We asked business professionals to review the solutions they use. Here are some excerpts of what they said:
"Quick setup, great support, stability is great"
"It has given the company an almost zero possibility of downtime."
"This solution enables us to make better cost-effective use of our existing hardware and leverage the current infrastructure at a higher level than we could before."
"It allows me to configure High Availability and failover clustering with some fault tolerance, at a cost point that doesn’t break the bank for a small business budget."
"The iSCSI protocol is quite simple to configure."
"The biggest benefit was that it allowed us to provide SAN services on a limited hardware budget."
"It has a nice, simple control panel. You can clearly see the state and health of storage along with the synchronization."
"Using our own choice of HW allowed us to price our service to answer our customers' needs."
"Its most valuable feature is its flexibility."
"Overall, the solution is extremely easy, flexible and secure."
"The technical support has been very good for this solution."
"The most valuable feature is that you can manage the whole cluster from the traffic interconnect."
"It is very scalable. It is also very secure. Cisco's security portfolio is integrated with it, which makes it secure. It is a platform-based device. Its performance is also fairly good in comparison to any other solution."
"The management feature is the solution's most valuable aspect."
"It's very easy to use and quite a mature product."
"The solution is easy to use and to learn. It is well integrated with VMware."
"Good performance, reliable and agile."
"The scalability of the solution is most valuable."
"The solution is quite stable."
"vSAN is very integrated."
"The solution is easy to use."
"This solution has a dashboard that you can log into and control if you need too while the VM is getting created."
"It has a single pane of glass for management and operational control, which is the most valuable feature. The integrated storage is also valuable."
"The solution is simple to use compared to other solutions, such as Hyperflex, VxRail, and Nutanix"
"I see no need for major improvements but there could be some improvements in the form of notifications and the simplifying of maintenance mode."
"Being able to run StarWind vSAN on top of any free UNIX operating system to build a resilient iSCSI/FTP/SMB storage system would be useful."
"For the StarWind VSA vSphere solution, I would like to see a simpler and automated virtual machine installation process in terms of network settings."
"Management tools could be improved, sometimes the usage seems to be slowed down and confusing. A native web interface could also be an option. I love to see in the future port of the software on a general Linux distribution like RedHat or Ubuntu in order to avoid windows license costs. I would also like to see features like erasure coding implemented. On the VSAN software, I would like to see some improvements in the storage pools (eliminate the usage of the file as a data container and use the raw partition)."
"If there was one feature I would like to see it would be a built-in subsystem for managing UPS backups shutdown procedures providing a way to initiate VM shutdown on all host servers, shut down the host servers, then put the fault-tolerant mirroring in standby, and finally shut down the StarWind SANs."
"StarWind relies on the underlying OS to manage the "SAN files" whether that would be a RAID volume, software RAID (such as LVM), etc. It would be useful if StarWind could incorporate the actual physical drive management inside of the solution, similar to Storage Spaces Direct."
"It would help if the manufacturer provided clearer and more detailed documentation, with explanations of how the application can be installed in various HA configurations."
"I would like to see some additional, and possibly clearer, implementation videos with some slower and possibly more detailed descriptions of what the various steps of implementation are for someone who is unfamiliar with high availability and failover clustering in Windows."
"I would rate the installation of Cisco HyperFlex HX-Series an eight out of ten. It can be complex."
"There should be the opportunity to create more than one div group"
"There are sometimes issues with memory failure."
"This solution is lacking in replication and backup abilities that I would like to see in a future release similar to HPE SimpliVity."
"With the cache disk fails in Cisco, the whole node fails, and the workload goes down."
"Its price could be better."
"Unlike other options, you need to pay a subscription to Cisco yearly instead of paying for the hardware outright, which makes it more expensive in the long run."
"In the next release, Cisco should add more integration and management capabilities as well as some tweaks to the dashboard that make it more user-friendly. They could also add support for multiple hypervisors."
"Integration could be better."
"Hardware load balancing is available on the enterprise version of the solution, however, it's extremely expensive and therefore out of our budget."
"I think it needs to be more cost-effective. I would also say that even though the capacity is good, there is also room for improvement there. Also, they could improve the security of the system."
"If the support could be provided more quickly, it would be very helpful."
"VMware vSAN could improve by having better integration with other vendors and the storage is limited, I prefer it to the traditional storage."
"The interface is a little complicated, it could be simplified with more graphical gadgets. We have many servers, and the built-in functions, such as rate configuration, are a bit complex."
"This is quite an expensive solution."
"The UI falls short compared to other solutions. It needs some development to make it more user-friendly."
"I think that purchasing StarWind Virtual SAN Professional Edition would be optimal for most."
"If you are looking at a traditional SAN for a small cluster, give StarWind vSAN because you will save thousands without any compromise."
"The StarWind VSAN business model is very cost-effective."
"This solution has competitive prices and the implementation is very easy."
"There are two tiers of support and in my opinion, support is worth the cost."
"The premium support from StarWinds is a must have. The ability to have access to a storage engineer 24/7 is a must for a production environment."
"Licensing is easy and the whole package is cost-effective."
"StarWind is a low-cost, full-featured alternative to the traditional SAN environment, and their support will guide you every step of the setup."
"The licensing is perpetual and the only thing that you may need to pay for on a monthly basis is if you're going to use their cloud-based management features."
"Its price is high. Cisco needs to work on the pricing model for this product. Nutanix or VMware are cheaper products, and they provide almost the same functionality. Its price is a big road blocker when we are working with an end customer, and Nutanix and VMware are in competition. If they can reduce its price, it is actually a better choice for customers."
"We are on an annual subscription and the price is fair."
"HyperFlex is a little pricey."
"Its price is rather fair when compared with other solutions like VxRail, vSAN, and HPE SimpliVity. We got a fair amount of discount from Cisco for Cisco HyperFlex. It is cost-effective. We have renewed storage till next year, and we have already paid the vendor. When we talk about HyperFlex or any HCI solution, storage is the part where we can reduce a lot of costs. At the current moment, we are already using NetApp storage, which did not allow us to go for a full Cisco HyperFlex setup. We are planning to go to a larger scale next year. Then we will be able to see how cost-effective it really is for us."
"The price is expensive."
"vSAN has many versions with standard and advanced including Enterprise and Enterprise Plus. Regarding the Enterprise and the Advanced, it could be lower."
"It is too expensive."
"The price of vSAN could be lower."
"It is fairly cost-effective for entry to mid-level performance based on the underlying hardware components."
"If they could reduce the cost, it would be better. Licensing costs are something that they could take care of. If you are a smaller and strong IT team, then VMware vSAN is a very good product. If you want to expand in the service provider space, then you will have to go for an open-source solution like OpenStack. We are now looking at OpenStack because we sell licensing costs. We are a service provider, so the IT component data is a substantial component in our overall costing. We feel that OpenStack might help us to cut down the licensing cost. Therefore, we are looking at SAS storage instead of vSAN. SAS is open source, but it is not wise to have open source without having the backend support. We are using RedHat SAS, and it is an open-source solution. You can also have a free version, but we are using it with support from RedHat so that we have somebody to back us up in case we have a problem. If you do normal business, then IT expense is 1% or 2% of the total turnover. The higher licensing costs sometimes don't make difference to the big companies who are not service providers and are using it only for their internal use. For them, the IT cost is 1% or 2%, but for an IT service provider, the IT costs will go up to 15% to 16% of the total cost of the operations. This is where the licensing costs become irrelevant. For example, the licensing cost of using VMware, VC, and vSAN is 8% of my monthly revenue. Every month, I pay about $35,000, and, with the revised plan, it will be something like $50,000 or revenue of 600k per month, which means almost 8% of the revenue is going into VMware licensing. In a very competitive world, 8% as a cost element is huge. So, if I can bring it down to 2%, I save 6% in revenue expenditure. In terms of profit, 6% of 30% is something like another 25% increase in my profit. My profit can be almost 25%. It would be 20% to 25% in case I am able to handle the licensing costs and bring them to a very low level. Because these IT costs are substantial for us, that is why we are going with OpenStack. OpenStack has a limitation that it requires more hardware. There will be some increase in the hardware cost, but overall we will save 5% to 6% of our licensing cost by using OpenStack."
"It is an expensive solution. There should be more flexible with licensing to allow small businesses the essentials of the solution's features."
"It is cheap. It is $0.02 a gig."
For SMB, ROBO, Cloud and Hosting providers, who look to cut down virtualization expenses, our solution is StarWind VSAN. It is software that eliminates any need in physical shared storage by basically “mirroring” internal hard disks and flash between hypervisor servers. There is less hardware to buy in general, consequently less money is spent on purchase and maintenance. The existing hardware is used with maximum efficiency, so there is no money wasted at all.
StarWind Virtual SAN targets those who already have servers, or are bound to a particular vendor list to buy from. In case there is a new virtualization infrastructure to be built from scratch, StarWind offers a much better way – StarWind HyperConverged Appliance. It is a turnkey solution complete with hardware and software, powered by StarWind Virtual SAN. Those who need to build and maintain virtualization infrastructure at little to no expense, may be interested in StarWind Virtual SAN Free.
The Cisco HyperFlex HX Data Platform is a purpose-built, high-performance, scale-out file system with a wide array of enterprise-class data management services. The data platform’s innovations redefine distributed storage technology, giving you complete hyper-convergence with enterprise storage features:
VMware vSAN is the industry-leading software powering Hyper-Converged Infrastructure solutions.
What vSAN Does
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Cisco HyperFlex HX-Series is ranked 7th in Hyper-Converged (HCI) with 13 reviews while VMware vSAN is ranked 2nd in Hyper-Converged (HCI) with 53 reviews. Cisco HyperFlex HX-Series is rated 7.6, while VMware vSAN is rated 8.2. The top reviewer of Cisco HyperFlex HX-Series writes "An all-in-one option that is stable and offers good management". On the other hand, the top reviewer of VMware vSAN writes "Gives us a lot of advantages when we need to expand resources". Cisco HyperFlex HX-Series is most compared with VxRail, Nutanix Acropolis AOS, HPE SimpliVity and FlexPod, whereas VMware vSAN is most compared with VxRail, Nutanix Acropolis AOS, Microsoft Storage Spaces Direct, HPE SimpliVity and Red Hat Gluster Storage. See our Cisco HyperFlex HX-Series vs. VMware vSAN report.
See our list of best Hyper-Converged (HCI) vendors.
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