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VxRail OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

VxRail is #2 ranked solution in HCI Software. IT Central Station users give VxRail an average rating of 8 out of 10. VxRail is most commonly compared to VMware vSAN: VxRail vs VMware vSAN.VxRail is popular among Large Enterprise, accounting for 63% of users researching this solution on IT Central Station. The top industry researching this solution is Computer Software Company, accounting for 31% of all views.
What is VxRail?

VxRail is the only fully integrated, preconfigured, and pre-tested VMware hyper-converged infrastructure appliance family on the market. Based on VMware’s vSphere and Virtual SAN, and EMC software, VxRail delivers an all-in-one IT infrastructure transformation by leveraging a known and proven building block for the Software Defined Data Center (SDDC).

With the power of a whole SAN in just two rack units, they provide a simple, cost effective hyper-converged solution for a wide variety of applications and workloads. VxRail Appliances deliver resiliency, QoS, and centralized management functionality enabling faster, better, and simpler management of consolidated workloads, virtual desktops, business-critical applications, and remote office infrastructure.

VxRail is also known as VCE VxRail .

VxRail Buyer's Guide

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

VxRail Customers

World Wide Technology Inc, Renault Sport Formula One Team, 8x8 Inc, Brownes, Canadian Pacific, Canopy, Denton, EDF, Unilin, Xerox

VxRail Video

Pricing Advice

What users are saying about VxRail pricing:
  • "VxRail is very cost-effective and affordable in the long term. It is more recommended when it comes to financial life, but it may depend upon the license. VxRail comes with VMware licensing, which may not be that cost-effective as compared to others. With VMware, it's an auto check competition. VMware is an expensive solution, especially for Nutanix. Nutanix have their own hypervisor called Acronis, which is very cost-effective against the VMware. Nutanix is cheaper for the hardware but not for the software. If you ask the Nutanix partners to deploy Nutanix over Cisco servers or Dell EMC servers, the cost will be higher. Nutanix wants to compete financially. Therefore, they propose their software over the Supermicro server, which is a very cheap Chinese server. In fact, I don't like their terms of service. HyperFlex has the highest price, and it is very expensive. I don't know why. It may be because this is a UCS system, which comes from Cisco and is already expensive. When it comes to HyperFlex, they need the labor to deploy Hyper-V, Citrix, or any other hypervisor."
  • "It is just as cheap to move over to an HCI solution as it is to maintain a legacy system."
  • "A typical node that I would sell to a customer has a list price be between $80,000 and $100,000 per node. Organizations typically start with four nodes. That's the hardware, software, VMware licensing, everything. Customers typically pay about half of that - approximately $45,000 to $50,000 a node. On average, it costs about $200,000 to get your foot in the door."
  • "VxRail is not cheap, but it's not expensive either."

VxRail Reviews

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Alok Ranjan
Technical Lead at a comms service provider with 5,001-10,000 employees
Real User
Top 10
Good automation makes this solution practical

Pros and Cons

  • "The feature that I have found most valuable with VxRail is its upgrade. Because if you talk about the normal ESX process you have to upgrade the firmware, the bios, and you have to manage the compatibility. You have to do a lot of things. But in the case of VxRail, it's a single upgrade, end to end. You simply upload the bundle, click next, it will do some pre-checks, if those pre-checks pass, it will update everything one by one. It will put one ESX in the maintenance and move other VM's to another mode. There is no downtime to the VM's."
  • "If we could have some out of the box ideas in integration, I think that would be a great feature."

What is our primary use case?

The general use case for VxRail was to deal with the obsolescence because the current infra was not adequate to deal with the licensing and the support as we were running on the older hardware and the ESX version, and being a manufacturing site we didn't have a good level of redundancy.

We have two server rooms there. But if we lose one server room, we will not be able to run all our workload from the existing server room. So we deployed the V Service cluster during this deployment, wherein we have four modes in total in each room, and in the corporate data center.

We also deployed a backup solution with the Data Domain application. Then even if we lose one server room we have all the backup data in the other server room. So now at least we have local redundancy.

So the main use case is redundancy, obsolescence, better architecture, better throughput, and better back up time. Pfizer was not very responsive after we did the VxRail with the vCenter architecture with the upgraded styles. So we got feedback that Pfizer was responding well. Their help was good.

Also the backup time is good. Pfizer has the 1.5 PV. It used to take five to six hours on the back up but now it takes almost half of the time. So we are saving back up time and throughput is good. After deploying we have been getting some good benefits. Even the local businesses are happy with this solution.

So we are now deploying VxRail to more manufacturing sites.

What is most valuable?

The feature that I have found most valuable with VxRail is its upgrade. Because if you talk about the normal ESX process you have to upgrade the firmware, the bios, and you have to manage the compatibility. You have to do a lot of things. But in the case of VxRail, it's a single upgrade, end to end. You simply upload the bundle, click next, it will do some pre-checks, if those pre-checks pass, it will update everything one by one. It will put one ESX in the maintenance and move other VM's to another mode. There is no downtime to the VM's.

It will upgrade end to end infra, including bios from there, your ESX host, everything. So this is a really good feature. Then in new mode feature, they only have to configure it from the network standpoint and it can listen on a second mode. If they see a new mode in the network, the cluster will automatically have that mode as a new member.

VxRail has helped us with the automation. So we are happy with that.

What needs improvement?

As I said, one place for improvement would be the automated update for VMware Tools. Additionally, better integration with ServiceNow because if there are some issues, we could directly get the notification through IPS and Tools, so that integration is missing.

Somehow they did it, but it was not a very smooth integration because we have to use email features since they are sending emails. We contacted someone at ServiceNow at our end and we sent emails to ServiceNow and they converted it to some incidents or something. If we could have some out of the box ideas in integration, I think that would be a great feature.

VxRail provides more automation. For example, the process going from VMware to Tools is still a manual process where we have to manually update the VMware Tools. There should might be an option to upgrade VMware Tools automatically. We know that we need some downtime, but still, there should be a possibility to do this as an automated process.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using VxRail for about six months. We deployed it back in September and did the migration, so it's been three or four months in the company.

I think we're using version 4.7 because we had some limitations with respect to vCenter and Vserver costing because ESX was the older version. So we went with VxRail 4.7 rather than going with VxRail 7, which is the latest.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We are maintaining this solution ourselves. We have some level of support from Dell, as well, but they are not directly responsible for the support. We are the ones who are supporting it.

Initially, it had some issues. As I said, the version we deployed had some known issues. But the stability is pretty good. There were some issues here and there, but that was not due to ESX, but due to some network fluctuation we had.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

VxRail is especially useful for a manufacturing site. I can't really know many end users are there, but I know that they are participating in the manufacturing process. This is a pharma company and for us, VxRail is critical in our process.

So far, looking at its specifications, it looks good. It's scalable.

How are customer service and technical support?

In general cases, technical support is good. They're pretty responsive. But besides that, there have been some issues with the cluster. For example, the version that we deployed had some bug which was a known bug. Later on we were advised to get this upgraded. But that advice came to us after two or three reassignments within their own IT section because one person evaluated it and they collected multiple logs. Then he transferred the case to somebody else, then she then collected some further logs and did some analysis. I'm not saying they were not good. They were pretty good. They had some good technical skills. They did all the analysis. Then they assigned it back to the IT guy. But as soon as the IT guy came in, he saw the version. He immediately said we have to update it because this version is having some known issues.

I would say they are pretty good. I'm not complaining about them, but this is the feedback that I personally have - that technician should have come in the very first place by just looking into the VxRail version and told us there is a known bug in this version and we should upgrade it. But that took almost two or three weeks to identify.

But still, I'm happy with the Dell services. No complaints. But just constructive feedback. The rest are good.

They are always helpful. If we join the call, they are very polite and knowledgeable. They bring more people as required, so overall, it's good.

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

We did not have a complete HCI product, but we had storage-defined software, like Datacode and EqualLogic. Now we are replacing Datacode and EqualLogic with this VxRail because we are using it in vCenter.

How was the initial setup?

In terms of the initial setup, only the network part was a little complex for us. Maybe because we were doing it for the very first time because there is a very strict firewall applied there, being a manufacturing site. We had multiple firewalls there, so we had to open each and everything one by one. That was the only thing.

Once the network part was done, everything was smooth and we had a product life support from Dell. It was Dell who basically deployed it from a remote session with our presence. We only give them some input around the infra set up and they actually did the end to end deployment.

It took one day for rack and stacks and then two days for its set up, installation, and configuration as per our department. Later on we did the migration on our own based on the downtime that we received because we had to update the VMware Tools. We had to configure the backup, et cetera. We did it slowly, one by one, three, four servers a day.

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

In terms of pricing, I would say it's reasonable, not cheap and not too costly. If you compare it with some other HCI solutions, for example, there were a lot of discussions around Cisco UCS for one of the manufacturing sites. The local ITP had a preference for Cisco UCS because they had some prior experience working on it. We had already successfully deployed VxRail in some of the manufacturing sites and we found that Cisco UCS is much too costly. 

In the deployment, all the softwares were included, only the vCenterv was excluded because we were using an external vCenter, so we had to manage an external vCenter license. All the rest was included.

Some licensing, like vRealize was not included, so we have not taken it.

What other advice do I have?

I would definitely recommend VxRail. But again, it depends upon the use cases. If they have a big data center, then you have to look for some other version of VxRail, maybe VxBlock, but for normal sites, for a small manufacturing R&D site, or for remote sites, they may go with VxRail.

On a scale of one to ten, I would give VxRail a nine out of 10.

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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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.
Learn what your peers think about VxRail. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: October 2021.
543,424 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Mina Magdy
Senior Infrastructure Solutions Specialist at Equinox International
Real User
Top 5
Stable, durable, cost-effective, and affordable with remarkable cover points feature

Pros and Cons

  • "The cover points feature in VxRail is remarkable. It's unique. It has an intervention failover system as well as an automatic failover system, reaching clusters existing in VxRail. This makes all files act as a single file with a large and huge resource, and, of course, with customized administration, configuration, and resources. It provides automatic failover for redundancy and data recovery."
  • "VxRail is very cost-effective and affordable in the long term. It is more recommended when it comes to financial life, but it may depend upon the license. VxRail comes with VMware licensing, which may not be that cost-effective as compared to others. With VMware, it's an auto check competition. VMware is an expensive solution, especially for Nutanix. Nutanix have their own hypervisor called Acronis, which is very cost-effective against the VMware. Nutanix is cheaper for the hardware but not for the software. If you ask the Nutanix partners to deploy Nutanix over Cisco servers or Dell EMC servers, the cost will be higher. Nutanix wants to compete financially. Therefore, they propose their software over the Supermicro server, which is a very cheap Chinese server. In fact, I don't like their terms of service. HyperFlex has the highest price, and it is very expensive. I don't know why. It may be because this is a UCS system, which comes from Cisco and is already expensive. When it comes to HyperFlex, they need the labor to deploy Hyper-V, Citrix, or any other hypervisor."
  • "If they can provide deduplication compression through the traditional hard drives, as Cisco does in the HyperFlex system, it will be very cost-effective, especially when it comes to archiving workload. VxRail doesn't allow the mixing of old flash clusters and hyper clusters. When I'm starting with an old flash cluster and it comes to archiving workload, I will also need to attend the new cluster. So, I either manage two different clusters, or I pay and upload my work with the archiving mobile hard drive, which is not cost-effective at all. The main key is to allow mixing between two types of clustering, like Nutanix, or allow deduplication of completion over the period of shared hard drive on SAV. It will be much better."

What is most valuable?

The cover points feature in VxRail is remarkable. It's unique. It has an intervention failover system as well as an automatic failover system, reaching clusters existing in VxRail. This makes all files act as a single file with a large and huge resource, and, of course, with customized administration, configuration, and resources. It provides automatic failover for redundancy and data recovery.

What needs improvement?

If they can provide deduplication compression through the traditional hard drives, as Cisco does in the HyperFlex system, it will be very cost-effective, especially when it comes to archiving workload. 

VxRail doesn't allow the mixing of old flash clusters and hyper clusters. When I'm starting with an old flash cluster and it comes to archiving workload, I will also need to attend the new cluster. So, I either manage two different clusters, or I pay and upload my work with the archiving mobile hard drive, which is not cost-effective at all. The main key is to allow mixing between two types of clustering, like Nutanix, or allow deduplication of completion over the period of shared hard drive on SAV. It will be much better.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for four to five years. I have used three generations of Dell servers. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is very stable and durable. It only depends on vSAN, which is the number one software that defines storage. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Currently, more than 500 users are using VxRail in our company. It's capable of delivering for all types of workloads. Technically, it depends on the hyper-converged instructions. This means that you have 100% assurance of its compatibility with all of its components. It should also carry all types of workload dispersing, that is, from the normal traditional virtual machines to high-performance computing, such as HEP workload, heavy database, artificial intelligence, and business analytics.

How are customer service and technical support?

They provide good support. You can reach them, especially if your system is at ESRS, EMC functional support. You can just chat with one of their technicians. They collect the logs and discover the issue. It takes almost a couple of hours from opening the ticket to resolve it. They are very good.

The hardware replacement takes 24 hours. They have their own stock here in Egypt.

How was the initial setup?

It is easy to install and implement the VxRail clusters. The initial setup was a piece of cake for us. 

What about the implementation team?

We manage the storage, compute, and virtual machines as well as networking through the perfect channel. 

We do all kinds of deployments. We check whether the customer wants to deploy it on-premises, cloud, or integrate with the public cloud to tier and replicate.

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

VxRail is very cost-effective and affordable in the long term. It is more recommended when it comes to financial life, but it may depend upon the license. VxRail comes with VMware licensing, which may not be that cost-effective as compared to others. With VMware, it's an auto check competition. VMware is an expensive solution, especially for Nutanix. Nutanix have their own hypervisor called Acronis, which is very cost-effective against the VMware.

Nutanix is cheaper for the hardware but not for the software. If you ask the Nutanix partners to deploy Nutanix over Cisco servers or Dell EMC servers, the cost will be higher. Nutanix wants to compete financially. Therefore, they propose their software over the Supermicro server, which is a very cheap Chinese server. In fact, I don't like their terms of service.

HyperFlex has the highest price, and it is very expensive. I don't know why. It may be because this is a UCS system, which comes from Cisco and is already expensive. When it comes to HyperFlex, they need the labor to deploy Hyper-V, Citrix, or any other hypervisor.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I also deal with HyperFlex and Nutanix. In fact, I prefer VxRail. 

When comparing with HyperFlex, VxRail is much alike HyperFlex. It is very cost-effective, and it doesn't have too many conditions like HyperFlex. When you start with building clusters in HyperFlex, you stick to the selected nodes forever. It is not the same in VxRail. You start with pNode in VxRail, and then you add eNode, sNode, etc.  

HyperFlex has its own limitations. They say we can create up to 64 nodes, but, in fact, there are only 52 storage and 52 nodes compute with no mixing between two workloads. On the other hand, in VxRail, you can really create up to 64 nodes, which means the double amount of nodes to carry more servers, more computing in the clusters. 

There are too many concerns about HyperFlex, especially related to performance. HyperFlex source the deduplication compression. You don't have the option to enable or disable the deduplication compression, which means that deduplication ends the performance. In VxRail, you can enable or disable the deduplication compression. So, you can gain a net performance against the storage, and you can move the storage against the performance. You can balance the full configuration. 

When it comes to the software, Nutanix is great. The main concern is that Nutanix doesn't have its own hardware, and it is integrated with different types of servers to deploy its own system. Nutanix just has a contract with Noble, Supermicro, or HP to develop its own system, which is okay for some types of users. However, many types of users request and prefer the full software or hardware that comes from a single vendor so that they can achieve the maximum and ultimate support.

What other advice do I have?

I would rate VxRail an eight out of ten. They should allow the deduplication compression over the hard drives and mixing of the hyper and the old flash clusters.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: partner
Chris Bujak
VDI SysAdmin/Engineer at a educational organization with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 20
Good managed updates, great hyper-converged storage and very stable

Pros and Cons

  • "I like the managed updates. They are really nice in VxRail. Everything comes packaged and the updates are much easier than with other solutions that I've had to work with."
  • "The requirements need improvement. Some of the managers of VMs are a little sensitive to where they need to be placed in the environment and what names they need to have. I would like a little more control over that so that it fits into our naming scheme and it fits our organizational structure within vSphere."

What is our primary use case?

We primarily use the solution for general computing. We have everything on it and anything that's licensed is on it. We have our file servers, database servers, applications servers, web servers, etc., on it. Anything that fits on it basically.

How has it helped my organization?

We were able to commission an old center and provide more computing to the environment.

What is most valuable?

I like the managed updates. They are really nice in VxRail. Everything comes packaged and the updates are much easier than with other solutions that I've had to work with. 

The fact that it's presenting you validated the design. Anything through the update manager will be guaranteed to work as VMware is integrated into the hardware side of it as well to validate that the patches that they're providing will work. There's less risk there. 

The storage, the hyper-converged storage, is a nice boon. We have a sort of isolated storage from our main sandbox so that we can put things on there if the sandbox is having problems or it's basically another fault domain. It's another place where things can be protected. 

What needs improvement?

The requirements need improvement. Some of the managers of VMs are a little sensitive to where they need to be placed in the environment and what names they need to have. I would like a little more control over that so that it fits into our naming scheme and it fits our organizational structure within vSphere. That's cosmetic, however. It's not a functional problem. It's just slightly disorganized. We have to put exceptions into our rules in order to check our rules.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for less than six months. I don't remember the exact day, things have been blending together. I recall that it was right at the start of the pandemic. That was when our order was supposed to come in and things got delayed. We got it sometime over the summer.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is good. We haven't had any issues. We don't suffer from bugs or glitches and it doesn't crash or freeze. It's good.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have not needed to scale up. It is less than six months old, so we have not needed to scale it, however, I have scaled other VSN clusters and it was easy.

My department is kind of interesting. We are the central IT provider for the university, we provide IT services for other IT departments. I can't actually answer how many people are on the solution at any given time. We're essentially an MSP for on campus, but that's sort of our role. Therefore, I am so far removed from what the end-user is doing with it. 

How are customer service and technical support?

I haven't had a need to call tech support. One of my coworkers has, and it seemed to go well. I was not the one who took lead on that call. I can't advise on if they are knowledgeable or responsive. I don't have direct experience.

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

We also have a pair of Nutanix clusters and we didn't switch from it. They're running concurrently. They run different workloads. We wanted to make sure that a false in one hyper-converged did not bring down all of our environment. We wanted to make sure that we were not putting all of our eggs in one basket.

Our Nutanix runs some of our core services. Things that can never go down. That is why we have a pair of Nutanix clusters. They're essentially isolated from everything else. They don't rely on stories. I didn't realize they have their own hosts. They are as isolated as they can be from the rest of the environment so that a fault in one environment won't bring down everything.

How was the initial setup?

As part of a VxRail deployment, you have to get professional services. It's an assisted install. I have experience with all of the components of VxRail. In terms of the VSN, the hyper-converged, some of my coworkers did not. That actually was a learning experience for them. They were able to learn from the documentation and that made it easier, however, it was still a learning curve. That was the only difficult part in terms of implementation -  the learning curve.

What other advice do I have?

We're just a customer.

We're running an ESX 6.7. We're running the latest version of VxRail manager, but we're not running the latest version of ESX or V share. It can do for us. We want other people to find the bugs first.

My advice to other companies is to learn and ask lots of questions. Make sure that you understand the solution at the outset. Make sure the networking team is solid. Any hyper-converged solution like VxRail should rely on the network more than a traditional environment. You need to make sure your networking team is involved from the beginning.

I would rate the solution eight out of ten. VSN has come a long way, which is what the shell is based on for storage and the rest of the components are standard vSphere. You manage everything through the same vSphere interface. You're not using a different interface and it's fairly easy to maintain when you have problems. If you have problems, you will need to call tech support. They will have to walk you through it because it is a new thing for most people. That's why I recommend learning about the solution straight away.

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.
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
MI
Solutions Architect at a media company with 501-1,000 employees
Real User
Well integrated and architectured solution

Pros and Cons

  • "The stability is very nice. We haven't had any issues with the cluster. The cluster is very stable. No problems with slowness. Everything has been stable. It was well-architectured."
  • "It would be an improvement if VxRail could be integrated with some other hypervisors and not just with VMware."

What is our primary use case?

We have some virtual machines for the active directory, some virtual machines for security like firewalls, and some for other security. We have some other solutions here that are on virtual machines, such as our web page. Its applications and some functions are on virtual machines, too. 

Some solutions are internal solutions and I think they are going to setup a SaaS solution here in our cluster. We have about three more clusters here and it's around 20 terabytes.

What is most valuable?

The integration with VMware is great. I like it so much because it is so much cleaner and the VMware modeling with the VxRail Manager is very nice. The solution is very good. It is easier. We haven't had any issues with it.

We have three nodes and we had an issue with one of the nodes once and the response time from their support was very nice. When they fixed the part that was bad in the cluster, it began functioning again very nicely and very quickly. It was a great solution. We didn't have any outage or crash due to this failure.

It has a tool called RecoverPoint for Virtual Machines, and I liked it so much because it allows for business continuity, and I can replicate virtual machines from one appliance to another. Normally, there are all these rules that we have to have in VMware. We are just implementing this in the first one and the second one. I have the end unit of this distributed solution. It's going to be good but at the moment, we are just deploying it. We made some tests and RecoverPoint for Virtual Machines was very nice.

What needs improvement?

It would be an improvement if VxRail could be integrated with some other hypervisors and not just with VMware.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using VxRail for almost three years at my office. It's a great solution.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is very nice. We haven't had any issues with the cluster. The cluster is very stable. No problems with slowness. Everything has been stable. It was well-architectured.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability of VxRail is very good because they told me that it scales up to 64 nodes, but at this time we haven't had the need for that kind of scale. We can scale it on disks but we don't have to scale it. We don't have a node. It is cheaper to scale it up with disks while we need some space. We are okay with the CPU and all of that, so the disk solutions are very nice. Its scaling is very nice because we can scale it up with only disks. When we need to scale a computer or something, we need to buy another node if we run out of the disks.

Our organization has about 100 people.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is very nice. I think it's the best support that I have tested because I have some other solutions with HP which were okay. Before we had VxRail, we had a solution that is called Simplivity. I didn't like it very much. It was a two-node solution. It was very bad. We had some issues with both the support and the solution, so we had to change it.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was very easy. It took about one and a half days and then another three or four days, maximum, with the tuning and everything else.

We had to energize each node and I did it a week before they went to implement the process. They asked about everything. They asked about IP addresses, everything that was technical. They made some assessments and the day that we implemented VxRail, they had everything set. They just wrote all the addressing and everything of our root and our network. The implementation goes so fast. Almost a day. That was what it took to implement that machine.

The next day, they migrated from virtual machines with the VMware Converter. They used two RecoverPoints for Virtual Machines, I think. It didn't take too much time. Only a few hours, maybe half of the day, and it was okay. We started planning it and we made some tests over a day and a half on the timing and stability of the system and we had the process standard because we needed to have a hybrid solution.

What other advice do I have?

My advice to other people looking to implement VxRail is that it is a very nice solution. It's an integrated solution so we don't have to jump into several providers because it is only one point of contact. We don't have to call VMware or another vendor. We only have one point of contact.

On a scale of one to ten, I would give VxRail a nine.

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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JW
Solutions Architect at a computer software company with 201-500 employees
Real User
Top 20
Very stable with excellent customer support and great scalability

Pros and Cons

  • "The solution is perfect for the lifecycle management of hardware."
  • "The licensing costs are too expensive. They should work on their pricing model."

What is our primary use case?

The solution is primarily used as a general data center and VDI. 

How has it helped my organization?

I consult multiple organizations across many industries.  VxRAIL is a platform  I lead with. It reduces IT admin time and complexity around managing a hyper-converged environment. 

What is most valuable?

The solution is perfect for the lifecycle management of hardware.

The solution allows automated updates to hosts os and hardware, and in some cases switch hardware patches as well.

What needs improvement?

The licensing costs are too expensive for smaller deployments. They should work on their pricing model at the low end. many of the customer's at the smaller end of the scale would benefit the most from the automation but it often times becomes cost prohibitive.

The solution needs a little more flexibility in the hardware that is supported by VxRAIL. Right now, they're very restrictive of the hardware supported. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been dealing with the solution for two or three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability of the solution is rock solid. Organizations consider it completely reliable. There aren't bugs or glitches. It doesn't crash. It's great.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability of the solution is very impressive, actually. You can scale a very large environment with ease. It's not trouble at all.

On the converse of that, it doesn't work so well for very small environments. This is mostly for if you've got, for example, four hosts already. It's not for small environments. You need to really have 100 to 200 VMs to really take advantage of it.

As a reseller, I'll typically check in with clients after a few months to see how things are going and to see if they need a new node or anything of that nature.  Typically, they are looking to scale a bit more.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support is phenomenal. I'd give it five stars. They are very responsive and knowledgeable. We're satisfied with the level of service they provide.

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

I have been selling virtualization platforms for around 10 years.  Hyper Converged Infrastructure is perfect for general data center work loads and for VDI.  

How was the initial setup?

For myself, it's fairly straightforward and no longer very complex. However, I've done more than a dozen of them so far. If you don't know what you're doing, it can be pretty complex. You really do need some expertise with the solution to manage everything.

In terms of deployment, it chiefly takes about two days of planning and about two days of implementation.

In terms of maintenance, what makes it so nice is that it automates management and patching of all of an organization's virtual hosts and even their switches if the switches are supported. Therefore, it reduces admin.

What about the implementation team?

We handle the implementation for our clients.

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

Users do find that licensing is quite pricey.

The costs vary from customer to customer.

A typical node that I would sell to a customer has a list price be between $50,000 and $80,000 per node. Organizations typically start with four nodes. That's the hardware, software, VMware licensing, everything. 

Customers typically pay about half of that for VSAN REady nodes - approximately $25,000 to $50,000 a node. On average, it costs about $200,000 to get your foot in the door. That can be quite expensive for any organization that isn't a large enterprise.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I have trained and worked with all of the major HCI options out there.

VSAN (VxRail is built on top of this)

Nutanix ( a very solid alternative)

Simplivity ( not to the level of VSAN or Nutanix)

Microsoft Storage Spaces Direct ( good idea, not quite ready for production)

What other advice do I have?

We're a partner with Dell VMware. VxRail is a part of Dell.

I largely just sell and set up the solutions; I don't use the solution regularly myself.

It's an amazing product overall.

This solution definitely requires an organization to plan everything out correctly. You need to map out your networking, understand what your resource utilization is going to be, make sure you get the right amount of RAM and storage on the host, and then also understand the impact to your licensing costs for Microsoft.

I'd rate the solution nine out of ten. I would give it perfect marks if it wasn't so expensive.

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
IA
Information Technology Solutions Architect at a comms service provider with 501-1,000 employees
Real User
Top 20
Great for modernizing a data centre but simulator access is limited to premium customers only

Pros and Cons

  • "For me, the most valuable feature is in relation to the software updates."
  • "There could be better documentation and they should allow everyone to access the simulator."

What is our primary use case?

Our company is global. We have a wide range of customers and clients in many countries. Our customers who use VxRail are typically big companies.

Some of our customers are in the banking sector and use VxRail because they're concerned about using automated software for updates, upgrades, etc. VxRail is for a specific category, mostly for banking, oil, and gas — a few others sectors as well.

What is most valuable?

For me, the most valuable feature is in relation to the software updates. Updated software is very critical as I cannot risk making a mistake. To avoid this, VxRail provides me with pre-tested updates that can be implemented with little interruption. Since we are talking about banking, oil, and gas, there's no need for automating virtual machine creation.

What needs improvement?

Currently, I don't see much room for improvement; however, there could be better documentation and they should allow everyone to access the simulator. If Dell could provide access to a simulator or a demo for regular users, it would make things much easier. 

In order to gain access, you need to be a golden partner — normal users can't do it. It would be more beneficial to everyone if they could access the simulator and run some trial and error experiments before operating the real product. Many other companies (like Cisco) allow all of their users to do this. You can simply download the materials from the internet, including the simulator. 

In regard to VxRail or Dell products in general, you cannot do this because it's very limited to specific partners — typical end users don't have access. It would be great if it was more available to all partners, not just their top-tier partners. There would be less resistance from potential customers because they wouldn't be afraid of daily operations, support, etc. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been dealing with VxRail for roughly two to three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

VxRail is very stable. We haven't experienced any issues, stability-wise.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

As VxRail is constantly updating, it makes it really easy to scale-out and scale-up.

How are customer service and technical support?

We are experiencing some issues with Dell's live-chat support as the support is different based on the support included with the hardware. If you're on a basic plan, there will be some challenges. We're hearing this from our customers in Gulf countries, third-world countries, and even second-world countries. They also face some challenges due to international time zones. There should be online support everywhere, not limited to specific geographical locations, it's limiting. Other companies are not doing this. If you compare Dell with HP, that's not the case. With HP, whenever you have a problem, despite the hardware, you get premium support. With Dell, communicating with support can be a challenge.

How was the initial setup?

The complexity of the initial setup depends on your infrastructure as you need to integrate some existing components. It's not only about the VxRail components, but integration with the existing network and firewall. It's case-by-case. Sometimes it's very easy, sometimes it's not.

What about the implementation team?

We do not deploy this solution for our customers. We step in once it's been deployed. We handle end-to-end operations like security, computing, and networking — the whole portfolio.

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

VxRail is not cheap, but it's not expensive either. Mainly it's for big enterprise customers. VxRail has its own or target customers and they know the value of this product; however, the hyper-converged solution is not for everyone. The good news is there are no hidden costs.

What other advice do I have?

I would absolutely recommend VxRail. From my previous experience, and because I work with a wide range of technical engineers, compared to other products, this solution offers a solid hardware performance. Generally, we look for value combined with price. If you're able to find a better solution, it will also come at a higher cost. Considering the range of prices overall, Dell is the best — my first choice. You can go for a premium version, but there will be an additional cost. For example, you can go for NetApp, which is better hardware, but the price is higher.

Overall, on a scale from one to ten, I would give VxRail a rating of six.

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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