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 2023).
670,331 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
"StarWind Virtual SAN is a very mature software that supersedes its capabilities with my use cases.""StarWind Virtual SAN is essentially hardware agnostic, allowing us to build out a specific hardware layer based upon the customer's unique requirements.""The vSAN provides full redundancy for storage while reclaiming some rack space.""We have been able to use more on-prem hardware to reduce cost and also use old disks that we do not trust enough for ordinary RAID or usage.""The support team is available to solve any problem efficiently.""Having the ability to migrate machines live in our environment was made possible by this software.""The user interface for this application is amazing.""I have found the graphical user interface to be the most useful thing about Virtual SAN."

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"We've had no issues with scaling the solution.""It is easy to use for management and operations teams because the tools are in one place.""Saves us a lot of space in the data center.""The catalog of APIs for automation has been most valuable, although they are quite limited."

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"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.""One of the valuable features of vSAN is it has a universal type of technology that allows you to deploy it on any server or hardware. Competitors, such as Nutanix, provides the AOS and can be deployed only on certified hardware. For vSAN, it does not require any kind of certified hardware.""The ease of use is great.""Its ease of use is most valuable. It is easy to configure, and there is a unified interface, which makes things slightly easier.""vSAN is very integrated.""The scalability has been quite good.""The most valuable features of VMware vSAN are that it receives updates frequently, has good compression, optimized storage, and they provide webinars on what is new. Additionally, the integration with third-party products is good and it is easy to manage.""Very good VCG notification feature."

More VMware vSAN Pros →

Cons
"There is no IPv6 support. That is our only issue at this time.""I see no need for major improvements but there could be some improvements in the form of notifications and the simplifying of maintenance mode.""Feature-wise we are only waiting for the release of a "planned disaster" feature that would allow us to patch a hypervisor node without having to take the full storage offline.""For me, the product could be improved by it being made cheaper.""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.""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.""There needs to be more visibility on how long the cloud replication will take as there is no current ETA.""I would like to see options for automated notifications of any changes, including, for example, synchronization issues."

More StarWind Virtual SAN Cons →

"Licensing restrictions can be frustrating.""The installation is complex.""We've had some issues around the licensing.""It would be great to get earlier access to beta builds because we have to develop providers on our own. The APIs and enablers for custom automation could also be improved."

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"The big thing is pricing, and the rest of it is mostly good. From a scalability point of view, scaling the storage from network or compute should be easier. It is again all around the cost, and it would be good if it was easier to scale your storage separately from your compute.""This solution could be improved by having more than one controller for the environment. VMware depends on one controller for the whole environment, whereas Nutanix has one controller for each node. Because there is only one controller with VMware, if there was any drop, then the whole environment would stop working. In Nutanix, I have five nodes—there is one controller for each node and it depends on a virtual controller—so if the controller of any node is down, the whole environment will still work.""A vSAN cluster must have compression and deduplication to be an all-flash array, but it's not supported with a hybrid array. Deduplication and compression work better with an all-flash array, so I think that VMware should give customers the option to activate and support this feature for hybrid arrays. Other products like Nutanix support this.""In a future release, they could add micro-segmentation or security level features integrated into vSAN.""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.""The integration could be improved. I would like to see integration with other platforms.""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 price for the hard drive, for vSAN, is very expensive."

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 →

  • "The price of the solution is fair, it is priced in the average range amongst competitors."
  • "The cost of this solution is fair."
  • More Dell PowerFlex 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:VxRail vs. Dell EMC PowerFlex VxRail provides stable solutions for technical problems while at the same time not being… more »
    Top Answer:Saves us a lot of space in the data center.
    Top Answer:I'd like to see better license management with flexibility in terms of license usage.
    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
    VxFlex, VxRack FLEX, PowerFlex
    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.

    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 Company11%
    Educational Organization10%
    Construction Company9%
    Computer Software Company8%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Computer Software Company19%
    Government9%
    Comms Service Provider9%
    Manufacturing Company7%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Computer Software Company19%
    Financial Services Firm11%
    Comms Service Provider10%
    Manufacturing Company7%
    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 Business63%
    Midsize Enterprise22%
    Large Enterprise15%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business26%
    Midsize Enterprise17%
    Large Enterprise57%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business13%
    Midsize Enterprise27%
    Large Enterprise60%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business20%
    Midsize Enterprise12%
    Large Enterprise68%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business32%
    Midsize Enterprise23%
    Large Enterprise46%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business23%
    Midsize Enterprise17%
    Large Enterprise61%
    Buyer's Guide
    Dell PowerFlex vs. VMware vSAN
    January 2023
    Find out what your peers are saying about Dell PowerFlex vs. VMware vSAN and other solutions. Updated: January 2023.
    670,331 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    Dell PowerFlex is ranked 13th in HCI with 4 reviews while VMware vSAN is ranked 3rd in HCI with 78 reviews. Dell PowerFlex is rated 7.8, while VMware vSAN is rated 8.2. The top reviewer of Dell PowerFlex writes "Stable with good technical support and the capability to scale". 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, Cisco HyperFlex HX-Series, Nutanix Cloud Infrastructure (NCI), HPE SimpliVity and Huawei FusionCube Hyper-Converged Infrastructure, whereas VMware vSAN is most compared with VxRail, Microsoft Storage Spaces Direct, Nutanix Cloud Infrastructure (NCI), HPE SimpliVity and HPE Hyper Converged. 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.