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3 Converged and Hyper-Converged Alternatives to All-Flash Storage


HyperConverged Storage Solutions
What do real user think about Hyper Converged Infrastructure?

Are you looking to switch to hyper-converged infrastructure from all-flash storage in 2017? Find out which solutions our users moved to, which features they love, and where they see room for improvement.


Valuable Features

Samuel Rothenbuehler, Manager Enterprise Cloud System Engineering at Amanox Solutions (S&T Group): 

Rothenbuehler discusses Nutanix’s storage performance, and describes how it compares to external full flash storage arrays:

“I think it is known that hyper-converged systems offer very high storage performance. Not much to add here but to say that it is indeed extremely fast compared to traditional storage arrays

And yes, a full flash Nutanix cluster is as fast (if not faster) than an external full flash storage array, with the added benefit that you read from you local SSD and don't have to traverse the network/SAN to get it (that and of course all other hyper-convergence benefits)...

 The great flexibility of working with small blocks (extends) rather than the whole object on the storage layer comes at the price of much greater metadata complexity since you need to track all these small entities throughout the cluster.”

Room for Improvement

Scott Brousseau, Chief Technology Officer at PBG Networks:

In terms of improvement, Brousseau would like to see an added capability that would allow Nutanix to spin a backup on Azure or AWS for backups, mainly for disaster recovery purposes:

“It has the ability to connect to Azure or AWS for storing backups. I would like to have the capability to spin up a backup on Azure or AWS for disaster recovery purposes. 

Right now, you can only send a backup to either Azure or AWS. We would like to take a backup and spin it up to an actual server that could be connected to by users from the outside. This is on their (Nutanix) roadmap but the functionality doesn’t exist at this time.”


2. VMware vSAN

Valuable Features

Harri Waltari, ICT Network Administrator at a maritime company with 501-1,000 employees: 

Waltari describes VMware vSAN’s storage management capabilities

Storage management comes built-in with the vSAN tool. Storage is managed via policies. Define a policy and apply it to the datastore/virtual machine and the software-defined storage does the rest. These are valuable features.

Scalability and future upgrades are a piece of cake. If you want more IOPS, then add disk groups and/or nodes on the fly. If you want to upgrade the hardware, then add new servers and retire the old ones. No service breaks at all.”


Room for Improvement

Mike Solovyev, Head of Virtualization at DataLine LLC 

Solovyev finds that vSAN’s high complexity leaves room for future improvement:

vSAN is very complex inside. For example, you need to have a plan for any emergency situation, beginning from the PoC stage; how you monitor SSD and HDD; how you change them. It looks simple, but you cannot just remove a broken component and an install new one. Under the vSAN layer, you need many accurate steps to make these simple actions.

And when you operate a big environment, you need to have more tools to control the health of the solution, to troubleshoot issues and so on. VMware has improved this side from 5.5 to 6.5, and there’s still room for it.”

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3. FlexPod

Valuable Features

Deepak Seth, Principal Storage Engineer at Esurance:

Seth finds great value in FlexPod’s “ease of use”, and the advantages offered by its reference architecture: 

“One of the valuable features is ease of use. Getting any environment setup is probably the easiest thing to do. You can set up the entire solution in about a day or so. When we have a requirement for a specific project, we don't need to worry about getting into different gears. FlexPod is a converged infrastructure, so when you get it, you have reference architecture. You just install it and start using it. Those kinds of features are really good.

The storage scales out and you can keep on adding your UCSs. Adding the whole scale-out technology is great. You can grow as you need to and that's a really good feature.”

Room for Improvement

Armando Beltran, Manager, Storage and Backups at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees:

Beltran suggests that improvements be made to FlexPod’s migration tools:

“Maybe the migration tools for all of the environments could be improved. We can change the storage in the infrastructure but when we need to change the switches or other components that we can change easily, I don't know how to migrate that component. I’d like to be able to migrate that much easier.” 

Read more 2017 hyper-converged infrastructure reviews here.

Want to understand the differences between Converged and Hyper-Converged Infrastructure? Read more here.

Related Categories: Converged Infrastructure

Find out what your peers are saying about Dell EMC, FlexPod, Hewlett Packard Enterprise and others in Converged Infrastructure. Updated: January 2022.
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author avatarit_user219063 (CEO at Alturna-Tech)

Scott - have you looked at Rubrik for the backup for Nutanix? Some of the other benefits for Nutanix - they support any hypervisor - VMware, Hyper-V and AHV (which is their own). Additionally Nutanix can run on any of the following server platforms now: Supermicro, Dell, HP, Cisco, Lenovo and IBM Power. Nutanix has a very mature solution and continues to push the envelope. If your looking for simplicity, ease of use, ease of management, ease of deployment then Nutanix is a perfect choice.

author avatarit_user107568 (User at HPE)

Also worth noting but not included in this article is HPE SimpliVity. In fact, HPE SimpliVity has the highest reviews of all the hyperconverged solutions (9.2 with next closest is 9.0): https://www.itcentralstation.com/categories/hyper-converged-infrastructure. You can read the HPE SimpliVity reviews here: https://www.itcentralstation.com/products/hpe-simplivity

author avatarit_user656586 (Sr Cloud Engineer (VMware,Automation,Cisco UCS) at a retailer with 10,001+ employees)

Good comparison. However, would be nice if there is more direct comparison on scalability, IOPs and Maintenance.
Would I be wrong if I say Nutanix is more of remote site solution, vSAN or FlexPod are of Data Center class?
I would be looking at a solution which gives better IOPs, scalability, Maintenance simplicity.


ITCS user