VMware Virtual SAN Advanced (v. 6) - upgrade license - 1 processor

Mfg.Part: ST6-ST-AD-UG-C-L2 | CDW Part: 4038203 | UNSPSC: 43233006
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  • (v. 6)
  • upgrade license
  • 1 processor
  • upgrade from Standard
  • VPP
  • level 2 (600-999)
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VMware Virtual SAN Advanced (v. 6) - upgrade license - 1 processor
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  • (v. 6)
  • upgrade license
  • 1 processor
  • upgrade from Standard
  • VPP
  • level 2 (600-999)
VMware Virtual SAN is a radically simple, enterprise-class shared storage solution for hyperconverged infrastructure optimized for vSphere virtual machines.

VMware Virtual SAN Advanced (v. 6) - upgrade license - 1 processor is rated 4.1 out of 5 by 35.
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Gives us a lot of advantages when we need to expand resources What is our primary use case?We primarily use vSAN ( /products/vmware-vsan-reviews ) for cloud automation, so we provide test workloads for specific test use cases for customers who want to do software testing. In these specific cases, we also use vSAN ( /products/vmware-vsan-reviews ) because it gives us flexibility from a profile perspective on how we roll out specific workloads and specific test scenarios, making it easier for us to actually deploy things in comparison to legacy storage platforms.How has it helped my organization?The way vSAN improved our organization was we could deploy scenarios or workloads more easily because, from a vSAN perspective, we don't need to reconfigure underlying storage or anything else. We can actually adjust for each individual machines and individual workload characteristics. We don't have to deal with different type of disk shelves, rate groups, etc. We can directly take that off.What is most valuable?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. This is an advantage when we use vSAN.We have pretty constant performance results, which is sometimes, on a normal three-tier storage architecture, harder for us to achieve because the customer doesn't want us to verify that the performance of a specific device works. What we typically have to test is that we have a constant scenario across different versions, platforms, and similar things. Here, vSAN gives us the advantage that we can actually work with it.We can also create test cases, which is maybe not something in other customer scenarios, but for us, it's important. We can even throttle down performance or release more performance. So, we can run more precise test scenarios. If someone says, "We need to run this later on on a relatively small or lower scale edge device," we can actually configure vSAN in a way that it reduces the amount of resources.When we do to do more scaled load testing, we can run more dense workloads and still have the same results across all specific nodes. Otherwise, we could have that noisy neighbor effect when we work with legacy output.What needs improvement?Stability can be improved. Adding all these new features is nice, but we are now at the level that most of the features you need in production are there. The stability, not from a day-to-day operations' perspective, but more from a supportability perspective, because currently some of the support scenarios require you to completely evacuate hosts or the complete cluster. That sometimes can be a stretch. This would clearly be an improvement if the support teams were given additional tools to make that easier.Upgradability could be a bit easier sometimes. We are now where vSAN can be updated without ESXi, but there is still enough dependency. So that would be good if that actually would uncoupled even more.Dashboards are there, and we use vROps as well. So, we have all the beauty of the capacity planning and everything over there. That's not really something where we need a lot of other things.For how long have I used the solution?One to three years.What do I think about the stability of the solution?We had some issues in very early releases, and it has become much better over time. Stability with vSAN has come its way. When we look at 5.5, then 6.0, 6.2, and 6.6, it has moved ahead every time. Clearly, 5.5 and 6.0 have their issues, but the product is constantly improving.We need to keep in mind that we are talking about a relatively new technology. Whenever you are adopting something early on, you need to accept not everything runs as smooth as you would expect it to. However, we can see the progress with vSAN, and that's one of the reasons why we built our platforms on it.What do I think about the scalability of the solution?Scalability for us is an important part of the product because we resize clusters all the time in our environment. We clean them out and actually start from scratch. With vSAN, it's easier for us to add nodes. If in a test scenario that we are building, we currently might have only four or five nodes in the beginning. If we add more, it's any easy add-on for us. It's easier for us to manage it this way, then with legacy storage, where we would have to add additional disk shelves.How are customer service and technical support?Tech support with vSAN is a mixed relationship. We have had issues with tech support because sometimes VMware comes out of the software defined space.In the software defined space, you start off with the approach that you can basically tell the customer to change everything. However, vSAN needs a different approach. It's a storage platform. I cannot actually say, "You need to upgrade everything or replace everything." That sometimes has been a bit of a challenge with the support teams, explaining to them, "No, it's not an option that we completely upgrade the stack. We need to get a different fix for it."However, over the last few years, it has improved. I think VMware gets the story now that doing support on the storage side is different than for a lot of the other software programs. So, I think we are getting there, but it could definitely improve.If you previously used a different solution, which one did you use and why did you switch?Legacy 3-tier storage architecture with a multi-tier disk approach.How was the initial setup?From a setup perspective with vSAN, I was involved in the original architecture and design of our specific platform. It was pretty straightforward. It's more or less point and click. The most challenging part is choosing the correct hardware and platform behind it. It's not so much about the fact of how to deploy vSAN.Once the physical hardware is there, the ESXi is installed, configuring vSAN is pretty straightforward. It's just a few clicks. It's much easier than most other storage platforms, but the challenge is to identify the correct hardware for the use case. There are ReadyNotes and all types of other solutions, but sometimes the ReadyNote configuration doesn't match exactly what you need.You need to be careful with some of these vendors because they might upgrade individual devices. That was one case that we had, and all of a sudden that version was no longer supported. So, we had to fight the battle of is it now the fault of the hardware vendor versus VMware. Those are scenarios where I can always only warn people. It's like stick very strict with what's in the HCL, because it's nice that vSAN tells you in the UI that you are in an unsupported state, but at that point, you have the hardware already in your environment, cabled up, and in production. So, you should identify that early on. However, I think that's going to get better as well.What was our ROI?ROI is difficult for us to deal with because of our approach and what we do in our business with test and demo cases. It's hard for us to judge because some of the hardware and stuff we get during tests is actually provided by vendors.Therefore, I don't necessarily have what an online customer would pay for it. We still pay for the stuff. But it's a different story.ROI from an administrative perspective is clearly much better because I only have to deal with one user interface. I can go into once place and be on top of it for some scenarios, even use vCloud Director ( /products/vcloud-director-reviews ). So, it's much easier to use vSAN from that perspective because it's all in the vSphere Client. I can configure my profiles and use them on all the other tools. Whereas, in the legacy storage approach, I still have to deal with all these additional details on each individual storage, which can be challenging, even though some of these vendors provide integration into the vSphere Client. In many ways, that's just the HTML UI of their storage device in the vSphere Client. That's not really integration. It's still a different UI. It's still a different training effort.What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?Setup cost, pricing and licensing should be a secondary factor. We talk about primary system storage, which if not performing well or storing reliable can have massive business impact.Which other solutions did I evaluate?Yes we evaluated different 3-tier approaches, 2-tier and HCI ( /categories/hyper-converged-hci ) approaches.What other advice do I have?I would rate the solution somewhere around an eight out of ten. It is in the perfect place. There is room for improvement, but with the current versions, we are in a good stage.Disclaimer: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
Date published: 2019-03-18
Rated 4 out of 5 by from If any additional capacity needs to be included, we just add to the host and configure the vSAN cluster What is our primary use case?We are using vSAN as a product in vSphere. Recently, we signed up for the 6.7 version of vSAN. We use it on all-flash and VME. All the discs that we use are NVMe disks.How has it helped my organization?We provide and manufacture our own local storage. With our own storage, we can path that with the host. So, it's beneficial for us to have a local storage attached to a host which vSAN is awesome for that.What is most valuable?With vSAN coming in, we have stability within the cluster of resources which has been grouped together in a local storage. This is a wonderful feature in vSAN.What needs improvement?We are finding vSAN is going down the right path, but vSAN has specific profiles which supports vSAN disk. However, our company has our own storage. So, we have different profiles of configuration. Some of those profiles and motherboards, vSAN doesn't support. We have challenges and work with VMware to work with other providers to get into the VMware list and drivers. Since it's customizable, we are looking for drivers from other vendors as well from VMware for compatibility. There is a room for improvement on the latest version of compatibility with the VMware product, especially for vSAN and with other vendors, like Intel and AMD, on their motherboards and driver configurations.What do I think about the stability of the solution?It is stable for me. We are getting good amount of IOS (the expected amount). The configuration of vSAN is pretty simple. It's just on a cluster level which is pretty simple.The stability is very much required. vSAN provides default HA configurations, where if any host goes down, the VM moves around within the host. Even though the disks are local, the VMs moves around with the vSAN disk and vSAN provides a high availability on its own.What do I think about the scalability of the solution?vSAN is scalable for us. If any additional capacity needs to be included, we just add to the host and configure the vSAN cluster.How is customer service and technical support?Currently, we are working with one tech support as a partner with VMware. We are receiving a good amount of support with troubleshooting. It's on email, as well on tickets. However, it's going well.Which solutions did we use previously?We had out-of-the-box solutions. When vSAN came in, all the local storage became attached. The solution has improved a lot considering the local storage for vSAN configuration.How was the initial setup?We are involved in the beta phase of the vSphere product, as well vSAN and newer product versions of VMware.One of the best features of the configuration is vSAN at the cluster level is pretty simple. People have a lot of issues in configuration of different storages, but vSAN brings in a flexibility. Where as a vSphere admin, people can go and just configure the storage. So, VI admins don't want to have a storage knowledge when they are working with a vSAN. It is simple for us to use.What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?With vSAN, we didn't find the market that competitive. VMware is doing well with the local storage piling up in cluster configuration. vSAN is doing great with it.Which other solutions did I evaluate?As a vSAN, we didn't find that competitive market. VMware is doing good with the local storage piling up with the cluster configuration. vSAN is doing great on that.What other advice do I have?We give it nine out of ten. They are going down the right path. When they started, we saw a lot of improvements with a lot of focus on the product, even in VM World. There were announcements in the features for improvement with vSAN. We continue to see VMware keeping up-to-date with vSAN, not putting the product aside.Disclaimer: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
Date published: 2019-01-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from You get the benefit of local storage, but you have the protection of shared storage What is our primary use case?Our primary use case for vSAN is server virtualization. We've used it to virtualize close to 500 servers which would normally have been on physical hardware. We have virtualized and consolidated it down to run on nine nodes of vSAN. That workload primarily consist of web servers running Linux or Windows Servers to support the Windows Active Directory that we have for the environment onsite.How has it helped my organization?It's improved the organization overall primarily because the storage is local on the boxes. Before we were with vSAN, we were with another iSCSI product which was a clustered product that went across the network. We had multiple instances where we would have either a network hiccup (caused by us) or a network hiccup (caused by the device). This took a whole bunch of VMs down with a lot of repercussions. It took a long time to recover. By eliminating dependency on that back-end storage, we now depend on everything that's in the VMkernel with vSAN. So, we eliminate the middleman.What is most valuable?We like that it is a hyperconverged solution. Everything is in a box. You got the compute, memory, and storage. So, we can scale out by adding nodes as we go and eliminate the back-end storage, whether that's a NAS or iSCSI device.You get the benefit of local storage, but you have the protection of shared storage.What needs improvement?I see room for improvement with vSAN in particularly in the reporting realm. Now, with vSAN 6.7, they're starting to include vRealize Operations components in the vSphere Client, even if you're not a vRealize Operations customer. So, that's really good. It exposes some really low-level reporting. I would like to see more of that. However, you have to be a vRealize Operations customer to obtain that. I would like to see more include of this included in the vSAN licensing.The vSAN licensing is not an inexpensive product. It does cost more than hypervisor. I would like to see more basic reporting, or even expert reporting. I think with our licensing that we've paid our dues, and we should get the information.What do I think about the stability of the solution?Stability is working very well. vSAN is very dependent upon your network. If your network is stable, vSAN will most likely be stable.Our network is very stable. Therefore, we have not had issues.What do I think about the scalability of the solution?We started with a three-node cluster. We are now at a nine-node cluster. We can just add nodes piecemeal as needed to add capacity. It's been very transparent. Users have never noticed when we've had to do that. So, scalability has worked real well for us.How is customer service and technical support?We've been with vSAN since the early days of ESX 5.5, when it first went general availability. In those early days, we used support quite a bit. They were very good. The vSAN team that VMware has are top-notch. I think they pick the best of their support people and make them vSAN representatives. In the early days, I used them a lot. Not so much lately, because the product has gotten so much better.How was the initial setup?I was involved with the initial deployment of vSAN at our site. The most complex thing is you have to live and die by the vSAN HCL list. You can't put a product or a component into a vSAN node that is not on the host compatibility list, particularly the SSDs and their firmware which is specified on the HCL. You have to match that explicitly to receive good results.What was our ROI?I see ROI on vSAN because we have gotten out of the business of depending on the back-end NAS device or the back-end iSCSI device. We get the return on investment by decreased administrators' time, decrease exposure to network issues and stuff that would take a lot of VMs down. That's where we see our ROI.Which other solutions did I evaluate?We looked at Nutanix before we went with vSAN. For budgeting reasons, we weren't able to pursue Nutanix after a pilot.What other advice do I have?The product is at least an eight to eight and a half out of ten. Because the feature growth that I've seen them put into the product since we've been with them since 5.5, they are innovating with each release. They're adding more features and all that adds up to a better ROI on our investment.As we were consolidating so many servers, we had a really high consolidation ratio. We wanted to have something that was close to being local disk. However, we also needed to have redundancy so we could take a node down for maintenance or if a node would crash. All the same standard reasons of why you would want high availability.What I look to see in a vendor is good customer support. I want to talk technical with someone. I don't want a lot of marketing PowerPoint stuff. I want to talk to people that know the product very well. Because if I start using the product, I will need that support on the back-end. I don't want to be flailing by myself in the wind. I want to have good expertise that I can call on to help.Disclaimer: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
Date published: 2019-01-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Enables us to scale out nodes independently and flexibly - we can put almost any type of server in them What is our primary use case?We use vSAN primarily as an R&D tool to test our products and see how they work on it, and it is absolutely phenomenal. It is one of the best hyperconverged solutions I've been able to get my hands on.How has it helped my organization?vSAN has improved our organization by allowing us to perform faster workflows, get better overall performance, and create some really new solutions.What is most valuable?The most valuable features for us are the ability to scale out the nodes independently, and the flexibility of the nodes. We can put almost any type of server in there with our connectivity and everything works great.What needs improvement?The biggest room for improvement I see in vSAN is the lack of SAN connectivity. I've kind of joked around that there is no "SAN" in vSAN. And it's something that we've worked to try and introduce some options for, and we're going to continue to work towards that. But it looks like the door is starting to open and there may be some options, with some of the announcements that came out of VMworld 2018.What do I think about the stability of the solution?vSAN has been very stable for us. Once we get it up and settled in and the workflows going, usually we don't have to intervene at all. Things just keep working. Stability is important for us with vSAN because it becomes the rock that we depend on. When we need an application to stay up and maintain that ability to bounce between hosts, to work in a true hyperconverged manner, it's the only choice for us.What do I think about the scalability of the solution?Scalability in vSAN has been really good. It's very easy to add nodes in, to automatically generate the drives and the disk groups. It has been a piece of cake, surprisingly so.How is customer service and technical support?We have not needed to use vSAN tech support, believe it or not. We have not had any kind of an instance where we couldn't resolve it on our own, or it didn't fix itself.Which solutions did we use previously?We had no hyperconverged solution beforehand. We knew that we needed to do some testing with them. It started off as a compatibility (test) and just kept ballooning from there until we went and implemented it.When choosing a vendor, our most important criteria are reputation and stability. You can't go into something without understanding just how good it is, and if you roll the dice, sometimes you get burned. We're a risk-averse company.How was the initial setup?I was involved in the initial vSAN setup. The experience was really wonderful, it was really easy, it was very intuitive. There were some learning curves for us because we had never done it before but, overall, the wizard and the experience with the online tutorials that we were able to find solved every concern or question that we had, very quickly.What was our ROI?ROI for us comes in uptime, keeping applications up and running. That's important to us because that's directly attributable to our revenue stream.What other advice do I have?Do your research, dig, find out what your particular needs are, what would the overall cost be to - sometimes it's a forklift, sometimes it's a migration. But look at all the factors, look at the requirements of vSAN, look at the requirements of other hyperconverged solutions, and then make the decision.I would rate vSAN as a solid nine. To get it to a ten it would need: the ability to support a SAN and a little bit of a larger scale. Those would be the two things that I would request.Disclaimer: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor. The reviewer's company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer:Partner.
Date published: 2018-11-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Since the storage space is local to the hosts, it reduces the overall response time and improves the performance Primary Use CaseVirtual desktop infrastructure (VDI ( /categories/virtual-desktop )) implementation on vSAN ( /products/vmware-vsan ) with an environment of about 2000 desktops and 1000 servers.Improvements to My OrganizationTeams required to manage the storage for the entire VDI ( /categories/virtual-desktop ) infrastructure were not required after implementing the vSAN ( /products/vmware-vsan ) solution. Any seasoned VMware engineer can easily manage the whole vSAN without any issues.It is simple to manage, very easy to implement and troubleshoot in case of any failures.Valuable Features* Hot add* Upgrades* Ease of managementAny VMware engineer can easily manage vSAN, troubleshoot issues, and perform an upgrade on the vSAN without any downtime. Since the storage space is local to the hosts, it reduces the overall response time and improves the performance.Room for ImprovementSome storage tiering options can be included, like other mature storage systems. Some intelligence can be added to the newest version to provide more flexibility between storage tiers, like Nutanix ( /products/nutanix ), to make this product a true software defined storage product.Use of SolutionMore than five years.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2018-01-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from We gained fantastic performance with the benefit of simplifying the whole hardware stack Primary Use CaseFor a new full site, vSAN was used instead of going with the usual fibre SAN. Since vSAN requires SSD ( /categories/ssd )s, it was a great way to introduce that tech to the company. If we would have gone with a traditional SAN SSD ( /categories/ssd ), it would have been an option, so a debatable feature.Improvements to My OrganizationWe gained fantastic performance with the benefit of simplifying the whole hardware stack requiring less sum of knowledge to run and maintain.Valuable FeaturesThe simplicity of everything, even though it was a new technology at the time with some quirks. The lower skill cost of maintaining it meant that we could do more with the people that we had.Room for ImprovementWhen it was implemented, we were one of the first to jump into using vSAN for production use. The main problem we had was hardware compatibility, finding the right hardware that was certified. This caused further problems because the hardware reseller had little knowledge of the requirements and we even had issues with firmware from the hardware vendor. This delayed the implementation time by a few months. This should not be a issue today, but still be cautious when choosing the hardware.Use of SolutionOne to three years.Previous SolutionsStandard fibre SAN infrastructure. We switched due to fibre switches, fibre cards, and fibre SAN.Initial SetupThe setup was very easy if you have the correct hardware and firmware.Pricing, Setup Cost and LicensingFactor in operational costs.Other Solutions ConsideredCompared it to a similar sized fibre SAN.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2018-01-14
Rated 4 out of 5 by from It integrates with other commonly-used VMware tools, but it lacks deduplication and wastes a lot of mass when striping across multiple nodes and vSphere hosts. Valuable FeaturesSimple to set up, manage, and integrate it with tools you’re already familiar (vCenter, vClient) with.It also gives us a policy-based storage on a per-VM level.Also if you can apply redundancies to machines, they’re all different.Improvements to My Organization* All built within hypervisor* Easily stood up with hardware you already have* Truly virtualized storage* Get rid of all hardware, and you get a much smaller footprint* Nodes can be in different datacenter, and so can stretch clusterRoom for Improvement* Good job integrating with vRealize, vCOPS, etc.* Needs complete integration with vRealize for GUI for drill down analysis* Would be nice to see features like dedupe because it wastes a lot of mass when striping across multiple nodes and vSphere hosts.Stability IssuesSome difficulty finding compatible hardware, but if you follow the HCL provided by VMware. and make sure you're buying the correct nodes, storage devices, and SSD’s that are all supported, then it’s a stable product. Even if you have problems, it's still only one phonecall.Scalability IssuesIt supports up to 64 nodes so huge scalability.Customer Service and Technical SupportAs a VMware customer for many years, sometimes it takes a few calls, but they have some brilliant people who can solve difficult technical problems.Initial Setup* Setup just a few clicks after hardware all connected, “pretty stupid easy”.* Customers can test and validate without going out and buying vSAN ready nodes.Other AdviceIt loses points because it lacks lots of performance and deduplication abilities that competitors have.Disclaimer: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer:We're a partner.
Date published: 2017-11-08
Rated 4 out of 5 by from It can handle all infra tasks and due to policy based storage we can manage the I/O performance also. Valuable Features:If we are looking for a valuable prospective, then we can go with the All-Flash vSAN cluster which will provide data compression and deduplication (i.e. actual used storage 30TB; in that case deduplication will be stored in 10TB and save 20TB storage).Improvements to My Organization:Firstly, I want to offer an example in terms of the deployment process and manageability of the vSAN storage environment. vSphere admins can handle all infra tasks and, due to policy based storage, we can manage the I/O performance as well.Room for Improvement:vSAN health monitoring has room for improvement because they have many known and unknown bugs which may be resolved in a future release version.Use of Solution:We are using it for the last two and a half years, and started working with vSAN 5.5 and drives file system 1 and in the last six months it has been upgraded to vSAN version 6.2 and drive file system 3.Stability Issues:Yes, in some of cases after I have built a big vSAN cluster of 64 nodes, all hosts start showing different network partition groups. In that case, without correction, you can’t go further on next level.Scalability Issues:In scalability I didn’t face any issues.Technical Support:I can give them an 8 out of ten because it is a game-changing technology so we need to add more vSAN engineers to our team.Previous Solutions:In my past experience, I didn’t use policy based storage; I always worked with standard storage.Initial Setup:Initial setup is straightforward but somehow we need to understand the high level topology and way of working with it.Pricing, Setup Cost and Licensing:In terms of pricing and licensing, we need to understand the requirements of the project and the cost model as well, because that has a very important effect on our project delivery.Other Solutions Considered:Nutanix and VxRail because these also serve the same function.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2017-09-11
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