Kristopher SkullySystems Administrator at Hospice of the Western Reserve
We asked business professionals to review the solutions they use. Here are some excerpts of what they said:
"We can get backups faster. We have a smaller footprint for hardware, which takes up less space. So, we use less electricity and floor space."
"The solution has eliminated the need for overprovisioning. It is designed to take advantage of deduplication strategies, which means we don't have to have as much disk in the system to do the job that we used to have to do."
"The way it does backups is its most valuable feature. It replicates snapshots with very low bandwidth. We only have a 50 megabit link to that site, and it doesn't really use much of it at all. Therefore, it is a really good fit for getting our backups done."
"The ease of use on the backup and DR and replication side of things is good. It can be done by a VMware admin with no additional training."
"Looking at the way that our infrastructure team works now, we don't think about infrastructure, storage, or compute anymore. The solution just works. It is same with the backup and replication side of things, as it just works on schedule. We don't have to manage it tightly, like we used to."
"It is simple and easy to use."
"It comes all in one box."
"It has instantaneous backup and lag-free restore. When everything is running, I can bring back a huge VM in less than 30 seconds. That's even better than Veeam."
"We no longer need multiple staff members performing small, mundane tasks."
"The initial setup is straightforward once you know what you're doing."
"The biggest thing we were looking for was redundancy, with both the compute and the storage, so that way we could lose a full node and still keep everything up and running, and not have to worry about it... StarWind was able to provide a solution for what we wanted, - to provide for redundancy."
"High-availability is what I bought it for."
"The hardware footprint is perfect. It fits in our rack perfectly, and we were able to condense a lot of physical servers we had. It has greatly eliminated the excess stuff in our server rack..."
"We have the ProActive Premium Support and it has reduced our monitoring efforts. It has been very useful. They have been able to detect things such as when there's an issue with the cluster or they're getting some kind of weird reading that I have no idea about. They're really quick to let me know about it and even set up a schedule to address it. I've been very happy with their level of support on that."
"The software is great. It's very easy to understand. I've not delved into any of the command-line stuff, but there's no real need to script it. Since it went in, pretty much the only thing that I have needed to do is increase device image sizes and that process is very straightforward."
"Overall, the solution has improved our system's performance. I was concerned about the physical-to-virtual conversion of our database server. It's actually much faster now, as a virtualized host on this Hyper-V cluster."
"I have not seen ROI."
"The technical support is weak. It is a layered product. It has a software solution on top of the SimpliVity solution, which is built on top of the hardware of the HPE DL380s. When we call for a problem that we know is related to the DL380, we get a SimpliVity guy trying to solve a SimpliVity problem. If it is not a SimpliVity problem, it's a hardware problem. So, it takes awhile for them to figure out which part of the organization should really be helping us."
"SimpliVity has this thing where if a virtual machine is on the wrong node with two nodes, it will be optimized. However, if one of the nodes won't be optimized, then it will complain about that. It will give you a little warning to say the source is not optimized. Please move this to one of the other hosts. They should just add a little thing in SimpliVity to move all the VMs to the right host, because it is a pain to load balance across the three nodes when all these VMs are complaining and you have to move them to one."
"The biggest feature, which should be included, is some method to handle archival backup or cloud-based backup. Where SimpliVIty typically falls down with their data structure is: The longer a backup is kept, the more space it ends up inevitably using. When you get into things that you have to keep for five or seven years for legal requirements or regulatory compliance, then you start taking up a lot of space with these old dead backups that you are probably never going to use again. Being able to offload those to a separate platform or cloud storage location would be ideal."
"HPE could give us more options for server models to chose when using the product. Right now, we can only use the DL380."
"It crashes often. When one particular VM has random, large IOPS requests, it will bog down the node, and there isn't enough time for the replica to be brought up. So all the VMs on that one particular node will essentially become offline."
"There is room for improvement in that there is a need for so many Federation nodes. It would help if they increased that capacity so that we didn't have to have so much hardware in our secondary site."
"The initial setup was complex because it was a new solution."
"The only thing my team has recommended improving on is possibly a StarWind-customized GUI to monitor the overall system health, similar to 5nine Manager."
"This product is not one hundred percent enterprise-ready, so it is more suitable for SMB."
"We haven't had to use the ProActive Premium Support feature much yet. But they contacted me one time because there was a glitch on one server, a networking issue... I have not seen the problem since."
"The only thing I have run into is that I did want to add more hard drives into the host, so that we could look at doing a RAID 10, and the hard drive prices were pretty expensive... that's pretty nit-picky and I don't think it has anything to do with StarWind itself. I think it's more on whomever they work with for their hardware."
"I wish I understood what goes into the StarWind software a little bit better. To me, it's kind of magic the way some of it works. As an IT professional, you don't really want things to be magic. I do wish there was a little more "Here's how it works." There could be more documentation given to administrators..."
"We were slightly disappointed with the hardware footprint. We were led to believe, and all the pre-sales tech information requirements pointed to the fact, that it was coming on Dell hardware. Then it came on bulk servers."
"The only critique I might have is that the support is overseas in Eastern Europe and, on occasion, there has been a language issue. But in general, they're as good as can be..."
"At the moment, the initial configuration is very technical and error-prone. That is the reason Starwind does it for you as a service, which is a great thing. But it would be nice if we could change or rearrange storage assignments ourselves."
"For the VMware licensing, it is approximately $10,000 a year."
"The time savings on the administration side of things is huge. We had somebody who was dedicated pretty much full-time to hardware, and now, they spend about a quarter of their time a year on hardware-related issues."
"The only thing that I think we are paying for is the VMware licenses, but we are enterprise, so it is not horrible."
"For three years, it is $60,000 for three nodes. It is quite pricey."
"It's about $10,000 monthly."
"We're paying $3,000-$4,000 a month."
"It is not too expensive, but it is quite expensive for me."
"It is expensive for this market. Everyone says that it is a very good product, but the only complaint is about the price."
"This was all completed at an affordable price point for an SMB, which was also a key element for an NPO."
"When I researched they came the most cost-effective."
"The other solutions we were looking at were priced much higher than this and they didn't necessarily have full redundancy... Nutanix and VxRail were in the final running... but it came down to our price point."
"I honestly feel that there's no one else in the market doing what they're doing for the price point that they're doing it at. That's why I asked them about investing in their company. I think that the options they're providing and the software that they have is sort of revolutionary for the price point... The total cost was $24,400."
"The Nutanix piece was about $45,000, getting close to $50,000 with all the licensing involved, whereas the StarWind was less than half of that, after Microsoft licensing and such."
"We looked at Nutanix and found it did almost the same thing but for more money. In fact, StarWind was nearly one-third of the price; it cost us £36,000. That includes five years of monitoring... The Nutanix was near enough £110,000 for relatively the same amount of performance and storage."
"Our entire package was around $35,000 for everything, including three years of support."
"There is a bit of a start-up cost. Having never used HCAs before, I was reluctant to buy it. I would suggest that you jump in and do it, as I wish I hadn't wasted so much time."
HPE SimpliVity provides the most complete hyperconverged solution, powering the world’s most efficient and resilient data centers and delivering up to 49% cost savings verses public cloud alternatives. A market and customer satisfaction leader, HPE SimpliVity dramatically simplifies IT by combining all infrastructure and advanced data services—including guaranteed data efficiency, built-in data protection, and VM-centric mobility—onto the customer’s choice of server. With HPE SimpliVity, expand your possibilities, not your data center.
For SMB, ROBO and Enterprises, who look to bring in quick deployment and operation simplicity to virtualization workloads and reduce related expenses, our solution is StarWind HyperConverged Appliance (HCA). It unifies commodity servers, disks and flash, hypervisor of choice, StarWind Virtual SAN, Microsoft Storage Spaces Direct or VMware Virtual SAN and associated software into a single manageable layer. The HCA supports scale-up by adding disks and flash, and scale-out by adding extra nodes.
StarWind HyperConverged Appliance consists of StarWind Virtual SAN, Microsoft Storage Spaces Direct or VMware Virtual SAN “Ready Nodes”, targeting those, who are building their virtualization infrastructure from scratch. In case there is an existing set of servers, we offer a “software only version”, which is essentially our years proven StarWind Virtual SAN. Basically, it’s the fuel powering StarWind HCA.
HPE SimpliVity is ranked 5th in Hyper-Converged (HCI) with 39 reviews while StarWind HyperConverged Appliance is ranked 6th in Hyper-Converged (HCI) with 18 reviews. HPE SimpliVity is rated 8.4, while StarWind HyperConverged Appliance is rated 9.4. The top reviewer of HPE SimpliVity writes "The flexibility needs improvement and it needs an alerting system, yet it is stable and easy to install". On the other hand, the top reviewer of StarWind HyperConverged Appliance writes "Because it's all built into one box, they could offer us the majority of the functionality we wanted, affordably". HPE SimpliVity is most compared with Nutanix Acropolis AOS, VxRail, VMware vSAN, HPE Nimble Storage dHCI and Cisco HyperFlex HX-Series, whereas StarWind HyperConverged Appliance is most compared with Nutanix Acropolis AOS, VxRail, Dell EMC PowerFlex, DataCore SANsymphony SDS and VMware vSAN. See our HPE SimpliVity vs. StarWind HyperConverged Appliance report.
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