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VMware vSAN OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

VMware vSAN is #3 ranked solution in HCI Software. IT Central Station users give VMware vSAN an average rating of 8 out of 10. VMware vSAN is most commonly compared to VxRail: VMware vSAN vs VxRail.VMware vSAN is popular among Large Enterprise, accounting for 68% of users researching this solution on IT Central Station. The top industry researching this solution is Computer Software Company, accounting for 29% of all views.
What is VMware vSAN?

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.

VMware vSAN is also known as vSAN.

VMware vSAN Buyer's Guide

Download the VMware vSAN Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: October 2021

VMware vSAN Customers

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Pricing Advice

What users are saying about VMware vSAN pricing:
  • "ROI from an administrative perspective is clearly much better because I only have to deal with one user interface."
  • "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."

VMware vSAN Reviews

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Yves Sandfort
CEO / Cloud Evangelist at Comdivision Consulting GmbH
Video Review
Real User
Gives us a lot of advantages when we need to expand resources

Pros and Cons

  • "We can also create test cases. We can even throttle down performance or release more performance. So, we can run more precise test scenarios."
  • "When we do to do more scaled load testing, we can run more dense workloads and still have the same results across all specific nodes"
  • "When we talk about improvements for vSAN, there is some way to go from a at least stability perspective. Adding all these new features is nice, but we are now at the level that most of the features you need in production are there."
  • "Upgradability could be a bit easier sometimes. We are now where vSAN can be updated without ESXi, but there is still enough dependency. So that would be good if that actually would uncoupled even more."

What is our primary use case?

We primarily use vSAN for cloud automation, so we provide test workloads for specific test use cases for customers who want to do software testing. In these specific cases, we also use vSAN because it gives us flexibility from a profile perspective on how we roll out specific workloads and specific test scenarios, making it easier for us to actually deploy things in comparison to legacy storage platforms.

How has it helped my organization?

The way vSAN improved our organization was we could deploy scenarios or workloads more easily because, from a vSAN perspective, we don't need to reconfigure underlying storage or anything else. We can actually adjust for each individual machines and individual workload characteristics. We don't have to deal with different type of disk shelves, rate groups, etc. We can directly take that off.

What is most valuable?

vSAN gives us a lot of advantages when we need to expand resources. We have an overall larger host infrastructure, and we split that up for specific customer test and use cases. In that specific scenario, we can easily add more hosts or reduce the number of hosts in the environment. This is an advantage when we use vSAN.

We have pretty constant performance results, which is sometimes, on a normal three-tier storage architecture, harder for us to achieve because the customer doesn't want us to verify that the performance of a specific device works. What we typically have to test is that we have a constant scenario across different versions, platforms, and similar things. Here, vSAN gives us the advantage that we can actually work with it. 

We can also create test cases, which is maybe not something in other customer scenarios, but for us, it's important. We can even throttle down performance or release more performance. So, we can run more precise test scenarios. If someone says, "We need to run this later on on a relatively small or lower scale edge device," we can actually configure vSAN in a way that it reduces the amount of resources.

When we do to do more scaled load testing, we can run more dense workloads and still have the same results across all specific nodes. Otherwise, we could have that noisy neighbor effect when we work with legacy output.

What needs improvement?

Stability can be improved. Adding all these new features is nice, but we are now at the level that most of the features you need in production are there. The stability, not from a day-to-day operations' perspective, but more from a supportability perspective, because currently some of the support scenarios require you to completely evacuate hosts or the complete cluster. That sometimes can be a stretch. This would clearly be an improvement if the support teams were given additional tools to make that easier.

Upgradability could be a bit easier sometimes. We are now where vSAN can be updated without ESXi, but there is still enough dependency. So that would be good if that actually would uncoupled even more.

Dashboards are there, and we use vROps as well. So, we have all the beauty of the capacity planning and everything over there. That's not really something where we need a lot of other things. 

For how long have I used the solution?

Since 6 years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We had some issues in very early releases, and it has become much better over time. Stability with vSAN has come its way. When we look at 5.5, then 6.0, 6.2, 6.6, 6.7 it has moved ahead every time. Clearly, 5.5 and 6.0 have their issues, but the product is constantly improving. 

We need to keep in mind that we are talking about a relatively new technology. Whenever you are adopting something early on, you need to accept not everything runs as smooth as you would expect it to. However, we can see the progress with vSAN, and that's one of the reasons why we built our platforms on it.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability for us is an important part of the product because we resize clusters all the time in our environment. We clean them out and actually start from scratch. With vSAN, it's easier for us to add nodes. If in a test scenario that we are building, we currently might have only four or five nodes in the beginning. If we add more, it's any easy add-on for us. It's easier for us to manage it this way, then with legacy storage, where we would have to add additional disk shelves.

How are customer service and technical support?

Tech support with vSAN is a mixed relationship. We have had issues with tech support because sometimes VMware comes out of the software defined space. 

In the software defined space, you start off with the approach that you can basically tell the customer to change everything. However, vSAN needs a different approach. It's a storage platform. I cannot actually say, "You need to upgrade everything or replace everything." That sometimes has been a bit of a challenge with the support teams, explaining to them, "No, it's not an option that we completely upgrade the stack. We need to get a different fix for it." 

However, over the last few years, it has improved. I think VMware gets the story now that doing support on the storage side is different than for a lot of the other software programs. So, I think we are getting there, but it could definitely improve.

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

Legacy 3-tier storage architecture with a multi-tier disk approach.

How was the initial setup?

From a setup perspective with vSAN, I was involved in the original architecture and design of our specific platform. It was pretty straightforward. It's more or less point and click. The most challenging part is choosing the correct hardware and platform behind it. It's not so much about the fact of how to deploy vSAN. 

Once the physical hardware is there, the ESXi is installed, configuring vSAN is pretty straightforward. It's just a few clicks. It's much easier than most other storage platforms, but the challenge is to identify the correct hardware for the use case. There are ReadyNotes and all types of other solutions, but sometimes the ReadyNote configuration doesn't match exactly what you need.

You need to be careful with some of these vendors because they might upgrade individual devices. That was one case that we had, and all of a sudden that version was no longer supported. So, we had to fight the battle of is it now the fault of the hardware vendor versus VMware. Those are scenarios where I can always only warn people. It's like stick very strict with what's in the HCL, because it's nice that vSAN tells you in the UI that you are in an unsupported state, but at that point, you have the hardware already in your environment, cabled up, and in production. So, you should identify that early on. However, I think that's going to get better as well.

What was our ROI?

ROI is difficult for us to deal with because of our approach and what we do in our business with test and demo cases. It's hard for us to judge because some of the hardware and stuff we get during tests is actually provided by vendors. 

Therefore, I don't necessarily have what an online customer would pay for it. We still pay for the stuff. But it's a different story.

ROI from an administrative perspective is clearly much better because I only have to deal with one user interface. I can go into once place and be on top of it for some scenarios, even use vCloud Director. So, it's much easier to use vSAN from that perspective because it's all in the vSphere Client. I can configure my profiles and use them on all the other tools. Whereas, in the legacy storage approach, I still have to deal with all these additional details on each individual storage, which can be challenging, even though some of these vendors provide integration into the vSphere Client. In many ways, that's just the HTML UI of their storage device in the vSphere Client. That's not really integration. It's still a different UI. It's still a different training effort.

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

Setup cost, pricing and licensing should be a secondary factor. We talk about primary system storage, which if not performing well or storing reliable can have massive business impact.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Yes we evaluated different 3-tier approaches, 2-tier and HCI approaches.

What other advice do I have?

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.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
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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VC
CEO at a tech services company with 201-500 employees
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Very stable, easy to set up, and easy to use

Pros and Cons

  • "It is very easy to set up and very easy to use. It is very useful."
  • "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."

What is our primary use case?

We are providing virtual machines for our niche area of accounting firms. For virtualization, we are using VMware vSphere, and for storing these virtualizations, we are using VMware vSAN. 

We have co-located servers in different data centers. That's where we have installed the VMware vSAN for our use.

How has it helped my organization?

vSAN is software-defined networking. The advantage of vSAN is that if one of the servers goes down, nothing happens. In traditional SAN, if the SAN goes down, everything goes down, and your business will come to a halt. That's why we decided to go for vSAN because you have a number of servers in vSAN. 

Each server participates in creating the virtual SAN. In case one server goes down, the other servers continue to work, and the workload gets realigned to the nodes that are up. Your work doesn't get interrupted. That's why a lot of companies are moving to software-defined storage, where the storage is created through software. vSAN is also software-defined storage.

What is most valuable?

It is very easy to set up and very easy to use. It is very useful.

What needs improvement?

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.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using VMware vSAN for almost five to six years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Initially, there were a lot of problems because it was a new product from VMware. There were a lot of hiccups, but now, it is a very stable product.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is quite scalable. We are using it ourselves, and we are providing virtual machines to other customers. 

We are using 16 nodes. For creating this storage, we have about 600 terabytes of storage in VMware vSAN in each cluster. If you have to make it several petabytes, then I don't know whether it will work or not, but up to one petabyte, I don't see any challenge in VMware vSAN. I have no idea about the scalability larger than that.

How are customer service and technical support?

I would rate VMware support a seven out of ten. I won't give them more than that because some of their engineers don't have so much in-depth understanding of the product. Sometimes, a lot of time gets wasted than getting support from them. Their support team needs to be trained for faster IT support.

How was the initial setup?

It is very easy to set up. You don't have to really make any effort to set it up. One or two days are enough to deploy VMware vSAN. It takes around 24 to 48 hours.

What about the implementation team?

We do it ourselves because we have about five to six clusters in different data centers in the US at different geographic locations. It is easy to deploy, and you don't need a very strong technical knowledge to deploy. 

The number of people required to maintain this solution depends upon the size of the infrastructure. If you have 15 nodes, you can have a team of about two to three experienced people.

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

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.

What other advice do I have?

If you want a very simple structure, VMware vSAN is a good idea. If you have a larger and strong IT team and the cost is a factor for you, you can go for OpenStack.

I would rate VMware vSAN an eight out of ten.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Implementer
Learn what your peers think about VMware vSAN. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: October 2021.
543,424 professionals have used our research since 2012.
LN
Director at SOFTLOGIC
Real User
Enables us to easily create and delete virtual servers

Pros and Cons

  • "The feature that I have found most valuable is that it is easy to deploy. It is easy to create and delete virtual servers. It is easy to create the load balancing and the clustering."
  • "The only negative point relates to the licensing. If you want multiple, different servers, it costs money, but you have all the capacity for vSAN. You do not reach the data, but the processor arrays and the current architecture."

What is most valuable?

The feature that I have found most valuable is that it is easy to deploy.

It is also easy to configure with the vCenter and the other solutions that we have. It is easy to create and delete virtual servers. It is easy to create the load balancing and the clustering, and the new version includes different features that allow us to quickly see what happened if we shut down a virtual server. It is an arrays of disks. It works like a RAID file. You shut down one server and you can start the two others that work together.

VMware vSAN is better than SimpliVity. We once tried to run SimpliVity, but it was difficult for us, because the people from HP were not easy to work with, the costs of their white papers where higher, and it was not as easy to deploy as VMware. VMware vSAN also costs for licensing, but it costs less than HPE SimpliVity and I'm not depending on the HP team. I can run it myself with my engineers.

What needs improvement?

The only negative point relates to the licensing. If you want multiple, different servers, it costs money, but you have all the capacity for vSAN. You do not reach the data, but the processor arrays and the current architecture.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using VMware vSAN for two and a half years.

We are using version 6.7 and we are processing now to switch to 7.0 because we are testing the new version.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

VMware vSAN is a stable solution.

We have made many tests, we have also shut down the servers and made an extraction of the disk and everything, and vSAN was very good.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

VMware vSAN is scalable, if you choose good servers at the beginning with many slots for disks, you can then add disks and extend the storage. You can add memory if you have good servers, and then you can enable your construction. But you have to choose good servers for production from the beginning.

How are customer service and technical support?

VMware has very good support. They have technical support which is divided into three areas. In each area you always have the one who can reply to you and they are really good at the technical support.

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

We previously worked with Nutanix, which HP bought. At the beginning, we were also working with a free solution called KVM. There was no licensing cost with them, but there was also no real support and the customers were afraid of that. They wanted something that is known in the market. We also worked with Dell in the past.

How was the initial setup?

If you already work with vCenter and VMware, the initial setup is easy. The process is easy to understand and easy to configure. You just have to be sure that when you connect the servers with the LAN that everything is in 10 giga, then it will be easy to configure. You have to configure the root storage of the LAN and give it a switch.

You have to configure everything from the beginning to make everything work, so you must have an expert on vSAN from your side and an expert for LAN on the other side.

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

I do think that VMware vSAN's cost could be lower.

We pay for the license every year.

The cost depends on your contract. The pricing for the government is not the best, but for each licensing, because its arrays are in your servers, it can cost $4,000 for each of the servers for a simple solution and up to $20,000 per server for vSAN solutions. It's very, very expensive.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I am also working with Microsoft and Safe Key, another solution for the clustering, and I tried HPE SimpliVity for simple cluster and for multi-cluster. When I saw the costs of HPE SimpliVity for multi-cluster, there were two points that made me not feel good about it: the price and that when we needed more than 20 or 40 terabytes of data, the HP license was such that I could not use this solution alone. We had to use the HP team at the beginning.

What other advice do I have?

On a scale of one to ten I would give VMware vSAN an eight for the technology, eight for scalability, and a six for the price. Overall, I give it an eight.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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VB
Trainer/Consultant at Koenig Solutions Pvt. Ltd.
Consultant
Top 20
Easy to configure, deploy, and manage

Pros and Cons

  • "The deduplication and compression are excellent."
  • "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."

What is our primary use case?

We don't have any specific use cases, however, we do have a variety of workloads running on vSAN.

How has it helped my organization?

It's a massive shift now to have it in the portfolio and to have a complete software-defined data center.

What is most valuable?

The policies the solution has been very good. We use them a lot.

The deduplication and compression are excellent. 

There are a couple of features which we are using right now that we really like.

It's the kind of solution that is very easy to use, which may be its most valuable aspect for our organization.

The initial setup is straightforward.

The solution overall is very easy to manage and configure.

What needs improvement?

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. 

Increasing the classifiers to maybe more than 64 could be done in future releases.

The file service is something that can be integrated.

Something more could be done to integrate from a monitoring perspective right in the console itself so that we have deeper monitoring capabilities.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for about three years, however, I suspect it's been even longer than that.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We haven't had any issues I can recall in terms of stability. It's pretty reliable. It doesn't crash or freeze. There aren't bugs or glitches.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

In our organization's case, we started with a number of nodes and I scaled it up from there. I didn't find any issues expanding the product. Scalability was not a problem.

This is a pretty recent deployment. While I've been working with the solution for three or four years, it's new to the company for the most part.

We plan to increase usage in the coming year. New workloads will get deployed and we'll begin to expand it more.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support has been very good. They're quite knowledgable and responsive. We're satisfied with the level of support we get.

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

My organization didn't previously use a different hyper-converged solution. This product is their first in this particular area.

How was the initial setup?

There's no complexity in the original setup of the solution. The implementation is very straightforward.

Deployment was pretty quick. Just testing it out and finally rolling it out we managed to do in a couple of days. I would say within a week we were able to be up and running. 

What about the implementation team?

My company was involved directly with a reseller. The other nitty-gritty elements were something that I took care of it.

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

I was not directly involved from a pricing perspective. I suppose it was competitive and that's why the company went ahead and with vSAN, therefore I assume the pricing is okay.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We did look at other options. We ended up choosing vSAN mostly due to the price. However, we also liked how easy it was to set up, configure, and manage compared to other options.

What other advice do I have?

We're a partner with VMware.

Overall, I would rate them eight out of ten. They still have room for improvement. However, overall, we've been pleased with the results. It's easy to use, manage, and monitor.

The solution is best suited for small to medium-sized organizations.

If the solution is ideal for a company depends on the workloads and what they're trying to do right now. If a company would like to make a choice between the All-Flash or the Hybrid, I would definitely go for All-Flash. It may be a bit expensive as compared to Hybrid, however, definitely from a feature perspective and a performance perspective, All-Flash is the way to go.

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
YK
Head of network and web at a maritime company with 501-1,000 employees
Real User
Good performance and pricing but needs load balancing features

Pros and Cons

  • "Technical support is very helpful and very good at resolving issues."
  • "Hardware load balancing is available on the enterprise version of the solution, however, it's extremely expensive and therefore out of our budget."

What is our primary use case?

We are mainly using the solution for our Windows environment. 

What is most valuable?

We're largely happy with the solution overall. 

The performance has been good in general.

The initial setup is simple.

Technical support is very helpful and very good at resolving issues.

The pricing is decent.

What needs improvement?

We are looking for more load balancing at an application level.

For the hardware level, we're looking at some other solutions. For example, we're checking out Nutanix and Sangfor. 

We've had issues with load balancing. Suppose, for example, if the physical ESXi host is down, the virtual machine you have handle manually. We need to have load balancing and RAM and processor balancing also.

Hardware load balancing is available on the enterprise version of the solution, however, it's extremely expensive and therefore out of our budget.

In general, we're looking for more features. This solution doesn't really offer us that much.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've been using the solution for three to four years at this point.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We had some issues about a year ago with stability. We took the problem to support and they were able to resolve whatever the issue was. It's been stable since then, and we haven't had issues with bugs or glitches and it doesn't crash or freeze.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

My colleague and I are the IT people, and we are managing vSAN for the most part. We haven't necessarily attempted to scale the solution at all. Therefore, it would be hard to say how easy or difficult the process is or how scalable in general the product is.

How are customer service and technical support?

We've used technical support in the past to resolve issues, and they have been very helpful and responsive They were able to fix any problems we've had. We're quite satisfied with them. They've been very good, very helpful.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is not complex. It's very simple and very straightforward. 

While we handle the maintenance ourselves in-house, we have the option of calling our integration partner if we run into any issues.

What about the implementation team?

We had an integration partner that came in and assisted us with the initial implementation. We did not handle it completely in-house. They were very helpful.

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

The pricing is mid-range. It's pretty good compared to other options. Everything is included. There are no additional or hidden costs.

The enterprise version, however, is very, very high. Currently, we are using the standard version. To move to the enterprise level, there is a big price jump.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We're currently evaluating Nutanix and Sangfor as options to replace VMware in our organization. We want more load balancing and therefore are looking for a solution that could potentially offer us that.

What other advice do I have?

We are just a customer and an end-user.

I'd recommend the solution to other organizations.

I would rate it at a seven out of ten. We've been happy with it for the most part, however, we are looking at other options that offer more features. The standard version just isn't giving us enough of what we need. That said, it;'s a good product.

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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CP
Head of IT-Department at a financial services firm with 11-50 employees
Real User
Fast and stable with good integration capabilities

Pros and Cons

  • "We had very good access to technical support."
  • "The ability to access SAN environments with fiber channels (or even NVMe) would be a good addition."

What is our primary use case?

We primarily used the solution for development, tests and UAT proposals. We did initially run it without backup and later added Commvault.

How has it helped my organization?

introducing vSAN dramatically increased the speed for deployment and decomissioning VMs for developers without the requierement to involve storage team

What is most valuable?

When we started using vSAN, the speed (performance) of the solution was dramatically higher than the speed of our production systems. 

The integration with the rest of the DVM suite is great as always. The look and feel for the administrators is like a classic virtualization environment and it cannot be better. 

The solution is very easy to set up. 

The stability is good.

We had very good access to technical support.

What needs improvement?

The ability to access SAN environments via fiber channel (or even NVMe) would be a good addition.

For how long have I used the solution?

While I do not currently use the product in my new company, I used the solution up until I left my former company. I had used it for nearly six years up until then.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is excellent. There are no bugs or glitches and it doesn't crash or freeze. It's reliable 

How are customer service and technical support?

In my former company, we had a direct technical account manager. We were very satisfied with the level of assistance we were able to get when we needed it. 

But you have to consider the level of support you purchase and the amount of systems covered by this support - of course a TAM isn't effordable for each and every company.

How was the initial setup?

It was easy to set up. 

If I would have introduce vSAN in an environment without any existing VMWare virtualization deployment and with the intention to expand to cloud based resoruces as a next step, I would not choose the product itself, I would do it with Dell and would implement the VxRail, what is actually vSAN based, it's the same product, however, in the end, you have better services. If you cover hardware and software management as well underneath one GUI, it's better for the administrators.

In the past deployment, it took us about a week to set everything up and to get everything up and running. We did need this week to bring up two 6 node clusters and today, these original six node clusters both expanded to 16 nodes on both sides.

What other advice do I have?

We had a vSAN at my last company. I started my employment here at this new company one month ago and we do not have VMware products at all. Previously, I worked with vSAN simply as a customer and an end-user.

I've used many versions of the solution. We started shortly before the 6.0 came out. We may have started with vSAN 5.5. That was the first version we ever used, and then we upgraded again and again over the years.

I'd advise those considering the solution to think and plan before you simply do. You should do an accounting of what capacities, what performance, which backup you require or have. Do you need redundancy? Do you need network isolation? All the steps that normal people do afterwards should be done before you do it. Everything is about planning.

I'd give the solution a perfect ten out of ten rating. 

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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NP
General Manager Sales at a tech services company with 201-500 employees
Real User
Top 20
Offers a single console for management, is easy to set up, and is very stable

Pros and Cons

  • "I have found the solution to be scalable."
  • "The pricing could be better when it comes to renewing the licenses."

What is our primary use case?

We're primarily using this solution for VDI.

How has it helped my organization?

Previously, we were using three-tier architecture. Therefore, we would have three different consoles. However, after adopting a CA solution, we are only on a single console and we have cut down the EU engineers we needed as we didn't require multiple engineers for managing multiple layers. Now, we have a single engineer who can manage everything from the top layer from a single console.

What is most valuable?

The single console for management is the most valuable aspect of the solution. 

The initial setup is very simple. 

The solution has been quite stable.

I have found the solution to be scalable.

What needs improvement?

VMware is currently working on quite a lot of improvements and they're coming out with lots of novel features in their new releases. There's only one improvement area, and that is it needs a little bit more software and hardware to make it similar to Nutanix.

The pricing could be better when it comes to renewing the licenses. 

Technical support could have a faster response time.

It's hard to come up with an exact feature that might be good to include in a future release, as each customer is different and each customer likely has different feature needs.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for almost four years at this point. It's been a while now. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is very stable. We have been using VMware for almost more than 10 years and there have been no issues regarding VMware products. There are no bugs or glitches. It doesn't crash or freeze. It's reliable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution is scalable. If a company needs to expand it, it can do so. 

How are customer service and support?

Technical support is quite good. Occasionally, it could be faster sometimes, however, largely, I have been pleased with the level of response I get. 

How was the initial setup?

The product's initial setup is not overly complex or difficult. I found it to be straightforward and relatively easy. A company shouldn't have any issues with the setup process. 

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

When it comes to the renewal of the license, it's a very expensive solution.

We require price protection. VMware doesn't provide price protection. Many other products provide that, however, it's not something that VMware does.

What other advice do I have?

We're a VMware partner. 

I'd rate the solution at an eight out of ten.

If you are using VMware for a long time, there is no need to change your platform, and you can easily add vSAN as a solution. On top of that, there are multiple tools available to be able to have a hybrid cloud solution available for vSAN. If you go with the VMware Cloud, you've got the SCA as well as a hybrid cloud solution in a single product. If you are not willing to use VMware, then you can definitely choose either Nutanix or maybe a Microsoft option or any number of other solutions that may be available in the market.

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
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GN
IT Infrastructure Specialist at a computer software company with 51-200 employees
MSP
Good unified administration, very stable, and easy to set up

Pros and Cons

  • "The solution's unified administration is its most valuable aspect."
  • "The solution could maybe improve failure protection."

What is our primary use case?

We primarily use the solution for remote offices as well as medium-sized businesses.

How has it helped my organization?

The solution works well to help businesses simplify their administration. They unify the technology in boxes like vSAN. You see the performance improvements in the configuration with All-Flash.

What is most valuable?

The solution's unified administration is its most valuable aspect.

Our customers like the HCI functionality, and tiering. My customers enjoy the portion of the solution that can improve the performance of virtual machines

There isn't too much learning involved when picking up the system.

What needs improvement?

The solution could maybe improve failure protection. The failure protection for vSAN is very expensive sometimes within the clients. The customers want to be able to tolerate two or three nodes in failure. However, sometimes, the budget is limited. Implementing hyper-converged solutions sometimes are very expensive with the dozens of tolerance of failure.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for at least the last 12 months.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

In terms of vSAN functionality for stability, I haven't had any client complaints. It seems to work as it is supposed to. There aren't bugs or glitches. It doesn't crash or freeze at all. Our customers are happy.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Sometimes our clients find the scalability to be lacking and it affects performance. They're not sure, if they scale up, how much performance they will have left afterward.

Our clients are small to medium-sized businesses typically. They aren't to big.

I'm not sure if any of our clients plan to increase usage. It's hard to predict, due to the pandemic situation. The majority of my customers don't have plans to upgrade or acquire some additional equipment.

How are customer service and technical support?

I'm usually in pre-sales and therefore don't have any experience with VMware support. I've never personally reached out to them.

The company does, however, offer good documentation.

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

We also sell other solutions. We aren't exclusively using VMware. We also, for example, sell HP solutions. We also work with UHCI with Nimble and SimpliVity and with Cisco, with Nexus, Huawei, or hyper-convergence solutions like Cisco HyperFlex.

My customers typically choose VMware as it is a known platform. The main deciding factor seems to be knowledge of the product itself.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup isn't too complex. It's pretty straightforward. The entire implementation process, in fact, is very simple.

If I have an infrastructure already in place then deploy it, the configuration of vSAN will take less than an hour. If the implementation is happening from the scratch, with new equipment, then it will take four hours approximately.

What other advice do I have?

We are a partner of VMware.

Customers considering the solution should be aware that the principal benefits they will get from the solution include integration with HCI, NSX, and cloud solutions.

Overall, I would rate the solution nine ut of ten. We've had a good experience overall and our clients are happy with the product.

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
Product Categories
Hyper-Converged (HCI)
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