We just raised a $30M Series A: Read our story

DataCore SANsymphony SDS OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

DataCore SANsymphony SDS is the #1 ranked solution in our list of top Storage Software tools. It is most often compared to VMware vSAN: DataCore SANsymphony SDS vs VMware vSAN

What is DataCore SANsymphony SDS?

DataCore™ SANsymphony™ enterprise-class Software-defined Storage (SDS) platform provides a high-performance, highly available and agile storage infrastructure with the lowest Total Cost of Ownership (TCO).

DataCore SANsymphony SDS is also known as DataCore SANsymphony, SANsymphony, DataCore Virtual SAN.

DataCore SANsymphony SDS Buyer's Guide

Download the DataCore SANsymphony SDS Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: October 2021

DataCore SANsymphony SDS Customers

Volkswagen, Maimonides Medical Center, The Biodesign Institute, ISCO Industries, Pee Dee Electric Cooperative, United Financial Credit Union, Derby Supply Chain Solutions, Mission Community Hospital, Bellarmine College Preparatory, Colby-Sawyer College, Mount Sinai Health System, The Royal Institute of International Affairs, Quorn Foods, Bitburger, University of Birmingham, Stadtverwaltung Heidelberg, NetEnt to name a few.

DataCore SANsymphony SDS Video

Pricing Advice

What users are saying about DataCore SANsymphony SDS pricing:
  • "This solution allows the use of off-the-shelf hardware and charges by the TB of storage."
  • "This product has a good ratio between quality and price. In many cases, it's less expensive to work with DataCore than other storage systems."
  • "Pricing has improved but it is still expensive."

DataCore SANsymphony SDS Reviews

Filter by:
Filter Reviews
Industry
Loading...
Filter Unavailable
Company Size
Loading...
Filter Unavailable
Job Level
Loading...
Filter Unavailable
Rating
Loading...
Filter Unavailable
Considered
Loading...
Filter Unavailable
Order by:
Loading...
  • Date
  • Highest Rating
  • Lowest Rating
  • Review Length
Search:
Showingreviews based on the current filters. Reset all filters
Damon
System Engineering at Patriot LLC
Real User
Top 20Leaderboard
Provides HA virtualized storage independent of storage type or vendor

Pros and Cons

  • "The ability to pool the storage to leverage thin-provisioning is a huge saving in space and costs."
  • "Having an enterprise "Storage Dashboard" that can show capacity, usage, performance, and any issues would be very beneficial."

What is our primary use case?

We use this solution for providing software-defined storage that is virtualized, in a true HA configuration. It provides SAN storage services to VMware vCenter hosts and VMware Horizon hosts, as well as some physical Windows and Linux servers. This platform allows us to leverage any storage that Windows can leverage, including other vendor SAN devices.  This allows us to keep existing storage, mirror SANs from 2 different vendors and even allow very easy migration from one vendor to another.  Most of our locations just use RAID attached storage (as it is the least expensive) with enterprise-class drives (both HDD and SSD).

How has it helped my organization?

This solution allows the use of off-the-shelf hardware and charges by the TB of storage. So, we can throw in our own enterprise-class hardware (including SSDs) and not pay any extra based on the type of storage we use. This is the same model used with server virtualization.

This has allowed us to keep the hardware separate from software. It is true "storage virtualization" at its finest. It has all the features of any high-end SAN such as fiber channel, iSCSI, thin provisioning, storage tiering, snapshots, continuous data protection/recovery, synchronous and asynchronous mirroring, performance reporting/graphing, and true HA design.

DataCore recently added a hardware appliance for customers who what a turnkey, easy to install solution.  So if engineering the underlying-storage is not your cup of tea, their appliance, which is built on top of Dell server/storage hardware, is the way to go.

What is most valuable?

No more vendor lock-in, overpriced drives, or forklift upgrades. With DataCore SANsymphony, you can utilize just about any storage you wish with this product such as another SAN, NAS, JBOD, FusionIO, etc. If Windows can see it as a non-removable drive, you can use it with SANsymphony. Also, you can use this to mirror any of these various types of storage, which is awesome for migration. Say, for example, you have an HP SAN and you want to migrate off it to your own JBOD-type storage, or you have two sites with two different storage SANs that you want to replicate data between. With DataCore, it is possible to mix and match just about any storage platform you want to use.

As software-defined storage, the system is designed to run on top of Windows Server OS (which can be virtual or physical) and can utilize the server's RAM to provide disk cache. This makes our 7.2K HDDs class storage run really fast, allowing us to use a bottom-tier class of drive and get the performance of a much higher class of drive. Also, if we have to add capacity or replace drives then we can just order replacement drives off the web, saving us quite a bit of money. Of course, we still use "enterprise-class" drives but we don't pay through the nose to buy hardware. If we want to upgrade the Ethernet ports from 1Gb to 10Gb then we just do it. The same goes for FC. If we want to upgrade from 4Gb FC to 16Gb, we don't have to do a forklift upgrade. We just buy the HBAs and we're off the to races.

The other great thing is DataCore keeps their product on VMware's approved HCL. So even if you have a SAN (backend storage) that falls off the HCL with VMware, because it's virtualized storage behind DataCore, you're covered. If you put the storage behind DataCore then you won't have to worry about VMware's HCL any longer. Because of this fundamental practice, DataCore was one of the first storage vendors to support VVOLs.

The ability to pool the storage to leverage thin-provisioning is a huge saving in space and costs.

What needs improvement?

There's very little that I can find in their software that I would say needs to be improved. Sometimes the updates are too frequent, where just as we finish updating all of our sites, another update comes out.

The de-dup console is not yet integrated inside the main SANsymphony console. They are working on it but it's not there yet.

While their console allows you to connect to each of the nodes without closing the interface, you have to log out and back in when you switch between different storage server groups. It would be nice if they had an interface more like vCenter, where you see all of the server groups in a list and can just click on each group. It would be nice to be able to see multiple groups at the same time.

Having more of an Enterprise approach (v/s a local storage cluster) view would provide better management of the environment. For example, their current reports can only be run for each storage server group. There is currently not a way to run the same reports or look at performance across the enterprise (only the local site).

Having an enterprise "Storage Dashboard" that can show capacity, usage, performance, and any issues would be very beneficial. Currently, DataCore does not have this. They recently added a web-based dashboard called DataCore Insight Services (DIS) to their product. However, you will need to be on their subscription-based model v/s their traditional yearly maintenance-based model. Also, the current DIS product does not span multiple storage groups and is in its infancy and is still very rudimentary in nature.  However, knowing DataCore's track record for fast, innovative development, I know it won't be long before they get it right.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using this solution since 2008 (over 12 years).

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The software over the years has matured to be very robust and allows you to build a very high-performing storage platform.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

This product in unlimited in scalability.

How are customer service and technical support?

DataCore Support is OUTSTANDING and they release new updates and features frequently (sometimes almost too frequently).  Their support department is a well-oiled machine and is the gold standard for how all vendors should be. Their online ticketing system allows us to not just see individual cases but for anyone in our enterprise/storage team.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Yes - We had a mix of various, black-box, type SANs (Dell, HP, Lefthand, DottHill, and EMC to name a few).  We switched to standardize the storage across the enterprise, maintain VMware supported storage, reduce costs, and add flexibility.

How was the initial setup?

If you're an experienced SAN administrator you'll have no problems understanding their setup.  It is very straight forward.  The design of what you can do, because it's so flexible, is the most complex part.  You have LOTS of options. 

What about the implementation team?

In-House

What was our ROI?

Within the first year, the product has paid for itself.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

I would recommend sending administrators through DataCore's DCIE training/certification.  DataCore has many options from hyper-converged solution, to even providing their own storage appliances if that's what you are looking for. 

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Yes - Dell, EMC, and HP.

What other advice do I have?

While they support de-dup, it is recommended that you not de-dup the storage used for operating systems or high-change rated type data. The requires some planning to ensure the storage that is targeted for de-dup only have data that end users would be using (such as MS Office files, etc.)

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Flag as inappropriate
CB
Senior IT Consultant / Architect at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Easily scalable with great technical support and very good snapshot capabilities

Pros and Cons

  • "CDP is an important feature for avoiding data loss in the event of ransomware attacks. You need more storage capacity, however, you get the possibility to return at any time and use the data saved up to that point. The recovery is much faster than with a classic restore."
  • "NVMeoF should be implemented. This protocol will play a major role in storage infrastructure in the future."

What is our primary use case?

The solution is used for the provision of high performance and high availability block storage. By using auto-tiering, many applications can benefit from the high performance of current NVMe SSDs. At the same time, cold data is kept on low-cost storage resources.

The separation of data streams from different applications (e.g. SAP HANA, SQL server, virtualisation) also increases overall performance and availability.

The use of snapshots for data backup is already planned and scheduled. For this purpose, Veeam Backup 11 will be connected to SSY. The backup will then be LANless via Fibre Channel.

How has it helped my organization?

Among other things, we used SSY to bring a Splunk installation onto the existing central Datacore storage. Continuous data transfer rates of up to 2.6 GByte/s (16GB Fibre Channel, dual fabric synchronously mirrored systems over 20km) were also achieved.

The project was also much cheaper and easier to implement than any comparable solution.

The services already running (databases, virtualization) are not affected and run with the same performance as before the expansion.

A next project will link Veeam Backup with SSY. Veeam will then control the snapshots for data backups, especially of the virtual platform. These snapshots are then presented directly via FC to the backup server for backup.

What is most valuable?

Synchronous mirroring was a prerequisite for the project. Two data centers are used, which are connected via two different WAN routes. 16G FC is used via the WAN. The "Systems managed Mirroring" feature was used for this.

Another feature that makes the high performance possible is "pool striping", where accesses are distributed over a larger number of external data volumes (LUNs). The limiting factor for performance here is the external storage that is connected to the Datacore servers.

Snapshots are also an important feature. In connection with external applications, these enable an improvement in data protection.

CDP is an important feature for avoiding data loss in the event of ransomware attacks. You need more storage capacity, however, you get the possibility to return at any time and use the data saved up to that point. The recovery is much faster than with a classic restore.

What needs improvement?

For an upcoming release, I would like to see a function that can manage the storage of multiple Datacore servers in a kind of "erasure coding". This would simplify scaling and make SSY more competitive with other providers.

NVMeoF should be implemented. This protocol will play a major role in storage infrastructure in the future.

Network protocols are becoming increasingly important. For future projects, protocols such as RoCE should be implemented. Especially in LAN infrastructures from 25G, a simpler and high-performance SAN infrastructure could be built here. The costs should be lower compared to Fibre Channel.

Improving support will be very difficult as it is already one of the best in the IT world.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been implementing SSY very successfully with many clients since 2008.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The system runs very stable. Through the use of server pairs, there is no more downtime. The storage service is always available, even if maintenance has to be carried out or a hardware defect has to be repaired.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The performance can be scaled very easily by adding data devices of the desired performance class.

It is also very easy to expand the capacity. By adding low-cost storage, cold data can be stored there. This also ensures that the hot data can be accessed with high performance.

How are customer service and technical support?

Datacore offers one of, if not the best, technical support teams in the industry. Every request is handled very competently and in a short time.

The SEs are also very well trained and competent. They are always available for questions and are also very willing to give suggestions and information.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We previously used Netapp Metro Cluster. We switched due to the costs for the infrastructure (Metro Cluster) were too high. The performance was also no longer sufficient. The solution was too inflexible.

How was the initial setup?

The implementation is somewhat more complex than with simple storage. In addition to the actual storage resources and the SAN infrastructure, the x86 server with Windows Server and SSY must also be installed.

The configuration of the storage is easy, as it is best to create many identical volumes and present them to the Datacore server.

These volumes are then included in the pool within SSY and centrally managed there.

The SAN configuration includes the construction of a FrontEnd, BackEnd, and Mirror layer. It is a little more complex, but not complicated.

The host systems access the resources via SSY, so these must also be configured in SSY. On the other hand, only the SSY servers need to be set up on the storage.

What about the implementation team?

Being a DCIE myself, I did the installation.

What was our ROI?

Since the environment is dynamic (for example, changes, extensions), the ROI is not easy to determine. However, the TCO is more favorable than with other solutions.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Good planning is always very important. SSY is very flexible and can cover very different requirements. Therefore, it is important to keep a close eye on the requirements. If you have questions before implementation, ask support or a partner.

Also, pay attention to licensing. It may be cheaper to license a few TB more if you can make a jump in the discount scale.

Also note: Using DAS (internal storage) can be very cost-effective compared to external storage.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We considered different solutions such as Netapp FAS-Series, HP MSA, and 3Par.

What other advice do I have?

I am glad to have used SSY. The solution is very stable and performs well. It requires very little effort.

What you do have to do, however, is regularly apply Windows patches. To do this, the node has to be restarted. You should therefore always use a pair with synchronous mirrors to avoid downtime.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Flag as inappropriate
Learn what your peers think about DataCore SANsymphony SDS. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: October 2021.
542,721 professionals have used our research since 2012.
RJ
Architecte Infrastructures at IT-Med
Great continuous data protection with a helpful implementation wizard and efficient technical support

Pros and Cons

  • "The documentation repository is really useful and kept updated."
  • "The cloud reporting interface is quite poor compared to other vendors."

What is our primary use case?

We're using SANsymphnony for our primary storage in a HA environment for sensitive production data. Storage nodes are HPE servers with SSD drives in them. They serve storage to two servers blades enclosures in a Fibre Channel storage network. We have a total of 50TB in a mirror. 16 servers use this storage in a VMware vSphere environment.

This infrastructure has run without any issues since 2017 and we update it twice a year.

Before that, we had other SANsymphony infrastructure running on an old HMP MSA storage array. We migrated without any interruption.

How has it helped my organization?

DataCore SANsymphony brings the ability to work on almost every hardware platform and to build a storage node with high precision (disks, interfaces, protocols). We can choose what hardware we want to put in and it brings a high-performance throughput from it. The ability to build exactly what you need is a major advantage of SANsymphony over other solutions.

Hardware maintenance is easy since it is a simple server. There's no need for a storage hardware expert. On top of that, the Software-Defined Storage is easy to manage.

What is most valuable?

We used the wizard to deploy SANsymphony in a virtual environment for hyper-converged infrastructure and it is quite useful. We can deploy virtual high-available infrastructure for running tests in less than an hour.

Continuous data protection is a powerful feature that can save your data in several cases. It is good protection against ransomware.

The ability to use the RAM of the server node as a read and write cache brings a lot of performance to the storage. We can reach high IOPS from slow disks through the huge amount of cache.

The documentation repository is really useful and kept updated.

What needs improvement?

We would like to see a real "sexy" storage dashboard with capacity, usage, performance, and error tracking.

The cloud reporting interface is quite poor compared to other vendors. We are far from an HPE Infosight, for example.

Using a classic storage array constructor allows clients to have a single point of contact in case of an issue. With DataCore, we have to deal with them for the software part and with the hardware vendor for the hardware part. Sometimes, in a complex environment, we have to deal with storage array vendors, servers vendors, and software vendors and that can be exhausting.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've been using SANsymphony for almost 10 years now. We followed all of its great evolution so far.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This solution is stable. Depending on the two rooms' interconnection, we have to deal with redundancy and maybe a witness. Losing the connection completely between the nodes can lead to a complete rebuild of a side.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is almost infinite. I cannot think of a more scalable solution.

How are customer service and technical support?

The customer service is quick and efficient. Sometimes we have to deal with some trivial questions but that seems to be the basis of every support query right now.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We previously used an HPE 3PAR storage array. We switched to have more performance and more flexibility. The maintenance is quite easier too.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is easy via the use of a comprehensible wizard.

What about the implementation team?

We implemented the solution ourselves after a formation from the vendor.

What was our ROI?

The ROI is high as we can change or update hardware without changing our licencing. 

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The main work in building a SANsymphony solution is to design and select the correct hardware parts. The setup is quite easy and the configuration is too.

The licensing is by terabyte and can be quite expensive. 

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We evaluated other hardware vendors but stuck to a software-defined solution.

VMware VSAN was not mature enough for us and we did not want to use a hardware vendor solution.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Flag as inappropriate
YD
Systems and networks engineer at EOS Informatique
Great support, good storage performance, and allows for asynchronous replication to a third site

Pros and Cons

  • "Continuous data protection (CDP), can be used to "protect" again ransomware by recording all write on disk in a log. You can recover your data with incredible time granularity."
  • "Datacore is developing a new WebUI with new dashboards. It is a good idea as the classic GUI is lacking dashboards."

What is our primary use case?

SANSymphony is used to provide HA storage block services to the vSphere Streched Cluster. The backend virtualized storage is a mix of internal node storage and SAN (Dell Compellent, IBM Storwize). It can be fiberchannel connected or iscsi or both.

By using this solution we provide a High Availability storage solution.

We can do the running of VMs in classic Windows or Linux workload and Citrix virtual Apps.

This is a software solution, so new functionality does not rely on any hardware.

How has it helped my organization?

SANSymphony allows us to separate the storage software from the hardware. That way, we can replace or add any backend in the cluster without downtime.

This ease of adding or removing storage allows us to control costs.

All maintening operations can be done without downtime as well. The team is happy due to the fact that they can do the operational tasks during day without impact on the production.

It helps us control storage costs.

This solution is very flexible. We can have 2 physical DataCore nodes with backend storage virtualized or we can have internal disks on the main site and hyper-converged 2 nodes on Robo sites. All this is managed from the same console and with the same functionnalities.

What is most valuable?

Continuous data protection (CDP), can be used to "protect" again ransomware by recording all write on disk in a log. You can recover your data with incredible time granularity.

The parallel I/O function is very useful to have good storage performance.

The ability to do asynchronous replication to a third site is a easy way to create a disaster recovery plan. 

Veeam Backup integration is a good new option. Now we can leverage a Datacore storage snapshot to do our backup without VM by using vsphere snapshot.

What needs improvement?

Datacore is developing a new WebUI with new dashboards. It is a good idea as the classic GUI is lacking dashboards. 

We need a better view to analyze the auto-tiering feature (like in DIS) to easier decide what type of storage we need to add. The current view in the GUI is too simple and we cannot see clearly cold data or hot data.

You can report all you want. There are a lot of counters usable in the console. However, there are too many. They need to create some pre-defined graphs or reports.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using this solution since 2016.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is a very robust solution. I have never experienced to total crash. I would like it if it continues this way.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Due to the design, the product has unlimited scalability.

How are customer service and technical support?

The support team is really good. The product is frequently updated.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We previously used IBM Hyerswap and SVC. We had to switch due to the Vendor lock-in and poor flexibility.

How was the initial setup?

The design is the more complex part due to all use case you can address with the product. That said, the setup is simpler if you are a SAN Storage admin.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We did look at vSphere vSan.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
Flag as inappropriate
SG
Presales Engineer at a computer software company with 5,001-10,000 employees
Real User
Leaderboard
A stable enterprise-class software-defined storage platform that's highly scalable.

Pros and Cons

  • "It's a software storage solution that can scale as we like. There is also has a parallel feature that enhances the performance of the storage solution. We can separate storage and computing, and we can scale these two parts of the platform to meet business needs efficiently."
  • "Problem detection could be easier. It should help customers identify problems very quickly because it's not easy to analyze on the platform today."

What is our primary use case?

I work with many customers that ask us to put their solution near the production because they can't stop the production. It's easier to protect the network this way.

How has it helped my organization?

It has helped my customers because it's an SDS solution, and we can use all components that you put in a server. You have many options that meet customer needs, and you can find the best way in relation to performance and price. 

What is most valuable?

It's a software storage solution that can scale as we like. There is also has a parallel feature that enhances the performance of the storage solution. We can separate storage and computing, and we can scale these two parts of the platform to meet business needs efficiently.

The most important thing is the work we do on the new management interface called DIS. You can follow the evolution of this platform, and it's very important for me because the customer has to manage the platform. 

We add the workload on this platform, and they need the platform to evolve. It's very important to the customer, and we have to work on the DIS to realize the customer's this vision.

What needs improvement?

Problem detection could be easier. It should help customers identify problems very quickly because it's not easy to analyze on the platform today.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using DataCore SANsymphony SDS for about six years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

DataCore SANsymphony SDS is a very robust and stable solution.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is very good. For example, their system engineer came down to help my customer resolve a problem.

How was the initial setup?

I can't say that the installation is difficult, but it's impossible for a customer who doesn't know the product or the installation process. You will need the help of a consultant or a reseller to install and deploy this solution.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

This product has a good ratio between quality and price. In many cases, it's less expensive to work with DataCore than other storage systems. 

What other advice do I have?

On a scale from one to ten, I would give DataCore SANsymphony SDS a ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: partner
Flag as inappropriate
Sigfrid CECILLON
IT Service Manager at EKIUM
Real User
Top 20Leaderboard
User-friendly interface, performs well, and the technical support is good

Pros and Cons

  • "The interface is user-friendly."
  • "I would like to see reporting added, such as a monthly connectivity report."

What is our primary use case?

We use this product as a storage network.

What is most valuable?

The performance is good.

The interface is user-friendly.

What needs improvement?

I would like to see reporting added, such as a monthly connectivity report. Things like performance and usage can be shown.

It would be helpful to have better monitoring tools.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using DataCore SANsymphony for 11 years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is perfect.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is good and it is important for us. I am working in an industry where most of the installations are long-term. Over time, we have to add devices to the solution.

We have two sites, each with about 1,000 people who are using it.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support is perfect.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Pricing has improved but it is still expensive. There are no costs in addition to the standard licensing fees.

What other advice do I have?

My advice to anybody who is considering SANSymphony is that it is flexible, user-friendly, and a product that I recommend.

I would rate this solution a nine out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: partner