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!
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.
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.
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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