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Dell PowerFlex vs VMware vSAN comparison

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Featured Review
Buyer's Guide
Dell PowerFlex vs. VMware vSAN
May 2022
Find out what your peers are saying about Dell PowerFlex vs. VMware vSAN and other solutions. Updated: May 2022.
610,190 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
"StarWind Virtual SAN for vSphere is a software-defined storage solution that has reduced administration time for storage. It's pretty straightforward to install and setup it and so far it has been robust and worked as advertised from StarWind.""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.""The biggest benefit was that it allowed us to provide SAN services on a limited hardware budget.""They offer top-tier support.""It has been extremely stable for the three years we've been running it.""The install itself is easy as pie.""Having the ability to scale horizontally if needed is a huge plus for future growth.""Highly available storage is the most valuable feature. The entire rollout is hyper-converged and requires no extra storage further than the hosts in which Hyper-V is running. Another feature that has been great is the support from StarWind in general. We have their proactive support package on the main cluster that employs Starwind Virtual SAN."

More StarWind Virtual SAN Pros →

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

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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.""Stretched Cluster is one of the big features that we use across multiple data centers.""Being able to deploy multiple applications with virtual servers is the most valuable for us. The capacity of the system is quite constant so it's got some of the good features.""It is easy to work with, easy to handle, and easy to manage.""The solution has high performance.""The scalability of the solution is most valuable.""VMware vSAN is an easy to use and easy to manage storage solution. Deploying and upgrading are easy. Technical support is very good.""VMware vSAN is easy to configure, with basic functionality and the customer can maintain the solution."

More VMware vSAN Pros →

Cons
"It would be nice to add the ability to use raw partitions instead of file containers.""I think the setup could be streamlined a bit.""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.""The console is something that I feel could be improved. There is nothing technically wrong with it, but it can be jazzed up and/or made to be a little more intuitive.""If there was one thing we could request, it would be the ability to shrink volumes. For example, we want to be able to decrease in the size of the volume.""Maybe in the future, the replication will be supported in more cloud providers.""The system failovers properly on its own without too much worry.""It would be helpful if StarWind provided more precise and detailed documentation explaining how to configure the solution in various scenarios, including the advantages and disadvantages of each."

More StarWind Virtual SAN Cons →

"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.""The installation is complex."

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"Its price could be improved. It is too expensive for our clients.""One area that could be improved is the management feature.""Hardware load balancing is available on the enterprise version of the solution, however, it's extremely expensive and therefore out of our budget.""As no product is 100% perfect, the price for VMware vSAN could still be improved, though it is good when compared to some of its competitors.""I think it needs to be more cost-effective. I would also say that even though the capacity is good, there is also room for improvement there. Also, they could improve the security of the system.""On the DevOps side, if there could be more automation it would be more helpful.""When you upgrade the vSAN, there are some issues like lost data and problems with the log. The log disappears. When you upgrade the solution, you must have several logs, so if you have some problems, you can check the log server to find them.""If the support could be provided more quickly, it would be very helpful."

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 →

  • "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 →

  • "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:VxRail vs. Dell EMC PowerFlex VxRail provides stable solutions for technical problems while at the same time not being… more »
    Top Answer:The catalog of APIs for automation has been most valuable, although they are quite limited.
    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 Company13%
    Construction Company10%
    Non Profit6%
    Healthcare Company6%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Computer Software Company24%
    Comms Service Provider19%
    Government8%
    Manufacturing Company6%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Computer Software Company32%
    Comms Service Provider15%
    Financial Services Firm6%
    Manufacturing Company5%
    REVIEWERS
    Comms Service Provider12%
    Financial Services Firm11%
    Computer Software Company11%
    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 Business24%
    Midsize Enterprise16%
    Large Enterprise61%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business14%
    Midsize Enterprise29%
    Large Enterprise57%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business18%
    Midsize Enterprise12%
    Large Enterprise70%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business31%
    Midsize Enterprise23%
    Large Enterprise46%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business21%
    Midsize Enterprise17%
    Large Enterprise63%
    Buyer's Guide
    Dell PowerFlex vs. VMware vSAN
    May 2022
    Find out what your peers are saying about Dell PowerFlex vs. VMware vSAN and other solutions. Updated: May 2022.
    610,190 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    Dell PowerFlex is ranked 13th in Hyper-Converged (HCI) with 3 reviews while VMware vSAN is ranked 2nd in Hyper-Converged (HCI) with 87 reviews. Dell PowerFlex is rated 7.6, 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 Acropolis AOS, HPE SimpliVity and Rubrik, whereas VMware vSAN is most compared with VxRail, Nutanix Acropolis AOS, Microsoft Storage Spaces Direct, HPE SimpliVity and Pure Storage FlashArray. See our Dell PowerFlex 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.