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Dell EMC VxFlex Ready Nodes Competitors and Alternatives

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Read reviews of Dell EMC VxFlex Ready Nodes competitors and alternatives

Mart Vernik
Digital Archive System Administrator at Rahvusarhiiv
Real User
Top 5
Has a web-based management interface where you can make software RAID and monitor environment main characteristics

Pros and Cons

  • "StarWind Virtual SAN for vSphere is a software-defined storage solution that has reduced administration time for storage. It's pretty straightforward to install and setup it and so far it has been robust and worked as advertised from StarWind."
  • "When StarWind Virtual SAN for vSphere nodes go offline unexpectedly, the nodes have to re-sync disks fully which takes a long time. We had a power failure and when both nodes came online, VMware vSphere didn't see StarWind disks before I manually re-scanned them form ESXi administration console even though it should happen automatically"

What is our primary use case?

StarWind Virtual SAN for vSphere provides redundant and highly available storage for our VMware vSphere environment. We have two Supermicro 2029BT-DNC0R servers with VMware ESXi 6.7 and one StarWind Virtual SAN for vSphere virtual machine on each. Local SSD-s are directly attached to StarWind Virtual SAN for vSphere virtual machine and software RAID is used to make storage from them. For StarWind synchronization, we are using Mellanox ConnectX-4 adapters and directly attached cable between nodes.

How has it helped my organization?

StarWind Virtual SAN for vSphere has helped us to reduce complexity and is more cost-efficient than an old solution. Previously, we had separate storage (EMC AX4-5) with a fiber channel environment. With StarWind Virtual SAN for vSphere we are not forced to use vendor locked-in storage hardware, have to deal with costly fiber channel environment, and our power consumption is also reduced. Also now we have fewer hardware components to worry about and more flexibility to change storage when and where needed.

What is most valuable?

StarWind Virtual SAN for vSphere is a software-defined storage solution that has reduced administration time for storage. It's pretty straightforward to install and setup it and so far it has been robust and worked as advertised from StarWind. It does have Windows Management Console, from where you can make main configurations and monitor events, etc. and Web-based Management interface where you can make software RAID and monitor environment main characteristics like LAN and disk traffic, and so on.

What needs improvement?

When StarWind Virtual SAN for vSphere nodes go offline unexpectedly, the nodes have to re-sync disks fully which takes a long time. We had a power failure and when both nodes came online, VMware vSphere didn't see StarWind disks before I manually re-scanned them form ESXi administration console even though it should happen automatically - maybe I had to wait till all the StarWind disks were fully synchronized but that toked in our case 8+ hours.

There are no security and bug fixes without an active support agreement!

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using it for a little bit more than one year.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Product is stable and works most of the time on it's own.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It's scalable.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer service is helpful.

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

This is the first software-defined storage solution for us.

How was the initial setup?

It took some time to get familiar with the software and I did mostly set it up myself and in the process, it was inspected and checked by a StarWind technician.

What about the implementation team?

In-house implementation.

What was our ROI?

We have not calculated ROI.

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

Something to keep in mind is that you are not allowed to install security and bug fixes without active support agreement.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

VMware vSAN financial aspects give StarWind an advantage.

What other advice do I have?

Product updates are not that frequent (two-three times per year). Also, it concerns me that back-end OS (we are using StarWind Virtual SAN for vSphere and it's built on top of CentOS 7) is not updated every time the update is coming out. For example, our installation is more than half a year un-updated, and there are many updates available for CentOS. StarWind support does not recommend installing them independently.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Other
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Shawn Bender
Global IS Admin at Benshaw, Inc.
Real User
Top 5
Good performance, built-in storage saved us money, knowledgeable support

Pros and Cons

  • "The presence of built-in storage saved the company from having to purchase a separate storage array and related network equipment."
  • "I would request that the terms and conditions be reviewed and made more acceptable to corporate security so that we could finally turn on the proactive support feature, as it is included with our support agreement."

What is our primary use case?

The StarWind HCA solution provided our company with a turnkey hyper-converged platform that strengthened our processing and storage capabilities by greatly expanding our RAM, processors, and flash-based storage.

It also enabled us to take advantage of VMware vMotion technology. This allows us to transfer a virtual machine from one host to the other without interrupting production, which is critical in our manufacturing plant.

I haven't had to make any software related changes since the solution was implemented.

How has it helped my organization?

By having multiple servers, we are able to perform maintenance on one server while the other is still operating. The speed of the flash drives helped with performance, and the support that StarWind offers is very professional and accommodating.

We had to engage with support several times during the migration as we made licensing changes, and moved virtual servers from the old host to the new ones. The response time was quick and although there was a bit of an accent, I had no trouble understanding as the work was being completed.

What is most valuable?

The presence of built-in storage saved the company from having to purchase a separate storage array and related network equipment. When we looked at the costs for a storage array, they were somewhat higher than the solution from StarWind.

Knowing that the virtual machines will continue running in the event of one of the servers failing provides peace of mind. Also, having support readily available in the event of a problem helps as well.

We were impressed by all of the redundancy built into the solution to protect it from failures.

What needs improvement?

My only concern was with the terms and conditions of the proactive support. Our legal department didn't accept them, so we weren't able to take advantage of it. Having the heartbeat monitor working would save some time, by getting issues resolved by support as soon as, or possibly even prior to them happening.

I would request that the terms and conditions be reviewed and made more acceptable to corporate security so that we could finally turn on the proactive support feature, as it is included with our support agreement.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using the StarWind HyperConverged Appliance for six months.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

There have been no issues with stability since the solution was implemented.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It seemed that we would be able to increase the scale as needed.

How are customer service and technical support?

The support at StarWind was very knowledgeable and was able to resolve any issues on the current call.

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

Our previous solution was a single server and it was out of support.

How was the initial setup?

Its initial setup was complex, but that is why we had support from StarWind look after it.

What about the implementation team?

It was implemented mostly by StarWind in coordination with our in house team.

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

The setup cost was included in the support.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We considered solutions from Dell and Nutanix.

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.
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SG
IT Consultant at a tech vendor with 51-200 employees
Consultant
Top 5
Stable with good pricing and pretty good technical support

Pros and Cons

  • "We find the setup quite straightforward and very easy."
  • "The user management could be a bit better. It's something they could improve upon in future releases."

What is our primary use case?

We primarily use the solution for our hyper-converged system.

What is most valuable?

The various scenarios for this solution are great.

The pricing is reasonable. It's very good. It's the main reason people are buying it.

The solution seems to be quite stable.

Technical support is very helpful.

Our clients don't seem to have trouble with scaling.

We find the setup quite straightforward and very easy.

What needs improvement?

The user management could be a bit better. It's something they could improve upon in future releases.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've been using the solution for about five or six years now. It's been a while.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability must be pretty good as we never hear of any issues from our clients. They seem to be happy with its reliability. We don't hear from them in terms of issues surrounding bugs or glitches. It's good.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is likely okay. We haven't had a client come back and complain about this aspect lacking in any way.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support is okay. As the product supplier, we work pretty well alongside them and our clients don't seem to have any complaints. I would assume everyone is satisfied with the level of service provided.

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

We are also partners with HP and Dell. We use a variety of products from different brands.

We've also worked with IBM in the past.

The offerings of hyper-converged systems are mostly the same. Typically, the preference of which the client chooses is based on their own comfort level with a brand as well as pricing and budget.  

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is pretty straightforward. It's easy. It isn't complex. We used to work with IBM which was a bit more involved. 

We have ten engineers that have the capabilities to handle deployment and maintenance.

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

Customers really like the pricing as it's quite affordable for them.

What other advice do I have?

We're partners with Lenovo, among other solutions. We don't have an exclusive business relationship with them.

I would recommend the product to others. Of course, it depends on the company's price, budget, and requirements. Typically, I would recommend Lenovo or Dell. They're all right and we've worked with them both a lot. It's the preference of the client as well, and whether or not they are usually working with IBM on their storage system. 

Overall, I would rate the solution at eight 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
DH
Chief Information Officer - Government at Govt of City of Makassar
Real User
Top 5
The user interface is good, but it doesn't support SAS and it consumes a lot of power

Pros and Cons

  • "I would rate the user-friendliness an eight out of ten."
  • "Sangfor does not support a SAS configuration, which is something that we would like."

What is our primary use case?

We are primarily using this product to store our applications. We are using to host data for us to perform analytics on.

What is most valuable?

The interface is typical for this type of product. I would rate the user-friendliness an eight out of ten.

What needs improvement?

Sangfor does not support a SAS configuration, which is something that we would like.

I would like to see support for Kubernetes and Docker.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been dealing with Sangfor for less than eight months.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I think that there are issues with scalability because Sangfor consumes a high amount of power. In order to scale using Sangfor, I would also have to scale up the amount of power in my data center.

How are customer service and technical support?

I am currently not getting enough technical support because of the COVID-19 pandemic. I am looking for direct support, but I don't have it.

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

The price of Sangfor is cheaper than other competing products.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I am currently looking to replace this solution with something from perhaps Nutanix or Dell. I am still looking for the best solution to use in our next project.

What other advice do I have?

Overall, I think that this is an average product. I am not satisfied with it and do not recommend that others use it.

I would rate this solution a five out of ten.

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.
PM
Quadria Rouen Agency Director at a computer software company with 201-500 employees
Real User
Top 5
User-friendly, stable, and scalable

What is our primary use case?

We are using HPE SimpliVity for our organization's backup and recovery solution.

What is most valuable?

The solution is user-friendly.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using HPE SimpliVity for approximately five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

HPE SimpliVity is stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution is scalable. We have approximately 80 people in my organization in France and we work together with 2,000 other regions that all use the solution.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical, commercial, and marketing support is not at the level that it should be. They are not structured well. Other vendors provide better support, such as…

What is our primary use case?

We are using HPE SimpliVity for our organization's backup and recovery solution.

What is most valuable?

The solution is user-friendly.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using HPE SimpliVity for approximately five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

HPE SimpliVity is stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution is scalable.

We have approximately 80 people in my organization in France and we work together with 2,000 other regions that all use the solution.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical, commercial, and marketing support is not at the level that it should be. They are not structured well. Other vendors provide better support, such as Dell.

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

We were previously using the HPE MSA solution.

How was the initial setup?

The installation is easy and the basic installation takes two days.

What about the implementation team?

We have the certifications to do the implementation ourselves, but it has to be checked by HPE.

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

There is not a license required for the solution.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I have evaluated other solutions from Dell.

What other advice do I have?

I rate HPE SimpliVity 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: Distributor
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Get our free report covering Hewlett Packard Enterprise, VMware, Dell EMC, and other competitors of Dell EMC VxFlex Ready Nodes. Updated: October 2021.
540,984 professionals have used our research since 2012.