Dan HoffmannWeb Services and Systems Development at a non-profit
Jose MarianoCampeloIT at a transportation company
We asked business professionals to review the solutions they use. Here are some excerpts of what they said:
"In addition to the main functions of the software, I want to note the excellent work of technical support."
"It has allowed me to effectively and confidently manage the maintenance of hosts where I can power off a host and have its VMs migrate to another one."
"The most valuable feature of this solution is the support. They are excellent and you can learn a lot from the support team."
"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."
"A typical system administrator with minimal experience in Hyper-V, VMware, or Windows can do VSAN configuration and maintain VSAN operations."
"When using new (warranty) servers, you can forget about the storage service for several years. The users will not even notice the failure of two servers out of three."
"We have experienced multiple hardware failures at one site and the fault-tolerant volume worked exactly as expected with zero downtime."
"StarWind vSAN is a great solution to create a redundant two-node-only Hyper-V cluster, both for domain or workgroup scenarios."
"The program is stable."
"The most valuable feature of this solution is integration."
"Perfectly suits customers dealing with the combination of future storage needs and, at the same time, keeping up their computing power."
"The solution is quite stable."
"We're doing a lot of VMware for IT so this solution is really valuable from a VMH point of view. We're trying to assist our customers mainly with management, because that's what they want. The most important aspects are ease of management, as well as ease of configuration, allowing them to attach additional nodes and resources for the applications."
"The most valuable feature is high availability."
"The solution was connected to alternate storage. It provides great scalability and reliability."
"It is easy to use for management and operations teams because the tools are in one place."
"The solution’s unified support for the entire stack provides one stop shopping."
"The solution’s validated designs for major enterprise apps in our organization are very important. It's basically become critical to our organization to have that system functioning a 100 percent of the time. If that system is not functional, then our doctors and nurses can't provide the care to the patients in an effective way. So, it's important that it is stable, works, and easy to understand."
"It runs our VMs. Our SQL databases are all on VMs, so everything is virtualized."
"We have significantly less latency now with our imagery."
"The solution’s unified support for the entire stack is critically important because we cannot afford downtime."
"The guides that we use to install FlexPods are always up-to-date. This is really helpful, especially if there is a new product with NetApp moving so far forward and Cisco as well. For them to join together and update a centralized document for the install process, it is really good. It helps us understand if there are features from the first version that we installed while upgrading that we need to implement. Those are in the document. So, we find that document useful and helpful when moving forward."
"The most valuable features of this solution are the integration and ease of use."
"The most valuable feature of this solution is the automation point because it's a lot less staff to have to manage it."
"Perhaps the developer should refine the product management through PowerShell."
"The product can include a more simple way of synchronization after a forced shutdown as the current process has a few more steps to check that hosts have synchronized and this can be automated."
"I wish there was online support because email return takes a long time and a faster solution should be found."
"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."
"This solution should be more self-sufficient, running without creating domains or failover clusters."
"For the StarWind VSA vSphere solution, I would like to see a simpler and automated virtual machine installation process in terms of network settings."
"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."
"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."
"I am not really impressed by the technical support of this solution."
"There should be more functionality available for routing."
"Including instrumentation would be a helpful improvement."
"The solution needs to offer more documentation and educational materials."
"I think there might be some room for improvement when it comes to pricing, because although I know how to convert customers, at the end of day, it's quite expensive. Sometimes your feature architecture is still coming out much cheaper than hardware costs for your infrastructure."
"I would like to see a more user-friendly interface."
"The biggest issue with the solution is that it doesn't support Hyper V. It's a big problem."
"The installation is complex."
"I would like more support for different platforms, possibly different database platforms. I don't know if it supports Oracle today, but that would be a big improvement."
"There is a history of issues with hardware availability. For example, we'll buy an array or a filer with a particular configuration and particular size of drive, sizing it appropriately. Then, as we grow, they're like, "Oh, you can always get more." Then when you go to get more, that model or type of disk is no longer available. It becomes this big process to try to figure out what we need to get, how it'll work, and how that'll integrate into the system. That could be simpler. They could do a bit more to guarantee the availability of parts. Obviously, not being the largest storage vendor, I know they can't sometimes control what the hardware vendors do. However, a bit more transparency and communication about this would be helpful."
"We dislike going online with the robot stuff. Many times, it has delayed our reaching out to a real support engineer."
"The solution has not reduced our data center costs."
"The majority of the time, if we need more storage, then we need to work with customizing the NetApp deployment. Right now, we just do a generic deployment, then wherever we have a need for storage, we have to move some application out of the next FlexPod deployment. One thing is to customize based on the requirements, but the requirements change so frequently, they are absolutely obsolete in six months."
"It would be nice to have something like an automated, upgrade solution The tasks needed to upgrade the hardware within FlexPod are still quite behind compared to some of its other aspects. That's more on the Cisco side."
"This is an expensive solution."
"We would like to see the automation improved because there has been a learning curve having to create the workflows."
"There are two tiers of support and in my opinion, support is worth the cost."
"Licensing is easy and the whole package is cost-effective."
"The cost takes into account the number of nodes, so the size of the storage is not important."
"The cost, including OPEX, is lower compared to other solutions."
"This is the best priced solution for an SMB."
"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."
"The cost seems a bit steep, and I wish it was less expensive."
"I think the bang for the buck is much better with StarWind Virtual SAN."
"The pricing for this solution is good."
"The price of the solution is fair, it is priced in the average range amongst competitors."
"The solution has saved our customers' organization in terms of CapEx. E.g., with the cloud availability, it's turned into sort of a hybrid CapEx/OpEx model."
"The main return on investment would be that instead of having to refresh all of our desktop hardware we have been able to go reimage existing machines and use those as thin clients, then also purchase new thin clients rather than buying actual hardware. It also reduces the overhead of having our technicians deploy those systems and maintain them."
"Our licensing costs are about $50,000 per year."
"The footprint in the data center is quite large, especially when you scale out. Maybe find some hardware in the future, where if a new blade comes out, then Cisco can say, "Look, we'll buy those blades back off you, and we'll give you this blade for X amount of money." A buyback scheme would be good for hardware, and even NetApp as well. Something like a buyback scheme for blades and stuff moving forward would be good, because I know that they're going to put more power into them. E.g., replacing four blades might equal one blade, which would be awesome, but we are still going to have those four blades around. Maybe having something where it will give you this much money for these blades so we can upgrade. That would be perfect."
"The total cost of ownership with this solution is good."
"Everything is purchased, so we do not do any leasing with this product."
"The scalability is very expensive."
"We would like everything in one piece of hardware. This way we can just sell the product like a silo by putting everything in a stack together."
Earn 20 points
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.
VxRack System consists of hyper-converged rack-scale engineered systems, with integrated networking, to achieve the scalability and management requirements of traditional and cloud native workloads. The VxRack series is purposely designed to enable customers to quickly deploy Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) and/or Private Cloud architectures. VxRack Systems tightly integrate hardware with software and management layers.
The result is a fully tested, pre-configured, hyper-converged system with simplified operations at data center and Service Provider scale. VxRack Systems support the deployment of a variety of application workloads, allowing IT to rapidly deliver new services while improving overall agility and efficiency.
The FlexPod platform, developed by NetApp and Cisco, is a flexible, converged infrastructure solution that delivers prevalidated storage, networking, and server technologies. It’s designed to increase IT responsiveness to business demands while reducing your overall cost of computing. Think maximum uptime, minimal risk
Try it today
Dell EMC PowerFlex is ranked 10th in Hyper-Converged (HCI) with 8 reviews while FlexPod is ranked 1st in Converged Infrastructure with 35 reviews. Dell EMC PowerFlex is rated 8.2, while FlexPod is rated 8.8. The top reviewer of Dell EMC PowerFlex writes "Enables users to attach additional nodes and resources for the applications". On the other hand, the top reviewer of FlexPod writes "Highly scalable solution that has been very stable". Dell EMC PowerFlex is most compared with VxRail, VMware vSAN, Nutanix Acropolis AOS, Cisco HyperFlex HX-Series and HPE Nimble Storage dHCI, whereas FlexPod is most compared with Cisco HyperFlex HX-Series, Nutanix Acropolis AOS, VxRail, Dell PowerEdge VRTX and HPE Hyper Converged.
We monitor all Hyper-Converged (HCI) reviews to prevent fraudulent reviews and keep review quality high. We do not post reviews by company employees or direct competitors. We validate each review for authenticity via cross-reference with LinkedIn, and personal follow-up with the reviewer when necessary.