IT Manager with 51-200 employees
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Do you think VMware’s HCI solution is a good alternative to AWS?

We are looking for an alternative solution to AWS. Do you think VMware’s HCI solution could be a good option to take a look at? Why?

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14 Answers
Senior Technical Enterprise Engineer - VMware at R A Consulting Services
Real User
Jul 3, 2019

I hope you mean instead of running your workloads in AWS what if you run them on an HCI platform. The answer would be, it depends. If the workloads are less, you need fewer administrators, you need higher infra uptime with no extra efforts or if you do not care where your data is running then Cloud is the answer! However, if you are worried about where your data will be running, you want complete control over your infrastructure and you are looking to save some money then on-prem infra is the answer. From my experience, the amount spent on an on-prem solution has a less TCO as compared to a cloud platform, VMware HCI is a very good solution and if you have some experience on VMware vSphere, then VMware vSAN is easy to manage and maintain as well. However, I would recommend using AWS as your DR as it is cost effective and always available.

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Cloud Expert | DevOps | Oracle Consultant at confidential
Top 10Leaderboard
Jul 10, 2019

AWS is a cloud based solution, to decide the alternative you need to know the difference between the cloud, on-premise, and virtualization. The alternative for AWS either it will be one of the cloud vendors such as Azure, Google or even Oracle unless you want to migrate from cloud to on-premise, then this is a different story.

it_user936603 - PeerSpot reviewer
Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing with 11-50 employees
Jul 9, 2019

The short answer is yes, I happen to believe in VMware. Both have worked jointly in a number of projects, but when it comes down to it, the VMware offering is cleaner and easier to deploy. You can get into the Hybrid cloud through vSphere, VSAN, NSX, cloud management master tool, and vRealize Suite.

IT Operations and Infrastructure group manager at Check Point Software Technologies
Jul 3, 2019

I'm now working on a similar project to create an on-prem private cloud and alternatives that we are evaluating include VMware VRA and Nutanix. I believe that VMware can be a good choice as an "on-prem AWS" alternative if you are looking for an IAC (infrastructure as code) platform.
It provides APIs for tools like terraform, etc. In fact, it provides a lot more, things like a self-service portal where you can blueprint some POC infra and bring it up, it has a very sophisticated SDN, very granular permissions management and a lot more.

What it doesn't have in my opinion compared to AWS is all sort of services such as dynamoDB or Aurora, etc. Neither it has serverless capabilities
such as AWS has.

Sales Account Executive with 11-50 employees
Jul 2, 2019

Scale Computing HCI is another free hypervisor choice (KVM) and is significantly less expensive than Nutanix. There are a couple of features you'd be missing out on, but it's basically a good "HCI starter kit". If you don't like the KVM, much like a Nutanix build, you can run VMware as an alternative. Many of my customers are entertaining HCI solutions recently (we are a brand-agnostic vendor, so there's virtually no bias here), but I've found that most SMB clients don't really need it.

Strategic Account Manager at VMware
Real User
Jul 2, 2019

VMware's vCloud Foundation or VMC on AWS (VCF running in AWS's data-center) are good options. It may be worth hiring an IT person because of the 5 year TCO over native AWS. Native cloud is the best option for most new companies, however as the company grows cloud costs surge out of control and you'll improve your operational efficiency with a hybrid cloud model. VMC on AWS also allows you to migrate workloads between native AWS and the VMware infrastructure without re-architecting needed. On-premise vCloud Foundation has features that help you move workloads across clouds (via hybrid-cloud extender or "HCX") but unlike VMC on AWS, you'll need to rebuild your applications to run in native AWS.

If you want to maintain some workloads in native AWS and use it for test/dev, cloud bursts, DR, etc., and migrating workloads back and forth without re-coding needed, then take a look at VMC on AWS. You'll also avoid leasing/cooling costs but will need someone to manage your VMware environment even though it'll be running in AWS's data-center.

If you want to move everything on-premise but maintain the scalability and automation benefits of the native cloud, then consider vCloud Foundation or just vSAN Ready Nodes (vSAN running on any compatible server).

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Business Developer | Project Manager with 201-500 employees
Jul 2, 2019

VMware HCI (as VMware Cloud Foundation) is not a cloud-based solution so it is not a good alternative but may be the first building block to build cloud-based solutions such as Microsoft Azure or Google Compute Platform and, of course, AWS.

Sr Product Marketing Manager, Cloud&Enterprise Platform at Microsoft
Real User
Jul 2, 2019

VMware HCI is not a cloud-based solution so it is not a good alternative. Microsoft Azure or Google Compute Platfrom would be a good alternative.

Pioneer Intelligence at Pioneer Intelligence
Real User
Jul 1, 2019

AWS and VMware HCI are two different things. People who want AWS normally would prefer to pay by the drink, building software infrastructure that grows and shrinks as needed and required by the actual workload. When you are done with the resource, you hand it back.

VMWare HCI is deployed in your data center, but can also be hosted in AWS too. You'll have the cost of the infrastructure to bear.

At the end of the day, the issue comes down to what kind of business challenges you are attempting to solve, or what kind of new capabilities do you want to be able to produce. AWS is much more flexible, but will likely cost a bit more if things get busy. VMware is usually an administrators choice of solution as it is well known by most of them.

Either way, you can build out a solid answer (or with Nutanix, or NetApp, or HPE, but it all comes down to the level of flexibility needed by the business and the ability of your team to implement and manage the solution.
Both work.

Solutions Consultant at Dell
Real User
Jul 1, 2019

As others have noted, it depends a lot on your workloads and requirements. VMware HCI (VSAN) is very good as a software-defined-storage platform and competes toe-to-toe with Nutanix (which others are talking about). While Nutanix' hypervisor is free, the licensing for the platform is not. VMware charges for everything, but you might find that is a better fit for your particular needs and may end up cost-neutral. Another option is to use Microsoft Hyper-V with Storage Spaces Direct if you're a Microsoft shop.

Now, if your applications are cloud-native then no, none of these will work well for you because these are on-premises systems that mean you have hardware as well as software you have to house and maintain (and need the staff to do so). IF your staff is used to just spinning up resources in AWS and you don't have much server hardware talent on-staff then you might want to rethink what your requirements are.

So in summary; VMware HCI (or Nutanix, or S2D, or pick your poison HCI) is not a REPLACEMENT for AWS per se but rather a different way of running your applications. It is closer in concept to having a traditional 3-2-1 architecture (servers, switches, storage) than it is to AWS's model, but for some workloads can be quite a good bit more cost-effective. It is HIGHLY workload and application dependent though.

Vice President at Cyxtera Technologies
Real User
Jul 1, 2019

it all depends on the workload. If the workload is dynamic and you can actually control the scale, both up and down, then AWS is a great platform. If the workload is static, then it makes sense to run it on Nutanix. The size of the workload will matter also. The larger the workload or the more VMs you add, the pricing per VM will look better on Nutanix rather than AWS.

Manager ICT Solution at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
Jul 1, 2019

It’s the use case which will determine whether to utilize on-prem HCI or Cloud. Also which applications will be impacted. If you have a team and expertise to have HCI on-prem then it’s a good option. There’s a lot of flexibility in it. Later on, you can run into a Hybrid Cloud Infrastructure.

Consultant at a energy/utilities company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Jul 1, 2019

It's difficult to answer this question with the limited information. What is the workload structure that you are considering VMware HCI against AWS? Compute-intensive, I/O & storage or network intensive? If you need to keep your VMs running forever and not be bothered with per hour charge, VMWare HCI makes sense. However, you should definitely look at Nutanix as an alternative.

‎Senior IT Manager with 1,001-5,000 employees
Jul 1, 2019

If I were in your place I would have explored Nutanix HCI as well. The advantage here is Nutanix doesn't charge you for AHV hypervisor it's their proprietary hypervisor. The best part is, it is your choice, with Nutanix you can go with AHV or if you are not comfortable with it you can run VMware as well on it.

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Daniel Wicaksono - PeerSpot reviewer
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Hi community, I work as a System Engineer at a large Financial Services company (size: 1000+ employees). Currently, I've been looking at the following HCI solutions: Nutanix Acropolis AOS and VMware vSAN.  Which of them would you recommend to my company? Otherwise, should I explore any alternative enterprise solution? Please let me know why. Thanks in advance for your help!
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General Manager at a computer software company with 11-50 employees
Jan 26, 2022
I strongly recommend you looking at dHCI Nimble or Alletra from HPE. 
Senior IT Engineer at Guard Automation AS
Jan 26, 2022
Hi.  We have deployed VmWare vSAN to some of our customers. The advantage with VmWare vSAN is that the vSAN software is integrated in ESX. So, you do not need to deploy virtual SAN as VM's. But you need a Witness VM, wich is a virtual ESX - so it will appear as two machines - little confusing in the beginning.  For small deployment (ROBO), you can have a two node cluster, with vcenter installed on the vSAN. This is a cost-effective solution. But keep in mind, the HCL from VmWare - all hardware has to be approved (on the vSAN Hardware Compability List). We have also been searching for a solution to replace the EOL HPE VSA (StorVirtual). Here we came across StoreMagic SvSAN - we have deployed this to a Hyper-V customer. It also runs on VMware vSphere. This is also a brilliant solution and very cost-effective. The deployment scenario is often ROBO (Remote Office Branch Office), but it can scale up.  In a two-node scenario, you can connect 10Gb Eth direct between the two nodes, for synchronization. This works for both VmWare vSAN and Store MAgic SvSAN.
Content Manager at PeerSpot (formerly IT Central Station)
Nov 7, 2021
Which is better and why?
See 1 answer
Nov 7, 2021
We found VMware’s vSAN was easy to set up, configure, and manage compared to other solutions we considered. It is best suited for small- to medium-sized organizations. It is easy to create load balancing and clusters and create and delete virtual servers using VMware VSan. The deduplication and compression are excellent. On the DevOps side, it would be more helpful if VMware vSAN could provide more automation. It would be an additional improvement if it integrated better with other platforms. Troubleshooting can be problematic; some of our clients need to monitor the solution on a daily basis, which is not so efficient. In terms of tiering and caching, Microsoft Storage Spaces Direct is wonderful. We found it to be very resilient and we never felt our data was at risk. You can build clusters as you want using various generations of hardware, which helps make this solution very scalable. The online documentation with Microsoft Storage Spaces Direct could be improved, though. We feel that this solution needs to have an intuitive streamline, which would make it more acceptable to clients. Currently, Microsoft Storage Spaces Direct does not offer a cloud version. Conclusion: When we were testing out HCI solutions, we were looking for clients that were primarily small- to medium-sized organizations, many of whom were already involved in partnerships with VMware. Our clients were very familiar with the product and happy with it. Overall VMware vSAN has a very simple structure that is very easy to use, implement and manage. The pricing is very competitive as well. Our team and clients are very happy using VMware vSAN.
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