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Pure Storage FlashArray vs VMware vSAN comparison

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Featured Review
Buyer's Guide
All-Flash Storage Arrays
June 2022
Find out what your peers are saying about Pure Storage, Dell Technologies, NetApp and others in All-Flash Storage Arrays. Updated: June 2022.
609,272 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
"There's lots of flexibility in how we use the resources while also maintaining a small footprint.""The high performance is very valuable, as well as the enterprise reliability features.""We have been able to consolidate storage into Pavilion. Pavilions are our only SANs because it is a bring your own disk solution. When new drives come out, we are able to take out half of the drives in the system, put in new drives, move our VMs over to the new drives, take the other drives out, and populate those with new drives. Then, we are suddenly twice as dense as we were before. NVMe flash is only going to get denser and cheaper so we can make use of that every couple of years by just throwing newer disks into it at a fraction of the cost of a new SAN."

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"Technical support is good.""The solution offers amazing performance.""NVMe data storage platform that's easy to set up and easy to use. It's stable, with a lower response time, and quick technical support.""The most valuable features in Pure Storage FlashArray are deduplication and active cluster.""The speed is one of the most valuable features of Pure Storage FlashArray.""Processes that used to take 40 minutes to two hours can be completed in five minutes.""The all-flash disc is the most valuable feature of this solution.""The most valuable features are the replication of data and the continuous snapshot that we can take from the disc."

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"I have found the solution to be scalable.""VMware vSAN is an easy to use and easy to manage storage solution. Deploying and upgrading are easy. Technical support is very good.""Technical support is good.""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.""I like the tolerance of VMware vSAN.""The ease of use is great.""Storage is expandable with no extra cost.""It is user-friendly, and its performance is good."

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Cons
"The rail system that Pavilion uses to mount up into a standard Dell or APC cabinet extends further back than normal rails, and they cover up the zero PDU slot. So, I don't like the rail system that comes with the device. That is my biggest complaint.""In our current configuration, we can only run the line controllers in high availability, active-standby mode, whereas we would like to see active-active implemented.""I would like to see the management layer improved."

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"Pure Storage support could be a little better.""The backend of this solution utilizes an Active/Passive architecture, rather than an Active/Active architecture, which is a disadvantage, when compared to some of its competitors. Its storage capacity should be expanded in the next release.""Beyond a certain amount of petabytes, you have to have a separate system. Basically, it's not infinitely scalable.""The file functionality could be better.""I can't see where they can make anything better, unless, of course, they lower their prices even more.""The solution could improve by having a multi-tenant feature.""The system has dual controllers but does not have a high level of resiliency built-in.""Automation could be simplified."

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"VMware vSAN needs to improve its features because other solutions have more advanced features.""Because of virtual storage, the system reaches reserve storage for its functions. It also consumes a certain amount of storage, which then results in the creation of a fault tolerance for the system. All of this adds to a lot of capacity being consumed in terms of storage for each drive for vSan. I find this to be one drawback of using vSan.""Troubleshooting tools could be improved.""Upgradability could be a bit easier sometimes. We are now where vSAN can be updated without ESXi, but there is still enough dependency. So that would be good if that actually would uncoupled even more.""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 monitoring feature in VMware vSAN could be better.""The solution could be improved by having more filtered and multiple view volumes instead of a single view."

More VMware vSAN Cons →

Pricing and Cost Advice
  • "This is hardware. They have a singular array that you can populate with your own disk, or you can buy the disks through them. For controllers, you pay for the components inside of the SAN, but there is only one chassis that they work with."
  • "The licensing fees are very reasonable."
  • More Pavilion HyperParallel Flash Array Pricing and Cost Advice →

  • "Its price is almost double than any other flash storage solution."
  • "The price, in general, is around $100,000, however, I know it costs more."
  • "They have a standardized fee; it's been the same price for 10 years straight. I am happy with the price — I think it's good."
  • "We do not incur additional costs beyond the licensing fee."
  • "My organization has a yearly license, but I believe that Pure Storage FlashArray has capacity-based licenses as well. I'm definitely happy with the pricing."
  • "There is an annual or perpetual license required for this solution."
  • "Pure is typically more expensive than everyone else. You get what you pay for, but I have lost deals to similar solutions because of pricing. They include everything, and that's another positive about Pure Storage. They aren't trying to nickel and dime their customers for different features. It is all included in one price. The license is by capacity, and the price depends on the capacity and the discount we're getting from the vendor. You get the SKU of the physical appliance, support, and maintenance, and that's it. You're licensed for whatever feature they offer. It is all rolled up into the price of the appliance."
  • "The pricing is reasonable."
  • More Pure Storage FlashArray 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
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    Top Answer:Both are great platforms, but if you are considering all flash solutions, I would recommend you to consider Pure… more »
    Top Answer:The most valuable feature of the Pure Storage Flash Array is the blazing fast monitoring.
    Top Answer:The price of the Pure Storage Flash Array is too high and there needs to be more contact clarity. We went with the… 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
    Pavilion HFA
    vSAN
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    Overview

    Pavilion HyperParallel Data Platform

    The Pavilion HyperParallel Data Platform™ dramatically accelerates what organizations achieve by delivering universally unmatched storage performance, in an incredibly compact solution while reducing data center costs and complexity. Unrivaled flexibility for multiple data types and protocols, along with broad ecosystem integration, ensure that every customer has choice and control.

    What is the Pavilion HyperParallel Data Platform

    The Pavilion HyperParallel Data Platform is comprised of the Pavilion HyperParallel Flash Array™ and Pavilion HyperOS™. The Pavilion HyperParallel Flash Array leverages a unique, switch-based architecture to create a multi-controller solution that delivers an unmatched combination of high performance, ultra-low latency, and storage density. Pavilion HyperOS is a powerful, purpose-built storage operating system designed to unlock the power of the multi-controller Pavilion HyperParallel Flash Array, which delivers scalability and flexibility that no other solution can offer.

    Pavilion HyperParallel Data Platform Data Sheet

    Download the Pavilion HyperParallel Data Platform data sheet. Updated: December 2020

    Pure Storage FlashArray is the world’s first enterprise-class storage array that runs exclusively on the nonvolatile memory express (NVMe) protocol for memory access and storage. It represents a totally state-of-the-art type of storage technology. It offers users shared accelerated storage that delivers cutting-edge features in the realms of performance, simplicity, and consolidation. Pure Storage is fresh and modern today and will be for the next decade. Without forklift upgrades or planned downtime, Pure Storage takes the work out of storage ownership and delivers unprecedented customer satisfaction.

    Pure Storage FlashArray is built with simplicity and reliability in mind. The solution can be implemented and optimized in hours, as opposed to other similar solutions that can take days. It has no moving parts, which removes areas where it could potentially be vulnerable to suffering errors. It is highly stable and gives users the ability to manage system shutdowns in a way that  prevents data loss.

    Benefits of Pure Storage FlashArray

    Some of the benefits of using Pure Storage FlashArray include:

    • A much higher level of speed than similar pieces of technology. Pure Storage FlashArray maximizes the speed at which data can be transferred while at the same time minimizing system latencies that might slow the transfer down. Additionally, it offers users quick memory read and data access speeds.

    • A higher bang for your buck in terms of the storage capabilities you get for the money you pay. They are smaller in size than more standard storage technologies, but they offer flash memory, which enables users to store larger amounts of data than the current standard.

    Reviews from Real Users

    Pure Storage FlashArray is a highly effective piece of storage technology which stands out among its competitors for a number of reasons. Two major ones are its overall robustness and the value that it offers by way of its reliability and ease of use. It provides users with many valuable features that allow them to maximize what they can do with this solution. Pure Storage FlashArray’s reliability and ease of use make it a highly valuable solution. 

    PeerSpot user Prabakaran K., a technical consultant at Injazat Data Systems, notes the robustness of this solution when he writes, "FlashArray has many valuable features. It's very user-friendly and it has high availability, so there is comparatively less downtime. During maintenance, there is no shutdown procedure, so you can directly power off the Array and manage the shutdown process without any data loss, which is a unique feature. Managing replication and data migration is also very easy."

    PeerSpot user Jason D., a cloud solutions architect at a tech services company, notes three features that make this solution valuable when he writes, "We've had different types of storage, and three things of this solution are valuable. The first one is its outstanding performance. The second one is its stability. In the about three years that we've had it, we've had component failures, but we never had a service interruption or any data loss. The third one, which is really critical, is that it is super easy to use in terms of provisioning, storage, and managing the arrays. I'm able to maintain a multi-site environment with a couple of dozen arrays with a single mid-level storage admin."

    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 Pure Storage FlashArray
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    Sample Customers
    Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC), Statistics Netherlands (CBS)
    Nielsen, Lamar Advertising, LinkedIn, Betfair, UT-Dallas
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    Top Industries
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Computer Software Company28%
    Comms Service Provider16%
    Manufacturing Company7%
    Government7%
    REVIEWERS
    Financial Services Firm19%
    Healthcare Company12%
    Manufacturing Company9%
    Government7%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Computer Software Company25%
    Comms Service Provider16%
    Manufacturing Company8%
    Financial Services Firm7%
    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
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business22%
    Midsize Enterprise15%
    Large Enterprise64%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business26%
    Midsize Enterprise16%
    Large Enterprise58%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business21%
    Midsize Enterprise16%
    Large Enterprise63%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business31%
    Midsize Enterprise23%
    Large Enterprise46%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business20%
    Midsize Enterprise17%
    Large Enterprise63%
    Buyer's Guide
    All-Flash Storage Arrays
    June 2022
    Find out what your peers are saying about Pure Storage, Dell Technologies, NetApp and others in All-Flash Storage Arrays. Updated: June 2022.
    609,272 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    Pure Storage FlashArray is ranked 1st in All-Flash Storage Arrays with 38 reviews while VMware vSAN is ranked 2nd in Hyper-Converged (HCI) with 87 reviews. Pure Storage FlashArray is rated 9.2, while VMware vSAN is rated 8.2. The top reviewer of Pure Storage FlashArray writes "Provides protection against ransomware threats with immutable snapshots, and it is well known for its scalability, ease of use, and non-disruptive upgrades". On the other hand, the top reviewer of VMware vSAN writes "Gives us a lot of advantages when we need to expand resources". Pure Storage FlashArray is most compared with Dell PowerStore, NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS), IBM FlashSystem, HPE Nimble Storage and VAST Data, whereas VMware vSAN is most compared with VxRail, Nutanix Acropolis AOS, Microsoft Storage Spaces Direct, HPE SimpliVity and HPE Nimble Storage.

    We monitor all All-Flash Storage Arrays 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.