Please share with the community what you think needs improvement with DataCore SANsymphony SDS.
What are its weaknesses? What would you like to see changed in a future version?
If it could integrate to a cloud gateway, then we could carry it directly to storage, instead of having middleware in between the storage and the cloud. It's a very expensive solution, and the licensing costs should be lower.
The graphical interface is not always very stable. In a dense infrastructure with many volumes and disks, slowness and GUI crashes can be observed. The current graphical interface is ported to a web interface and not all features are available yet. The compression and deduplication features are not functional for a production environment. This feature is probably the only one missing compared to other SAN manufacturers. It is under development, however, it is not yet reliable enough for use in a critical environment.
One limitation of this solution is that it's Windows-based, e.g. one requirement to install DataCore SANsymphony SDS is putting it on a Windows server machine. It relies on Windows and that is a limitation because we have some customers who are looking for non Windows systems. What we'd like to see in the future is for this software to support more operating systems.
The so-called hyperconverged infrastructure edition, sometimes knows as vSan, should be addressed. It is one component of the solution. Yet, DataCore is less competitive than certain other manufacturers, such as EMC, Cisco, and VMware vSan. It is competitive when it comes to a general purpose software defined storage solution. As such, a hyperconverged infrastructure solution could be improved. The solution could be better packaged and marketed. When it comes to a simple 2 node cluster business continuity solution for SMB companies, the downtime can be expensive.
SANsymphony is missing some features that vSAN has. For example, vSAN has a special feature called continuous data protection. It provides the ability to go back in time to a given moment. You can see what was on your disk in the past up to two weeks. That's a great feature because ransomware attacks are increasingly common, and that provides you some kind of protection.
We would like to see a real "sexy" storage dashboard with capacity, usage, performance, and error tracking. The cloud reporting interface is quite poor compared to other vendors. We are far from an HPE Infosight, for example. Using a classic storage array constructor allows clients to have a single point of contact in case of an issue. With DataCore, we have to deal with them for the software part and with the hardware vendor for the hardware part. Sometimes, in a complex environment, we have to deal with storage array vendors, servers vendors, and software vendors and that can be exhausting.
Datacore is developing a new WebUI with new dashboards. It is a good idea as the classic GUI is lacking dashboards. We need a better view to analyze the auto-tiering feature (like in DIS) to easier decide what type of storage we need to add. The current view in the GUI is too simple and we cannot see clearly cold data or hot data. You can report all you want. There are a lot of counters usable in the console. However, there are too many. They need to create some pre-defined graphs or reports.
I would like to see reporting added, such as a monthly connectivity report. Things like performance and usage can be shown. It would be helpful to have better monitoring tools.
I miss dedupe and decompression.
We are waiting for container support (on the roadmap), as well as a user-friendly full web-administration capability, and an improved API. Supporting newer Windows Server versions faster (e.g. Microsoft Windows Server 2019) would be nice.
DataCore needs a more efficient and better way to keep track of metrics and counters so that we can do baseline analysis to measure performance. Datacore has some functionality where you can send performance metrics to a SQL database however it has not always worked well for us. We actually had to turn it off because we were actually collecting too much data, but in my opinion we sometimes want this data. Ideally if there was a way to see metrics for current and specific points in time it would be great for troubleshooting and any type of trend analysis.
The cost is becoming prohibitive since they moved to a subscription model. 'Education' pricing is such in name only (we are a school). When we originally purchased Datacore (in 2014) it was on a perpetual basis and provided exceptional value for money. We have renewed our DataCore solution this year, in 2019, and have found that DataCore has moved to a subscription model. Not only was the initial licensing far higher than previously, partly due to additional storage requirements but also because we can no longer acquire a 'limited' license and we also find we now have a large subscription to pay each year.
As a policy, we tend not to over-commit our storage (a feature I'm sure others find really handy). There is no way of quickly matching the exact size of a vDisk to a disk pool. I can't think of any other features that SANsymphony needs - it is a very comprehensive storage solution.
Even though it is easy to administrate, the initial installation and configuration can be complicated. The alert system could have more features.
An easier way to open a service call, right through the DataCore GUI, would be an improvement, especially when there is an urgent issue.
I would like for it to improve into a more ergonomic management console and a translation into the French language. It should have some process for a shutdown of a VM properly in case of a problem.
* Better integration into backup solutions like Veeam * An HTML5 feature GUI will improve usability.
Installing updates could be a bit more straightforward and easier to install. I have only installed one update on the systems, and for that, I had to bring in outside help that was more knowledgeable with the product than I currently am. He also had to contact DataCore support for assistance as the update did not go smooth. I also did Windows updates at this same time as it was strongly suggested to me not to do the Windows updates as they are released. The Windows updates were installed with no problems and caused no problems to the system.
* The client console should be improved. It starts slowly and heavily. * After a long time (idle), the displayed information is no longer completely reliable. You have to close and reopen the console for current data. (symptom after upgrade to PSP8)
There's very little that I can find in their software that I would say needs to be improved. Sometimes the updates are too frequent, where just as we finish updating all of our sites, another update comes out. The de-dup console is not yet integrated inside the main SANsymphony console. They are working on it but it's not there yet. While their console allows you to connect to each of the nodes without closing the interface, you have to log out and back in when you switch between different storage server groups. It would be nice if they had an interface more like vCenter, where you see all of the server groups in a list and can just click on each group. It would be nice to be able to see multiple groups at the same time. Having more of an Enterprise approach (v/s a local storage cluster) view would provide better management of the environment. For example, their current reports can only be run for each storage server group. There is currently not a way to run the same reports or look at performance across the enterprise (only the local site). Having an enterprise "Storage Dashboard" that can show capacity, usage, performance, and any issues would be very beneficial. Currently, DataCore does not have this. They recently added a web-based dashboard called DataCore Insight Services (DIS) to their product. However, you will need to be on their subscription-based model v/s their traditional yearly maintenance-based model. Also, the current DIS product does not span multiple storage groups and is in its infancy and is still very rudimentary in nature. However, knowing DataCore's track record for fast, innovative development, I know it won't be long before they get it right.
* It will help if there is a possibility to backup the vdisks directly. * An idea could be that there is a second storage just for backup which doesn't count to the license usage. * A better (and easier) tool to detect performance issues.
The only area I see lacking with DataCore is their support. It's not very good at all, and it's frankly, very frustrating and has almost caused me to swear off the product. With that said, the product itself (especially when working) is developed and runs very well and because of that I will keep using it.
I think the performance reporting can be improved by adding historical statistics into a database for the purpose of comparison. A capacity planning solution would be a great addition.
Deduplication works but implementing it is complex.
DataCore is currently working with Veeam software for a better integration; this is my only desired missing feature today. With this feature, Veeam do a snapshot on Virtual Machine, then snapshot the storage. When storage snapshot is done, Veeam remove the Virtual Machine snapshot to avoid long period snapshot. With a VMware snapshot period smaller, consolidate will be faster and production will be less impacted. Then Veeam save VMs directly from storage snapshot without VM performance impact. When Backup Job is done, veeam ask to Datacore to remove Storage snapshot without any VM interruption or impact performance.
Maybe adding a Linux data manager, and moving away from Windows. It has become more reliable when using 2012/2016.
Additional features that should be included in the next release are "application performance and storage" (new tuning and troubleshooting options).
* A web console in HTML5 could help us to manage storage from any computer. * Veeam cannot directly access to DataCore storage at the moment; this feature would improve snapshot.
The management: management should take place via OS-independent access. Here a web-based client would be desirable.
The heavy client mode console should be improved by having a web console to improve accessibility. Also, the analysis time on the storage increase is one month now. This could be improved.
The product runs stable in the background and does what it should do, so I don't have any special issues at the moment, but increasing performance and improving the user interface for easier setup is always a good idea.