Cisco HyperFlex HX-Series vs VMware vSAN comparison

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Comparison Buyer's Guide
Executive Summary
Updated on Jan 9, 2023

We performed a comparison between Cisco Hyperflex HX Series and VMware vSAN based on our users’ reviews in five categories. After reading all of the collected data, you can find our conclusion below.

  • Ease of Deployment: Cisco Hyperflex HX Series users feel that the setup can be a bit complex. Most users of VMware vSAN feel that deploying it is relatively easy and straightforward.
  • Features: Users of both products are happy with their stability and scalability.

    Cisco Hyperflex HX Series users like the solution’s performance and its integration options. Many users say that Cisco Hyperflex HX Series is very heavy and uses a lot of memory and hardware resources. Users would also like to see better replication and backup abilities.

    VMware vSAN users like the solution’s unified management interface and its compression and deduplication software. However, some reviewers feel that the user interface could be simplified.
  • Pricing: Users of both solutions say the pricing is expensive.
  • Service and Support: Cisco Hyperflex HX Series users are extremely happy with the support and service they receive. VMware vSAN users express mixed opinions.
  • ROI: Cisco Hyperflex HX Series users don’t mention an ROI whereas VMware vSAN users report a positive one.

Comparison Results: VMware vSAN wins out in this comparison. The main difference between the two solutions is that Cisco Hyperflex HX Series users find deployment to be difficult, and also say the solution uses a lot of memory and hardware resources. In addition, they do not mention an ROI.

To learn more, read our detailed Cisco HyperFlex HX-Series vs. VMware vSAN Report (Updated: January 2023).
670,400 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Featured Review
Quotes From Members
We asked business professionals to review the solutions they use.
Here are some excerpts of what they said:
Pros
"The management and monitoring have been very easy since the solution's dashboard is very simple and user-friendly.""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.""StarWind Virtual SAN is essentially hardware agnostic, allowing us to build out a specific hardware layer based upon the customer's unique requirements.""The ability for us to manage all of our nodes from the same console makes systems administration very easy.""The most valuable feature is the reliable storage replication, which enables me to create a robust infrastructure to run our business.""This product now allows us to migrate virtual machines between nodes as if we had a dedicated $100,000 SAN in the mix without the additional cost and management of the SAN.""The features that I found most valuable are ease of use of the software that StarWind offers - with the first setup being a bit painful.""Starwind support is excellent. They are very fast and have very good knowledge of Starwind and Hyper-V Cluster software."

More StarWind Virtual SAN Pros →

"Support is very responsive.""The management feature is the solution's most valuable aspect.""The most valuable feature is that you can manage the whole cluster from the traffic interconnect.""It's very easy to integrate with the ACI network.""Stretch cluster allows us to warranty a service for the customer.""With our four HyperFlex HX hosts (consisting of processor, memory, and disk), the performance is very fast and we have no problems at all. In all of the five years that we have been using HyperFlex, we haven't needed to increase our budget to buy additional hosts.""Performance-wise, everything is good. So far, we haven't had any issues. There has been no downtime at all.""I like Cisco Intersight."

More Cisco HyperFlex HX-Series Pros →

"This product has very good performance when it comes to virtualization storage and works well with solutions such as SAP HANA, Exadata, Hadoop, and Big Data Analytics.""We had very good access to technical support.""It is very well known in the industry, and there are a lot of technical resources around it. This is a big thing for me because, at the end of the day, when you implement it, you need to support it.""Its ease of use is most valuable. It is easy to configure, and there is a unified interface, which makes things slightly easier.""We have found the solution to be very scalable.""Storage virtualization software with a good storage management feature. It's a scalable and stable software.""The valuable feature of the solution is the total hyperconverged facility.""It is easy to work with, easy to handle, and easy to manage."

More VMware vSAN Pros →

Cons
"I found that certain browsers are not fully compatible with the administration web access portal.""Though I have learned some of the nuances with the upgrading of firmware/windows/etc., it would be nice to have a more efficient method of doing so.""The main issue we ran into was the documentation. We attempted to set up the product in our test environment by ourselves and ran into several areas of the documentation that were unclear to us.""Security on the ISCSI protocol could be improved by adding features like OS-type control access, especially for the data center environment.""The documentation is good. However, if compared with competitors, it could be enhanced and made more professional.""If it's possible to make a driver/solution that does not make use of the iSCSI targets of Windows, that would be great. I don't know if that's possible, however, it could make the configuration a little easier.""For someone entering the IT sector with little knowledge of storage, iSCSI, and virtual disks, they might not find the GUI immediately obvious.""I would like them to invest time in reducing the complexity of the startup and shutdown procedure."

More StarWind Virtual SAN Cons →

"There are sometimes issues with memory failure.""One of the biggest problems with HyperFlex HX is that if you want to adjust your solution in terms of processing power, memory, or disk capacity, you have to buy completely new hosts. From a financial perspective, it can be very expensive to do so, and from a legal perspective, there are all kinds of compliance issues we would have to sort out before buying any new solution or application.""Does not support the stretch cluster, and the interface is not good.""Lacks some integration and documentation could be improved.""The initial setup can be a bit complex.""The solution could improve by having more customization.""They should give us a little more information about how to use the CLI and offer more commands.""If we compare it with VMware, the VMware product is basically very open, and it can be easily integrated with any platform. VMware product is also available on the cloud and is not an appliance-based product, whereas Cisco HyperFlex is an appliance-based product. Companies that want to use HCI as a platform or as a service would prefer something without an appliance. A SaaS-based product is better for a customer who is using the cloud and has multiple resources, workflows, and devices on the cloud and wants to go for a hyper-converged solution. This is where improvement is needed. In addition to an appliance-based product, Cisco should provide a SaaS-based product. Its price should be lower. Cisco needs to work on the pricing model for this product. Its price is a big road blocker when competing against Nutanix and VMware, which are its main competitors."

More Cisco HyperFlex HX-Series Cons →

"It would be ideal if the solution offered some intelligent monitoring.""VMware vSAN could improve by having better integration with other vendors and the storage is limited, I prefer it to the traditional storage.""Ease of administration is one area where vSAN could be improved.""The pricing could be better when it comes to renewing the licenses.""There is a lot that VMware could improve from a marketing perspective. The cloud is still new for many people, so extending storage should be effortless. It shouldn't be so complicated to extend the storage so workloads can access it no matter where they go.""In a future release, they can bring in the object storage capabilities to this solution. Currently, there is not any compatibility.""The stability needs to be improved.""The only negative point relates to the licensing. If you want multiple, different servers, it costs money, but you have all the capacity for vSAN. You do not reach the data, but the processor arrays and the current architecture."

More VMware vSAN Cons →

Pricing and Cost Advice
  • "I think the cost of this solution is quite fair."
  • "The StarWind VSAN business model is very cost-effective."
  • "This solution has competitive prices and the implementation is very easy."
  • "StarWind is a low-cost, full-featured alternative to the traditional SAN environment, and their support will guide you every step of the setup."
  • "The support contract is well worth it. The price for it was very reasonable and their team has been very engaged whenever we reach out."
  • "This solution is very accessible and the pro-level for support is well worth the cost."
  • "We found that the pricing was perfect; simple and clear."
  • "For two nodes, it cost us $10,000, and we spend $2,000 a year on support."
  • More StarWind Virtual SAN Pricing and Cost Advice →

  • "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."
  • "There is a 30 percent additional premium that all the companies are charging for Cisco HyperFlex HX-Series because of the lack of chips and bottlenecks in the market. The cost of the solution is high right now."
  • More Cisco HyperFlex HX-Series Pricing and Cost Advice →

  • "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."
  • "vSAN has many versions with standard and advanced including Enterprise and Enterprise Plus. Regarding the Enterprise and the Advanced, it could be lower."
  • "The solution requires a license. The payment is on a yearly basis and It is not overly expensive."
  • "Every product is licensed with full support for a certain number of years. The licensing could be cheaper."
  • "It is expensive. It should be cheaper. It has a perpetual license as well as a subscription-based license, but they are moving towards subscription-based licenses."
  • More VMware vSAN Pricing and Cost Advice →

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    Questions from the Community
    Top Answer:The most valuable features are high availability and real-time replication between two servers.
    Top Answer:The StarWind Management Console is available only for Microsoft Windows/Windows Server, and should also be available for… 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:When we negotiated with Cisco for the HyperFlex solution, they gave us a good price because they wanted to break into… 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 Company11%
    Educational Organization10%
    Construction Company9%
    Computer Software Company8%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Computer Software Company19%
    Government9%
    Comms Service Provider9%
    Manufacturing Company7%
    REVIEWERS
    Manufacturing Company15%
    Comms Service Provider15%
    Government11%
    Computer Software Company9%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Computer Software Company20%
    Comms Service Provider19%
    Government8%
    Manufacturing Company6%
    REVIEWERS
    Computer Software Company12%
    Comms Service Provider12%
    Financial Services Firm11%
    Healthcare Company10%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Computer Software Company21%
    Comms Service Provider14%
    Government9%
    Manufacturing Company7%
    Company Size
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business62%
    Midsize Enterprise22%
    Large Enterprise16%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business26%
    Midsize Enterprise17%
    Large Enterprise57%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business21%
    Midsize Enterprise17%
    Large Enterprise62%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business21%
    Midsize Enterprise17%
    Large Enterprise62%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business32%
    Midsize Enterprise23%
    Large Enterprise46%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business23%
    Midsize Enterprise17%
    Large Enterprise61%
    Buyer's Guide
    Cisco HyperFlex HX-Series vs. VMware vSAN
    January 2023
    Find out what your peers are saying about Cisco HyperFlex HX-Series vs. VMware vSAN and other solutions. Updated: January 2023.
    670,400 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    Cisco HyperFlex HX-Series is ranked 8th in HCI with 29 reviews while VMware vSAN is ranked 3rd in HCI with 78 reviews. Cisco HyperFlex HX-Series is rated 7.8, while VMware vSAN is rated 8.2. The top reviewer of Cisco HyperFlex HX-Series writes "High performance solution that makes it easy to efficiently manage VM resources". 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 Cloud Infrastructure (NCI), HPE SimpliVity, Dell PowerFlex and FlexPod, whereas VMware vSAN is most compared with VxRail, Microsoft Storage Spaces Direct, Nutanix Cloud Infrastructure (NCI), HPE SimpliVity and HPE Hyper Converged. See our Cisco HyperFlex HX-Series vs. VMware vSAN report.

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    We monitor all 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.