October 29, 2018
Score 8 out of 10
Overall Satisfaction with Exablox
- Exablox is simple to setup and relatively easy to use.
- Exablox is priced very competitively and is a good value for the cost.
- Exablox has good customer service.
- Exablox is still in its infancy as a company and in some respects the product feels like a version 1.0.
- Integration with VMware ESXi has some bugs that need to be figured out.
- We purchased Exablox specifically for our ESXi environment, so we are hoping to get the wrinkles worked out to see a greater return on our investment.
3 - Basic networking knowledge, SMB file sharing, ESXi configuration, and NFS datastore familiarity.
- Esxi datastore for running College websites, databases, DevOps, and internal IT tools.
- SMB file share for department files and faculty data.
- Not really anything innovative, Exablox was purpose built for certain things, and that is how we use it.
- We have been experimenting with product called OneXafe from StorageCraft that uses Exablox as a primary target for backups, which includes dedup and replication. Exablox makes a perfect platform for those backups and for replication of those backups to their cloud.
Evaluating Exablox and Competitors
Yes - We replaced a NetApp FAS SAN. The NetApp was due for replacement due to age. It was running standard spinning disk that was relatively slow. The Exablox gave us a SSD solution at a great price.
- Product Features
- Existing Relationship with the Vendor
We did not have a single most important factor in our decision, it was performance (all-flash) at a great price. So really it was Product Features at great Price.
Straightforward and simple implementation. We completed the implementation in less than 2 hours.
Change management was minimal - Adding Exablox to our environment had little impact on our management processes. For change management, the typical adding of a device to the server room (power and network) and the change to add a datastore in VMware were all that were necessary.
Exablox is storage. As such, it is purpose built to perform certain functions. Configuring Exablox was just right for a storage product. It was easy to configure.
Spend some time getting familiar with the configuration pages in the browser to see where things are. Once you know where to go to configure the storage it is very simple.
Exablox has been very responsive to our requests. They communicate very well and are extremely knowledgable.
Problems get solved
Kept well informed
No escalation required
Immediate help available
Support understands my problem
Support cares about my success
Quick Initial Response
Yes - As part of the purchase, we included 3 years of premium support. Because of the way the University handles budgets, we are rarely able to get additional funding after the initial purchase. Therefore, by policy, we always purchase 3 to 5 years support as part of the initial purchase.
Yes - The issue we have been seeing with our Exablox is a bug. Our Exablox 5210 is a brand new product and, as such, has a few wrinkles that are still being worked out. Exablox as been very responsive as we work through through the concerns.
We had a file share issue, which was more of a user training issue, connecting Exablox to our Active Directory domain. StorageCraft sent someone to our office to work through the issue with me.
Like to use
Easy to use
Technical support not required
Quick to learn
Feel confident using
- The initial configuration was simple. Upon powering on the Exablox you get an IP address. The remainder of the config is done in a browser using a setup wizard.
- Setting up SMB shares and NFS share was a simple matter of going to the Shares webpage and filling in a few settings.
Since the day we installed Exablox we have not had any down-time. The storage resources have been available 100% of the time.
Exablox has a built-in web interface to configure Active Directory integration. Just fill in your AD information.
- The only "integration" we attempted was using Exablox with ESXi.
Integration with VMware was as simple as creating an NFS datastore. Very easy.
Relationship with StorageCraft
StorageCraft was friendly and open in our discussions. They were anxious for us to run a POC to see if Exablox was a good fit.
StorageCraft has visited with us a few times since the purchase. They occasionally call as well to see if things are working and to ask if we need help with any support issues.
We negotiated pricing. With a limited budget we were able to find funding, and StorageCraft worked with us to get the product at the right price.
Yes - We have upgraded a couple of times. The upgrade went very smoothly. The storage did need to reboot, but to the end user there was only a small delay in accessing files.
- We are not looking for anything specific, but we are excited to see where StorageCraft can improve in the future.