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VMware vSAN Competitors and Alternatives

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CB
Solutions Architect at a computer software company with 51-200 employees
Reseller
Top 10
Provides the flexibility needed to scale storage and compute independently

Pros and Cons

  • "The nice thing about it is that it truly integrates with the cloud, so I can move my volumes bi-directionally in and out of the cloud."
  • "Their documentation needs to be simpler to read yet more detailed so it's easy to compare models and easier for clients to pick."

What is our primary use case?

It's really about simplifying my infrastructure and getting myself to be cloud-enabled in a hybrid infrastructure so that I can move in and out of the cloud. That way, I can have a very easy-to-manage, intelligent infrastructure so I no longer have to worry about level one and level two calls. The storage is intelligent, it's taken care of itself. For example, if I want full-stack management, or I want to know if my virtual machines are being bad actors or noisy neighbors, or the firmware on my servers or hosts, or my hardware is all in good shape or if it has a predictive failure — I want to know about it and I want it to open up a ticket for me so that the part can be delivered to me and I don't have to open up a ticket. 

Here's a good scenario: Years ago I used to manage large data centers. I started out with 800 servers, I had 16 people. When I left there, I had 2,900 servers and eight people. That is the reality of IT staff. They're constantly being compressed and asked to do more with less. In order to do that you have to have an intelligent infrastructure. You have to have a methodology that allows you to be able to supply your user community with the services that they need consistently with a smaller staff. That is what really drives DACI and HCI.

Our clients come in all sizes, from small, medium, and large-sized businesses.

How has it helped my organization?

Nimble gives time back to our clients. They know it's secure. They know that it's self intelligence software. They know that it's going to report to them and let them know if there's an issue — it's going to give them predictive data. It's going to give them a full stack of data. What a lot of them couldn't see before was what's going on with the virtual environment. Now they can see that because it tells them. So not only is it storage, it's telling them, "Hey, here's how your virtual machines are acting, and oh, by the way, you need some more memory on this server." You don't expect that from any other storage. I've only seen it with Nimble. It gets them out of that firefighting mode. Now they can actually go do the things that their customers are asking them to do. That's how it changed their life from day to day for the business.

What is most valuable?

What's really intriguing about it is they truly took everything that was required to run on the host, typically in an HCI solution, and ran it out of the storage. 

You don't have to have any virtual controllers or any of that management that takes away from the process or a memory that you would use for your virtualization. You don't have to take any of your resources away — it's brilliant.

The nice thing about it is that it truly integrates with the cloud, so I can move my volumes bi-directionally in and out of the cloud. It has intelligent replication to the point where I can replicate to two different sites and to the cloud. 

There's a three, two, one, zero rule. That means I need three copies of my data on two different types of media and I need one of them to be protected from ransomware. I need it to be immutable. The zero stands for zero errors; I need to know that my backup was successful and I've actually tested it and can say that I can restore from it. A lot of people miss that point. 

The intelligence of the solution, in general, is great. There are other great features like Triple+ parity RAID. They are on par, or better than any of the other storage vendors out there for a much more reasonable price, but what really puts them over the top for customers is the intelligence.

Every time a vendor buys someone else, and HP is no different than anyone else, they usually mark it up. When they bought Nimble, I said, "Oh man, that's it. Nimble's done. They're going to screw it up." And they didn't. They actually invested a lot of time and a lot of resources to make it better and to take what was good inside of Nimble, including the InfoSite intelligence, and applied it to other products in their portfolio to make the whole stack intelligent. They really did what they set out to do, which blows me away because typically they fall down on their face.

What needs improvement?

Nimble It's only available using iSCSI — Nimble can run iSCSI or Fiber Channel. Although iSCSI is cheaper, from a performance perspective, if you've got a really high-performance need, then you need Fiber Channel. 

Not to get too technical, but people tend to think that adding more ports gives you that much more bandwidth — that's not true. Every stream must be dedicated to a port. You could actually do port saturation and not use some of your ports that you just dedicated to your storage.

It's not as mature as Fiber Channel — no one is. Fiber Channel is more expensive, but if high-performance is what you seek, then you need Fiber Channel. I hope that they bring that forward. They're doing all kinds of leaps and bounds with the new Nimble. I really love where they're going, but I think Fiber Channel should be on the docket for dHCI. 

It would be nice if they just provided a simple, easy to read matrix (white paper) on the different models. Today, it's a little convoluted. It's a little hard to read. You have to actually show it to a customer and explain it to them. I shouldn't have to explain it to them. It should be very simple: here are your options, here's your expansion, here's how much storage you get with that, etc. The information is kind of there, but it's just, it's ugly.

I don't mean to call anyone's baby ugly, but they need to improve that datasheet. That would be my pet peeve with them. Their documentation needs to be simpler to read yet more detailed so it's easy to compare models and easier for clients to pick. They shouldn't have to have us sit down with them and explain to them why. They should be able to look at this and say, "Oh, okay. I understand where I need to be. I don't need a decoder to figure it out." That and the fiber channel are my pet peeves.

The documentation needs to be improved — the quick specs are just horrible.

I think there could be more automation capabilities; however, I think they're moving in this direction. More automation to open and close tickets, to get those service tickets open. They've done a lot in that area and I think that they again should focus on introducing more somewhere down the road. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Nimble for roughly four years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is actually incredible because as they improve the older systems, the new operating system and new firmware deployed on it. It's now at six nines. So it's actually more reliable than it was when we bought it — it's fantastic.

I've never had an issue with Nimble Storage. The only problem that I've ever seen wasn't actually to do with the storage, It was an issue with the network. They didn't have their iSCSI set up correctly. It wasn't efficient. They weren't getting the throughput that they wanted. That was a simple change, but it had nothing to do with the storage; however, if you were to sit there and look at it with typical software that comes with VMware, it's going to say there is a storage latency issue. This is because it's looking at the time it takes to travel from the host to the storage and back. What it fails to see is that there are several components along that line. It doesn't mean it's your storage. InfoSite was able to see that, tell us, and show us where the real issue lied. The storage was acting very quickly, but the network was not.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It's very easy to scale. It's very simple to scale. Regarding the dHCI, if you put a new node on the network, it discovers it and says: "You want to add it?" — it's fantastic. I think they've done a real good job.

How are customer service and technical support?

I didn't use them. I reached out to one of my friends at one of the distributors, because I know she knows the dHCI code — I talked to her about it. We have our own lab and we put one up in our lab and we started playing with it and picking it apart. It was pretty much straightforward, so I didn't have to call on them. For this reason, I can't really evaluate them.

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

I deployed quite a lot of different hyper-convergent products. 

The reason why I switched really came down to the intelligence, the InfoSite, and the fact that I really liked the idea that I can scale my storage independently.

A lot of people bought hyper-converged and then they said, "Oh, I need some storage. So I'll just use the storage on the hyper-converged and present that out to another server." That tends to ruin HCI. It will ruin your HCI, your ratios by doing that. You'll outgrow the box. You'll be all frustrated. And they were.

With Nimble dHCI, once I deploy it and set it up for dHCI, I can then take a portion of that storage and say, "Hey, you know what? I want to attach a sequel server to this." Then I am ready to start using this additional storage. I can sweat out my other assets.

Everyone always thinks greenfield is the way to go. Sure, of course it is. But nobody can afford a greenfield data center. That's just crazy talk. When I ran data centers for years, we would budget-cycle the data center. We'd say, "Okay, I'm going to compute on year one; on year two, I am going to do networking; and on year three, I'm going to do storage." They never are aligned with each other — the age of the equipment is never aligned. 

The refresh dates are never aligned. That makes it very difficult for those HCI stories. It's got to be the perfect storm. It really comes down to the fact that I need a better way to manage the infrastructure. That's when it becomes a more viable story. People say to me, "Well, I can buy servers cheaper here than I can in Microsoft Azure." Of course you can, but here, you're comparing a banana to an orange — they're not the same. The orange is obviously more tasteful.

I don't like bananas but If that's your thought process, that: "Hey, I want to refresh servers and that's all I want to do." Well, okay. Go ahead. Go ahead and do that. But you're constantly in that cycle. Why do you spend so many cycles refreshing? Why do you spend so many cycles maintaining infrastructure? Why is it that you have so many different tools to manage your infrastructure? The answer is because you won't get out of that mindset.

You have to step back from that mindset and say, "Imagine If I didn't have a data center. How would I do it today if I had a greenfield?" It doesn't mean you have to go out and start a greenfield — you start a little section that's green, move through your data center as you cycle, repurpose your budget to build the new infrastructure in a new way that's easier for you to manage and to procure.

How was the initial setup?

A customer could set this. A customer with zero experience could set this up. Just pick up the manual and go set it up. I happen to charge for that, so don't tell them I said that.

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

I think the price is good. 

What other advice do I have?

I hate talking about products. I think we should sit down and talk about what you are trying to do? What are your business goals? Because your business dictates to you what projects are important to them. What are they trying to accomplish? How do I help you accomplish those goals?

A lot of times, what it comes down to is they don't have the time to do the infrastructure the way we used to do infrastructure. That's no longer acceptable by the business because it's not important to the business. Think about how you can be a good business partner and provide them with the applications and the data they need access to from anywhere in the world. Look at us now. We're all home. I'm in my basement. Everyone feels bad for me. My basement is a fully furnished basement with a pool table, a beer fridge, a 60-inch flat-screen TV. There's even a music section over here with a full drum kit and guitars. So don't feel bad for me.

At the end of the day, you're not in the IT business. You're in the business of making some products, whether it's t-shirts, shoes, chairs — I don't care what it is. Whatever your products are, that's your business. Your business is not IT. But IT is the tool that helps you sell.

What the business wants to know is, "Hey, I'm giving you a lot of money for IT? How did you help me sell that chair? I need to sell more of those chairs in order to pay for that IT equipment." How do you help them do that? One of the ways is to reduce the work that you have to put in. You can focus on the applications and the innovation that helps them sell that chair. We should be talking about how do we help the business become more agile. You should be focused on, "Hey, they're working from home, how can I get them better access?" Maybe you shouldn't be doing anything in the data center. Maybe you should be moving to that hybrid infrastructure.

dHCI with Nimble Will give you the ability to start growing your data into the cloud in a bi-directional way. Now you can start talking about technology once you understand what their problems are; however, you can't just go in and talk about technology. You have to talk about what the problems are. How are you going to sell? If their problem is they're trying to put a screw in the wall and you hand them a hammer, you're not really helping them out — you'll get the job done, but it's going to be ugly. 

On a scale from one to ten, I would give this solution a rating of nine.

There's always room for improvement. I think that more automation is needed. Certainly, they're getting there. I think that the reason why I am giving them a nine is that it's probably the best dHCI solution out there. From a storage perspective, outside of dHCI, I think it's one of the best storage solutions out there in the market. I think it's priced right and it's extremely intelligent.

My biggest pet peeve is you need to give IT folks time back. The worst thing in the world is when you've got a problem with a system and you call support and you get level one and they go, "Okay, I need you to go in and I need you to dump these reports for me." The brilliant thing with Nimble is you don't have to do that.

They already have the reports because InfoSight provides them with the data all the time. So you don't call level one, you don't call level two, you go directly to level three. To me, that's the way it should be. 

You've got the data. Doesn't your team know how to read it? That to me is the most important feature of Nimble and what puts them on top of my charts. Because it's truly intelligent. Not only that, they're taking advantage of the intelligence of it to actually be proactive for their customers.

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: Reseller
HE
Data Center Team Lead at a comms service provider with 51-200 employees
Real User
Top 20
A good solution for medium-sized setups and replacing legacy systems especially with VMware

Pros and Cons

  • "This is a good solution for medium-sized installations especially when it will be coupled with VMware."
  • "There is a limitation on the number of nodes."
  • "Troubleshooting can be a little more difficult than legacy systems."

What is our primary use case?

In medium-sized installations, many of our customers require a reasonably-priced solution to replace legacy computer storage. Those are the customers who we are suggesting using the  VxRail solution to. If the customer is building a data center using VMware, we are recommending VxRail because of the VMware compatibility.  

Medium set-ups can be used in a large enterprise but only when they need this solution as a smaller part of their environment. It works well for small setups or medium setups, or for new application setups.  

What is most valuable?

Most of the products of this type have features that are almost the same. We are using VxRail especially because we would like to have products that are compatible with VMware and Dell to support our prospective client base.  

What needs improvement?

The configuration of HCI (Hyper-Convergence Infrastructure) solutions is very easy compared to the legacy solutions. Legacy systems run the computer and the storage separately and use switches to get the connectivity. That is much more complicated. It is completely the opposite when using generic HCI technology. The implementation is very simple and so is the operation.  

The only thing about the HCI solution is that troubleshooting is a little bit difficult because it is still a new technology. Other than this it is simpler than the traditional technology. HCI is nice and it makes sense. I think there is a need to improve the solution because it is difficult to troubleshoot. But compared to legacy solutions, you are troubleshooting one that is a little bit difficult instead of troubleshooting two different products that might each be a little easier. In the end, the difference as far as troubleshooting is not much but the advantages are still there on the HCI side and technology upgrade.  

The other thing I would like to see improved is not really a feature. It is about scalability. It would be good to increase the limit of the number of nodes within the clusters.  

For how long have I used the solution?

I had experience before 2018, but I have been using it for this past year.  

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Even compared to Cisco, I think VxRail is a very stable solution. It is in the same class as Cisco.  

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

VxRail is easy to scale, but the number of nodes is limited. This is not the same with other solutions like Nutanix. VxRail has a limit for a certain number of nodes within the cluster and if you need more than that then you have to create another cluster. It is an issue but at the same time, it is not an issue. It is kind of just a configuration difference.  

How are customer service and technical support?

I do not have any direct contact with technical support because I am not doing the product delivery. If the technicians have some issues, they have to make the contact. I have not heard anything bad or good about the support. That suggests it is good.  

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was simple. The amount of time it takes depends on the number of nodes you have.  

It does require some maintenance over time. For maintenance, you have to request that through your supplier or even through the implementation team. It will be totally different depending on the kind of activity and the issue, but it should not be disruptive for the most part. The only exception is in critical applications. These may be critical but it is simple to restore the network connectivity or storage availability.  

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

My advice about cost and setup is that it is just as cheap to have the HCI solution as to stay with legacy solutions. If you convert the value of HCI versus the traditional, legacy solution you gain more than you spend. It comes out to an even trade as far as budget.  

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Compared to other HCI products, VxRail has advantages in stability and support from the vendors. If you bought Cisco, for example, you have to open an account with Cisco for the hardware and open an account with VMware for the software separately. With VxRail this is not what happens. You opened the account with them and they will manage all the communication and the services. That ends up being more stable. Getting your support from one company is better than having to get support from different companies when dealing with an issue shared between products and trying to sort that out.  

What other advice do I have?

I recommend VxRail as a solution especially for those using legacy services. We often recommend VxRail over other competitors. The only exception really is if the customer does not want Dell computing resources. For example, the client may have another vendor they tend to use. So if everything they have is HP they may like to have an HP solution. If they are using Cisco, they may want a Cisco solution. Those are the only times that we will not go with suggesting VXRail.  

On a scale from one to ten where one is the worst and ten is the best, I would rate the VXRail solution as an 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
BM
IT manager at a transportation company with 51-200 employees
Real User
Easy to maintain and update

Pros and Cons

  • "One of the most valuable features of Nutanix is that it's easy to use. I love this solution—it's easy to maintain and update, and I think it's almost perfect."
  • "I'm sure there are a lot of things that could be improved, but I'm actually very satisfied with this product. There may be some possibilities to move the virtual server dismounting points or to move the server from one group to another, but I can't think of any special improvements or update features."

What is our primary use case?

My primary use case for Nutanix is for running Windows servers. Nutanix is deployed on-premises. 

How has it helped my organization?

Nutanix was a very good business solution for our site. It's an expensive system, but it provides power savings, in terms of the low costs for running it, and it was a good business investment. 

What is most valuable?

One of the most valuable features of Nutanix is that it's easy to use. I love this solution—it's easy to maintain and update, and I think it's almost perfect. 

What needs improvement?

I'm sure there are a lot of things that could be improved, but I'm actually very satisfied with this product. There may be some possibilities to move the virtual server dismounting points or to move the server from one group to another, but I can't think of any special improvements or update features. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been working with Nutanix for the past two years. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I'm very satisfied with the stability and performance of Nutanix. This solution is easy to maintain. You use the LCM module, press update, and it's done for you. It's wonderful because you don't have to do anything—it's almost too easy. I am the only one handling maintenance for and managing Nutanix. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

This solution is scalable. I just added some extra discs to the system because we were running out of space and all I had to do was put the discs inside the service—Acropolis took care of the rest. It added volume and said that everything was done automatically, so it's difficult to make the process any easier. 

How are customer service and support?

Whenever I have had a support case, Nutanix has always helped to solve it the first time around. I have never had to wait for an extra or false opinion on the product or problem; it has always been solved within first contacting Nutanix. Compared to what I've seen of other technical support, it's hard to get better than this. 

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

We worked with VMware for some years before switching to Nutanix. We had a problem with our SQL servers, which were running on VMware, and the performance wasn't good. There was a product called Pernix that we installed to VMware, to speed up the storage process when it was saving files and data. Pernix worked very well.

They implemented that technology from Pernix into Nutanix, which is why I think Nutanix performs so well. There is an internal storage service, rather than a storage center, so you don't have to spend time waiting for the network. That was what Pernix did: it moved the storage, or part of the storage, inside the server, which then took care of saving to that storage. It's a little complicated to explain, but that was why our SQL servers were working as a traditional server with a separate machine. This is the way that Nutanix works as well. You have the server you are running always located on the local stores and it will make sure to back everything up. Instead of looking at VMware, I would advise looking at Nutanix or something else that's similar. However, it's IP, so it's always evolving. 

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was done by Lenovo at delivery, but it seemed to be quite easy. There is always some setup in the beginning, but once the setup's done, it will only take a few minutes to add an extra node or anything. It's done almost automatically—you don't have to do anything, just put them in and then they're up and running. 

What about the implementation team?

We implemented through a vendor team. The initial setup was done by Lenovo Professional Services, but on a day-to-day basis, I handle the running of Nutanix. I only contact Nutanix if there is an error I cannot solve myself, which has only happened three or four times. 

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

This product is expensive, but they do have discounts. At one point, I saw that they were giving a 70% or 80% discount, which is a good thing, but maybe they should have a more realistic price and then a 5% to 10% discount. 

What other advice do I have?

I rate Nutanix a ten out of ten. I recommend this solution to any companies considering implementation. It was a good business investment for our company and as an extended working system, it is easy to maintain and use. The costs for running it are also low. For most companies who are already running some system at a certain scale and on-premises, I think a lot of them could benefit from this solution. 

I'm an end user and don't have any direct business connection with Nutanix—I only contact them when I need technical 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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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.
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TRAIANO ...
Technology Solutions, Support & Training at UNISONMEDIA Group, Inc.
Real User
Top 5
Resilient with seamless failover, and the support is helpful

Pros and Cons

  • "Recovery and maintenance are now less stressful and most importantly, it allows our users to keep working."
  • "A mobile app to sync up for overview and status would really be helpful."

What is our primary use case?

We have Microsoft Hyper-V.  StarWind is configured as a two-node cluster with a Windows environment. It is crucial for the Virtual Machines that give us the resiliency of Exchange, 4TB File Servers, Networking Services, Quickbooks Server, Terminal Servers, Virtualized Spam Protection, Active Directory Services, and a few others.

We needed something that allows for better resiliency than the old way of doing things.  We have seen other choices out there but this seemed to be the best one, given our budget and the hardware we wanted to use.

How has it helped my organization?

This StarWind solution has enabled us to be more resilient, once it was set up and tested.

Failover happens very smoothly. Recovery and maintenance are now less stressful and most importantly, it allows our users to keep working.

Before StarWind, we were dealing with an archaic way of synchronizing Virtual machines and data between non-clustered physical hosts and it was very frustrating. Now, things are less hands-on and easier to manage and navigate the virtual environment, including maintenance while other users keep working.

What is most valuable?

We found that robust communications between clusters and synchronization were key and most valuable to us due to the amount of data we were synchronizing.

The expertise from their technicians is very helpful even in the middle of the night, with the right support plan of course. The technical documentation, the follow-up and the details noted on a per-call basis was amazing. We really appreciate that kind of commitment to our success and stability that the StarWind software brings to our business.

What needs improvement?

Built-in Notification would really help and as I understand, their new release has this now.  

A mobile app to sync up for overview and status would really be helpful.

Also, it would be helpful if the software had a few more guides and links/videos on how-to's.

An "Update available" notification within the software would also be helpful and a guided wizard to do the upgrade properly would also be nice and efficient.

A better visual of the SAN storage/actual storage and how it is used would be good, especially when it comes to where the files are located on the disk. 

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using StarWind Virtual SAN for the last two years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Stability seems great and we have not had any problems with the software.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Seems very scalable, although we chose to have a two-node cluster.

How are customer service and technical support?

This area has been the best for us, especially being new to this technology. The support team was amazing with follow-up and they are super patient.

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

I have not used another solution for the same purpose. This was what I picked based on my research.

How was the initial setup?

Initially, I didn't quite understand the framework and what exact hardware was needed so I had to do some learning. However, once all was in place it went pretty smoothly.

What about the implementation team?

We did our deployment in-house, with help from StarWind.

What was our ROI?

Return on investment for us, I would say maybe breaking even. As I said, I wish the costs were better balanced.

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

The cost seems a bit steep, and I wish it was less expensive.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I have looked at Nutanix and VMware.

What other advice do I have?

Mainly that the costs would be less expensive.

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?

Amazon Web Services (AWS)
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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