Compare NetApp HCI vs. StarWind Virtual SAN

NetApp HCI is ranked 9th in Hyper-Converged (HCI) with 8 reviews while StarWind Virtual SAN is ranked 5th in Hyper-Converged (HCI) with 40 reviews. NetApp HCI is rated 8.6, while StarWind Virtual SAN is rated 9.6. The top reviewer of NetApp HCI writes "brought power and simplicity, Everything we've moved over runs two times faster". 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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Most Helpful Review
Find out what your peers are saying about NetApp HCI vs. StarWind Virtual SAN and other solutions. Updated: September 2019.
366,593 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 scalability is great, because it can scale independently.The solution is very scalable.Stability is one of the things we absolutely have to have, because if the HCI is down, our assembly lines are down, and that could potentially lead to our customer being down. If our customer is down, that's $10,000 a minute; and any time the assembly line is down, that could potentially lead to overtime. We don't get to charge one and a half times for something we billed just because you happened to build it on overtime. Any technology we bring in, has to be built for what I call "three in the morning." It can't be built for whenever everybody's in the plant, everybody can watch it, and everybody can babysit. It has to be built for three a.m. when you've got a skeletal staff there, and you just have to know that it's just running. As I stand here, right now, I don't have to check my phone, I don't have to check my email. I know it's running. PeriodThe most valuable feature is the convergence.It has automated a lot of workloads. It has automated us from ticketing a large number to a very small number.HCI has helped with storage persistence across private and hybrid clouds for the last year. It's faster and more reliable with minimal downtime, as it doesn't require any maintenance.The solution integrates well with all the other applications that we use on our environment.We're trying to move to a much more API-driven management of all of our products, and NetApp's product is, from all the SDS providers we have seen, the most fully-baked API out there.

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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.Active-active work mode leads to true redundancy of storage and allows us to distribute the load between multiple nodes.The most important feature is the ability to experience the loss of one node or one storage device, and not lose the entire cluster.When we need additional storage but want to keep the size of the SANs manageable, the StarWind Virtual SAN has allowed me to do everything needed.The most valuable feature is the fact that the nodes are Active/Active, and allow us to do upgrades on any node without any downtime.It allows you to use ANY consumer or enterprise HDDs and SSDs, and that's a really great thing!

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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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In the next version I would like to see bigger GPU types and insurance for including transparency.The networking needs improvement.I would like to see higher level graphics support because we are going to be doing some virtual desktop for our CAD software, and I want to be able to support AutoCAD and Cantillo on remote desktop machines.To improve the product, they should make it more flexible.There are some legacy applications which still cannot be migrated. That is why we have to keep two environments: legacy and the new one. We would like to see more compatibility to move stuff.It is difficult to get acclimated to all the new features quickly. The onboard process could be improved to bring clients up to speed faster.I'm not a fan of how they don't log you out properly from some of their web tools for management.I'd like to see some additional graphics capabilities because I'd like to look at some virtual desktop integration for CAD software.

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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.Some configuration options still demand service restarting.We would like to see the documentation more fully developed.The only thing that I have any difficulty with is that in order to perform upgrades, it is required that the SANs be detached from the Hosts before that can happen.It would be nice if we could designate pools, or tiers, for storage of different speeds, and then assign rules to new VMs that would automatically place them into the proper pool.High availability for direct attached hardware drives could be useful for increasing the performance of a storage appliance.

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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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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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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.StarWind is best price/performance for SMB.

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Top Comparisons
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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 Company26%
Comms Service Provider10%
Financial Services Firm9%
Manufacturing Company9%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Software R&D Company31%
Manufacturing Company14%
Comms Service Provider11%
Media Company6%
REVIEWERS
Construction Company12%
Energy/Utilities Company12%
Manufacturing Company12%
Hospitality Company8%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Energy/Utilities Company19%
Software R&D Company14%
Manufacturing Company12%
Construction Company11%
Company Size
REVIEWERS
Small Business14%
Midsize Enterprise11%
Large Enterprise75%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Small Business5%
Midsize Enterprise19%
Large Enterprise77%
REVIEWERS
Small Business22%
Midsize Enterprise33%
Large Enterprise44%
REVIEWERS
Small Business59%
Midsize Enterprise22%
Large Enterprise19%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Small Business56%
Midsize Enterprise21%
Large Enterprise23%
Find out what your peers are saying about NetApp HCI vs. StarWind Virtual SAN and other solutions. Updated: September 2019.
366,593 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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