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HPE Hyper Converged Alternatives and Competitors

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Read reviews of HPE Hyper Converged alternatives and competitors

Vasanth_Kumar
Director Of Information Technology at a outsourcing company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 20
Stable with good technical support and good integration capabilities

Pros and Cons

  • "You don't have to worry too much about the hardware and you don't have to work on integrating a storage device. We instead have this as an all-in-one solution and everything is available as a box."
  • "Right now, it's difficult for a non-technical person to participate in using the product. It could be made more consumer-friendly."

What is our primary use case?

We primarily use the solution to run the loudmouth to host our virtual server's core courses.

What is most valuable?

There's user integration with VMware so you don't have to load VMware on top of it and it works right out of the box. 

There's good integration between VMware as my hypervisor and the hardware and it is specifically to size. 

You don't have to worry too much about the hardware and you don't have to work on integrating a storage device.  We instead have this as an all-in-one solution and everything is available as a box. 

What needs improvement?

They could make something like an actual catalog where you could just put your weblogs and then you cold can get the recommended specs along with the utilities like which processor to get. That would be an economical way to figure out the specs of the solution in relation to your requirements. 

Right now, it's difficult for a non-technical person to participate in using the product. It could be made more consumer-friendly. 

It should give output or recommend orders and dissolve effects. 

They could be more clear in terms of which options to choose. For example, they could say, "We recommend, if you want high performance, to go with this pack." Or "if you want an economical option, try this".

The solution could improve on some existing features, especially experience-based access or something like that. 

The product could benefit from more tightly integrated management.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've only been using the solution for the past six months or so.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This generation, the third generation, seems to be the most stable compared to the initial bracket in the market. Of course, after learning from our myriad mistakes through the initial implementation allowed us to make changes and choose more stable options compared to a few years ago. 

Especially in the Philippines, we are the number one matching reseller for business-critical items. We utilize multiple units to ensure we have a failover in place. If repairs are delayed for hours, we're covered. 

Generally, Dell has a very good presence here. Therefore, we are very stable. The quality of the algorithm is better. You can see the quality of components inside the hardware. They manufacture everything in their own plants in Malaysia. Therefore, they already have hardware components inside the region that are easily accesible.

Failure rates are low compared to Cisco hardware.  

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution is pretty scalable. There are a lot of items that keep adding onto the computing power and storage. It's not like other platforms where you have to plan far ahead if you plan to scale. 

How are customer service and technical support?

We've dealt with technical support in the past. We dealt with HP, IBM, and Cisco a long time ago, and we find Dell works hard for us. Their service levels are very good in comparison to other organizations. We're quite satisfied with their level of service.

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

I've used Cisco in the past. I find this solution is easier to implement and offers good hardware and software integrations. We've also worked with IBM and HP a very long time ago. Dell has better customer services than all of them.

How was the initial setup?

In terms of the initial setup, compared to any other platform, it pretty simple. I've used Cisco UCS in the past, and have experience with that solution, and compared to that, this implementation is easy.

It's got a very good integration between hardware and software specific configurations. You just need to watch out for technical inputs.

The maintenance we negotiated as a bundle over years of use. Our partner handles the maintenance of the solution.

What about the implementation team?

We actually had that alteration done through our Dell partner. We chose a partner based on input from Dell about our limitations, what sort of skill set they had, how many engineers were verified, etc., and then we chose our partners. 90% of the population was done by the partner and 10% wherever delegation was needed, they would assist as necessary.

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

The pricing varies. We were able to negotiate a pretty good position

In India, they gave us something like three years without interest. However, there are various categories in terms of getting the correct payment options on the pricing, they have a lot of options.

They gave us 40% off of this year in the Philippines whereas in India they gave a monthly payment option without interest. 

A company can negotiate a price. At my organization, we've always managed very good pricing. Therefore, we have no regrets when it comes to the pricing we have to pay. If you have a good relationship with them, they'll try to take care of you.

What other advice do I have?

We're just a customer. We don't have a relationship with Dell.

We just procured the latest version of the solution.

When we decided on our requirements, we had multiple calls with Dell and the attorneys to ensure that we received what we needed. Apart from choosing various generations or various models on VxRail boxes, we also took to deep dive into the actual configuration on each processor to understand how much memory to use.

It's easier if you have a technical professional on your side when you're dealing with Dell. I'm a technical person, so I could get into the weeds with them. If you are a company without the technical expertise, you're going to run into a bit of trouble as you won't necessarily understand the product or the technical aspects that are being discussed.

I would advise organizations considering implementing the solution to choose your partner really carefully. Ask questions like how many engineers do they have and find out how transparent they are about how they handle the process. I'd look at at least two potential partners and compare their capability and expertise.

Overall, I'd rate the solution nine 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.
Massimiliano Bartolozzi
Chief Information Officer at Lucart
Real User
Top 20
Crashes continuously, complex to deploy, and bad after-sales support

Pros and Cons

  • "The ability to size the available space in a way that matches our company's needs is most valuable. For instance, you can decide if you want 80/20, 70/30, or 60/40 space. Redundancy depends on your needs without changing the appliance. You just add space and decide the percentage of space that you need free and the percentage of space that you need for backup. It is all automatic, and you don't have to do anything. You just add space, and the system automatically configures itself with the chosen option."
  • "Its stability is very bad. It has been crashing continuously. In one year, we got three crashes, which is unbelievable for an appliance that is guaranteed for 10 years without any crash."

What is our primary use case?

In 2020, our site-based AS/400 infrastructure was going to the end of its life cycle. So, we started a market investigation for an appliance that could host our new SQL server environment. We also selected a private cloud data center inside the Telecom Italia facility in Rome. After the hardware selection, NetApp won the challenge, and we decided to fill the data center room with the NetApp H-series appliance. We went live with the new data center on March 6, 2021.

How has it helped my organization?

It has increased the availability of our systems from 12 hours for 6 days to 18 hours for 7 days. Because the NetApp system is faster than the ones we had before, so we need less time for backup and maintenance. We also have more time for applications availability. We are now saving almost 30% time.

It has helped to reduce or eliminate storage performance issues. There is a 30% increase in the performance.

In terms of the use of compute resources, it has increased our efficiency by 30%. 

What is most valuable?

The ability to size the available space in a way that matches our company's needs is most valuable. For instance, you can decide if you want 80/20, 70/30, or 60/40 space. Redundancy depends on your needs without changing the appliance. You just add space and decide the percentage of space that you need free and the percentage of space that you need for backup. It is all automatic, and you don't have to do anything. You just add space, and the system automatically configures itself with the chosen option.

What needs improvement?

Their after-sales support, SLA, and third-parties availability should be improved. NetApp's support is very difficult to engage. We have an SLA of onsite support within 24 hours. but they don't respect the SLA.

Its stability is very bad. It has been crashing continuously. In one year, we got three crashes, which is unbelievable for an appliance that is guaranteed for 10 years without any crash.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for one and a half years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Its stability is very bad. We had problems with the stability of the appliance from the beginning. It has been crashing very often. I would rate it a zero out of ten in terms of stability. We have been very dissatisfied with its stability during its implementation and since it has been live.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Its scalability is very good. When we discovered that there was not enough available space, NetApp was able to install additional hardware. We can auto-configure it to get more space. So, we can easily and quickly scale if we need.

We are using it extensively. It is being used in the main data center for our group. Currently, 800 people from all departments use this solution. We do have plans to increase its usage.

How are customer service and technical support?

We got three crashes in one year. NetApp's support is very difficult to engage. We have an SLA of onsite support within 24 hours. They did not respect any SLA. They came after three days, and they did not have the spare part. They had to find the spare part. 

I also suspect that they gave me a reconditioned one and not a new one, but it is only my impression. I don't know whom to call in order to complain. Their support is not at all good.

How was the initial setup?

Its initial setup was complex. First of all, we had problems with the stability of the appliance from the beginning, and it was crashing very often. Second, NetApp's calculation of the available space after the installation was also wrong, so we had to add another hardware, which NetApp provided for free. That was absolutely fantastic, but it delayed our implementation process by three months. Overall, the deployment took six months.

There was not really an implementation strategy. We were not changing or migrating anything. We were setting up a new data center from scratch. We're building it from nothing.

What about the implementation team?

We use a company from Sienna, Italy called Argon. The experience with them has been very good. They've been with us for years now, so they are a solid partner. Every time I call them, they are ready to answer. We had a good experience with them. They also provide post-sales support to us.

What was our ROI?

Without the crashes, I would have seen a return of investment because of the additional 30% availability. Considering the time that I have lost because of the crashes, our return on investment is now negative.

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

Its price is aligned with the market. In addition to the standard licensing fees, there is an integrator cost.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We evaluated HP, IBM, and Dell. We chose NetApp because our partner and the system integrator company strongly recommended to go for NetApp. Because we trust this company and this company was responsible for setting up the entire data center, we decided to follow their advice.

Overall, all of these solutions were very advanced. Technically, I would put NetApp and Dell at the same level of innovation. IBM and HP are more established technologies, but they are not as innovative.

In terms of cost, HP and NetApp were the ones that could make a bigger effort to reduce the cost. IBM and Dell were a little bit more expensive. 

What other advice do I have?

My advice to those who want to implement this solution is to not go for this solution because it is not stable. I don't really know how we could have avoided this because you don't really get to know before buying a solution that it is not stable. The only lesson that I have learned is that rather than going for an advanced technology that is not yet properly tested, it is better to go for established technology, even if it is a little bit older.

I would rate this solution a three out of 10. Its instability destroys everything good that has been done during the implementation.

Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
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GI
Pre-sales Engineer at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
Real User
Top 5
A hyper-converged infrastructure that offers enterprise-level data protection

Pros and Cons

  • "The technical support is exceptionally good."
  • "There needs to be a simple process for migrating one SimpliVity cluster to a new SimpliVity cluster."

What is our primary use case?

Typically, our customers use it to try to consolidate their solutions on VMware with multiple virtual machines — almost more than 15 in every case.

What is most valuable?

The integration possibilities regarding the administration console are one of the best configurations and one of the best features that differentiates this product from others in the market. Also, you can add extra coverage protection that includes everything inside of the hard drives — similar products don't do this. You can use it directly from the hypervisor, which is great.

What needs improvement?

The price is one of the biggest problems our customers have. The solution is great, but at the end of the day, it's expensive. Compared to other solutions on the market, like Nutanix or vSAN, you are paying for something else. In this case, I have to explain the big differences within HPE SimpliVity. Overall, the biggest issue I have is regarding the price.

The problem is not necessarily with the HPE SimpliVity console itself because it's very easy to integrate with. Sometimes, our customers just want to have the opportunity to have the freedom to choose between Hyper-V and VMware. We love that kind of possibility. 

It's not so frequently that we have a request about Hyper-V, but our customers do ask about the differences regarding licensing prices because at the end of the day, with Microsoft, the hypervisor is included with the operating system — that saves money.

The feature that I would like to see improved in the next release is migrations. There needs to be a simple process for migrating one SimpliVity cluster to a new SimpliVity cluster. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for almost two years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We have no problems with SimpliVity. If you configure it well, the product works well, but once you consider the possibility of growing a SimpliVity cluster after one or two years, it's not easy for costumers to understand that the original nodes are not available — you have to buy specific new nodes or whatever is available at that moment. You will lose some space, capabilities, or some benefits with the new nodes — you may need to configure a new cluster and migrate the older one. 

SimpliVity should have the capability to integrate with other clusters in the future. Here in Colombia, our customers try it with just one additional node, but although that additional node could be easy to configure, you still will lose some features and characteristics.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support is exceptionally good. 

There's some information missing from the manual. I had to request special help in some cases because the documents are not complete. For example, wherever you go, unless you have some kind of experience with the product, there are some ports on the backend of the servers that are not easily identifiable. When you read over the documents and try to find that information, you can't find it anywhere — you have to contact SimpliVity support.

They need to provide more complete information about the components and their uses, especially the ports on the back.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is not bad when you use the OCA. The OCA is a configuration utility but you have to know what you're doing or you could easily drive up the end-price for the customer.

What other advice do I have?

Regarding configuration, it would be nice to have the flexibility to easily select the right low-cost service for any implementation or configuration. 

Overall, on a scale from one to ten, I would give this solution a rating of nine. If the customer has the right environment, I would definitely recommend this solution.

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
RR
Presales Consultant at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Real User
Top 5
Quite scalable, stable, and offers good technical support

Pros and Cons

  • "It's very easy to use and quite a mature product."
  • "The pricing is pretty expensive."

What is our primary use case?

A client typically uses the solution for the VDI critical application and for the containerization as well. It's a critical application and he X location and the hybrid or multi cloud.

What is most valuable?

The solution is easy to deploy as they're based on ECS. We buy an ECS Manager so that we can scale out easily. We can also integrate with external storage. We can also scale for computing or storage only.

The product is quite stable.

It's very easy to use and quite a mature product.

What needs improvement?

As a fairly mature product, I can't think of any features that are lacking per se. 

The pricing is pretty expensive.

Right now they are coming into the public cloud, we want to be seeing HyperFlex integration with public clouds such as AWS, Azure or Google. 

I need to see the feature more use cases for the backup and restore functionalities or how  we can expand the cluster to the public cloud.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution since about 2018. It's been about two years or so. It hasn't been too long.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is very stable. It doesn't have bugs or glitches. It doesn't crash or freeze. It's very good.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We do plan to continue using the product and expanding it as needed. 

Cisco is better for enterprise-level organizations.

How are customer service and technical support?

Cisco has great technical support. We're quite satisfied with their level of service. Cisco does offer full support for the product, which is quite helpful. They have a good amount of knowledge on their product and they are very good at sharing the information and insights they have. 

However, in comparison, Nutanix technical support is better in that they are not only knowledgeable but responsive as well.

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

As partners, we use a variety of solutions such as Nutanix, Cisco HyperFlex, and NetApp HCI. We don't for example, have partnerships with HPE or SimpliVity.

If you were comparing Cisco, to, for example, Nutanix, Cisco is more expensive.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is not too complex. The installation is pretty easy as the HyperFlex has a deployment engine. We can just follow the wizard and go over everything step-by-step. Cisco has guidelines about the installation in the portal which makes it very convenient to get the insights you need.

The deployment is very fast and takes typically under one hour.

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

The solution can be pretty expensive. It's not the cheapest option on the market.

What other advice do I have?

My role in the company is pre-sales. We offer this solution to our clients. As a partner, we don't use Cisco HyperFlex, but we propose HyperFlex for the customer.

For the deployment, we can deploy for the DC and DRC side, for the synchronous replication, and also for the stress cluster, we can also deploy for the X location as the HyperFlex has a HyperFex extraction for the X location.

I'm in Indonesia, and in this particular country/region, this solution isn't really used very widely. Nutanix is more famous in Indonesia, as it can be used by the SMB customer or small customers up to enterprises. Most hyper-converged solutions that are used in Indonesia are Nutanix.

I would recommend the solution to other organizations, however, only if it made sense and fit their company's needs.

Overall, I would rate the product eight out of ten.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
ITCS user
Web Services and Systems Development at a non-profit with 201-500 employees
Real User
Top 20
Helpful and proactive support, offers full redundancy, and is cost-effective

Pros and Cons

  • "The vSAN provides full redundancy for storage while reclaiming some rack space."
  • "I found that certain browsers are not fully compatible with the administration web access portal."

What is our primary use case?

StarWind Virtual SAN has been a welcomed addition to my network.

How has it helped my organization?

Overall, StarWinds vSAN is a cost-saving storage option with top-notch support.

The vSAN provides full redundancy for storage while reclaiming some rack space. I can focus on other IT needs now, rather than having to worry about redundancy with an aging physical SAN storage unit. If an HDD fails, I can easily hot-swap and continue the business.

Support was extremely helpful in regards to setup and implementation.

What is most valuable?

The admin portal has been easy to use and provides a great overview of health and usage.

What needs improvement?

I found that certain browsers are not fully compatible with the administration web access portal. I would like to see continued improvement with additional compatibility for other browsers to be able to work properly with the administrator web portal.

I did find out, with the help of StarWind's support, that the Firefox browser seems to be the browser that works the best with their web portal.

It also appears that vMotion is slower than my previous SAN solution, which was a traditional physical unit.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using StarWind Virtual SAN for one year.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Since implementation, I have not had one issue with performance or stability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

This is a scalable solution, as it is simple to add another vSAN.

How are customer service and technical support?

I never felt rushed while I had to install additional host NIC cards and they walked me through every step of the setup process. Their support has been quick to respond and with frequent updates. They will always work a case until I am satisfied that I have a proper and understood answer.

I am not bombarded with additional sales calls, but they do check in from time to time only to make sure all is well. That is appreciated.

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

I was forced to replace my traditional physical SAN when I was unable to get additional service parts, even as it was still under a support contract. I needed a full-featured, low-cost replacement for it.

StarWind came highly recommended throughout various IT channels and colleagues.

What about the implementation team?

I implemented myself, with the use of StarWind's support team. Their support team was instrumental in aiding the completion of the setup process.

The support was a great resource for setup and continued use. They took the time to really explain how their solution works, specifically within my environment.

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

StarWind is a low-cost, full-featured alternative to the traditional SAN environment, and their support will guide you every step of the setup.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We looked at Dell/EMC and HPE solutions and they were all extremely expensive.

A sales rep was quick to get me in touch with an engineer who patiently walked me through my endless questions of compatibility and setup. They even assisted with recommendations for host hard drives: both HDD and SSD options.

What other advice do I have?

Overall, StarWinds vSAN is a cost-saving storage option with top-notch support.

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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