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Cisco HyperFlex HX-Series vs VMware vSAN comparison

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Buyer's Guide
Cisco HyperFlex HX-Series vs. VMware vSAN
May 2022
Find out what your peers are saying about Cisco HyperFlex HX-Series vs. VMware vSAN and other solutions. Updated: May 2022.
609,272 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Quotes From Members
We asked business professionals to review the solutions they use.
Here are some excerpts of what they said:
Pros
"It's quite easy to install.""The fact that the solution is vendor-agnostic allows it to be used with any virtualization vendor while remaining a powerful abstraction over storage.""This software lets us maintain storage redundancy across both of our Hyper-V hosts, so if one goes down the environment fails over to the other and we have minimal to no downtime.""In the three years that we have been using StarWind, the product has yet to cause us any problems.""They offer top-tier support.""The license price is one of the cheapest in the market.""It's quite easy to manage.""It is extremely stable."

More StarWind Virtual SAN Pros →

"The solution is easy to use and to learn. It is well integrated with VMware.""Cisco HyperFlex HX-Series is simple to use, user-friendly and has been best for our purposes.""It's very easy to use and quite a mature product.""Performance-wise, everything is good. So far, we haven't had any issues. There has been no downtime at all.""I find the usability very valuable.""We are providing this solution for the customer or converting the customer from a traditional environment to a hyper-converged environment which consolidates all management and support on a single port. This is the main benefit of using the hyper-converged versus the traditional.""Great integration with backup software.""Overall, the solution is extremely easy, flexible and secure."

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"Provides good performance as well as integration with deployment tools.""The scalability of the solution is most valuable.""Everyone uses virtualization to more efficiently utilize hardware resources. That's the main point of vSAN and VMware.""It is easy to work with, easy to handle, and easy to manage.""The most valuable thing about vSAN is that all of its features have been working well for us for the past two years. We haven't had an issue with them.""Good performance, reliable and agile.""We didn't only choose vSAN; we chose VMware because of SR-IOV, which is more on the hypervisor level and not on the vSAN storage. It's part of the whole system.""Its ease of use is most valuable. It is easy to configure, and there is a unified interface, which makes things slightly easier."

More VMware vSAN Pros →

Cons
"The logs can also become very noisy when there is an issue, which is very infrequent.""It would help if the manufacturer provided clearer and more detailed documentation, with explanations of how the application can be installed in various HA configurations.""I would definitely like to see quite a bit more on the monitoring side of things.""The main thing I would like to see improved is the level of documentation.""When StarWind Virtual SAN for vSphere nodes go offline unexpectedly, the nodes have to re-sync disks fully which takes a long time. We had a power failure and when both nodes came online, VMware vSphere didn't see StarWind disks before I manually re-scanned them form ESXi administration console even though it should happen automatically""If there was a way to automatically put disks in maintenance mode when shutting the host down and exit maintenance mode automatically, that would simplify things.""Security on the ISCSI protocol could be improved by adding features like OS-type control access, especially for the data center environment.""The StarWind Management Console is available only for Microsoft Windows/Windows Server, and should also be available for Linux and macOS, as it would reduce implementation costs."

More StarWind Virtual SAN Cons →

"Its price could be better.""I would rate the installation of Cisco HyperFlex HX-Series an eight out of ten. It can be complex.""The initial setup can be complex.""With the cache disk fails in Cisco, the whole node fails, and the workload goes down.""Cisco HyperFlex should decrease the amount of memory needed from the Controller VM that controls the physical discs. They control the discs by using the virtual VM over every ESXi host and the VM consumes memory and consumes more hardware resources. They have to improve that by decreasing the amount of required memory and CPUs to control this disc on the server.""There are sometimes issues with memory failure.""Lacks some integration and documentation could be improved.""In the next release, I would like to see them able to connect to the public cloud."

More Cisco HyperFlex HX-Series Cons →

"The technical support, it's not satisfactory. Whenever we raise a ticket it takes a lot of time to have an engineer get involved sometimes, or we receive a less experienced engineer. We then have to repeat the situation to the next engineer which all takes time.""The pricing could be better when it comes to renewing the licenses.""We often run out of space but we have enough capacity for memory and CPU. It's difficult to find the balance between storage and memory CPU.""The UI falls short compared to other solutions. It needs some development to make it more user-friendly.""I would like to see better integration between the cloud and our VMware virtual environment. We only have one virtual environment, which is VMware vSAN. Right now, there is little interoperability with the cloud solution at the moment.""We are facing some problems with updates with the VMware vSAN. When we upgraded from version 6.5 to 7, we have been faced with many problems. They have been deploying many hotfixes for this version, and they need to continue to improve this version.""The interface is a little complicated, it could be simplified with more graphical gadgets. We have many servers, and the built-in functions, such as rate configuration, are a bit complex.""As a software-based product, it requires a lot of system resources."

More VMware vSAN Cons →

Pricing and Cost Advice
  • "The cost seems a bit steep, and I wish it was less expensive."
  • "I think the bang for the buck is much better with StarWind Virtual SAN."
  • "I think that purchasing StarWind Virtual SAN Professional Edition would be optimal for most."
  • "The setup cost, pricing, and licensing are very straightforward. They are exactly what you expect."
  • "The cost was ultimately low to implement, which allowed us to be 3-2-1 complaint."
  • "I think the cost of this solution is quite fair."
  • "If you are looking at a traditional SAN for a small cluster, give StarWind vSAN because you will save thousands without any compromise."
  • "The StarWind VSAN business model is very cost-effective."
  • More StarWind Virtual SAN Pricing and Cost Advice →

  • "Its price is rather fair when compared with other solutions like VxRail, vSAN, and HPE SimpliVity. We got a fair amount of discount from Cisco for Cisco HyperFlex. It is cost-effective. We have renewed storage till next year, and we have already paid the vendor. When we talk about HyperFlex or any HCI solution, storage is the part where we can reduce a lot of costs. At the current moment, we are already using NetApp storage, which did not allow us to go for a full Cisco HyperFlex setup. We are planning to go to a larger scale next year. Then we will be able to see how cost-effective it really is for us."
  • "Its price is high. Cisco needs to work on the pricing model for this product. Nutanix or VMware are cheaper products, and they provide almost the same functionality. Its price is a big road blocker when we are working with an end customer, and Nutanix and VMware are in competition. If they can reduce its price, it is actually a better choice for customers."
  • "We are on an annual subscription and the price is fair."
  • "The licensing is perpetual and the only thing that you may need to pay for on a monthly basis is if you're going to use their cloud-based management features."
  • "HyperFlex is a little pricey."
  • "There is a license required to use this solution."
  • "There is no additional licensing cost other than the cost for each part."
  • "HyperFlex is relatively expensive, but you get good value for money."
  • More Cisco HyperFlex HX-Series Pricing and Cost Advice →

  • "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."
  • "It is fairly cost-effective for entry to mid-level performance based on the underlying hardware components."
  • "The price is expensive."
  • "It is an expensive solution. There should be more flexible with licensing to allow small businesses the essentials of the solution's features."
  • "The price of vSAN could be lower."
  • "It is too expensive."
  • "It is expensive, but you get what you pay for."
  • "The price is okay."
  • More VMware vSAN Pricing and Cost Advice →

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    Questions from the Community
    Top Answer:The features that I found most valuable are ease of use of the software that StarWind offers - with the first setup… more »
    Top Answer:The initial setup cost will be great, especially with the new hardware. The StarWind pricing isn't that expensive… more »
    Top Answer:Some users have commented on online forums and others that the documentation and KB articles could be clearer or better… more »
    Top Answer: Cisco HyperFlex HS series vs Nutanix Acropolis AOS Cisco HyperFlex gives extended hyper-convergence functions… more »
    Top Answer:VxRail provides stable solutions for technical problems while at the same time not being too expensive for a company to… more »
    Top Answer:While both run on the vSAN technology from VMware, vSAN needs to be deployed on vSAN ready nodes while VxRail is an… more »
    Top Answer:We found the reduced power consumption with Nutanix Acropolis AOS a very attractive feature. We also like the interface… more »
    Top Answer:HPE SimpliVity is a hyper-converged infrastructure solution that is primarily geared to mid-sized companies. We… more »
    Comparisons
    Also Known As
    vSAN
    Learn More
    Overview

    For SMB, ROBO, Cloud and Hosting providers, who look to cut down virtualization expenses, our solution is StarWind VSAN. It is software that eliminates any need in physical shared storage by basically “mirroring” internal hard disks and flash between hypervisor servers. There is less hardware to buy in general, consequently less money is spent on purchase and maintenance. The existing hardware is used with maximum efficiency, so there is no money wasted at all.

    StarWind Virtual SAN targets those who already have servers, or are bound to a particular vendor list to buy from. In case there is a new virtualization infrastructure to be built from scratch, StarWind offers a much better way – StarWind HyperConverged Appliance. It is a turnkey solution complete with hardware and software, powered by StarWind Virtual SAN. Those who need to build and maintain virtualization infrastructure at little to no expense, may be interested in StarWind Virtual SAN Free.

    The Cisco HyperFlex HX Data Platform is a purpose-built, high-performance, scale-out file system with a wide array of enterprise-class data management services. The data platform’s innovations redefine distributed storage technology, giving you complete hyper-convergence with enterprise storage features:

    • Enterprise-class data management
    • Continuous data optimization
    • Securely encrypted storage
    • Dynamic data placement
    • Clusterwide parallel data distribution
    • Linear and incremental scaling
    • API-based data platform architecture
    • A simplified approach

    VMware vSAN is a software-defined storage product that is used in collaboration with VMware ESXi hypervisor and that provisions and manages storage based on policies, regardless of the underlying hardware. The solution enables you to prime your business for growth through its seamless evolution (it is integrated with vSphere and requires no new tools), its flexibility, and its multi-cloud capabilities. As an industry-leading software, VMware vSAN provides high levels of performance with minimal impact on CPU and memory.

    VMware vSAN Features

    VMware vSAN has many valuable key features. Some of the most useful ones include:

    • Storage policy-based management (SPBM): VMware vSAN supports storage policy-based management for automated management of storage profiles.
    • Software-defined data-at-rest encryption: With this VMware vSAN feature, you can prevent unauthorized access of data at rest.
    • Multiple nodes: VMware vSAN provides clusters that can include as few as 2 nodes or as many as 64 nodes.
    • High security and availability: VMware vSAN offers stretched clusters, allowing more than one virtualization host server to be used in the same setup, promoting higher security as well as availability.
    • Deduplication: VMware vSAN’s deduplication compresses data to ensure efficient storage management and security.
    • HCI mesh updates: VMware vSAN clusters can share storage capacity with non-HCI Sphere clusters and can adopt HCI without having to scale computing resources and storage or replace existing servers.
    • Simplified file services: With VMware vSAN’s file services, backup of file shares is simplified. You can use APIs that allow backup and recovery software vendors to integrate with your VMware vSAN file services, which enables backup software to track new data and add scalability enhancements to files.

    VMware vSAN Benefits

    There are many benefits to implementing VMware vSAN. Some of the biggest advantages the solution offers include:

    • Reduced total cost of ownership (TCO): VMware vSAN helps you reduce upfront costs for businesses because it can be easily deployed on inexpensive x86 servers. In addition, its highly scalable infrastructure and quick deployment also save organizations time and money, making it an efficient storage solution. 
    • Good manageability: VMWare vSAN is easy to set up, manage, and provision, without sacrificing performance. 
    • Scalability: VMware vSAN is agile and allows administrators to scale storage on demand, quickly, and efficiently via policies and rules.
    • Simplicity: VMWare vSAN is simple to configure since it is embedded in the vSphere hypervisor. Installing it using the vSphere Web Client can be done quickly. 
    • Reduced risk: VMWare vSAN reduces the risk associated with digital transformations by utilizing existing tools, skill sets, and solutions.

    Reviews from Real Users

    Below are some reviews and helpful feedback written by PeerSpot users currently using the VMware vSAN solution.

    PeerSpot user Yves S., CEO, Cloud Evangelist at Comdivision Consulting GmbH, says, “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.”

    A reviewer who works in Infrastructure Security explains, “The ease of use is great. The initial setup and upgrade process was pretty straightforward. And, technical support is great.”

    Laurent N., Director at Softlogic, comments, "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."

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    Learn more about Cisco HyperFlex HX-Series
    Learn more about VMware vSAN
    Sample Customers
    Baker Tilly BVI, CMS Internet, Board Harpeth Hall School
    BluePearl Veterinary Partners, Ready Pac Foods, Bryant University, Bellevue Group, KPIT Technologies, City Harvest
    Read Some Case Studies At Home Cloud CaribCINgroupDiscovery Check out the Rest of our Customer Stories Here
    Top Industries
    REVIEWERS
    Manufacturing Company13%
    Construction Company10%
    Healthcare Company6%
    Non Profit6%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Computer Software Company25%
    Comms Service Provider19%
    Government8%
    Manufacturing Company6%
    REVIEWERS
    Manufacturing Company17%
    Comms Service Provider13%
    Government11%
    Energy/Utilities Company9%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Comms Service Provider33%
    Computer Software Company22%
    Government6%
    Manufacturing Company5%
    REVIEWERS
    Comms Service Provider12%
    Computer Software Company11%
    Financial Services Firm11%
    Healthcare Company11%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Computer Software Company26%
    Comms Service Provider22%
    Government8%
    Manufacturing Company6%
    Company Size
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business59%
    Midsize Enterprise26%
    Large Enterprise15%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business23%
    Midsize Enterprise16%
    Large Enterprise61%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business21%
    Midsize Enterprise16%
    Large Enterprise63%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business17%
    Midsize Enterprise16%
    Large Enterprise67%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business31%
    Midsize Enterprise23%
    Large Enterprise46%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business20%
    Midsize Enterprise17%
    Large Enterprise63%
    Buyer's Guide
    Cisco HyperFlex HX-Series vs. VMware vSAN
    May 2022
    Find out what your peers are saying about Cisco HyperFlex HX-Series vs. VMware vSAN and other solutions. Updated: May 2022.
    609,272 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    Cisco HyperFlex HX-Series is ranked 8th in Hyper-Converged (HCI) with 22 reviews while VMware vSAN is ranked 2nd in Hyper-Converged (HCI) with 87 reviews. Cisco HyperFlex HX-Series is rated 8.0, while VMware vSAN is rated 8.2. The top reviewer of Cisco HyperFlex HX-Series writes "An all-in-one option that is stable and offers good management". On the other hand, the top reviewer of VMware vSAN writes "Gives us a lot of advantages when we need to expand resources". Cisco HyperFlex HX-Series is most compared with VxRail, Nutanix Acropolis AOS, HPE SimpliVity, Dell PowerFlex and FlexPod, whereas VMware vSAN is most compared with VxRail, Nutanix Acropolis AOS, Microsoft Storage Spaces Direct, HPE SimpliVity and Pure Storage FlashArray. See our Cisco HyperFlex HX-Series vs. VMware vSAN report.

    See our list of best Hyper-Converged (HCI) vendors.

    We monitor all Hyper-Converged (HCI) reviews to prevent fraudulent reviews and keep review quality high. We do not post reviews by company employees or direct competitors. We validate each review for authenticity via cross-reference with LinkedIn, and personal follow-up with the reviewer when necessary.