VMware VSAN Support Cost: $25,440 ($1060 per CPU for each year after the first)
Wow - why even sell VSAN at that point - why don't they just do subscription and get over with it - wow that seems expensive. Is this in line with support contracts for other SAN products? I know it's hard to judge that because this is based on CPU (luckily not cores) where I'm assuming typical SAN support is more based upon capacity.
Because that's not what vSAN costs for a 3 node cluster. The capital cost is 15K List for a 3 node cluster. I'm guessing he's bundling the first 3 years of support in or something and putting zero discounting on the cost.
This cost study is also using 4TB SATA drives which vSAN doesn't certify. Also the only 1.9TB drive I"m familiar with that Dell sells (this could have changed) is a PM863 that gets awful write latency consistency and is only certified for capacity usage not write cache. Beyond that you would be better served by 2 smaller write intensive SSD's. This cost study ignores the HCL, the design and sizing guide.
Because there is no good way to an apples to apples comparison. Yes the cost of both has the support for the term built in. And the need for higher cost, lower density drives for vSAN would not be favourable to the vSAN solution - so while it could follow the HCL, it would look as if I was attempting to skew the numbers to make the vSAN look bad. Most importantly, this gives the best cost analysis advantage to the vSAN, even at the cost of not being officially on the HCL. If you want HCL'd hardware exclusively, then the cost is higher. As this is only a cost, not a design, comparison I felt that that was the more important attribute. Should have been noted, though.
In scenarios such as these what would be the recommended backup approach: DAS, NAS, Backup Appliance, lower end server, removable disk storage, tapes (intentionally left out cloud)?
Should be separate (physically!) entity non-related to your production cluster. Cheap NAS is OK.
For the average scenario (and I really just mean average) it's Synology or ReadyNAS that I recommend. Easy, supported, cost effective, desktop or rackmount options, well known, good brands, nice features.
Again, we would only do this if business needs require it. But my question is more centered around how people get the gear to fully test out VSAN and do a proof of concept before they deploy it?
Bigger companies that care about testing maintain labs with lots of hardware to test this stuff. That's the price paid for all kinds of necessary testing.
And I am certain their internal IT is much larger than our 4-person team.
With a small team you are stuck leveraging: reviews, logic, anecdotal evidence, vendor reputation and guesswork. Just the nature of being small. Leverage what the big boys do, applying logic as to when what they do matters only at their scale rather than at yours. The way that SMBs compete is by not doing all of the expensive lab work and trusting the work of others. The way that enterprises compete is by doing their own research better than someone else does it and getting a technical advantage.
One is about blazing new ground, the other is about running agile and low cost.