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Comparison Buyer's Guide
Executive Summary
Updated on Mar 20, 2022

We performed a comparison between Vmware vSAN and Vxrail based on our users’ reviews in four categories. After reading all of the collected data, you can find our conclusion below.

  • Ease of Deployment: Most users of both solutions feel that deploying them is relatively easy and straightforward. One user of Vmware vSAN noted that Vmware and vSAN are for all intents and purposes totally separate. Each one requires its own installation and configuration. Vxrail is a unified product whose installation and configuration can be completed with far fewer moving parts.

  • Features: Vmware vSAN users find it to be highly scalable and point out that it has many other valuable features, including its unified management interface and its compression and deduplication software. However, there are a couple of reviewers who feel that the user interface could be simplified.
  • Vxrail users find it to be reliable and point out that it has many valuable features, including its high level of scalability and the ease with which it can be upgraded. However, there are users who feel that its stability could be improved.
  • Pricing: Vmware vSAN’s users find it to be an expensive solution. There are users who note that this solution is well out of the range of smaller businesses. Reviewers of Vxrail feel that it is relatively inexpensive. One user notes that it is a more cost-effective solution than Vmware vSAN is.
  • Service and Support: Vmware vSAN’s users note that, for the most part, it is supported by good documentation and technical support teams. There are users who feel that the team could be more knowledgeable, the documentation could be better, and that the support teams could respond more quickly to issues. Reviewers of Vxrail feel that, for the most part, its support teams are good. However, one user feels that the support guidelines that are provided could be better. Another feels that the supporting documentation could be improved.

Comparison of Results: Based on the parameters we compared, Vxrail seems to be a slightly superior solution. All other things being more or less equal, our reviewers found Vmware vSAN rather expensive to purchase and somewhat difficult to deploy. Some users feel that the support offered by both solutions could be improved.

To learn more, read our detailed VMware vSAN vs. VxRail Report (Updated: January 2023).
672,785 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Q&A Highlights
Question: What Is The Biggest Difference Between vSAN And VxRail?
Answer: VxRail is a solution that includes vSAN between their components... So VxRail is like a bundle with hardware and software components to deploy hyper-converged solution in very short time without pain.... vSAN is only a software solution that could be deploy in any hardware with enough processing and storage power... thath can be integrated with other components manually or semi automated way... VxRail includes other great components like RecoveryPoint for VM, an excellent DR/BCP solution... If you want an integrated HCI easy to deploy, manage and maintain... VxRail is the best solution
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 support has been amazing and quick to reply.""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 product has improved the ability to mimic physical SAN environments to demo scenarios and troubleshoot problems.""This was a great implementation for a small to mid-size business.""The most valuable features are high availability and real-time replication between two servers.""The license price is one of the cheapest in the market.""The user interface for this application is amazing."

More StarWind Virtual SAN Pros →

"Allows us to implement more quickly, and to ease the maintenance.""Everyone uses virtualization to more efficiently utilize hardware resources. That's the main point of vSAN and VMware.""The solution fits well with my requirements.""The valuable feature of the solution is the total hyperconverged facility.""I have found the solution to be scalable.""The solution is easy to use.""VMware vSAN is an easy to use and easy to manage storage solution. Deploying and upgrading are easy. Technical support is very good.""Overall the solution is very good."

More VMware vSAN Pros →

"VxRail can manage the whole cluster at the same time, so it's easy to expand. VxRail has more features vSAN ReadyNodes that make it easier to implement from scratch.""This solution optimizes our clients' resources.""VxRail is an agile solution with easily scalable, simplify operations with software driven automation and lower operational cost.""The solution is stable and reliable. This is one of the main reasons why we purchased this solution.""What I like the most in terms of features is the fact that the VxRail update can be done in one week. It takes much less time to do a whole server upgrade and an infrastructure update as well.""VxRail has given us a lot of tools in a one-stop-shop environment.""VxRail has high performance and has great efficiency. There is a single place for us to manage all of our virtual machines. The ability to right-size instead of overcommit VMs is a large benefit.""We have seen ROI using this solution. It has simplified the work of the staff that we have which allows us to do more work with the same number of people, without having to incrementally grow the staff. The reliability of the product has been exceptional."

More VxRail Pros →

Cons
"It would be good to have a little more access to control certain aspects within the UI.""Security on the ISCSI protocol could be improved by adding features like OS-type control access, especially for the data center environment.""The logs can also become very noisy when there is an issue, which is very infrequent.""We don't really have any issues with this product.""We ran into an issue with alerts.""Diagnostics information or alerts on the state of systems could also be implemented to give more visibility.""The system failovers properly on its own without too much worry.""Although minor, some of the documentation could be rewritten to be clearer."

More StarWind Virtual SAN Cons →

"VMware vSAN needs to improve its features because other solutions have more advanced features.""It would be ideal if clients didn't need to monitor the solution on a daily basis.""The pricing model is sometimes a challenge for us because their licenses are very costly.""The updating process could be easier.""I would like for the next release to be a bit cheaper.""They should provide Deduplication and Compression over the hybrid drives.""Based on my testing, I would like to expand deduplication to include hybrid deployments and not just for all-flash deployments.""It could have some automation. We haven't involved ourselves in a lot of automation around the vSAN environment capabilities. We're still running it using a very traditional setup. So, there could be some plugins to automate it using third-party environments, such as Jenkins."

More VMware vSAN Cons →

"Deployment was not initially straightforward for us. We had an incompatibility issue that was very difficult for Dell Professional Service to solve.""You cannot install another operating system such as Microsoft or Hyperflex or Nutanix. We have also had a hardware problem.""The solution is okay to scale vertically but a bit difficult to expend horizontally. For example, increasing RAM.""Technically speaking, the vCenter and the administration of the integration of the vCenter could be improved.""Lacks integration of licenses so that it's an expensive solution.""A disadvantage is that the initial first deployment can be complicated.""The most important thing that I want to be included in this solution is the VMware license. Its deployment time can be quicker so that instead of 40 minutes, it takes 10 minutes.""if we're looking at costs, Nutanix will win because it allows flexibility in the type of hardware you can use."

More VxRail 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 →

  • "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."
  • "It is cheap. It is $0.02 a gig."
  • More VMware vSAN Pricing and Cost Advice →

  • "The licensing of vSAN and VMware for different editions of VxRail is not easy."
  • "The solution can be pricey depending on the project."
  • "It has a yearly subscription. It can be for one year, three years, or five years."
  • "The solution is priced well for businesses."
  • "The licensing aspect is the most painful for some of our customers. Customers go for a VMware license that's standard and then they find they have to go with the enterprise solution and adjust the license. If you have a limited budget, that's difficult."
  • "There is a license required for this solution."
  • "The solution is very expensive."
  • "I do not believe that the price should be lower, as I feel it to be reasonable."
  • More VxRail Pricing and Cost Advice →

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    Answers from the Community
    Miriam Tover
    Shu Mookerjee - PeerSpot reviewerShu Mookerjee
    Real User

    Quite simply, VxRail is a vSAN appliance. It's a Dell based server node fully integrated with a pre-loaded VMware vSphere and vSAN software stack. Since it's integrated, the hardware is optimized to take full advantage of all the features and functions associated with vSAN.This is the best choice for someone who is interested in deploying hyper-converged infrastructure but doesn't currently have one in place. The VxRail nodes can be simply slid into the racks, connected and zoned.

    vSAN, on the other hand, is purely a software solution. It's best for a data center that's already using VMware and would like to introduce storage management elements into their infrastructure. The benefit of this approach is that the configuration is customizable and feature elements can be added as needed.

    ShivendraJha - PeerSpot reviewerShivendraJha
    Real User

    In case of Dell EMC nodes, the only difference is setting up vSAN by yourself or pay someone else to set it up for you. In VxRail, you get licenses which are OEM locked that means you can not use those licenses on any other hardware. In VMware vSAN ready nodes, you can pick the hardware of your choice (from VMware HCL) and start building your vSAN cluster and all of the servers from different vendors work in the same cluster. In VxRail, you pay for the solution plus vSphere licenses based on your requirement. In VMware vSAN ready nodes, you pay for all the licenses separate from the hardware cost like, vCenter Server, vSphere, vSAN. for remote sites or very small setups you can use ROBO licenses in VMware vSAN ready nodes where this multi vendor thing can be very useful. From my experience, if the customer has 2-3 years old hardware, most of the times the hardware is good to be converted to an VMware vSAN ready node by making few or no changes.

    it_user819948 - PeerSpot reviewerit_user819948 (User)
    User

    VxRail is a Turnkey solution from Dell EMC that uses VMware vSAN as the underlying storage technology
    The main differences are:

    vSAN can Run on any ReadyNode and can differ in the vendor, while VxRail only uses Dell Servers (PowerEdge) I do know that there other products that use CISCO (VxBlock, VXFLEX)

    vSAN Requires a vSAN Licence and is renewed yearly (Or whatever your VMware Agreement is) VxRail vSAN Licences are Perpertual.

    Patching and install on VxRail are simple and Dell EMC Check the updates before its generally available so the quality control is good. This is good as a bad/incompatible firmware can really cause issues with vSAN , all patching and firmware will need to be vetted and installed by yourself.

    VxRail locks you into a Dell Solution. Where as with vSAN you can choose the Hardware you want.

    MEHDI MASMOUDI - PeerSpot reviewerMEHDI MASMOUDI
    Real User

    VxRAIL is a pre buid HCI solution, with optimised configuration ready to deploy
    also Vmware software VSAN and Vcenter are bundled with better prices and other bundled software

    Sufyan Khan - PeerSpot reviewerSufyan Khan
    Real User

    If you want to have an optimized and integrated software environment with integrated VSAN-in-Kernel into an appliance, a streamlined deployment experience, and single-vendor support go with VxRail because Dell EMC and VMware jointly developed the VxRail system powered by VMware vSAN software-defined storage. VxRail Manager is the sole and primary source for VxRail lifecycle management, cluster compatibility, software updates, and version control. 


    VxRail Manager further reduces operational complexity and provides software upgrade automation. Hence, VxRail is the simplest and easiest path to ready HCI and Hybrid Cloud.


    VSAN is hardware agnostic but should need to have hardware/component level VSAN certifications. vSAN is enterprise-class, storage virtualization software that, when combined with vSphere, allows you to manage to compute and storage with a single platform. With vSAN, you can reduce the cost and complexity of traditional storage and have Software-Defined Storage in place but without integration with some appliance and always need to have VSA in place to bridge the communication between/among VMs and IO.


    Thanks


    Sufyan Ali Khan


    +923018224536

    Maan Othman - PeerSpot reviewerMaan Othman
    Real User

    The hardware hosting the solution. Vxrail is an engineered appliance from Dell to host vSAN.


    In addition vSAN can be installed on any hardware that meets its requirements 

    Adhiwardhana Widjajanto - PeerSpot reviewerAdhiwardhana Widjajanto
    User

    When someone ask biggest, smallest, etc., they need simple answer :D VxRail is easy, while vSAN is complex. VxRail is prebuilt: easy to deploy, easy to scale out, one support contact for everything. VmWare vSAN is just an Software Defined Storage. Complex to deploy, complex to scale up/ out, and need several contact support for the whole solution.

    it_user950739 - PeerSpot reviewerit_user950739 (Director / Solution Business Unit & Infra Technology Unit with self employed)
    User

    Technically, it is hard to differentiate between two solutions.
    As DellEMC is in the position of proposing two solutions at the same time, it really depends on the customer situation.
    If the customer has favor on VMware and good experience of it, then VSAN would be better.
    If the customer has an experience of Cisco or HP’s HCI solution, then Dell EMC will propose VxRAIL rather than VSAN.

    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: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 »
    Top Answer:HPE Nimble Storage dHCI Vs. VxRail One of the best things about the HPE Nimble Storage dHCI is the three, two, one,… 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:VxRail provides stable solutions for technical problems while at the same time not being too expensive for a company to… more »
    Comparisons
    Also Known As
    vSAN
    VCE VxRail
    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.

    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."

    VxRail is a hyper-converged appliance based on VMware virtual SAN Software and is jointly engineered and built with VMware, for VMware, to enhance Vmware. VxRail software-defined architecture simplifies compute, storage, virtualization, and management. It will safeguard performance, reliability, and flexibility across your organization with a broad range of workloads and applications from business-critical to next-gen. With VxRail, you are covered.

    VxRail is a single turn-key appliance that is a validated, fully integrated, pre-configured,  pre-tested solution and offers non-disruptive scaling. Every node includes compute storage and IO. All-flash configurations can contain between 12-28 cores per node. The storage capacity options run from 7.6 TB to 19TB with either 256 GB or 512GB of memory. Hybrid appliances may have 6-20 cores per node, 3.6 TB to 10 TB of storage capacity, and 24GB to 256 GB of memory. 

    VxRail offers high availability fail-over, an active/active stretch cluster, and VSan Kernal integration. VxRail is a power-edged server with APIs built on automation. There are over 15 million different combinations of hardware available with VxRail. VxRail provides a simple, cost-effective solution that solves a large range of use cases. Additionally, you also get a mixed workloads automated system that is backed with fully automated system updates, and complete end-to-end lifecycle management all in a single two-rack appliance. 

    VxRail is a value-added suitable solution for distributed small to mid-sized enterprises, remote offices, private clouds, and virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI). You choose the deployment option that best suits your organizational needs, from appliance to integrated rack offerings, with or without networking, and it will be delivered to you, ready to deploy out-of-box. 

    If you know VMware, you know VxRail.

    VxRail Features and Benefits

    • Seamlessly accelerate deployment to a hybrid cloud 
    • Fast data center modernization
    • Create developer-ready Kubernetes platforms
    • Powerful performance and reliability
    • Improve and simplify operational efficiency
    • Excellent integration 
    • Save time
    • Reduce costs

    Reviews from Real Users

    VxRail is an all-in-one solution: "You don't have to worry too much about the hardware and you don't have to work on integrating a storage device. We instead have this as an all-in-one solution and everything is available as a box."

    VxRail is remarkable: “The cover points feature in VxRail is remarkable. It's unique. It has an intervention failover system as well as an automatic failover system, reaching clusters existing in VxRail…

    VxRail is a powerful performer: “...VxRail delivers a very high number of IOPS for a hybrid configuration or an all-flash configuration. The processors that are available in the Xeon family are very powerful. They are multi-core with typically 2 gigahertz, 2.4 gigahertz, or higher frequency, so the performance is very much appreciated.” 

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    Try it today

    Learn more about VMware vSAN
    Learn more about VxRail
    Sample Customers
    Baker Tilly BVI, CMS Internet, Board Harpeth Hall School
    Read Some Case Studies At Home Cloud CaribCINgroupDiscovery Check out the Rest of our Customer Stories Here
    World Wide Technology Inc, Renault Sport Formula One Team, 8x8 Inc, Brownes, Canadian Pacific, Canopy, Denton, EDF, Unilin, Xerox
    Top Industries
    REVIEWERS
    Manufacturing Company11%
    Educational Organization10%
    Construction Company9%
    Computer Software Company8%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Computer Software Company19%
    Government9%
    Comms Service Provider8%
    Manufacturing Company7%
    REVIEWERS
    Comms Service Provider12%
    Computer Software Company12%
    Financial Services Firm11%
    Healthcare Company10%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Computer Software Company21%
    Comms Service Provider14%
    Government9%
    Manufacturing Company7%
    REVIEWERS
    Computer Software Company17%
    Financial Services Firm9%
    Comms Service Provider9%
    Energy/Utilities Company7%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Computer Software Company19%
    Comms Service Provider11%
    Government9%
    Manufacturing Company7%
    Company Size
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business62%
    Midsize Enterprise22%
    Large Enterprise16%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business26%
    Midsize Enterprise17%
    Large Enterprise58%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business31%
    Midsize Enterprise23%
    Large Enterprise46%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business23%
    Midsize Enterprise17%
    Large Enterprise60%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business28%
    Midsize Enterprise34%
    Large Enterprise38%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business23%
    Midsize Enterprise17%
    Large Enterprise61%
    Buyer's Guide
    VMware vSAN vs. VxRail
    January 2023
    Find out what your peers are saying about VMware vSAN vs. VxRail and other solutions. Updated: January 2023.
    672,785 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    VMware vSAN is ranked 3rd in HCI with 76 reviews while VxRail is ranked 2nd in HCI with 62 reviews. VMware vSAN is rated 8.2, while VxRail is rated 8.6. The top reviewer of VMware vSAN writes "Gives us a lot of advantages when we need to expand resources". On the other hand, the top reviewer of VxRail writes "It's built on platforms that have been in the industry for more than 15 years, so it's very stable". VMware vSAN is most compared with Microsoft Storage Spaces Direct, Nutanix Cloud Infrastructure (NCI), HPE SimpliVity, Red Hat Ceph Storage and HPE Hyper Converged, whereas VxRail is most compared with HPE SimpliVity, Dell PowerFlex, Nutanix Cloud Infrastructure (NCI), Cisco HyperFlex HX-Series and HPE Hyper Converged. See our VMware vSAN vs. VxRail report.

    See our list of best HCI vendors.

    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.