What advice do you have for others considering VMware vSAN?
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I would suggest that anyone looking to deploy this solution do their due diligence and try out other competitive products first, like Nutanix. I've used Nutanix in the past. I found it to be a more agile tool compared to VMware. VMware has only just recently started offering this HCI solution. If I was to rate vSAN from one to ten, 10 being best, I would give it an 8. Not a ten primarily because I haven't tested some aspects of the arrays at this point.
To me, VMware is a leader of virtualization. I think everyone just follows VMware. The reason why we use VMware is because all of the areas that VMware can provide. They fill a need for our platforms. There are other platforms now that provide similar solutions. In the old days, it was a simple Microsoft platform, and they had no management costs. Now they use VMN to create a cross-test and to link all of the servers they want. So they can provide restoration of servers. Furthermore, now they are integrating the movement towards cloud solutions. The only issues concerning the future of vSAN is the price. If someone builds a platform that is free, and only has to pay a license fee for a server, that may cause a problem for VMware.
We give it nine out of ten. They are going down the right path. When they started, we saw a lot of improvements with a lot of focus on the product, even in VM World. There were announcements in the features for improvement with vSAN. We continue to see VMware keeping up-to-date with vSAN, not putting the product aside.
When we're choosing a vendor, there are two factors involved, and the lowest price isn't always the most important. We need a vendor who provides really good support and products that really meet our needs well. I'm going to rate it as a ten out of ten, because it just works. It's always solid.
The product is at least an eight to eight and a half out of ten. Because the feature growth that I've seen them put into the product since we've been with them since 5.5, they are innovating with each release. They're adding more features and all that adds up to a better ROI on our investment. As we were consolidating so many servers, we had a really high consolidation ratio. We wanted to have something that was close to being local disk. However, we also needed to have redundancy so we could take a node down for maintenance or if a node would crash. All the same standard reasons of why you would want high availability. What I look to see in a vendor is good customer support. I want to talk technical with someone. I don't want a lot of marketing PowerPoint stuff. I want to talk to people that know the product very well. Because if I start using the product, I will need that support on the back-end. I don't want to be flailing by myself in the wind. I want to have good expertise that I can call on to help.
If I had to rate vSAN, I would give it a nine out of ten. When we're choosing a vendor, we're looking at the ability for the vendor to be in business: * The viability of the vendor * Its reputation in the marketplace * The technical solution. These have a lot to do with our decision to work with a particular vendor. We typically seek out the best-of-breed solutions and try to adhere to those. At the same time, we try to work with the same vendors over and over, because we have existing relationships to leverage and existing expertise around the solutions that are adjacent to what we may be evaluating.
On a scale of one to ten, I am giving it a nine. It's probably because I can't bring myself to give a ten for anything, in case it could be improved.
I would rate the solution an eight out of ten. To make it a ten, it needs to be able to scale the amount of data that we can hold so we can put bigger, more data-intensive apps on it. My advice to a person looking at vSAN is get your hands dirty in the labs. Show how easy it is to set up, because it's not very complicated. It's an easy solution that you can implement at your company. Most important criteria when selecting a vendor: Since we're a hospital, we have multiple hospitals in the area. We look at local site resiliency, so we're looking to see if we can put it in each of our hospitals.
I would rate the solution somewhere around an eight out of ten. It is in the perfect place. There is room for improvement, but with the current versions, we are in a good stage.
The advice I would give is to properly analyze your host infrastructure. Make sure that your network cards are sufficient for the environment you're trying to deploy in, whether it be all-flash. There are already some Ready Nodes available. Go with the Ready Nodes when it comes to vSAN. Don't try and buy your own parts - something we looked at originally that we scrapped. That would be my main advice. Go with Ready Nodes when it comes to virtual SAN. In terms of improving the product, we're very familiar with the new features in 6.7, which we're going to be upgrading to. Data encryption, we would like to deploy, as well as compression and deduplication. Those features are already available in the new version. We just have to take the time to deploy them. Out of ten, I'd give it an eight. We're very happy with the product. To bring it to a ten we'd rather not upgrade as often. Right now, we're at 6.2 and that wasn't long ago. They're already going to 6.8 now. We'd like to have a little bit of a normalization period before we get to the next product. I understand it's a focus for VMware. We're very happy they're focusing on it.
If I had a colleague in the field, what I would tell him is that vSAN is great. I would do four nodes instead of three. Make sure that you're safe. Four or five will get you right where you need to be. You won't have any problems. That would be a tip I would give: Go for four nodes. vSAN is definitely worth the money. I would say it's a nine out of ten. It's not perfect, but it's almost there, and it's great.
Do your research, dig, find out what your particular needs are, what would the overall cost be to - sometimes it's a forklift, sometimes it's a migration. But look at all the factors, look at the requirements of vSAN, look at the requirements of other hyperconverged solutions, and then make the decision. I would rate vSAN as a solid nine. To get it to a ten it would need: the ability to support a SAN and a little bit of a larger scale. Those would be the two things that I would request.
I'd say vSAN, on a scale of one to 10, would be a seven or an eight now. (If I have to choose it's a) seven. But with what I've heard while I've been at VMworld, I'd say that they'll probably go up to an eight.
Make sure you do a proof of concept. And look at your options for hardware if you're looking at vSAN, compared to some competitors where you have just one option. I would rate the solution at eight out of ten. To get to a ten they would have to drop the cost. That would get a point right there. Then, going forward, I'd like to see better integration with Update Manager. Some of the manual processes that you still have to do, being able to automate those, have it do them on its own, would be great.
Go with the full managed support, something like VxRail or, if you go with Cisco, get their full central management system. vSAN alone, with the current features and version we're at, rates an eight out of ten. The vendor would be a definite one out of ten. To make the solution a ten, it needs to be vanilla. There shouldn't be any custom drivers, any custom anything. It should just be, "Hey, you know what? These drivers are going to work for this version, the next version, and the version after that." That's the difficulty in this. It takes too much upkeep.
Be careful of your FTT policies. I rate it a nine out of ten. It would be a ten if it had better deduping, compression, and the ability to Snapshot volumes on the back-end.
Do your homework. Make sure you know what kind of IOPS and latency requirements you need to meet. Picking hardware is not hard anymore. Everybody has an HCL. vSAN has a great list. Just pick what you want and go, it's not that hard. I rate it at eight out of 10 because nothing is perfect. I'm hard to please. I'm not saying there are growing pains, but vSAN was still new at the time. They didn't have dedupe and compression yet. The performance was pretty good. Most of it was hybrid in the beginning, but now with all-flash, it's speedy, when it needs to be. It's a young product and nobody gets a 10 out of the gate.
Give it a try.
Make sure your storage network is strong. But I would recommend vSAN. It's a pretty solid product now that's it's at 6.5 Update 2. I know that it's going to get better, but right now I'm pretty happy with where we're at. I would rate it at seven out of ten. Nothing's perfect. There's always room for improvement.
The most important criteria when selecting a vendor for us are the stability of the product, as much uptime as we can get, and service contracts so that we can get people to react more quickly to cases that we open and get things escalated properly. I rate vSAN at nine out of ten. What would help make it a ten would be if we didn't have so much inconsistency in the information around how to deploy it. That that would be a little bit better.
Look at the ROI carefully, and make sure that you can hit that before pushing the product. It's cheap, easy, and good for low-end customers. We're a small market, rural area, so we have low-end customers. Price point is just about everything for us. I would rate vSAN at nine out of ten. What would make it a ten would be lower pricing.
I would tell a colleague to highly consider it. Do your research and test it. If it fits, it fits. We've been live about nine months so I would rate it at eight out of ten right now, just because I haven't used it long enough to be confident to say ten. To get it to a ten it will need to be stable for 12 months.
My advice is to look beyond what your initial scope is. If you're looking at using it just for VDI implementations, look at more than just that and how you can leverage it for a lot of different datasets in your data center. When I look to work with a vendor it's important to find one that is agnostic to either software or hardware and a solution that fits our specific environment.
For me, vSAN is a nine out of 10. I don't know what could make it a 10 because I have not really compared it with other products in the last three years. Maybe today there are other products that are better. When we started using it three years ago, vSAN was, perhaps, a seven out of 10 but they have improved the features.
I would ask a colleague who is looking at this type of solution, "Do you need storage for VMs?" Hands-down, if you need storage for VMs, vSAN is your option. If you need a SAN for some other reason, other than storage for VMs, then go for it. But if you're running VMware VMs, buy vSAN. I like vSAN because they release features incrementally, every year, and you don't have to upgrade your hardware to get those features. If you bought a traditional SAN, you would have to upgrade your hardware constantly, every three years: You would get it, and it is how it is for three years. But on vSAN, you upgrade when you have to, when your hardware gets old or when you need more capacity. It's great, you get new features constantly. I would rate vSAN at eight out of ten. It could get to a ten, once we have more time running it.
If you're going to run vSAN, make sure that you stick to the HCL and that your firmware and your drivers match what's on the HCL before you implement it or go live with it. When selecting a vendor, for us, support is number one, the support that we can get from them. The other factor would be the forward-looking direction of the company.
You'd want to give it a 10 out of 10 based on what they're doing in the future, but if you always give a company a 10 they'll feel like they're already there. I would actually rate vSAN one below Nutanix, as far as maturity of the model goes. I would give vSAN a very solid eight. There is room for improvement to catch up to Nutanix. Nutanix is definitely a nine. Again I don't like giving anybody a 10 because we always want to see what the next evolution or innovation is that they're bringing to the table. The way vSAN would get to a 10 depends on how they get me to "tomorrow".
I would definitely go with the vSAN solution. A lot of times, it's less expensive than third-party software, and it's not managed via third-party plugins. It's there, it's native to the ecosystem, and it works.
Go for it. As long as you don't have a very high IOPS-oriented application, it's a great way to go. I rate it eight out of 10. While it's a little too early to tell, it doesn't seem like it gives the performance that an actual SAN would give for heavy IOPS, read/writes.
The hybrid storage strategy is not the best thing you can do; for example, when you're mixing standard drives and flash drives, SSDs. Do all SSDs if you can afford it. I give vSAN an eight out of ten. It can stand some improvement, but it's much better than it was three years ago when I looked at it.
It's great for DevTest and, as long as you're not going to be consuming data at huge rates, it's great for Prod too. I would rate vSAN as six-and-a-half or seven out of ten, but only because of the major problems we experienced with them a few months ago that led to some big outages. From what I understand, the current version alleviates those issues. If we're evaluating the current version, I would give it an eight. It would be a ten if there were more robust lifecycle management and a better-documented implementation within vSphere.
When vSAN was introduced we were quite excited about it. We were looking for something that was not traditional and we wanted something hyperconverged. vSAN was a perfect fit for us. I rate the solution an eight out of ten. To get to a ten it would need improvement in the Health status checkup.
The solution is an eight out of ten. To get to a ten it would need to be more stable and easier to upgrade.
Properly align your workloads to the storage policies and make sure you know what your workloads are before you leverage vSAN. Have a good understanding of the size of your VMs, the amount of change that they have, and how you are going to be doing maintenance in your cluster. Understand the workload and what you're going to be doing with it before you jump in.
I would definitely tell colleagues to move towards this solution. I've had a lot of people wanting to go to Hyper-V, not VMware. I have told them VMware is much more mature, it's got the feature list, it has a lot of good qualities.
If you're coming from a small enough environment, where you have to provision out a stand-alone datastore for this, and you don't have the resources to do it, I would definitely say go look at vSAN for that, because you can definitely combine your compute and resources into one environment.
As far as a software-based, storage control product, it is great. They are staying ahead of a lot of the competition out there. vSan is what a lot of the competition is using.
Give it a look. It will save you time and money.
Make sure you use a solution that is supported. There are a lot of companies out there that are new and sometimes they don't have a life. We have been in that situation before where we have bought something and then it has gone end-of-life or no more support. Make sure you get a solution that is going to be supported for five to seven years, such as vSAN. I would rate it at nine out of 10. I know it's very young and that they're growing it or doing a lot of updates to it, so I'm thinking it will be a 10. It's just very new to us. To make it a 10 will take some time.
I rate it at 10 out of 10 because it is just a really good product. I've used other products like it and it seems to be the most stable and easiest to configure.
I rate vSAN a 10 out of 10 because the VMware team works with my team to develop a better, more timely response. We have made improvements for the federal government. We have been working with VMware for almost 15 years
Coming from the early networking days when storage was software-defined, and seeing the announcement of this product caught my interest. The platform has been improved much over the first version. Today, we are comfortable running any of our mission critical apps on it.