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.
HPE SimpliVity is a hyper-converged infrastructure solution that is primarily geared to mid-sized companies. We researched VMware vSAN but found HPE was a better option for us.
HPE SimpliVity has valuable features, but the most important thing for us is that it provides a complete solution. We could set it up very quickly, and the interface is intuitive. It has a central dashboard, and you can find everything from there.
HPE SimpliVity made our virtualization stack so simple. You can combine it with an accelerator card, so the number of writes is reduced significantly. Cloning or backup VMs is a breeze because the system only changes the data you need to restore or clone. Additionally, it works well with Veeam, which we already have.
Cost-wise, it is very reasonably priced. However, if you want to add more memory, you’ll need to pay additional licensing costs. We found the upgrades to be a bit complex.
We tried VMware vSAN too. One of its advantages is the easy setup. VMware vSAN supports all-flash memory and integrates with all VMware products, which helps run operations smoothly. The best feature might be its scalability. VMware vSAN scales up and scales out very easily. It is easy to manage, too.
There are downsides to VMware vSAN, though. For instance, support is very slow. It doesn’t work well with high IOP either. Finally, you cannot isolate virtual machines for deduplication and compression. So, if you are looking for high performance, we found VMware vSAN to be too expensive for the value it provides.
VMware provides good storage as a service for companies that already work with other VMware products or are looking for a reliable SAN. But their poor support and lack of virtual machine-level features made us decide on HPE SimpliVity for our hyper-convergence needs.
The answer depends on what is it that you are looking for in your solution...
Both Simplivity & vSAB are software-defined storage technology-wise. Now the second important thing is both create a blob/object storage out of a set of disks.
Ideally, both these solutions can't compare to real-world storage requirements where the need is block storage at the lowest latency. Most of the time both technologies are used for generalized VM workloads and not for specialized workloads.
vSAN from VMware leverages Erasure code for maintaining the availability of data on the soft SAN. This architecture is referred to as RAIN - a minimum of 3 nodes are recommended in such architecture to run the storage show effectively.
Simplivity, on the other hand, leverages a combination of RAID + RAIN wherein the storage availability is unimpacted even if you start with 2 Nodes.
IOPS and latency are the issues with both solutions. Application performance is dependent on disk latency & throughput too. So, depending on the scenario, you need to tailor your solution.
What my point is: it generally depends on workload type, data volume and performance of the VM platform that you are planning for. Both the technologies are great, People use vCloud Suite more as compared to Simplivity globally, that too is a proven fact.
Then it depends on the size of a company and the workloads you wanna run... tools and processes around which your operation is defined and built.
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