Unsupported Hardware - Would You?

Today I came across two different products that could provide a large amount of benefit to any organization. But there is an issue with both of them.

The first one is Nexenta

NexentaStor is a fully featured NAS/SAN software platform with capabilities that meet and even exceed the capabilities of legacy storage systems. NexentaStor’s rapid development is due in great measure to the feedback and input of well over 10,000 NexentaStor users and the ongoing progress of the underlying OpenSolaris and Nexenta.org communities, each of which are estimated to have hundreds of thousands of members.

  • File system: NexentaStor can be installed as a filesystem on a wide variety of servers and server blades.
  • Software Virtual Appliance: NexentaStor is packaged as a virtual appliance with other products such as VMware’s virtualization products.
  • Community Version: NexentaStor is also packaged into a Community version for community use and for hardware and software developers that want to embed the product or integrate with the product.

The product itself seems to be very promising - with one caveat (which I will get to in a second)

The second one I came across was because of a Xsigo blog post here
(which in itself is a very informative read!)

With Xsigo virtual I/O, you can move, add, or change connectivity on demand. Configure up to 64 isolated connections per server through a single cable.

Networks and storage all connect to the I/O Director, which in turn connects to each server via a single cable (or two for redundancy). Xsigo offers both InfiniBand and standard Ethernet options for server connectivity.

Unlike any other virtual I/O or unified computing solutions on the market, only Xsigo lets you converge server I/O using the ports your servers already have.

Again this seems to be an amazing product - I have seen some demos of the product - but again with one caveat (here it comes!)

Neither of the two products are supported by VMware. They do not appear on the HCL.

Let us start with Nexenta


Their Support Statement and Policy


And last but not least


Looking on the VMware HCL


Nexenta does not even appear in the list of partners


Which leads me to the conclusion it is not supported by VMware.

Next on to Xsigo -



And from the the above blog post


The HCL does not list them either.


My point in the this post? Not to come down on any of the above vendors - I do not have a single bad word to say about them - not one.

But when I bet my business on a certain platform - it will have to be supported end to end - completely. And if it is not on the HCL - then I would need it in writing (in triplicate!!) that I will receive support from VMware in the event of a infrastructure issue that is because of one of these components. The fact that VMware uses the product - does not necessarily mean that I will.

I would not like to, ever, get into the situation that my production systems have an issue and I get an answer back from VMware, "It is not on the HCL - so we will try our best - but if is the 3rd parties issue then we cannot help".

Would you run your Production environment on non-HCL hardware? And if so why?
Looking forward to your comments.