Buyer's Guide
HCI
January 2023
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Solutions Executive at Tech Data Limited
Real User
Quick to backup and transfer, and it is easy to scale
Pros and Cons
  • "The most valuable features of this solution are the backup rate and the backup transfer."
  • "The centric management could be simplified or more user-friendly."

What is our primary use case?

We are resellers. We provide HPE products to our customers.

This solution is used with UDI, HCI, the hybrid cloud, Microsoft Azure, and other Microsoft products.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable features of this solution are the backup rate and the backup transfer.

You don't have to purchase any other licenses other than Microsoft or for VMware, everything is included in your box.

Your backup and transfer time is less. You can move one TB of VM data in one minute, which is one of SimpliVity's benefits.

What needs improvement?

In my experience, the only improvement that can be made is the price. It is much more costly than other solutions such as VxRail.

We would like to provide our customers with a virtual demo and have not been able to find this available. We don't have access to show the demo virtually to our customers or partners. This is lacking in this sector. We are not able to provide hands-on experience.

The centric management could be simplified or more user-friendly. Customers require an easier way to handle any product.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been selling this solution for two years.

We always register our clients with the newest versions.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

For stability, our customers prefer on-premises solutions, but they can also deploy the hybrid cloud, which allows them to instantly transfer from on-premises to the cloud.

This solution is quite stable. We have not found any issues with stability to remote to our customers.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

HPE SimpliVity is easy to scale.

How are customer service and technical support?

We have been in contact with technical support when we have had some issues. We have always received answers in a timely fashion.

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

VxRail is the only competitor, no other product comes near HPE SimpliVity.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is straightforward. It's simple. 

Maintenance is required because it is complex. You are getting your storage, the server, and the networking protocol in one box. It requires a few technical engineers, otherwise, you can manage this product after the installation. 

What about the implementation team?

We provide our customers with a demo in our data center and an hour per day.

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

It's a costly solution and is more expensive than VxRail.

When you compare with other competitors, such as Cisco HyperFlex, it is much more expensive than SimpliVity. In the rankings, Cisco is seventh and SimpliVity comes in fifth.

What other advice do I have?

Many customers are using this solution and have said that it comes down to the price. Otherwise, it's a good product.

This product is not suitable for small companies as they don't require this much. Unless they have 20 to 30 lakhs (two to three million), it would be better suited for medium to large companies.

I would recommend this solution to others who are interested in using it.

I would rate HPE SimpliVity a ten out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Hybrid Cloud
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
Director Of Information Technology at a outsourcing company with 11-50 employees
Real User
Top 20
We substantially reduced network complexity by eliminating the standalone SAN
Pros and Cons
  • "We also substantially reduced network complexity by eliminating that standalone SAN. That reduced complexity has allowed us to concentrate on improving other areas of our network."
  • "Possible new features could be CSV-level snapshot capability, Veeam integration, and maybe a more straightforward setup. Granted, you don't have to worry about setups with the HCA, but if you want to implement StarWind vSAN in a lab to test it is a tedious setup process."

What is our primary use case?

We are an SMB that hosts our ERP on-site. Our infrastructure is shared with a group of inter-related companies, so uptime is critical since several entities rely on our core services. StarWind HCA is the core of our network and hosts all of our critical VMs. We needed a cost-effective HA solution that was easy to manage, as we have a very small IT department that is concentrated mostly on business process improvements. The last thing we need is complex systems to manage taking our focus away from that.

How has it helped my organization?

We went from a vSphere compute cluster with an external SAN made by a company that is in perpetual financial trouble and have shifted business focus several times. Not only was our traditional SAN expensive, but we also had no confidence in the vendor. StarWind HCA is commodity hardware, so we eliminated the proprietary hardware issue. 

We also substantially reduced network complexity by eliminating that standalone SAN. That reduced complexity has allowed us to concentrate on improving other areas of our network.

What is most valuable?

Proactive support has been great, you will receive an email from StarWind soon after their telemetry service sees anything out of the ordinary with either the StarWind services or any critical issue related to your cluster of VMs. The appliance support goes beyond my expectations by helping with some Hyper-V issues that may not be directly related to the StarWind services.

The most valuable feature is its simplicity. It really isn't any more difficult to manage than a standard Hyper-V cluster.

What needs improvement?

Communication could have been improved during the implementation process. I've also been looking forward to further development of their management console which has been slow to materialize. StarWind is promising full cluster management and backup integration in a single-pain-of-glass console.

Possible new features could be CSV-level snapshot capability, Veeam integration, and maybe a more straightforward setup. Granted, you don't have to worry about setups with the HCA, but if you want to implement StarWind vSAN in a lab to test it is a tedious setup process.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've been running our StarWind HCA for about two years.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support has been willing to help and train even on simple questions.

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

We previously had a vSphere cluster with a standalone SAN. We wanted a less complex solution.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is really easy. StarWind handles it.

What about the implementation team?

In-house with StarWind help.

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

The HCA price is all-inclusive (setup, hardware, support, warranty), except for your standard Microsoft Server licensing.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We evaluated Cisco and DataCore.

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.
Nasah Azar - PeerSpot reviewer
Branch Lead at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
Reseller
The solution offers straightforward setup, scalability, and manageability
Pros and Cons
  • "The manageability feature is the most important aspect of the solution."
  • "One question that has come up frequently in the last week is whether or not the renewal cost for Sangfor's HCI solution is too high."

What is our primary use case?

HCI is often pitched against VMware licenses, which are expensive. However, Sangfor HCI is more cost-effective and offers more features than VMware. This makes it a strong competitor in the Pakistani market.

What is most valuable?

The manageability feature is the most important aspect of the solution. Customers have told me that this is the key selling point for them. The manageability and the ability to use it across all platforms using vSAN is what makes the solution so popular.

What needs improvement?

One question that has come up frequently in the last week is whether or not the renewal cost for Sangfor's HCI solution is too high. Customers are hesitant to renew their contracts because of this cost, but everything else about the solution is good. The features are fine and even better than VMware's. However, the renewal cost is a bit higher.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using the solution for seven months.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I give the stability of the solution a seven out of ten.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution is highly scalable.

How are customer service and support?

The response time for technical support is very good in Pakistan. We do not have any issues with their support.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup of the solution is straightforward.

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

I give the pricing a five out of ten.

The solution has a good initial cost but a high renewal cost.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We have compared the solution with VMware, and there are no features that are significantly better in VMware. There are some features that are a bit lower. I'm not sure what they are right now. Overall, the Sangfor HCI package is good when compared to VMware. The main difference is the pricing. VMware has a high initial cost and a complex licensing model. Sangfor, on the other hand, has all of the features in just one license. This is a big difference.

What other advice do I have?

I give the solution an eight out of ten.

Most medium-sized companies are using on-premises storage solutions. They might have a limited budget, so they don't need some of the more expensive replication or backup solutions. They just keep their data on-site, using software from Veritas or another provider. I will use a simple backup solution, rather than using a cloud-based storage environment. Sangfor HCI is only necessary for large enterprises.

Sangfor HCI is a one-license package that is packed with features. When looking to replace our existing VMware environment with another good product, I believe Sangfor HCI is the best solution.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Reseller
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Head of the Cloud Factory Architecture & President at a comms service provider with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 20
Mature solution that is simple to implement and maintain
Pros and Cons
  • "Allows us to implement more quickly, and to ease the maintenance."
  • "One area that could be improved is the management feature."

How has it helped my organization?

This solution has improved our organization by allowing us to implement more quickly, and to ease the maintenance. However, it doesn't change the internal organization much.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature of the solution is the simplicity to implement and to maintain.

What needs improvement?

One area that could be improved is the management feature. The link between the virtualization layer and the application layer can be improved as well.

An additional feature I would like to see in the next release is integration between virtualization with vSAN and network virtualization.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for the last three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

My impression of the stability is that it's a very good solution for our usage.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

For the product cloud, scalability is okay. However, when we try to use a larger cloud, we can add more new nodes into the same vSAN configuration.

Every year, our number of users increases.

How are customer service and support?

The customer support is very good, depending on the contract support that you supply. We are using a premium support and the quality is quite good.

How was the initial setup?

The complexity of the initial setup is not really on the VMware, but only the hyper-layer because we need to check if the hyper-layer, underlying VMware are strictly compatible.

For the first implementation, it took more or less one year, but now it takes much less time to add new material and new configuration.

What was our ROI?

In the beginning, we saw a huge return on investment from VMware, from 10 years ago to five years ago, but now we are used to the product. So the ROI doesn't make much enough for us because we only use vSAN. Now VMware is the baseline.

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

The product is quite expensive, regarding the open-source solution.

The cost of the solution is a mixture of monthly user and licenses purchasing. So for the internal user, we use licenses purchasing. For an external customer, we use the Pay-Per-View model.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Before choosing VMware, we evaluated Microsoft Nutanix and Cisco HyperFlex. VMware design is more mature than the other solutions, generally.

What other advice do I have?

I would rate the solution a nine out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Hybrid Cloud

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Google
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
CTO at a insurance company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Hosting platform that offers ROI through simplifying work of staff to amplify team output
Pros and Cons
  • "We have seen ROI using this solution. It has simplified the work of the staff that we have which allows us to do more work with the same number of people, without having to incrementally grow the staff. The reliability of the product has been exceptional."
  • "Supply chain capabilities are certainly hurting us. We're in the process of placing a large order for more VxRail nodes right now."

What is our primary use case?

We simplified our environment and made it easier to expand. We use the solution in four different locations and have about 25 people directly administering the product. The product is used by 4,000 people.

What is most valuable?

The fact that we can expand our nodes horizontally and the integration with VMware, which is what we use for all of our server virtualizations, has been most valuable.

What needs improvement?

Supply chain capabilities are certainly hurting us. We're in the process of placing a large order for more VxRail nodes right now.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for three years. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This is a stable solution. 

How are customer service and support?

The technical support for this solution is very good. I would rate them an eight and a half. 

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

We previously used Cisco UCS and made the switch to Dell after an extensive proof of concept. We felt like it was going to be the best comprehensive solution for us.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was straightforward. 

What about the implementation team?

In some cases, we used a reseller. We have negotiated an agreement with Dell where we now buy directly from them.

What was our ROI?

We have seen ROI using this solution. It has simplified the work of the staff that we have which allows us to do more work with the same number of people, without having to incrementally grow the staff. The reliability of the product has been exceptional.

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

Licensing and price for this solution is reasonable.

What other advice do I have?

I would rate this solution a nine out of ten. 

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Private Cloud

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Amazon Web Services (AWS)
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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Buyer's Guide
HCI
January 2023
Get our free report covering Dell Technologies, VMware, Nutanix, and other competitors of Cisco HyperFlex HX-Series. Updated: January 2023.
670,400 professionals have used our research since 2012.