyperFlex, it is much more expensive than SimpliVity. In the rankings, Cisco is seventh and SimpliVity comes in fifth.

What other advice do I have?

Many customers are using this solution and have said that it comes down to the price. Otherwise, it's a good product.

This product is not suitable for small companies as they don't require this much. Unless they have 20 to 30 lakhs (two to three million), it would be better suited for medium to large companies.

I would recommend this solution to others who are interested in using it.

I would rate HPE SimpliVity a ten out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Hybrid Cloud
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
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DG
Director Of Information Technology at a outsourcing company with 11-50 employees
Real User
Top 20
We substantially reduced network complexity by eliminating the standalone SAN

Pros and Cons

  • "We also substantially reduced network complexity by eliminating that standalone SAN. That reduced complexity has allowed us to concentrate on improving other areas of our network."
  • "Possible new features could be CSV-level snapshot capability, Veeam integration, and maybe a more straightforward setup. Granted, you don't have to worry about setups with the HCA, but if you want to implement StarWind vSAN in a lab to test it is a tedious setup process."

What is our primary use case?

We are an SMB that hosts our ERP on-site. Our infrastructure is shared with a group of inter-related companies, so uptime is critical since several entities rely on our core services. StarWind HCA is the core of our network and hosts all of our critical VMs. We needed a cost-effective HA solution that was easy to manage, as we have a very small IT department that is concentrated mostly on business process improvements. The last thing we need is complex systems to manage taking our focus away from that.

How has it helped my organization?

We went from a vSphere compute cluster with an external SAN made by a company that is in perpetual financial trouble and have shifted business focus several times. Not only was our traditional SAN expensive, but we also had no confidence in the vendor. StarWind HCA is commodity hardware, so we eliminated the proprietary hardware issue. 

We also substantially reduced network complexity by eliminating that standalone SAN. That reduced complexity has allowed us to concentrate on improving other areas of our network.

What is most valuable?

Proactive support has been great, you will receive an email from StarWind soon after their telemetry service sees anything out of the ordinary with either the StarWind services or any critical issue related to your cluster of VMs. The appliance support goes beyond my expectations by helping with some Hyper-V issues that may not be directly related to the StarWind services.

The most valuable feature is its simplicity. It really isn't any more difficult to manage than a standard Hyper-V cluster.

What needs improvement?

Communication could have been improved during the implementation process. I've also been looking forward to further development of their management console which has been slow to materialize. StarWind is promising full cluster management and backup integration in a single-pain-of-glass console.

Possible new features could be CSV-level snapshot capability, Veeam integration, and maybe a more straightforward setup. Granted, you don't have to worry about setups with the HCA, but if you want to implement StarWind vSAN in a lab to test it is a tedious setup process.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've been running our StarWind HCA for about two years.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support has been willing to help and train even on simple questions.

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

We previously had a vSphere cluster with a standalone SAN. We wanted a less complex solution.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is really easy. StarWind handles it.

What about the implementation team?

In-house with StarWind help.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The HCA price is all-inclusive (setup, hardware, support, warranty), except for your standard Microsoft Server licensing.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We evaluated Cisco and DataCore.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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Get our free report covering Dell EMC, Nutanix, VMware, and other competitors of Cisco HyperFlex HX-Series. Updated: November 2021.
552,407 professionals have used our research since 2012.