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StarWind Virtual SAN Logo
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Comparison Summary
Question: What Is The Biggest Difference Between vSAN And VxRail? Answer: While both run on the vSAN technology from VMware, vSAN needs to be deployed on vSAN ready nodes while VxRail is an engineered system. The choice to choose which technology depends on two major factors – • Skillsets available internally for validating, testing and roll out. • The time available for an organization to roll out the infrastructure. Given the above two criteria, if an organization has lot of internal skillsets within the organization and enough time to choose the relevant hardware and test/validate each in terms of type of processor, memory, hard drives, HBA, NIC etc and have the relevant drivers and patches, then vSAN would be a more economical options. The advantages with vSAN is that you have more flexibility in choosing your brand and hardware and more economical compared to a pre-engineered system. The disadvantages are time to roll out will be more as lot of testing and validation needs to be done. Secondly, upgrade to future vSpehre versions might involve lot of complexities and time consuming forcing many customers to stick with the current version. Of course, there are exceptions to this where customers have also migrated successfully but the journey was not an easy one. On the other hand, VxRail comes as an pre-engineered system that is plug and play. Few clicks and input of IP address gets you up and running in few minutes. Roll of the infrastructure is fast as no testing and validation from a hardware perspective is needed as it is already done by Dell EMC at the factory. Management and upgradation to new vSphere versions are very easy and not complicated. Disadvantages will be the flexibility to choose your brand or choice of hardware is very limited and would be slightly more costlier than building your own vSAN nodes. In conclusion, if you have the budget and want less headache in management, automation and up-gradation, choose VxRail. If you have limited budget and is ready to spend long time in solving complexities - you can opt for vSAN.
Top Review
Find out what your peers are saying about VMware vSAN vs. VxRail and other solutions. Updated: September 2021.
542,029 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Quotes From Members

We asked business professionals to review the solutions they use. Here are some excerpts of what they said:

Pros
"The most valuable feature of this solution is the support. They are excellent and you can learn a lot from the support team.""It allows me to configure High Availability and failover clustering with some fault tolerance, at a cost point that doesn’t break the bank for a small business budget.""A typical system administrator with minimal experience in Hyper-V, VMware, or Windows can do VSAN configuration and maintain VSAN operations.""When using new (warranty) servers, you can forget about the storage service for several years. The users will not even notice the failure of two servers out of three.""We have experienced multiple hardware failures at one site and the fault-tolerant volume worked exactly as expected with zero downtime.""StarWind vSAN is a great solution to create a redundant two-node-only Hyper-V cluster, both for domain or workgroup scenarios.""It has given the company an almost zero possibility of downtime.""It has a nice, simple control panel. You can clearly see the state and health of storage along with the synchronization."

More StarWind Virtual SAN Pros »

"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.""It is very easy to set up and very easy to use. It is very useful.""The deduplication and compression are excellent.""It uncoupled the idea of proprietary technology and component capabilities. It is basically a proprietary technology for a cost-effective infrastructure.""The most valuable features are secure IOPs and LAN security.""It's completely hyper-converged, so it's very convenient.""Provides good performance as well as integration with deployment tools."

More VMware vSAN Pros »

"VxRail's feature that we found most valuable was its really good performance. That was one of VxRail's advantages.""The stability is very good. We haven't had any issues at all. There aren't bugs or glitches. There aren't system crashes or anything of that nature.""The update process is very convenient.""The solution is perfect for the lifecycle management of hardware.""The recent technologies and management features that have been implemented.""This is a good solution for medium-sized installations especially when it will be coupled with VMware.""The cover points feature in VxRail is remarkable. It's unique. It has an intervention failover system as well as an automatic failover system, reaching clusters existing in VxRail. This makes all files act as a single file with a large and huge resource, and, of course, with customized administration, configuration, and resources. It provides automatic failover for redundancy and data recovery.""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."

More VxRail Pros »

Cons
"I wish there was online support because email return takes a long time and a faster solution should be found.""I would like to see some additional, and possibly clearer, implementation videos with some slower and possibly more detailed descriptions of what the various steps of implementation are for someone who is unfamiliar with high availability and failover clustering in Windows.""This solution should be more self-sufficient, running without creating domains or failover clusters.""For the StarWind VSA vSphere solution, I would like to see a simpler and automated virtual machine installation process in terms of network settings.""If there was one feature I would like to see it would be a built-in subsystem for managing UPS backups shutdown procedures providing a way to initiate VM shutdown on all host servers, shut down the host servers, then put the fault-tolerant mirroring in standby, and finally shut down the StarWind SANs.""Being able to run StarWind vSAN on top of any free UNIX operating system to build a resilient iSCSI/FTP/SMB storage system would be useful.""New versions of this solution should be tested more thoroughly before the release as we had a few problems with one version due to a bug.""In the next release, they could make some graphs of the real-time loading, speed of storage, and interfaces. Of course, these can be viewed in other places. But, in the event of a malfunction or troubleshooting, this would be convenient."

More StarWind Virtual SAN Cons »

"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.""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 can package it in a way that is specific to the hardware infrastructure and the hardware platform. It should stay fairly up to date with the drivers and the manufacturer issues. The problem with uncoupling the proprietary technology and component capabilities is that by uncoupling them, you run into some concerns or challenges over the poor performance model. These concerns really come when you start talking about high performance, high bandwidth, and high availability types of environments. While vSAN is a leader, in a critical view, it is not about being cost-effective. It is more about the immediate impact of money loss to the business in critical applications where we want to maintain a continuous operational 59 model. It is, however, good for QA/QC tasks. I don't necessarily know how it works in regards to VDI or virtual desktop infrastructure.""The price can be reduced. Small businesses cannot afford this solution.""It should be easier to use.""Troubleshooting tools could be improved."

More VMware vSAN Cons »

"It's not really flexible with different use cases.""It should not be deployed on one hypervisor. There should be multiple hypervisors supported like Hyper-V or KVM.""The price should come down a little bit. It has become better than it was at the beginning. There was a really big price difference between a hyper-converged infrastructure and the classic servers and storage. The gap is lessening, however, it's still there.""The licensing costs are too expensive. They should work on their pricing model.""Pricing could be improved.""There is a limitation on the number of nodes.""Troubleshooting can be a little more difficult than legacy systems.""If they can provide deduplication compression through the traditional hard drives, as Cisco does in the HyperFlex system, it will be very cost-effective, especially when it comes to archiving workload. VxRail doesn't allow the mixing of old flash clusters and hyper clusters. When I'm starting with an old flash cluster and it comes to archiving workload, I will also need to attend the new cluster. So, I either manage two different clusters, or I pay and upload my work with the archiving mobile hard drive, which is not cost-effective at all. The main key is to allow mixing between two types of clustering, like Nutanix, or allow deduplication of completion over the period of shared hard drive on SAV. It will be much better."

More VxRail Cons »

Pricing and Cost Advice
"There are two tiers of support and in my opinion, support is worth the cost.""Licensing is easy and the whole package is cost-effective.""The cost takes into account the number of nodes, so the size of the storage is not important.""The cost, including OPEX, is lower compared to other solutions.""This is the best priced solution for an SMB.""The premium support from StarWinds is a must have. The ability to have access to a storage engineer 24/7 is a must for a production environment.""The cost seems a bit steep, and I wish it was less expensive.""I think the bang for the buck is much better with StarWind Virtual SAN."

More StarWind Virtual SAN Pricing and Cost Advice »

"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.""The price is okay."

More VMware vSAN Pricing and Cost Advice »

"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""I live in Brazil, and my customers are from Brazil. It is quite an expensive solution. It is more expensive than the traditional environment.""The price would be in the middle to the expensive range. It is not cheap.""At about $200,000, this solution is a little bit pricey but it is more economical than others such as Nutanix or Cisco Hyperflex.""VxRail is not cheap, but it's not expensive either."

More VxRail Pricing and Cost Advice »

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Answers from the Community
Miriam Tover
author avatarShu Mookerjee
Real User

Quite simply, VxRail is a vSAN appliance. It's a Dell based server node fully integrated with a pre-loaded VMware vSphere and vSAN software stack. Since it's integrated, the hardware is optimized to take full advantage of all the features and functions associated with vSAN.This is the best choice for someone who is interested in deploying hyper-converged infrastructure but doesn't currently have one in place. The VxRail nodes can be simply slid into the racks, connected and zoned.

vSAN, on the other hand, is purely a software solution. It's best for a data center that's already using VMware and would like to introduce storage management elements into their infrastructure. The benefit of this approach is that the configuration is customizable and feature elements can be added as needed.

author avatarShivendraJha
Real User

In case of Dell EMC nodes, the only difference is setting up vSAN by yourself or pay someone else to set it up for you. In VxRail, you get licenses which are OEM locked that means you can not use those licenses on any other hardware. In VMware vSAN ready nodes, you can pick the hardware of your choice (from VMware HCL) and start building your vSAN cluster and all of the servers from different vendors work in the same cluster. In VxRail, you pay for the solution plus vSphere licenses based on your requirement. In VMware vSAN ready nodes, you pay for all the licenses separate from the hardware cost like, vCenter Server, vSphere, vSAN. for remote sites or very small setups you can use ROBO licenses in VMware vSAN ready nodes where this multi vendor thing can be very useful. From my experience, if the customer has 2-3 years old hardware, most of the times the hardware is good to be converted to an VMware vSAN ready node by making few or no changes.

author avatarFreddy Vergara
Real User

VxRail is a solution that includes vSAN between their components... So VxRail is like a bundle with hardware and software components to deploy hyper-converged solution in very short time without pain.... vSAN is only a software solution that could be deploy in any hardware with enough processing and storage power... thath can be integrated with other components manually or semi automated way... VxRail includes other great components like RecoveryPoint for VM, an excellent DR/BCP solution... If you want an integrated HCI easy to deploy, manage and maintain... VxRail is the best solution

author avatarit_user819948 (User)
User

VxRail is a Turnkey solution from Dell EMC that uses VMware vSAN as the underlying storage technology
The main differences are:

vSAN can Run on any ReadyNode and can differ in the vendor, while VxRail only uses Dell Servers (PowerEdge) I do know that there other products that use CISCO (VxBlock, VXFLEX)

vSAN Requires a vSAN Licence and is renewed yearly (Or whatever your VMware Agreement is) VxRail vSAN Licences are Perpertual.

Patching and install on VxRail are simple and Dell EMC Check the updates before its generally available so the quality control is good. This is good as a bad/incompatible firmware can really cause issues with vSAN , all patching and firmware will need to be vetted and installed by yourself.

VxRail locks you into a Dell Solution. Where as with vSAN you can choose the Hardware you want.

author avatarMEHDI MASMOUDI
Real User

VxRAIL is a pre buid HCI solution, with optimised configuration ready to deploy
also Vmware software VSAN and Vcenter are bundled with better prices and other bundled software

author avatarSufyan Khan
Real User

If you want to have an optimized and integrated software environment with integrated VSAN-in-Kernel into an appliance, a streamlined deployment experience, and single-vendor support go with VxRail because Dell EMC and VMware jointly developed the VxRail system powered by VMware vSAN software-defined storage. VxRail Manager is the sole and primary source for VxRail lifecycle management, cluster compatibility, software updates, and version control. 


VxRail Manager further reduces operational complexity and provides software upgrade automation. Hence, VxRail is the simplest and easiest path to ready HCI and Hybrid Cloud.


VSAN is hardware agnostic but should need to have hardware/component level VSAN certifications. vSAN is enterprise-class, storage virtualization software that, when combined with vSphere, allows you to manage to compute and storage with a single platform. With vSAN, you can reduce the cost and complexity of traditional storage and have Software-Defined Storage in place but without integration with some appliance and always need to have VSA in place to bridge the communication between/among VMs and IO.


Thanks


Sufyan Ali Khan


+923018224536

author avatarMaan Othman
Reseller

The hardware hosting the solution. Vxrail is an engineered appliance from Dell to host vSAN.


In addition vSAN can be installed on any hardware that meets its requirements 

author avatarAdhiwardhana Widjajanto
User

When someone ask biggest, smallest, etc., they need simple answer :D VxRail is easy, while vSAN is complex. VxRail is prebuilt: easy to deploy, easy to scale out, one support contact for everything. VmWare vSAN is just an Software Defined Storage. Complex to deploy, complex to scale up/ out, and need several contact support for the whole solution.

Questions from the Community
Top Answer: The most valuable features are high availability and real-time replication between two servers.
Top Answer: The StarWind VSAN business model is very cost-effective.
Top Answer: The StarWind Management Console is available only for Microsoft Windows/Windows Server, and should also be available for… more »
Top Answer: While both run on the vSAN technology from VMware, vSAN needs to be deployed on vSAN ready nodes while VxRail is an… more »
Top Answer: Clearly Nutanix. As to why, Nutanix has a better vision, superior support and the product is more mature.  See… more »
Top Answer: The solution is simple to use compared to other solutions, such as Hyperflex, VxRail, and Nutanix
Top Answer: HPE Nimble Storage dHCI Vs. VxRail One of the best things about the HPE Nimble Storage dHCI is the three, two, one,… more »
Top Answer: Si el caso de uso permite suministrar toda la funcionalidad de un Datacenter, la mejor opción es SimpliVity, porque es… more »
Top Answer: VxRail vs. Dell EMC PowerFlex VxRail provides stable solutions for technical problems while at the same time not being… more »
Comparisons
Also Known As
vSAN
VCE VxRail
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Overview

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

  1. Enables you to evolve without risk. Seamlessly extend virtualization to storage with an integrated hyper-converged solution that simply works with your overall VMware environment and reduces the risk in digital transformation by using existing tools, skillsets and solutions.
  2. Lowers total cost of ownership by 50% or more with capital and operational savings. Reduce storage CapEx, decrease operational costs, manage the day-to-day operations of compute and storage infrastructure, and accelerate responsiveness to traditionally time-consuming tasks.
  3. vSAN helps customers scale to tomorrow. Prepare for tomorrow's dynamic business in the multi-cloud era with a solution designed to utilize the latest storage and server technologies and ready to support a wide range of applications, from current business critical applications to next-gen applications using containers.

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.

Offer
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Learn more about VMware vSAN
Learn more about VxRail
Sample Customers
Baker Tilly BVI, CMS Internet, Board Harpeth Hall School
Read Some Case Studies At Home Cloud CaribCINgroupDiscovery Check out the Rest of our Customer Stories Here
World Wide Technology Inc, Renault Sport Formula One Team, 8x8 Inc, Brownes, Canadian Pacific, Canopy, Denton, EDF, Unilin, Xerox
Top Industries
REVIEWERS
Manufacturing Company7%
Construction Company7%
Engineering Company7%
Healthcare Company7%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Computer Software Company25%
Comms Service Provider20%
Government8%
Manufacturing Company5%
REVIEWERS
Healthcare Company13%
Financial Services Firm13%
Retailer10%
Comms Service Provider9%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Computer Software Company29%
Comms Service Provider23%
Government7%
Manufacturing Company5%
REVIEWERS
Financial Services Firm14%
Computer Software Company14%
Comms Service Provider11%
Healthcare Company8%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Computer Software Company31%
Comms Service Provider19%
Government7%
Manufacturing Company5%
Company Size
REVIEWERS
Small Business64%
Midsize Enterprise21%
Large Enterprise15%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Small Business51%
Midsize Enterprise25%
Large Enterprise25%
REVIEWERS
Small Business29%
Midsize Enterprise21%
Large Enterprise50%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Small Business20%
Midsize Enterprise13%
Large Enterprise68%
REVIEWERS
Small Business27%
Midsize Enterprise34%
Large Enterprise39%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Small Business20%
Midsize Enterprise17%
Large Enterprise63%
Find out what your peers are saying about VMware vSAN vs. VxRail and other solutions. Updated: September 2021.
542,029 professionals have used our research since 2012.

VMware vSAN is ranked 3rd in Hyper-Converged (HCI) with 43 reviews while VxRail is ranked 2nd in Hyper-Converged (HCI) with 47 reviews. VMware vSAN is rated 8.2, while VxRail is rated 8.6. The top reviewer of VMware vSAN writes "Gives us a lot of advantages when we need to expand resources". On the other hand, the top reviewer of VxRail writes "Good automation makes this solution practical". VMware vSAN is most compared with Nutanix Acropolis AOS, Microsoft Storage Spaces Direct, HPE SimpliVity, Red Hat Ceph Storage and HPE Nimble Storage dHCI, whereas VxRail is most compared with Nutanix Acropolis AOS, HPE SimpliVity, Dell EMC PowerFlex, Cisco HyperFlex HX-Series and HPE Hyper Converged. See our VMware vSAN vs. VxRail report.

See our list of best Hyper-Converged (HCI) vendors.

We monitor all Hyper-Converged (HCI) reviews to prevent fraudulent reviews and keep review quality high. We do not post reviews by company employees or direct competitors. We validate each review for authenticity via cross-reference with LinkedIn, and personal follow-up with the reviewer when necessary.