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NetApp HCI vs VMware vSAN comparison

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Featured Review
Buyer's Guide
NetApp HCI vs. VMware vSAN
May 2022
Find out what your peers are saying about NetApp HCI 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
"PowerShell library is pretty good feature as I created with APC PowerChute a script to put volumes on maintenance mode then turning off the StarWind nodes together with the VM and Hosts when UPS reaches 15 percent, this way after a blackout or electrical problems when turning servers on again, there is no issues for syncing or data loss due to energy interrupts.""StarWind vSAN has allowed us to leverage our server infrastructure more completely without the need to add more hardware.""StarWind allows us to move virtual machines from one physical host to another, which greatly reduces the downtime required for maintenance.""The most valuable features are high availability and real-time replication between two servers.""Support keeps track of alerts of the system and verifies with us if we need help to fix any issues. They have great and quick technical support.""The solution is also quite flexible. As an example, other vSAN solutions that we looked at had more stringent requirements regarding mixed HDD/SSD storage which wouldn't have worked in our environment.""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.""Immediately we noticed huge performance gains, even on older hardware and once we implemented a 10GB link between both servers, the sync was near-instant after the initial sync was complete."

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"It is highly scalable. Their support is also extremely good.""The ability to size the available space in a way that matches our company's needs is most valuable. For instance, you can decide if you want 80/20, 70/30, or 60/40 space. Redundancy depends on your needs without changing the appliance. You just add space and decide the percentage of space that you need free and the percentage of space that you need for backup. It is all automatic, and you don't have to do anything. You just add space, and the system automatically configures itself with the chosen option.""It is scalable, and NetApp Deployment Engine (NDE) makes its deployment easier.""NetApp HCI is a stable solution."

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"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.""It is user-friendly, and its performance is good.""The simplicity, as well as the integration with virtualization.""The solution fits well with my requirements.""The performance of VMware vSAN is very good.""It is easy to work with, easy to handle, and easy to manage.""There is not a lot of maintenance required.""I like the tolerance of VMware vSAN."

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Cons
"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.""The main thing I would like to see improved is the level of documentation.""I would definitely like to see quite a bit more on the monitoring side of things.""I found that certain browsers are not fully compatible with the administration web access portal.""There is no Italian-language version of the software available.""It would be nice to add the ability to use raw partitions instead of file containers.""A great feature would be a wizard and to include a new disk in the SAN. At the moment, including a new disk requires several steps - some that must be done at the OS level and others in each node.""Security on the ISCSI protocol could be improved by adding features like OS-type control access, especially for the data center environment."

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"Its stability is very bad. It has been crashing continuously. In one year, we got three crashes, which is unbelievable for an appliance that is guaranteed for 10 years without any crash.""At the moment, I am not looking for new features. Quality of Service (QoS) and capacity efficiency are the two things that I want to resolve in my customer's environment. QoS improves the performance of each tenancy, and with capacity efficiency, the customer can achieve more capacity as compared to the normal capacity.""The administration side of it needs to be improved. We expect an easier interface and a single upgrade for updating the infrastructure."

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"They should make the software updates easier. We should be able to upgrade it more easily.""One area that could be improved is the management feature.""Licensing costs are a little too high for smaller sized companies.""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.""We would like to see additional backup and recovery options added. In particular, integration with popular applications like databases.""Ease of administration is one area where vSAN could be improved.""Its installation should be easier, and its price should be cheaper. It would be good for the product if they can include the data locality feature.""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."

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 aligned with the market. In addition to the standard licensing fees, there is an integrator cost."
  • "The price of the solution is okay but could improve."
  • "Its pricing is lower than our previous solution."
  • "Its price is comparable to the competitors in the market."
  • More NetApp HCI 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:It is scalable, and NetApp Deployment Engine (NDE) makes its deployment easier.
    Top Answer:Its price is comparable to the competitors in the market.
    Top Answer:At the moment, I am not looking for new features. Quality of Service (QoS) and capacity efficiency are the two things… 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.

    NetApp HCI is the only true enterprise-scale hyper converged cloud infrastructure. NetApp HCI comes in a 2 RU chassis with 4 node expansion slots.

    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 NetApp HCI
    Learn more about VMware vSAN
    Sample Customers
    Baker Tilly BVI, CMS Internet, Board Harpeth Hall School
    American Showa, Children's Mercy, Coca-Cola, Consultel Cloud, Evangelische Landeskirche in Wurttemberg, Imperva, Surface Mount Technology
    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%
    Transportation Company6%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Computer Software Company24%
    Comms Service Provider19%
    Government8%
    Manufacturing Company6%
    REVIEWERS
    Transportation Company16%
    Manufacturing Company16%
    Pharma/Biotech Company11%
    Insurance Company11%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Computer Software Company24%
    Comms Service Provider17%
    Manufacturing Company12%
    Government8%
    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 Business24%
    Midsize Enterprise16%
    Large Enterprise61%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business20%
    Midsize Enterprise34%
    Large Enterprise46%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business18%
    Midsize Enterprise16%
    Large Enterprise66%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business31%
    Midsize Enterprise23%
    Large Enterprise46%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business21%
    Midsize Enterprise17%
    Large Enterprise63%
    Buyer's Guide
    NetApp HCI vs. VMware vSAN
    May 2022
    Find out what your peers are saying about NetApp HCI vs. VMware vSAN and other solutions. Updated: May 2022.
    610,190 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    NetApp HCI is ranked 18th in Hyper-Converged (HCI) with 4 reviews while VMware vSAN is ranked 2nd in Hyper-Converged (HCI) with 87 reviews. NetApp HCI is rated 6.6, while VMware vSAN is rated 8.2. The top reviewer of NetApp HCI writes "Crashes continuously, complex to deploy, and bad after-sales support". On the other hand, the top reviewer of VMware vSAN writes "Gives us a lot of advantages when we need to expand resources". NetApp HCI is most compared with VxRail, Nutanix Acropolis AOS, Cisco HyperFlex HX-Series, HPE Nimble Storage dHCI and StarWind HyperConverged Appliance, whereas VMware vSAN is most compared with VxRail, Nutanix Acropolis AOS, Microsoft Storage Spaces Direct, HPE SimpliVity and Pure Storage FlashArray. See our NetApp HCI 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.