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Dell EMC PowerMax NVMe vs NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS) comparison

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Featured Review
Find out what your peers are saying about Dell EMC PowerMax NVMe vs. NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS) and other solutions. Updated: January 2022.
563,327 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Quotes From Members
We asked business professionals to review the solutions they use.
Here are some excerpts of what they said:
Pros
"We have been able to consolidate storage into Pavilion. Pavilions are our only SANs because it is a bring your own disk solution. When new drives come out, we are able to take out half of the drives in the system, put in new drives, move our VMs over to the new drives, take the other drives out, and populate those with new drives. Then, we are suddenly twice as dense as we were before. NVMe flash is only going to get denser and cheaper so we can make use of that every couple of years by just throwing newer disks into it at a fraction of the cost of a new SAN.""There's lots of flexibility in how we use the resources while also maintaining a small footprint.""The high performance is very valuable, as well as the enterprise reliability features."

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"The compression and deduplication are always on. We get more than 4:1 capacity savings using them. The efficiency benefits from compression and deduplication are through a specialized hardware module within the storage itself, and that means there is no overhead to the compression and dedupe.""We find the service level option to provision storage very valuable. The ability to define different service levels for storage groups helps us in prioritizing our workload at the infrastructure level.""The UI is very easy to use. We can add volumes and manage them easily.""The performance is very good on our servers. It's superior. And the QoS capabilities for providing work congestion protection are also important because about 99 percent of our servers are production servers.""PowerMax NVMe has made it a lot easier to understand how much we are able to provision. It has made it a lot faster to provision new things. 90% of my time for provisioning has been reduced. Also, it has made it very easy to understand and see everything behind it versus the older heritage, where Dell EMC was very convoluted and hard to get working. Things that used to take an hour, probably now take five to 10 minutes.""The optimization of the cache memory of each engine and the use of persistent memory.""We like the compression, dedupe, and I/O on the PowerMax. They are better than on the XtremIO.""The SRDF site-to-site replication for the volumes is the most important feature for us. That enables us to do site recovery and replication for our VMware infrastructure."

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"Technical support has been okay.""This solution helps accelerate demanding enterprise applications. VMware workloads, the database, and Oracle Solaris are hosted on AFF, which means that our primary priority workloads are on AFF and that the secondary ones are on FAS. That includes the SAN national cloud.""We have had issues before on our infrastructure where 20 to 30 percent of the people would come to us pointing the finger at the storage technology or storage back-end. That is now virtually zero.""It simplifies data management for NAS environments with its ease of management, ease of share creation, and Active IQ feature. These features are good overall. It helps us manage data quickly and sufficiently. Also, compression features, like dedupe, give us a good ratio.""Regarding features, SnapMirror is one we depend on right now. It helps us provide snapshots to the customers on request. There are many scenarios in which we might take snapshots in various daily use cases. We trigger the snapshots, which gives us a sense of security because we know we have this technology in place if something happens.""It also helps to accelerate databases in our environment. First of all, there is the reliability of things staying online and the small response time as well, from the MetroCluster, for all of the data that we're serving; and the applications are talking to the MetroCluster. It provides a very fast response time.""The cloning and snapshot features are the most valuable. With snapshot backup, we can clone a big database in minutes. We take a lot of snapshots for clients in different environments.""We recently started using the volume encryption feature, which is helpful because there are some federal projects that require data at rest to be encrypted."

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Cons
"The rail system that Pavilion uses to mount up into a standard Dell or APC cabinet extends further back than normal rails, and they cover up the zero PDU slot. So, I don't like the rail system that comes with the device. That is my biggest complaint.""I would like to see the management layer improved.""In our current configuration, we can only run the line controllers in high availability, active-standby mode, whereas we would like to see active-active implemented."

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"I think management is where PowerMax is weakest. We're still managing it like we managed EMC arrays in the early 2000s. There's a slicker, fancier GUI that does more things, but at the end of the day, you still have to dig into the command line and issue a lot of the same commands that we still were using almost 20 years ago.""We brought up this question to the implementation engineer. We were comparing use cases where a customer is using RecoverPoint, then goes to PowerMax. In our previous setup with XtremIO, we were using RecpverPoint and keeping snapshots for 30 days, every few seconds. With PowerMax, I requested this for every 15 minutes, keeping it for a week. The engineer's answer was, "There will be too many snapshots. It might slow down the system." This is specifically for the use cases where there is RecoverPoint. While PowerMax works with RecoverPoint, and you can use it, there should be some way where you can have even more snapshots and not to worry about performance and system cache.""We would like more documentation, a guide to the features of the PowerMax.""The main feature that I personally want to see is the possibility to upgrade to the next generation without changing all the components and just change the engine, relying on the compatibility matrices between two different generations. Meaning that we could just keep the enclosure and upgrade the engine, integrating the enclosure to the existing pool, then adding automation tools for orchestration.""If the solution had more power-saving capabilities, it would be quite nice.""We have had some trouble with the VMAX-to-PowerMax migration, but the VMAX box will be powered down after the migration. The PowerMax boxes are working fine and we don't have any issues with them.""I would like a more informative CloudIQ for iOS. What you can see via the web UI significantly differs from what you can see via the web application.""Although they call it unified storage where you have SAN and NAS, with a NAS implementation on top of a SAN, the NAS implementation is a little complicated and clumsy. As SAN, as block storage, it is very powerful... If they could provide a very good NAS implementation, it would be better, so that customers don't have to look for other simple solutions for NAS."

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"Their backup software could be improved.""From my perspective, everything works well. They've already announced that they have some features in their next release that make the existing investment more usable, by adding software features to your existing legacy hardware investment.""We have been seeing some challenges around the application layer implementation. We are having some teething problems now with the cooperation between the application layer and backups to things, like SnapCenter. This may be a question of product maturity.""For ONTAP, in general, the deduplication ratio and Snapshot limitation are areas that need improvement. There is a global limitation on the number of Snapshots or clones that can be spun off of a particular Snapshot. If those limitations are increased, it might be helpful.""Its integration could be improved.""I don't like the newest GUI. It needs more options. Some features have been removed. Oversight is not as good in the new GUI compared to the previous version. Though, it might be something that we just need to get used to.""The admin tools and the integration with other products and clouds can be improved. It should also be easier to identify and troubleshoot problems in this solution. It takes a long time, and it should be improved.""NetApp should offer more training so everyone can learn about the products. Other vendors have a lot of training options. It would be great if NetApp would highlight how to use the features more so that every admin or person can gain more knowledge about this technology."

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Pricing and Cost Advice
  • "This is hardware. They have a singular array that you can populate with your own disk, or you can buy the disks through them. For controllers, you pay for the components inside of the SAN, but there is only one chassis that they work with."
  • "The licensing fees are very reasonable."
  • More Pavilion HyperParallel Flash Array Pricing and Cost Advice →

  • "We hope that with the combination of both NVMe and SCM the next PowerMax will be much cheaper that the one which we acquired."
  • "Negotiate hard and consider the commercial advantages/benefits to Dell EMC for onboarding your product."
  • "One area for improvement, one that everybody always comes to, is price... it's still quite expensive to purchase these big arrays... For us, the pricing doesn't make Dell EMC uncompetitive."
  • "In terms of price-performance, it beat out other competitors when we were taking a look and comparing it to the market. That was one of the biggest driving points for us."
  • "The labor savings and support have been significant. If we're talking 100 hours of labor every three months, that is 100 hours of a database engineer costs. There are performance latency numbers as well as costs associated with recovering data that gets lost, and this system doesn't lose data. You can look at numbers that go around the cost of downtime, if data is not available. This system doesn't go down. Everyone's ROI is going to be unique, but the dependability and performance of the system combined with its ease of operation will definitely save businesses of all sizes money."
  • "Its price is competitive, but they need to have a different price for West Africa. They can do better with the price point to allow us to scale even more. We wanted to migrate our entire storage infrastructure to PowerMax, which would require us to buy more capacity, and from the price point, it didn't attract us."
  • "The PowerMax appliance pricing was reasonable. Dell EMC quoted us a substantial discount."
  • "Support pricing is very high. Our support contract is about to expire and Dell EMC provided us with an extremely high renewal quote. It was four times more than the support contract for our previous EMC VNX solution."
  • More Dell EMC PowerMax NVMe Pricing and Cost Advice →

  • "It depends on how you look at things, but they are in a higher price range."
  • "All features are included in the license, whereas with an EMC solution, you have to pay separately for extra terabytes."
  • "The price of NetApp is very expensive, but we don't know how much Pure is, so we can't compare."
  • "We benefited from implementing all-flash by reducing our data center footprint. We took it from 30 racks to just over five. This is one of the biggest savings for us."
  • "The licensing and pricing are fine. As a reseller for the product, we need to make the differentiation in the minds of the customer. They are not just buying some tool that does only one thing, e.g., showing a LAN for a customer. The pricing is fair for what it is."
  • "In addition to simplifying the management across a mix of solutions, AFF simplifies the cost. That was one of the main reasons we purchased AFF."
  • "NetApp AFF is an expensive product, although not compared to other vendors."
  • "The pricing is pretty reasonable for what we get. But if you have to buy any more disk space, it can be quite expensive."
  • More NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS) Pricing and Cost Advice →

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    Questions from the Community
    Top Answer: 
    We have been able to consolidate storage into Pavilion. Pavilions are our only SANs because it is a bring your own disk… more »
    Top Answer: 
    This is hardware. They have a singular array that you can populate with your own disk, or you can buy the disks through… more »
    Top Answer: 
    The rail system that Pavilion uses to mount up into a standard Dell or APC cabinet extends further back than normal… more »
    Top Answer: 
    Dell PowerStore is an all-solid-state midrange storage system. It has many internal elements taken from other Dell… more »
    Top Answer: 
    They're basically tanks. You could take a baseball bat to the thing, and it's still going to keep running and doing what… more »
    Top Answer: 
    Its price is competitive, but they need to have a different price for West Africa. They can do better with the price… more »
    Top Answer: 
    It simplifies data management for NAS environments with its ease of management, ease of share creation, and Active IQ… more »
    Top Answer: 
    The pricing is pretty reasonable for what we get. But if you have to buy any more disk space, it can be quite expensive… more »
    Top Answer: 
    There is room for improvement in terms of support. I have noticed that if I sometimes call their customer care for a… more »
    Comparisons
    Also Known As
    Pavilion HFA
    Dell EMC PowerMax, PowerMax
    NetApp All Flash FAS, NetApp AFF, NetApp Flash FAS
    Learn More
    Overview

    Pavilion HyperParallel Data Platform

    The Pavilion HyperParallel Data Platform™ dramatically accelerates what organizations achieve by delivering universally unmatched storage performance, in an incredibly compact solution while reducing data center costs and complexity. Unrivaled flexibility for multiple data types and protocols, along with broad ecosystem integration, ensure that every customer has choice and control.

    What is the Pavilion HyperParallel Data Platform

    The Pavilion HyperParallel Data Platform is comprised of the Pavilion HyperParallel Flash Array™ and Pavilion HyperOS™. The Pavilion HyperParallel Flash Array leverages a unique, switch-based architecture to create a multi-controller solution that delivers an unmatched combination of high performance, ultra-low latency, and storage density. Pavilion HyperOS is a powerful, purpose-built storage operating system designed to unlock the power of the multi-controller Pavilion HyperParallel Flash Array, which delivers scalability and flexibility that no other solution can offer.

    Pavilion HyperParallel Data Platform Data Sheet

    Download the Pavilion HyperParallel Data Platform data sheet. Updated: December 2020

    Dell EMC PowerMax is the world’s fastest storage array. It delivers new levels of performance and efficiency with a future-proof architecture that features end-to-end non-volatile memory express (NVMe) and a built-in machine learning engine. PowerMax is built on the comprehensive functionality and proven resiliency of Dell EMC’s flagship storage platform. It is designed for six-nines of availability and offers data-at-rest encryption (D@RE), massive scalability, and best-in-class data protection with Symmetrix Remote Data Facility (SRDF), the gold standard in remote replication.

    NetApp AFF8000 All Flash FAS systems combine all-flash performance with unified data management from flash to disk to cloud.  Leverage the Data Fabric to move data securely across your choice of clouds—enabled by Cloud ONTAP™ and NetApp Private Storage for Cloud. Plus, you get the industry’s most efficient and comprehensive integrated data protection suite, on premises or in the cloud.

    Offer
    Learn more about Pavilion HyperParallel Flash Array
    Learn more about Dell EMC PowerMax NVMe
    Learn more about NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS)
    Sample Customers
    Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC), Statistics Netherlands (CBS)
    Rackspace, Open Line
    Acibadem Healthcare Group, AmTrust Financial Services, Citrix Systems, DWD, Mantra Group
    Top Industries
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Computer Software Company29%
    Comms Service Provider22%
    Government7%
    Manufacturing Company6%
    REVIEWERS
    Financial Services Firm25%
    Healthcare Company22%
    Retailer11%
    Manufacturing Company8%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Computer Software Company32%
    Comms Service Provider19%
    Financial Services Firm8%
    Government6%
    REVIEWERS
    Healthcare Company16%
    Financial Services Firm12%
    Energy/Utilities Company9%
    Retailer8%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Computer Software Company27%
    Comms Service Provider24%
    Manufacturing Company10%
    Government5%
    Company Size
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business72%
    Midsize Enterprise3%
    Large Enterprise26%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business6%
    Midsize Enterprise19%
    Large Enterprise74%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business15%
    Midsize Enterprise8%
    Large Enterprise77%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business12%
    Midsize Enterprise13%
    Large Enterprise76%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business21%
    Midsize Enterprise12%
    Large Enterprise67%
    Find out what your peers are saying about Dell EMC PowerMax NVMe vs. NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS) and other solutions. Updated: January 2022.
    563,327 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    Dell EMC PowerMax NVMe is ranked 4th in All-Flash Storage Arrays with 16 reviews while NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS) is ranked 2nd in All-Flash Storage Arrays with 15 reviews. Dell EMC PowerMax NVMe is rated 9.0, while NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS) is rated 9.0. The top reviewer of Dell EMC PowerMax NVMe writes "CloudIQ ensures that all our arrays are properly communicating so we can see performance and storage capacities". On the other hand, the top reviewer of NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS) writes "Provides us with quick options when restoring things for customers". Dell EMC PowerMax NVMe is most compared with Dell EMC PowerStore, Dell EMC Unity XT, Pure Storage FlashArray, IBM FlashSystem and NetApp NVMe AFF A800, whereas NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS) is most compared with Pure Storage FlashArray, Dell EMC Unity XT, Lenovo ThinkSystem DM Series, Dell EMC PowerStore and SolidFire. See our Dell EMC PowerMax NVMe vs. NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS) report.

    See our list of best All-Flash Storage Arrays vendors.

    We monitor all All-Flash Storage Arrays reviews to prevent fraudulent reviews and keep review quality high. We do not post reviews by company employees or direct competitors. We validate each review for authenticity via cross-reference with LinkedIn, and personal follow-up with the reviewer when necessary.