Dell PowerFlex vs VMware vSAN comparison

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Comparison Buyer's Guide
Executive Summary

We performed a comparison between Dell PowerFlex and VMware vSAN based on real PeerSpot user reviews.

Find out in this report how the two HCI solutions compare in terms of features, pricing, service and support, easy of deployment, and ROI.
To learn more, read our detailed Dell PowerFlex vs. VMware vSAN Report (Updated: January 2024).
757,198 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 ProActive support gives me peace of mind because I am a one man shop, but with the technical support behind me, I feel like more than just one person. We spent two to three hours, depending on what we have to do, always on the phone, and they do not push to end the call.""The ability for us to manage all of our nodes from the same console makes systems administration very easy.""The management interface on the software is very simple. It is insanely simple compared to most SANs. The interface is also powerful when used to complete tasks that an IT administrator needs to complete.""StarWind vSAN has a lot of great features and is a perfect solution for mirroring internal disks and flash between servers.""StarWind saved us about 80% of our storage costs over our old solution.""The best feature is its ease of installation and integration within a current infrastructure.""You can build cheap, reliable, replicated virtual machines clusters using simple servers with an all flash disk or SAS\SATA hybrid tiered by performance storage.""StarWind SANs come with outstanding support."

More StarWind Virtual SAN Pros →

"The solution is quite stable.""Saves us a lot of space in the data center.""We've had no issues with scaling the solution.""The solution was connected to alternate storage. It provides great scalability and reliability.""We're doing a lot of VMware for IT so this solution is really valuable from a VMH point of view. We're trying to assist our customers mainly with management, because that's what they want. The most important aspects are ease of management, as well as ease of configuration, allowing them to attach additional nodes and resources for the applications.""The solution is scalable.""It is easy to use for management and operations teams because the tools are in one place.""The setup was very straightforward."

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"If we decide to expand, vSAN could offer us some flexibility. We are researching ways to set this up from a new data center, which is located somewhere different from the current location right now.""We can scale it very easily for a test environment. We were able to segment our DMZ so it wasn't connected to anything, which we really liked.""VMware vSAN is easy to implement in a VMware environment and it is not expensive.""The simplicity, as well as the integration with virtualization.""The technical support is good. We are always thankful for the technical support from VMware. They are very supportive when we have a technical problem.""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.""vSAN can help customers save on storage system costs, and also save on the human cost.""The newer versions of this solution are much more stable and easier to manage."

More VMware vSAN Pros →

Cons
"In all areas the product could be made faster.""Scaling the product is fairly easy except for the computing aspect. It would entail another appliance. While not a show stopper, it isn't as easy as dropping in a few extra SSDs.""Server-side snapshots are one thing the Linux appliance can't do yet.""The reconnection of the attached drives upon a reboot could be improved.""I had to buy upgraded support, which was not a problem, but it wasn't a prorated amount, so I paid for the support, the full upgrade, but I only got a couple of months out of it because it was only good until renewal time.""If there are domain controllers inside the cluster, there needs to be some sort of logic allowing them to boot independently so all the rest of the domain clients can gain the authority they need to come online.""I wish the sync after a failure, such as hardware failure or power-related issues, for example, was faster.""The main thing I would like to see improved is the level of documentation."

More StarWind Virtual SAN Cons →

"We've had some issues around the licensing.""The solution must be more flexible.""Including instrumentation would be a helpful improvement.""The biggest issue with the solution is that it doesn't support Hyper V. It's a big problem.""The support of containers needs to be improved. At present, it is limited to VMware. There needs to be direct communication with the hardware rather than through a hypervisor.""The solution needs to offer more documentation and educational materials.""There should be more functionality available for routing.""I think there might be some room for improvement when it comes to pricing, because although I know how to convert customers, at the end of day, it's quite expensive. Sometimes your feature architecture is still coming out much cheaper than hardware costs for your infrastructure."

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"It can be very expensive.""Lacks an integrated backup solution.""The only thing that can be improved is the cost.""The ability to access SAN environments with fiber channels (or even NVMe) would be a good addition.""The updating process could be easier.""Perhaps they could provide encryption without having to use an encryption manager.""I would have liked it to have been more scalable. It's scalable but not as much as, for example, the ScaleIO systems were or the Kaminario""I would like for the next release to be a bit cheaper."

More VMware vSAN Cons →

Pricing and Cost Advice
  • "The setup cost is very low. The pricing is great."
  • "We are happy with the price."
  • "The license is reusable. We can always rebuild it and apply the license. Then, boom, we get new servers, apply the license, and we're back up and running."
  • "The pricing is fine for the work that it does."
  • "When we did all the analysis for StarWind, it was approximately 20 percent less than any of the other solutions that we looked at."
  • "The scalability limitation for us is its licensing. At some point in the fairly near future, we will probably have to upgrade our license so we can store eight terabytes instead of four. We are currently at four terabytes, but we're starting to knock on the door of that capacity."
  • "The pricing is excellent. It will run on anything. You don't have to buy a $100,000 server, with hardware you don't need. You just pay for the license and you're good to go."
  • "The licensing is a bit weird. If you license the standard version of StarWind, it allows you four terabytes. Then, they have a pro version, but with the pro version, the only difference is it doubles the terabytes to eight."
  • More StarWind Virtual SAN Pricing and Cost Advice →

  • "The pricing for this solution is good."
  • "The price of the solution is fair, it is priced in the average range amongst competitors."
  • "The cost of this solution is fair."
  • "The solution is expensive and I give the cost a two out of ten."
  • "The solution's price is medium."
  • "The price could be improved."
  • "The product is expensive."
  • More Dell PowerFlex Pricing and Cost Advice →

  • "The first 1-2 years of purchasing vSAN will be expensive. Thereafter, the longer you are running it, the more cost savings you will have."
  • "Its reasonable, compare with other storage vendors"
  • "Basically, vSAN is a license in addition to that of the classic VMware Vsphere, which is also mandatory."
  • "​I would like to see this technology be made available to smaller businesses, who might benefit from high availability but struggle with the entry fee.​"
  • "Perhaps a bundle, like Essentials, would allow more businesses to make the leap to the product."
  • "We have increased our user productivity."
  • "What made us go with this solution was price point. When you can utilize existing storage infrastructure, and not have to continually purchase new SAN products out there that are going up in price as time goes by, then it's a wonderful thing."
  • "We did consider other hyperconverged solutions. It usually came down to price. vSan was the most cost effective thing."
  • More VMware vSAN Pricing and Cost Advice →

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    Questions from the Community
    Top Answer:Being hardware agnostic is a must and definitely scored points for us.
    Top Answer:The cost of this is less than you expect. Since they're selling a software stack, you do need to consider your own… more »
    Top Answer:The GUI deserves a little love. It is simple and works fine. However, the overall design is a little bit dated. Updating… more »
    Top Answer:VxRail vs. Dell EMC PowerFlex VxRail provides stable solutions for technical problems while at the same time not being… more »
    Top Answer:The product is expensive. I rate the pricing a nine out of ten.
    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
    StarWind SAN & NAS
    VxFlex, VxRack FLEX, PowerFlex
    vSAN
    Learn More
    StarWind
    Video Not Available
    Dell Technologies
    Video Not Available
    VMware
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    Overview

    StarWind Virtual SAN provides high availability and fault tolerance for virtualized environments without the need for dedicated SAN hardware. It allows for real-time replication between servers, shared storage for Hyper-V clusters, and enables vMotion and High Availability features for VMware vSphere. The solution reduces costs and leverages existing hardware while providing a scalable and reliable infrastructure. Valuable features include ease of use, scalability, top-tier support, hardware agnosticism, and the ability to use off-the-shelf standard servers to increase storage space. StarWind VSAN has helped organizations improve performance, data availability, and data security while reducing downtime and providing cost-saving storage options.

    VxRack System consists of hyper-converged rack-scale engineered systems, with integrated networking, to achieve the scalability and management requirements of traditional and cloud native workloads. The VxRack series is purposely designed to enable customers to quickly deploy Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) and/or Private Cloud architectures. VxRack Systems tightly integrate hardware with software and management layers.

    The result is a fully tested, pre-configured, hyper-converged system with simplified operations at data center and Service Provider scale. VxRack Systems support the deployment of a variety of application workloads, allowing IT to rapidly deliver new services while improving overall agility and efficiency.

    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 Dell PowerFlex
    Learn more about VMware vSAN
    Sample Customers
    Baker Tilly BVI, CMS Internet, Board Harpeth Hall School
    Canopy, 8x8Inc., Atos, Canadian Pacific, City of Denton, CenturyLink, BNP Paribas, Asyaport, EDF, CSC, Fox Sports, Insight, Hunter, KPIT, Paetec, Rosetta Stone, Sonda, Xerox
    Read Some Case Studies At Home Cloud CaribCINgroupDiscovery Check out the Rest of our Customer Stories Here
    Top Industries
    REVIEWERS
    Manufacturing Company10%
    Construction Company8%
    Educational Organization8%
    Computer Software Company8%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Computer Software Company18%
    Manufacturing Company9%
    Government9%
    Financial Services Firm8%
    REVIEWERS
    Financial Services Firm22%
    Healthcare Company11%
    Wellness & Fitness Company11%
    Computer Software Company11%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Computer Software Company15%
    Financial Services Firm13%
    Manufacturing Company10%
    Government8%
    REVIEWERS
    Computer Software Company15%
    Comms Service Provider12%
    Financial Services Firm11%
    Healthcare Company10%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Educational Organization45%
    Computer Software Company10%
    Manufacturing Company6%
    Financial Services Firm5%
    Company Size
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business64%
    Midsize Enterprise22%
    Large Enterprise13%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business25%
    Midsize Enterprise17%
    Large Enterprise58%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business25%
    Midsize Enterprise20%
    Large Enterprise55%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business21%
    Midsize Enterprise13%
    Large Enterprise66%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business33%
    Midsize Enterprise22%
    Large Enterprise44%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business13%
    Midsize Enterprise53%
    Large Enterprise34%
    Buyer's Guide
    Dell PowerFlex vs. VMware vSAN
    January 2024
    Find out what your peers are saying about Dell PowerFlex vs. VMware vSAN and other solutions. Updated: January 2024.
    757,198 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    Dell PowerFlex is ranked 11th in HCI with 7 reviews while VMware vSAN is ranked 3rd in HCI with 10 reviews. Dell PowerFlex is rated 8.2, while VMware vSAN is rated 8.2. The top reviewer of Dell PowerFlex writes "Infrastructure management solution that offers rapid provisioning of computer storage but the APIs and enablers for custom automation could be improved". On the other hand, the top reviewer of VMware vSAN writes "Gives us a lot of advantages when we need to expand resources". Dell PowerFlex is most compared with VxRail, Nutanix Cloud Infrastructure (NCI), HPE SimpliVity and Cisco HyperFlex HX-Series, whereas VMware vSAN is most compared with VxRail, Microsoft Storage Spaces Direct, HPE SimpliVity, Nutanix Cloud Infrastructure (NCI) and Pure Storage FlashArray. See our Dell PowerFlex 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.