Would anyone consider not renewing their SAN in favour of hyperconverged?

Soldato
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Hi all,

I feel a bit out of the loop when it comes to Hyperconverged Storage Infrastructure e.g. Microsoft Storage Spaces Direct.

Would anyone on here consider replacing a SAN with this kind of storage? The performance seems like it's a serious player https://myignite.techcommunity.microsoft.com/sessions/65880 I wondered if i'm behind the times or crazy to ever consider this as a traditional SAN replacement
 
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We've just gone from 3 tier vmware netapp san solution to a (hyperconverged) Lenovo Nutanix solution, almost done migrating servers across. Really liking it so far!
 
Soldato
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HCI using microsoft, nah that sounds dodgy.
HCI using Vmware or Nutanix, that's what you want to be looking at.

You need pretty good reasons not to be using HCI nowadays, the bigger question you should be asking yourself if is you want stay on-prem or go to the cloud.
 
Associate
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I really want to get to grips with VXRail in productive, played around with a lot of demos and they're fantastic - but I think there's a place for traditional SAN and for HCI.
 
Soldato
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Vxrail is both brilliant and a horror show at the same time. I've deployed countless Vxrail clusters all over the UK over the past couple of years

They're sold as a turnkey solution, but it's a load of rubbish. It's a turnkey solution that stalls... A lot (quite like my first mini 25 years ago). The one click upgrade rarely works and takes forever. Troubleshooting is more bothersome than normal because your limited in what you can change without dell screaming at you.

That said, once the system is up and running, it is awesome (until that pesky one-click upgrade is needed again).

The far far better solution if you go for dell is the vsan ready-nodes. Quicker to set up, free to do whatever vsphere config you want, and just as quick as the far far more expensive Vxrail nodes.

As for the original question. Hyper-converged or converged... Both have their place and often coexist happily. Would have no problem ditching a San for something like vsan at this point.
 
Soldato
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This is the question I keep asking, and nobody can give me a good enough answer

as someone who is looking to replace their hyper-v nodes which is using compellent storage, why should I go HCI

no matter how I interpret the configuration I can't understand how I can make life easier/cheaper for myself
 
Soldato
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HCI means you don't need storage specialists, vxrail/nutanix means you don't need virtualisation specialists. You don't need people sitting around doing nothing, waiting for things to break. If they do wrong, you can't really do much apart from ring support.
 
Soldato
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HCI means you don't need storage specialists, vxrail/nutanix means you don't need virtualisation specialists. You don't need people sitting around doing nothing, waiting for things to break. If they do wrong, you can't really do much apart from ring support.

I don't have those people now :p that persons me
 
Soldato
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My experience of Nutanix HCI is that it has massively simplified the physical side of managing a VM cluster. Each node just needs connection to the network and that's it. We turned two cabinets of equipment into half a cabinet, while massively increasing our compute/storage capacities. If you need additional capacity, you simply put in more nodes.

The simplicity comes with some downsides on the resiliency side; we run at RF2 so the cluster can sustain the loss of one node. If I need to do maintenance on a node, while that node is offline the whole cluster is in a degraded state and at risk of cluster shutdown should something fail on one of the remaining nodes. Unlikely to happen, but after you experience it happening once you'll end up with an uncomfortable feeling every time you do it in future waiting for that that node to come back online. :o
 
Soldato
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I don't have those people now :p that persons me

Same here, so HCI should be high on your list just for this reason. There comes a point when you can't be arsed in going through pages of compatibility matrix's just to update something to a newer level.
 
Soldato
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If I need to do maintenance on a node, while that node is offline the whole cluster is in a degraded state and at risk of cluster shutdown should something fail on one of the remaining nodes. Unlikely to happen, but after you experience it happening once you'll end up with an uncomfortable feeling every time you do it in future waiting for that that node to come back online. :o

This is my issue with HCI. Most of the time, companies will quote you for a cluster than can run all your workloads. It's all minimum spec with N+1 to fit into the budget. But when you have multiple DCs, DFS-R's, mirrored DBs and LB web front-ends, you want each `copy` of those pairs on different physical hardware. Having that physical resiliency, the stuff you're used to with tradition 3 tier can really ramp up the price.
 
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I think HCI makes sense for certain workloads (VDI the one that jumps out the most), but a lot can go wrong if you aren't careful, and that is maybe my biggest gripe about it, it lulls people into a false sense of security. Dedicated storage devices (SANs, NASes) are extremely mature and have evolved over the years to remove weaknesses, single points of failure, software bugs, have very capable monitoring, etc., whereas HCI is still much earlier days and has a ways to go. But storage arrays can also fail and can also be mis-managed (just seems to happen less often, in my experience) so nothing is perfect.

One thing I will say, I do not get the love for Nutanix. I've never seen a buggier piece of software in my 30 year IT career. At any given time we have multiple cases open with them (basically we never don't have at least several cases open). And their attitude is "just update", but with each update they always introduce new bugs. So weird.
 
Soldato
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One thing I will say, I do not get the love for Nutanix. I've never seen a buggier piece of software in my 30 year IT career. At any given time we have multiple cases open with them (basically we never don't have at least several cases open). And their attitude is "just update", but with each update they always introduce new bugs. So weird.

I get the impression there's not much you can fix yourself or even muck up, its almost a fully managed stack that phones home and they will know about any issues before you do. You are the first person i've seen to have anything bad to say about them though, their support is often praised.
 
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