Christian GruetznerService Architecture at All for One Group AG
TRAIANO ...Technology Solutions, Support & Training at UNISONMEDIA Group, Inc.
Anonymous UserIT Infrastructure Specialist at a computer software company
We asked business professionals to review the solutions they use. Here are some excerpts of what they said:
"The FlexClones make all the management easier for us."
"NetApp's XCP Migration Tool... was pretty awesome. It replicated the data faster than any other tool that I've seen. That was a big help."
"NetApp's Cloud Manager automation capabilities are very good because it's REST-API-driven, so we can completely automate everything. It has a good overview if you want to just have a look into your environment as well."
"Another feature which gets a lot of attention in our environment is the File Services Solutions in the cloud, because it's a completely, fully-managed service. We don't have to take care of any updates, upgrades, or configurations."
"Unified Manager, System Manager, and Cloud Manager are all GUI-based. It's easy for somebody who has not been exposed to this for years to pick it up and work with it."
"We use the mirroring to mirror our volumes to our DR location. We also create snapshots for backups. Snapshots will create a specified snapshot to be able to do a DR test without disrupting our standard mirrors. That means we can create a point-in-time snapshot, then use the ability of FlexClones to make a writeable volume to test with, and then blow it away after the DR test."
"We're using snapshots as well and it's a pretty useful feature. That is one of the main NetApp benefits. Knowing how to use snapshots in the on-prem environment, using snapshots on the cloud solution was natural for us."
"The solution’s Snapshot copies and thin clones in terms of operational recovery are good. Snapshot copies are pretty much the write-in time data backups. Obviously, critical data is snapshotted a lot more frequently, and even clients and end users find it easier to restore whatever they need if it's file-based, statical, etc."
"We are able to do maintenance by bringing down one node at a time, rather than having to schedule a complete shutdown."
"User friendly interface and straight forward implementation."
"StarWind Virtual SAN is a very easy-to-use solution that can be quickly and easily deployed and configured without intimate and specific knowledge in the virtualization sphere."
"This has helped to improve the reliability of service and operation in all departments, without having to stop in case of emergency situations."
"The access to our data is quicker and cheaper than it used to be in a traditional storage system."
"Before VSAN, hypervisor configuration changes and updates resulted in VM outages. Now, downtime is dramatically reduced."
"The most valuable feature is the managed service, which has been an important part of monitoring our critical infrastructure."
"This solution has a very good user interface, with simple administration/management."
"As a function of our core business, it's a sought after tool that helps us provide analytical support across a wide spectrum of client needs. It's allowed us to test out in our connected restaurant - "TheWorks" - a fully-functional restaurant experience center that allows our clients to discover the value of our connected solutions firsthand. We deploy vSAN in this customer-like environment within a hyperconvergent infrastruction (HCI) to give our clients a better understanding and help optimize data and the end-users' experience."
"The newer versions of this solution are much more stable and easier to manage."
"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."
"We can also create test cases. We can even throttle down performance or release more performance. So, we can run more precise test scenarios."
"When we do to do more scaled load testing, we can run more dense workloads and still have the same results across all specific nodes"
"It is very easy to set up and very easy to use. It is very useful."
"The deduplication and compression are excellent."
"The only issue we had lately was that outside our VPC we could not reach the virtual IP, the floating IP. I heard that they have fixed that..."
"Scale-up and scale-out could be improved. It would be interesting to have multiple HA pairs on one cluster, for example, or to increase the single instances more, from a performance perspective. It would be good to get more performance out of a single HA pair."
"One difficulty is that it has no SAP HANA certification. The asset performance restrictions create challenges with the infrastructure underneath: The disks and stuff like that often have lower latencies than SAP HANA itself has to have."
"Some of the licensing is a little kludgy. We just created an HA environment in Azure and their licensing for SVMs per node is a little kludgy. They're working on it right now."
"The DR has room for improvement. For example, we now have NetApp in Western Europe and we would like to back up the information to another region. It's impossible. We need to bring up an additional NetApp in that other region and create a Cloud Manager automation to copy the data... I would prefer it to be a more integrated solution like it was in the NetApp solution about a year ago. I would like to see something like AltaVault but in the cloud."
"How it handles erasure coding. I feel it the improvement should be there. Basically, it should be seamless. You don't want to have an underlying hardware issue or something, then suddenly there's no reads or writes. Luckily, it's at a replication site, so our main production site is still working and writing to it. But, the replication site has stopped right now while we try to bring that node back. Since we implemented in bare-metal, not in appliance, we had to go back to the original vendor. They didn't send it in time, and we had a hardware memory issue. Then, we had a hard disk issue, which brought the node down physically."
"We have used technical support. As long as they don't call me at four o'clock in the morning to tell me that a drive failed and they are sending me another one, I like it. They have a tendency to do that."
"Multipathing for iSCSI LUNs is difficult to deal with from the client-side and I'd love to see a single entry point that can be moved around within the cluster to simplify the client configuration."
"It would be helpful to have a little more insight into what kind of performance the VSAN cluster is utilizing; something that would be more proactive on our side, versus their ProActive Support."
"They recommend RAID10 for HDD, which reduces the usable storage capacity."
"StarWind currently has a Windows native application that it uses for management. There is not a web-based GUI at this time."
"It would help us if the vendor continues to release software updates for earlier versions of the Windows operating systems."
"In all areas the product could be made faster."
"The cluster configuration is time-consuming and tedious."
"I am expecting to see it more user-friendly in the future."
"This product could be improved with the inclusion of new health check procedures."
"I would like to see the availability of more template based VMware systems. Combined with the ability to check and measure multiple and converging data segments. Another issue I've seen is that the tool seems to be slow when first starting up."
"This solution would benefit from better collaboration with Cisco for driver updates."
"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."
"When we talk about improvements for vSAN, there is some way to go from a at least stability perspective. Adding all these new features is nice, but we are now at the level that most of the features you need in production are there."
"Upgradability could be a bit easier sometimes. We are now where vSAN can be updated without ESXi, but there is still enough dependency. So that would be good if that actually would uncoupled even more."
"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 allow a special price if you are working closely with them. Since we have a lot of NetApp systems, we got some kind of discount. That's something they do for other customers, not just for us. The price was fair. In addition to the licensing fees, you're paying Amazon for your usage..."
"The standard pricing is online. Pricing depends. If you're using the PayGo model, then it's just the normal costs on the Microsoft page. If you're using Bring Your Own License, which is what we're doing, then you get with your sales contact at NetApp and start figuring out what price is the best, in the end, for your company."
"In addition to the standard licensing fees, there are fees for Azure, the VMs themselves and for data transfer."
"Cloud is cloud. It's still expensive. Any good solution comes with a price tag. That's where we are looking to see how well we can manage our data in the cloud by trying to optimize the costs."
"I know the licensing is a bit on the high-end. That's when we had to downsize our MetroCluster disks and just migrate to disks that were half used. We migrated into those just to reduce maintenance costs."
"Cost is a big factor, because a lot of companies can't afford enterprise grade equipment all the time. They skimp where they can. I would recommend that they improve the cost."
"Our licensing costs are folded into the hardware purchases and I have never differentiated between the two."
"For NetApp it's about $20,000 for a single node and $30,000 for the HA."
"It's priced fairly. It was definitely cheaper than the competition. The licensing terms are straightforward and reasonable."
"Cost is affordable and licensing is smooth."
"This is a good, economical solution compared to data storage systems."
"The licensing is straightforward, with free and trial versions available."
"StarWind is best price/performance for SMB."
"We evaluated other options and this one was the most cost-effective."
"The Price/Performance ratio for this solution is outstanding!"
"Once you buy the license, you are free to build your own hardware solution based on your needs."
"ROI from an administrative perspective is clearly much better because I only have to deal with one user interface."
"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."
Earn 20 points
The leading enterprise-grade storage management solution, delivers secure, proven storage management services and supports up to a capacity of 368TB. Software service supports various use cases, such as: File shares and block-level storage serving NAS (NFS, SMB / CIFS) and SAN (iSCSI) Disaster Recovery, Backup, and Archive DevOps Databases (SQL, Oracle, NoSQL) Cloud Volumes ONTAP is offered in a standard single-node configuration or in a High Availability (HA) configuration.
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.
VMware vSAN is the industry-leading software powering Hyper-Converged Infrastructure solutions.
What vSAN Does
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StarWind Virtual SAN is ranked 4th in Hyper-Converged (HCI) with 47 reviews while VMware vSAN is ranked 3rd in Hyper-Converged (HCI) with 21 reviews. StarWind Virtual SAN is rated 9.8, while VMware vSAN is rated 8.2. The top reviewer of StarWind Virtual SAN writes "Two-node device gives us storage replication; we can do updates without a complete storage shutdown". On the other hand, the top reviewer of VMware vSAN writes "Gives us a lot of advantages when we need to expand resources". StarWind Virtual SAN is most compared with Microsoft Storage Spaces Direct, Red Hat Ceph Storage, Nutanix Acropolis AOS, DataCore SANsymphony SDS and StorMagic SvSAN, whereas VMware vSAN is most compared with Nutanix Acropolis AOS, VxRail, Red Hat Ceph Storage, HPE SimpliVity and Dell EMC Unity XT. See our StarWind Virtual SAN vs. VMware vSAN report.
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