Dan HoffmannWeb Services and Systems Development at a non-profit
Christian PaatschHead of IT-Department at a financial services firm
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."
"Dell EMC VxFlex Ready Nodes can support what we call a heterogeneous environment. So you can have VMware workloads, Hyper-V workloads, bare metal Red Hat workloads, Kubernetes workloads all on the same cluster. You're not pigeonholed into either all bare metal or all virtualized. So it supports basically any platform."
"VMware vSAN has greatly reduced refresh spending."
"It is more stable now than it was before. It's not like it was in the first year. Now it is stable, and we trust it more."
"It is very easy to set up and very easy to use. It is very useful."
"The deduplication and compression are excellent."
"It uncoupled the idea of proprietary technology and component capabilities. It is basically a proprietary technology for a cost-effective infrastructure."
"The most valuable features are secure IOPs and LAN security."
"It's completely hyper-converged, so it's very convenient."
"Provides good performance as well as integration with deployment tools."
"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."
"From a technical perspective, it's a pretty rock solid solution. I would say the only area for improvement is around its price."
"This solution is not great for large file shares/object/rich media repository."
"Disaster recovery needs to be improved, when there is a crisis, there is a problem with what is the quickest way to get out of it."
"If one node out of your ten nodes fails, it takes a lot of time to replicate and rebalance VMware vSAN. This time can be reduced. When a node fails and the data is not accessible, vSAN has to be rebalanced to make the redundancy level of two again. However, if it is taking a lot of time and any other hardware fails during that time, then we have a problem. Two disk failures mean that all data will be lost, and we may have to recover it from the backup. So, the number of threads that run to do the rebalancing could be more so that the time taken to make it fully redundant again is not so much."
"There's a lot that can be done to segregate. That may be available now in vSAN 7, I suppose, however, the deduplication and compression can be segregated."
"They can package it in a way that is specific to the hardware infrastructure and the hardware platform. It should stay fairly up to date with the drivers and the manufacturer issues. The problem with uncoupling the proprietary technology and component capabilities is that by uncoupling them, you run into some concerns or challenges over the poor performance model. These concerns really come when you start talking about high performance, high bandwidth, and high availability types of environments. While vSAN is a leader, in a critical view, it is not about being cost-effective. It is more about the immediate impact of money loss to the business in critical applications where we want to maintain a continuous operational 59 model. It is, however, good for QA/QC tasks. I don't necessarily know how it works in regards to VDI or virtual desktop infrastructure."
"The price can be reduced. Small businesses cannot afford this solution."
"It should be easier to use."
"Troubleshooting tools could be improved."
"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."
"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 fairly cost-effective for entry to mid-level performance based on the underlying hardware components."
"The price is expensive."
"It is an expensive solution. There should be more flexible with licensing to allow small businesses the essentials of the solution's features."
"The price of vSAN could be lower."
"It is too expensive."
"It is expensive, but you get what you pay for."
"The price is okay."
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 FLEX and VxFlex Ready Nodes, also known as the Flex family, create a server-based SAN by combining virtualization software, known as VxFlex OS, with Dell EMC PowerEdge servers to deliver flexibility, scalability, and capacity on demand. Local storage resources are combined to create a virtual pool of block storage with varying performance tiers. The platform enables you to start small (with as little as four nodes) and scale incrementally. The Flex family provides enterprise-grade data protection, multi-tenant capabilities, and add-on enterprise features such as QoS, thin provisioning, and snapshots. VxFlex OS is the key enabler and provides an unmatched combination of performance, resiliency and flexibility to address enterprise data center needs. The unique features of VxFlex OS make it an excellent complement to Kubernetes for stateful applications, such as databases, continuous integration, logging and monitoring platforms.
VMware vSAN is the industry-leading software powering Hyper-Converged Infrastructure solutions.
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Dell EMC VxFlex Ready Nodes is ranked 14th in Hyper-Converged (HCI) with 1 review while VMware vSAN is ranked 3rd in Hyper-Converged (HCI) with 38 reviews. Dell EMC VxFlex Ready Nodes is rated 10.0, while VMware vSAN is rated 8.2. The top reviewer of Dell EMC VxFlex Ready Nodes writes "Single platform for a mix of virtualized and physical workloads". On the other hand, the top reviewer of VMware vSAN writes "Gives us a lot of advantages when we need to expand resources". Dell EMC VxFlex Ready Nodes is most compared with HPE Nimble Storage dHCI, VxRail and Nutanix Acropolis AOS, whereas VMware vSAN is most compared with VxRail, Nutanix Acropolis AOS, Microsoft Storage Spaces Direct, HPE SimpliVity and HPE Nimble Storage dHCI.
See our list of best Hyper-Converged (HCI) vendors.
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