If you’re reading this guide, it means that you need a bit of help to figure out which virtual SAN (Storage Area Network) to buy. You’re in an enterprise or you’re running a small business. Regardless of the type or scale, there are things you should know before buying the service.
So, we’re going to decide what you should look for in a virtual SAN regarding the features and the current offer, including the top 5 providers. We’re going to make a small summary of each of their services.
Table of Contents
Virtual SAN Buying: What to Look For?
There are 9 features in descending order that you should pay attention to. The most important ones refer to management, functionality, ease of access and use, and scalability. Don’t disregard the other features. The perfect Virtual SAN should have all of them.
First, let’s discuss the command center and the management software. A good Virtual SAN is easily accessible and contains all the management features in one window. It should be web-based because it’s easier to use.
Plus, you can access it from wherever you’d like with your credentials. Having a scattered management structure where you need to manage each fragment of the virtual network separately is not a good thing. So, look for centralized web-based management.
Bonus: Figuring out which Virtual SAN offers the option to configure the infrastructure of your entire virtual storage can give you the benefit of structuring and restructuring the storage with ease.
Compare the storage latency of the Virtual SANs you’re looking at. A brilliant solution might have NVMe-oF (Non-Volatile Memory Express over Fabrics). This can significantly reduce the latency.
There should be a significant reduction in parallelism in input/output operations when transferring data. If you feel that, you have a solution like this in mind, check whether the feature is compatible with Windows servers as well.
It’s important to figure out which provider can offer a complete support cycle with their product. This means that they’ll help you implement the Virtual SAN system, and they’ll help you with data migration. If it’s possible, check the reviews.
Think about the solution that has features that ultimately reduce the downtime of your data storage. When we say reduce, we mean eliminate. That’s the thing, Virtual SANs were developed to avoid downtime.
So, a suitable solution will have a stretched clustering feature that actively configures the shared storage that’s replicated. Also, it’s good to look for a live migration feature that migrates the data to another location if something happens.
It’s not uncommon for a small business to grow into a large business and even become a global one. That’s why scalability is important. You need to choose a Virtual SAN provider that offers scalable solutions.
If a reboot and complete restructure are necessary at some point, then prepare to take a tremendous loss once you reach the growing point. Choose the right provider with a feature that allows node addition, and you’re safe and good to grow.
Adding nodes to your Virtual SAN infrastructure will only give you more stability regarding the virtual storage area network, and it can enhance performance.
Think about whether the solution you’re looking for offers automated storage tiering or you need to do it manually. We recommend going with a Virtual SAN that offers automated storage tiering for the best performance.
Automated storage tiering couples the services that are intensely used, i.e. higher frequency of use, with the physical storage that performs the best. So, instead of doing this manually where you need to figure out which service is most used, let the solution do it for you.
Current Virtual SAN Offer
Now that you understand the most important features you need to consider before buying Virtual SAN, you can check out the 2022 most popular Virtual SANs.
StarWind Virtual SAN
StarWind Virtual SAN is a flexible storage virtualization solution that offers exemplary support, and it’s incredibly versatile. This means that the combination of physical storage devices doesn’t matter because you can easily set them up into one vSAN.
The pricing is reasonable as there are three packages, from most to least expensive.
The best feature of their Virtual SAN is that it’s mostly automated, so we don’t have to worry about much. Also, it supports NVMe-oF and High Availability on 2 nodes, and it has most of the features you should look for in a storage solution.
Dell EMC VxRail
Dell EMC VxRail is more of a vSAN appliance than a virtual storage area network. There’s one particular feature that this service offers, and that’s scalability. It’s extremely scalable, so you can adjust it to the company’s needs easily. It’s also easily manageable.
However, the solution is heavily reliant on troubleshooting instead of support received by the provider. So, you might need to put in a little effort.
The HPE Simplivity offers a flexible architecture, and the management is centralized. There are also built-in services regarding data protection. It’s quite simple to implement, and it’s easy to manage.
The management revolves around virtual machines and is mobile. Also, the solution is quite scalable.
The Virtual SAN buying guide 2022 is here to help you decide which solution to opt for. This is still a guide, and your decision should be based on your opinion. Consider manageability, high availability, scalability, and other significant features. Remember, support is extremely important.
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