Jose MarianoCampeloIT at a transportation company
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:
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
Earn 20 points
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
VMware vSAN is the industry-leading software powering Hyper-Converged Infrastructure solutions.
What vSAN Does
FlexPod is ranked 1st in Converged Infrastructure with 35 reviews while VMware vSAN is ranked 3rd in Hyper-Converged (HCI) with 38 reviews. FlexPod is rated 8.8, while VMware vSAN is rated 8.2. The top reviewer of FlexPod writes "Highly scalable solution that has been very stable". On the other hand, the top reviewer of VMware vSAN writes "Gives us a lot of advantages when we need to expand resources". FlexPod is most compared with Cisco HyperFlex HX-Series, Nutanix Acropolis AOS, VxRail, Dell PowerEdge VRTX and Oracle Private Cloud Appliance, whereas VMware vSAN is most compared with VxRail, Nutanix Acropolis AOS, Microsoft Storage Spaces Direct, HPE SimpliVity and Red Hat Ceph Storage.
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