Compare NetApp HCI vs. StarWind Virtual SAN

NetApp HCI is ranked 8th in Hyper-Converged (HCI) with 28 reviews while StarWind Virtual SAN is ranked 5th in Hyper-Converged (HCI) with 45 reviews. NetApp HCI is rated 8.0, while StarWind Virtual SAN is rated 9.6. The top reviewer of NetApp HCI writes "A strong and efficient product that can scale storage and compute independently". On the other hand, the top reviewer of StarWind Virtual SAN writes "It is more flexible than most VSAN solutions. You can run it across two hosts. You don't need a third host observing it". NetApp HCI is most compared with Nutanix, VMware vSAN and VxRail, whereas StarWind Virtual SAN is most compared with VMware vSAN, Microsoft Storage Spaces Direct and Nutanix. See our NetApp HCI vs. StarWind Virtual SAN report.
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Cisco HyperFlex HX-Series Logo
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Most Helpful Review
Find out what your peers are saying about NetApp HCI vs. StarWind Virtual SAN and other solutions. Updated: November 2019.
382,547 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Quotes From Members

We asked business professionals to review the solutions they use. Here are some excerpts of what they said:

Pros
The most valuable feature was the backup - it was easy to back up. It was also very easy to administrate and manage the system; much easier and faster. Finally, it was easy to extend the disk capacities.The integration between the storage and the server applications is the most valuable feature of this solution. It cuts down on the necessity to buy a secondary storage system.. It saves money in the long-run.The most valuable feature of Cisco HyperFlex HX is that it is self-contained.Cisco HyperFlex HX has improved the way our organization functions in the way that the time to deliver a VM takes me five minutes. In comparison, my cloud team's response is a couple of days based on all their overhead policies, procedures, and ticket requests. This is substantial.The most valuable features of this solution are the connectivity, consistency, and that we now have fewer vulnerabilities on the network.The most valuable features of this solution are scalability, performance, and reliability. It scales well inside of a large data center.The most valuable feature for our company is that it works internally. We have a lot of internal projects for optimization.The most valuable feature is that it is something small that can be more easily deployed than a full data center set of servers.

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The most valuable feature, currently, is the density of the system as hardware. I'm able to leverage the density of the product and remove bigger hardware which requires more space, cooling, and power costs, obviously. There are cost savings, obviously.It is easy to administrate the solution, and the company handles its technical support well.It is a unique product with simplified setup and independent control over storage and compute.HCI definitely improved how flexible we scale, and our entrance into the cloud. The features are very rich, in terms of both avenues. It's helped us flexibly move and shift our workloads around, back and forth.The most valuable feature is the software design storage that really provided a faster, agile, easier to scale up and out storage path.The multi-vertical aspect is what is most valuable for us. The main reason we wanted a multi protocol was because Amazon was not able to provide us with access to the same data as we could get from Linux and Windows lengths. That was our value proposition for this solution.The ease of deployment is a positive feature that allows us to scale easily.The most valuable aspects are that it's an all-in-one solution and it's very self-contained.

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The most valuable feature of this solution is the support. They are excellent and you can learn a lot from the support team.Using our own choice of HW allowed us to price our service to answer our customers' needs.High Availability is the best feature of product.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.In addition to the main functions of the software, I want to note the excellent work of technical support.The most valuable feature for us is having the ability to configure our local storage using a limited number of disks and using the StarWind VSAN software to keep the cluster nodes in perfect sync.We can lose a site or even two of our three, and we would lose no data and have no outage.The StarWind Virtual SAN management console is intuitive and easy to use.

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Cons
I would have liked it to be able to back up the system to a cloud, to be able to work from any other placeWe would like to have the ability to not have to reboot while doing updates. Being able to work through updates with as minimal amount of impact to users.The initial setup of the Cisco HyperFlex HX platform was medium-level difficult. It's a little bit different from traditional servers. It takes getting used to the learning curve.Cisco's technical support originally was outstanding, but it has declined over the last 12 months. I've heard they're trying to do better, but I haven't been overly impressed with their support recently for HyperFlex.The additional feature I would like to see included in the next release of this solution is more security. We want to add more data servers to all the hosts all over the world. We have 140 hosts that connect to one data center in Manila.The scalability could use improvement.The deployment could be made a little bit easier, as we still seem to struggle with it a little bit for a day or so to get it running.We would like to see better integration in the next release of this solution.

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My biggest pain point is the installation part. I would like to see the appliance itself remove the entire switch that goes behind it and figure out how to do all the cluster interconnects within the box itself.The product needs better support for installing the operating system on the machine.It is easy to install now, but could potentially be even simpler.The fact that it doesn't have all the data points we need and all the historical data that I would like. I find that a lot of the performance analysis is done through support, where they have something that we don't have. It would be nice just to have all that on-prem.The problem is that it needs to be much more stable, for example, when I want to do the upgrade to 1.7 that just released, I also need to issue a ticket to the support guy in India and he asked me to deploy another mlock. There are a lot of manual steps compared with other products.There's a limitation with a block in the file. That's where I see that it's not very efficient for upgrades and for management.It would be nice to have better access to tutorials and a test environment for simulations.I would like for them to fall a little closer to like the VMware release model. The new features and new solutions tend to come from the VMware side. I would like for NetApp to follow along closely with VMware's release schedule.

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I wish there was online support because email return takes a long time and a faster solution should be found.Performance when in storage-separate configuration needs to be improved.Maybe in the future, the replication will be supported in more cloud providers.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.Perhaps the developer should refine the product management through PowerShell.The system performs as expected, but we're always looking for performance improvements regarding the best utilization of NVMe disks.Server-side snapshots are one thing the Linux appliance can't do yet.It would be great if the Linux version of the management console offered the same features as Windows.

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Pricing and Cost Advice
It's much more expensive than rack servers. It was an issue, but when you compare it to the number of people who were administrative assistants before, it's on the positive ROI side. It's much cheaper.We currently have a perpetual license, which is kind of unlimited, so we don't have the normal licensing cost, yet.Our licensing costs are large, but it is combined between all of the Cisco products that we have.One of the challenges we have with HyperFlex is that they have a subscription fee for the operating system that runs on it, and if I remember correctly, it costs approximately $15,000 USD per month.It is relatively expensive, but it can easily return value by freeing up other resources.It's roughly $30,000 per Hyperflex license, so that would be about $60,000 a year.Our licensing is Hybrid. We have all of our applications for billing and outage management through this.They are not the cheapest on the market. But there's an old saying I like to quote: "If you know that you are getting what you pay for, it's fine if it's expensive."

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The licensing fees are renewed annually.This solution reduced our maintenance costs. We were going to have to pay one to two million dollars to put in compute nodes. We are avoiding those costs.You still have to pay for the licensing for VMware and Red Hat licenses separately. It's not all inclusive at this point.All the licenses are included when you buy the program.Licenses run on a yearly basis, and there aren't any additional fees other than the standard licensing fee.There are the overall infrastructure costs. Even though the initial costing was higher, we calculated for year-to-year for five years. That brought us into a position where we decided, we have to go for HCI rather than having distributor systems.This solution saved our organization time (35 percent) and money. We have a hefty group of developers, and if you multiply that by 30 to 35 percent, that is quite a bit of money.Where we lost nearly 75 percent of our infrastructure due to a malicious attack and were able to recover two and a half hours into it due to the integration, it saved us and all of our customers. Because we were able to recover so fast from the attack, the solution paid for itself right there.

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This solution has competitive prices and the implementation is very easy.The free version is great to use for labs or test environments.This solution has a great price for the functionality.Licensing is based on nodes rather than TBs, which means that the users are free to increase storage capacity without putting thought into licensing.I would suggest that you download the free version, deploy in your lab, and play with it.Once you buy the license, you are free to build your own hardware solution based on your needs.The Price/Performance ratio for this solution is outstanding!We evaluated other options and this one was the most cost-effective.

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Top Comparisons
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Cisco
NetApp
StarWind
Overview

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:

  • Enterprise-class data management
  • Continuous data optimization
  • Securely encrypted storage
  • Dynamic data placement
  • Clusterwide parallel data distribution
  • Linear and incremental scaling
  • API-based data platform architecture
  • A simplified approach

NetApp HCI is the only true enterprise-scale hyper converged cloud infrastructure. NetApp HCI comes in a 2 RU chassis with 4 node expansion slots.

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.

Offer
Learn more about Cisco HyperFlex HX-Series
Learn more about NetApp HCI
Learn more about StarWind Virtual SAN
Sample Customers
BluePearl Veterinary Partners, Ready Pac Foods, Bryant University, Bellevue Group, KPIT Technologies, City HarvestAmerican Showa, Children's Mercy, Coca-Cola, Consultel Cloud, Evangelische Landeskirche in Wurttemberg, Imperva, Surface Mount Technology Baker Tilly BVI, CMS Internet, Board Harpeth Hall School
Top Industries
REVIEWERS
Manufacturing Company18%
Comms Service Provider12%
Energy/Utilities Company12%
Healthcare Company9%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Software R&D Company36%
Comms Service Provider12%
Retailer7%
Manufacturing Company6%
REVIEWERS
Financial Services Firm14%
Pharma/Biotech Company14%
Manufacturing Company14%
Insurance Company14%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Software R&D Company43%
Manufacturing Company12%
Comms Service Provider8%
Government4%
REVIEWERS
Construction Company10%
Manufacturing Company10%
Energy/Utilities Company10%
Insurance Company6%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Software R&D Company17%
Energy/Utilities Company13%
Comms Service Provider8%
Manufacturing Company8%
Company Size
REVIEWERS
Small Business14%
Midsize Enterprise11%
Large Enterprise75%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Small Business4%
Midsize Enterprise20%
Large Enterprise76%
REVIEWERS
Small Business21%
Midsize Enterprise28%
Large Enterprise52%
REVIEWERS
Small Business56%
Midsize Enterprise22%
Large Enterprise22%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Small Business55%
Midsize Enterprise26%
Large Enterprise19%
Find out what your peers are saying about NetApp HCI vs. StarWind Virtual SAN and other solutions. Updated: November 2019.
382,547 professionals have used our research since 2012.
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.
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