Kristopher SkullySystems Administrator at Hospice of the Western Reserve
Anonymous UserManaging Director at a tech services company
We asked business professionals to review the solutions they use. Here are some excerpts of what they said:
"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."
"It is truly a hyper-converged infrastructure, so everything is there together."
"It's a turnkey solution, which is good for customers, because they are buying into stability."
"I like the new releases that Dell EMC is doing with VMware. They are allowing for flexibility across the hybrid cloud. This allows organizations to use containers and to be able to move into the public cloud, but also not have lock-in. They can come back to the private cloud when they want to, so it's creating a lot of flexibility across the stack."
"We were able to speed up our gaming software, which was a big plus."
"It gives us tons of flexibility. We can create new machines, then destroy them if they don't work out. We test a lot of use cases that may or may not play out. We can build all types of scenarios into virtual machines that we may or may not use. If we don't use them, we just turn them off, no using up resources."
"The most valuable feature is its high performance."
"The most valuable feature of this solution is the automation and integration points with other automation tools."
"VxRail's feature that we found most valuable was its really good performance. That was one of VxRail's advantages."
"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."
"I would like better integration with VCF from VMware, which is the Cloud Foundation tool set, so we can easily provision servers very quickly."
"I would like it to tier to the cloud effectively, making sure that cold data can be pushed out to some sort of Bitbucket."
"It still has some maturity to grow. It needs to be more tightly integrated with its own family of products. It has shown that it is open with the other products within the market, through its stack, but it needs to have the proof in the market (with use-cases), and it has to have the scalability with the integration."
"I would like an easier migration. This way, if a node fails like it did, the data would have been migrated and I would not have had to get up at three in the morning."
"I would like them to include an easier solution to host its own DNS. When they changed to version 6.5, they took out the easy features of letting the rail be its own DNS. You can still trick the system and make the VxRail Manager another one of the rail-required VMs become the DNS, but it's a lot of extra work. I'd like to see it put back into the UI."
"There are still some features which aren't built into Cisco, like virtualized networking, that use its applications. However, these can be purchased through another product as an additional licensing cost to us."
"Having a native replication would be an improvement."
"It's not really flexible with different use cases."
"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."
"We were expecting Dell EMC to bring us something that would work very quickly and easily, but also be at a reasonable price point, and they did."
"The price point needs improvement, certainly for smaller SMBs. The cost of it is still quite painful. I think all vendors should do a product which is capped either by terabytes, IOPs, or VM instances. It should be an SMB solution that's going to make hyper-converged solutions easier for SMBs to get hold of. It's fine for those big guys that have billions of dollars of budget, but not for customers who have barely a 100,000 dollars or pounds in budget."
"The real ROI is the benefit of being able to do a true hybrid cloud, not having to move from CAPEX to OPEX in a pure break."
"There is an administrative cost savings. Instead of having seven to 15 separate boxes that someone has to administer on 15 different terminals, you can do the majority of it from one interface. Therefore, it saves on manpower costs."
"A typical node that I would sell to a customer has a list price be between $80,000 and $100,000 per node. Organizations typically start with four nodes. That's the hardware, software, VMware licensing, everything. Customers typically pay about half of that - approximately $45,000 to $50,000 a node. On average, it costs about $200,000 to get your foot in the door."
"It is just as cheap to move over to an HCI solution as it is to maintain a legacy system."
"VxRail is very cost-effective and affordable in the long term. It is more recommended when it comes to financial life, but it may depend upon the license. VxRail comes with VMware licensing, which may not be that cost-effective as compared to others. With VMware, it's an auto check competition. VMware is an expensive solution, especially for Nutanix. Nutanix have their own hypervisor called Acronis, which is very cost-effective against the VMware. Nutanix is cheaper for the hardware but not for the software. If you ask the Nutanix partners to deploy Nutanix over Cisco servers or Dell EMC servers, the cost will be higher. Nutanix wants to compete financially. Therefore, they propose their software over the Supermicro server, which is a very cheap Chinese server. In fact, I don't like their terms of service. HyperFlex has the highest price, and it is very expensive. I don't know why. It may be because this is a UCS system, which comes from Cisco and is already expensive. When it comes to HyperFlex, they need the labor to deploy Hyper-V, Citrix, or any other hypervisor."
"It's a mandatory cost with everything included"
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.
VxRail is the only fully integrated, preconfigured, and pre-tested VMware hyper-converged infrastructure appliance family on the market. Based on VMware’s vSphere and Virtual SAN, and EMC software, VxRail delivers an all-in-one IT infrastructure transformation by leveraging a known and proven building block for the Software Defined Data Center (SDDC).
With the power of a whole SAN in just two rack units, they provide a simple, cost effective hyper-converged solution for a wide variety of applications and workloads. VxRail Appliances deliver resiliency, QoS, and centralized management functionality enabling faster, better, and simpler management of consolidated workloads, virtual desktops, business-critical applications, and remote office infrastructure.
StarWind HyperConverged Appliance is ranked 6th in Hyper-Converged (HCI) with 18 reviews while VxRail is ranked 2nd in Hyper-Converged (HCI) with 43 reviews. StarWind HyperConverged Appliance is rated 9.4, while VxRail is rated 8.6. 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". On the other hand, the top reviewer of VxRail writes "Good automation makes this solution practical". StarWind HyperConverged Appliance is most compared with Nutanix Acropolis AOS, HPE SimpliVity, Dell EMC PowerFlex, DataCore SANsymphony SDS and VMware vSAN, whereas VxRail is most compared with VMware vSAN, Nutanix Acropolis AOS, HPE SimpliVity, Cisco HyperFlex HX-Series and Dell EMC PowerFlex. See our StarWind HyperConverged Appliance vs. VxRail report.
See our list of best Hyper-Converged (HCI) vendors.
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