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Capital costs (CAPEX) contribute significantly to any purchasing decision related to enterprise storage, but over the life of the asset, the total cost of ownership (TCO) is dominated by ongoing operational costs (OPEX) – both management administration and maintenance of the device. This study focuses on the Management OPEX savings with vSAN, VMware’s market leading solution powering Hyper-Converged Infrastructure (HCI).

According to the Evaluator Group, a leading IT Analyst firm, 26.5% of the IT budget is allocated to IT infrastructure management costs. To understand the Management OPEX savings offered by vSAN, the Evaluator Group performed a lab study comparing vSAN to a market leading enterprise grade All Flash Array (AFA), analyzing the time and cost involved to manage these systems.

 

Key Finding

vSAN requires 2.4X less time to manage than a leading AFA. This can translate to ~3X less cost, given storage admins typically cost more than VM admins.

 

Study Setup

Evaluator Group analyzed an All Flash vSAN 6.5 environment with a leading AFA running on vSphere to determine the costs associated with managing these two alternatives. Both environments were verified to support the same number of virtualized workloads (480 VM applications) and provide enterprise level availability and performance. The test environment utilized IO-Mark-VM to verify that capacity and performance requirements were met.

 

Study Overview

Tasks were divided into 2 broad categories

  • Infrequent or “One-Time” tasks
    • Initial setup of the storage, including LAN / SAN configuration
    • Setting up features including replication and other HA capabilities
    • Adding storage capacity to the physical system or array
  • Recurring tasks
    • Provisioning a VM, including setting up the storage required
    • Storage maintenance including VM reconfiguration for capacity or performance
    • Storage health monitoring, both at the VM and data store level

A high-level overview of the results

Items Not Measured

  • The amount of time, effort and training required between the functional roles of a VMware administrator, Storage administrator and SAN administrator.
  • Stretched clusters was not supported by the system tested by Evaluator Group. Only 4/14 All Flash Storage systems provide Stretched Cluster support and therefore the comparison between the two were not performed

 

Conclusion

This study confirms the message that generalists can now be used manage storage. It is evident that vSAN not only hyper-converges compute and storage, but also eliminates silos within the organization by hyper-converging your IT teams, leading to higher productivity, and increased agility when responding to changing business needs.

 

To find a copy of the complete report, click here or have a listen to Russ Fellows from the Evaluator Group providing an overview of the results.