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Dell EMC PowerScale (Isilon) vs IBM FlashSystem comparison

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Featured Review
Find out what your peers are saying about Dell EMC PowerScale (Isilon) vs. IBM FlashSystem 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
"There are also the policies that you set up on replication and purging files, and policies for something called WORM. That's a "write once, read many," where you can't overwrite certain files or certain data. It puts them in a "protected mode" where it becomes very difficult for someone to accidentally delete. We use that for certain files or certain directories, because we're dealing with video and some video has to be protected for chain-of-custody purposes. The WORM feature works great.""This is the best platform that we could have for storage utilization. It is affordable and scalable. At the end of the day, it's something that we find very easy to use.""The solution has simplified management by consolidating our workloads. Rather than managing all the different workloads on different storage arrays, Windows Servers, etc., we just have one place per data centre where we manage all their unstructured data, saving us time.""The stability of the solution is good.""For maximizing storage utilization, PowerScale is great. When you write the data to it, it spreads it out to all the nodes, so you get all the performance from the entire pool.""The single pane of glass for both IT and for the end-user is a valuable feature. On the IT side, I can actually control where things are stored, whether something is stored on solid-state drives or spinning drives... The single pane of glass makes it very easy to use and very easy to understand. We started at 100 terabytes and we moved to 250 and it still feels like the exact same system and we're able to move data as needed.""Our users are able to easily roll back snapshots without going through IT.""You plug in a new node and data starts migrating over to it, and IT spreads out the load. We've added multiple nodes to the system since deploying it. The process is pretty seamless, and we are able to do it with no downtime. It's a very easy process to do."

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"The most valuable features in IBM FlashSystem are IOPS, performance, duplication, and compression.""The most valuable features are flexibility and performance.""The compression and deduplication features are the most valuable.""Installing FlashSystem is very easy. It takes less than half an hour, and I can handle it all myself.""We've found the solution to be very stable so far.""It's very easy to manage.""The power systems are very reliable if you are running 24/7 operations. For ongoing mission-critical applications, it's the best solution.""Over the years, it has become increasingly user-friendly."

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Cons
"Because of the magic that it does 'under the hood,' it is very difficult to find out within the system where all your storage is going. That's a little bit of a ding that we have on it. It does so much magic in order to protect itself from drive failures or multiple drive failures, that it automatically handles the provisioning and storage of your data. But by doing that, finding out why a file of a certain size, or a directory of a certain size, is using more storage than is being reported in InsightIQ, is very difficult to discern.""Some improvements to the NFS support would be of interest to us.""There is room for improvement with the updates. It can take a significant amount of time to do a major OS update. However, even though it takes multiple reboots, the cluster stays up. If we want to apply a newer version of the OS, we have to roll back some of the patches so that we can upgrade. It requires a few reboots just to do that. The cluster doesn't come down, everything is still running, but it's time-consuming, at times.""There aren't many templates still coming out for it. They need to provide templates so we can copy and paste what we've done in the past to future, new things.""It is a bit higher priced than some of the other systems.""The thing that they are working on now, and we are following closely is more native cloud integrations. The way that we envision workloads in the future is around moving compute to data instead of the other way around. So, we would like to have a single pane glass to manage storage across a variety of different platforms, including native cloud. That would be awesome.""The replication could lend itself to some improvement around encryption in transit and managing the racing of large volumes of data. The process of file over and file back can be tedious. Hopefully, you never end up going into a DR. If you do go into a DR, you know the data is there on the remote site. However, in terms of the process of setting up the replicates and filing them back, that is just very tedious and could definitely do with some improvement.""The solution can be a bit complex for those not well versed in the technology."

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"Sometimes the performance is effective but it gets resolved in the process.""The Data Reduction Pools (DRP) support could be better.""The support could improve by allowing you to speak to someone when you call rather than them calling you back. However, once we do have contact with one of their technicians they are excellent.""The data reduction pool feature sucks and is not recommended for use with heavy workloads.""A big area for improvement is that the data reduction pool feature is not recommended for use in a production environment because it has stability and performance issues.""It could be easier to implement.""We use some open-source tools for monitoring, such as Grafana and it should be bundled along with IBM FlashSystem.""Their technical support needs improvement in terms of reachability for the clients and response times. They should be more responsive and have more online platforms for support. They should make more technical information available online. There could be some kind of documentation community."

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Pricing and Cost Advice
  • "The solution is expensive; it is not the cheapest solution out there. If you look at it from a total cost of ownership perspective, then it is a very compelling solution. However, if you're looking at just dollar per terabyte and not looking at the big picture, then you could be distracted by the price. It is not an amazing price, but it's pretty good. It is also very good when you consider the total cost of ownership and ease of management."
  • "The pricing is expensive, but I think it's a fair value because it does manage itself. It definitely is much simpler than any of the other scale-out storage platforms that we've looked at in the past."
  • "The platform is not cheap. However, on the software side, you can choose what you want license. So, you can start your licensing with the features that you need, then after buying the platform add some other features."
  • "The only drawback for us is that it's a large upfront investment. This was a huge decision for a startup company to make. It took a bit for us to get over the line on it, but we have not regretted it."
  • "I always want things to be less expensive. However, I would say the pricing is fair. Their costs are in alignment with their competitors. It is a good value for the money."
  • "We paid an additional fee to have Dell's ProDeploy Plus team implement it."
  • More Dell EMC PowerScale (Isilon) Pricing and Cost Advice →

  • "The integration is already included in the license cost of IBM FlashSystem. The integration is very easy. You get the IBM storage core with all software, firmware, and upgrades. EMC provides the features in the box, but they are not free for customers. There is a licensing cost for features. We have yearly licensing, but IBM has also provided a new option where you pay as you go. They provide a big box, and I pay, for example, for 10 terabytes. If I exceed 10 terabytes, IBM will charge for the new storage after 10 terabytes. It is a good opportunity in the market for using the storage as a cloud and paying as you go."
  • "They've been much more aggressive in the last five, six years than they were before that."
  • "This is an expensive product and if the price were reduced it would be better."
  • "Among IBM, Dell EMC, and Pure Storage, IBM is the cheapest. The price is also based on our location, the size of our entity, and our regular annual purchases from them. We are a very big IBM customer, so we normally get very high discounts. We are not a big customer of Pure Storage. We don't buy that much from Pure Storage per year. Everything is included in the price. There is no extra license for different functions."
  • "Its price is very good."
  • "I find the pricing of the solution to be very reasonable."
  • "You purchase it as a bundle and the price is comparable."
  • "The solution requires a license and could be less expensive."
  • More IBM FlashSystem Pricing and Cost Advice →

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    Questions from the Community
    Top Answer: 
    Since it can scale so easily, as long as I have money to buy more nodes, I can grow it as big as I need to. That is important in our business. As sequencing technologies continue to evolve, and as… more »
    Top Answer: 
    Since I have to manage all the budgets, I always want things to be less expensive. However, I would say the pricing is fair. Their costs are in alignment with their competitors. It is a good value for… more »
    Top Answer: 
    Something that still could be improved upon is adding additional node types of different sizes to facilitate a better way to run in distributed offices. For example, we have a lab up in Flagstaff, but… more »
    Top Answer: 
    As with any engineered solution, it depends on your needs.   However, the bottom line is that for their target markets Dell EMC Unity will generally have a better price at parity performance over… more »
    Top Answer: 
    The  V5200 model, released in 2021, is an outstanding system.  In just 1U rack space you get amazing performance at a very competitive price. The NVMe disk equipped with FCM (flash core module)… more »
    Top Answer: 
    The pricing may be a bit higher than other brands. If you compare the IBM FlashSystems in midrange with Dell EMC in midrange, IBM costs a bit more, but I prefer IBM because it has more specs that I… more »
    Ranking
    4th
    out of 27 in NAS
    Views
    10,496
    Comparisons
    6,081
    Reviews
    8
    Average Words per Review
    2,053
    Rating
    9.5
    2nd
    out of 27 in NAS
    Views
    14,637
    Comparisons
    11,871
    Reviews
    18
    Average Words per Review
    458
    Rating
    8.3
    Comparisons
    Also Known As
    PowerScale, Dell EMC Isilon
    IBM Storwize
    Learn More
    Overview

    Dell EMC Isilon scale-out storage solutions are designed for enterprises that want to manage their data, not their storage. Our storage systems are simple to install, manage, and scale to virtually any size. Isilon storage includes a choice of all-flash, hybrid or archive nodes. Isilon solutions stay simple no matter how much storage capacity is added, how much performance is required, or how business needs change in the future.

    IBM FlashSystem products are enterprise computer data storage systems that store data on flash memory chips. Unlike storage systems that use standard solid-state drives, IBM FlashSystem products incorporate custom hardware based on technology from the 2012 acquisition of Texas Memory Systems. This hardware provides performance, reliability, and efficiency benefits versus competitive offerings.

    Offer
    Learn more about Dell EMC PowerScale (Isilon)
    Learn more about IBM FlashSystem
    Sample Customers
    OMRF, University of Utah, Translational Genetics Research Institute, Arcis, Geofizyka Torumn, Cyprus E&P Corporation, Colburn School, Columbia Sportswear, Harvard Medical School, University of Michigan, National Library of France,
    Celero, Friedhelm Loh Group, Clarks, Mingkang Natregro Health Food Group, Sofia, Etisalat Fights Fraud, UF Health Shands Hospital, Generali, Elecon Engineering Company Limited, Ventiv , Technology, CPFL Energia, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., SciQuest, Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Consolidated, Paddy Power, Kelsey-Seybold Clinic, Interconnect Services, Severstal IP-Only AB, PVU Group GmbH
    Top Industries
    REVIEWERS
    Energy/Utilities Company18%
    Manufacturing Company9%
    Comms Service Provider9%
    Agriculture9%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Computer Software Company30%
    Comms Service Provider19%
    Manufacturing Company7%
    Government6%
    REVIEWERS
    Financial Services Firm30%
    Government11%
    Healthcare Company9%
    Comms Service Provider9%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Computer Software Company29%
    Comms Service Provider28%
    Financial Services Firm6%
    Government5%
    Company Size
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business21%
    Midsize Enterprise29%
    Large Enterprise50%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business18%
    Midsize Enterprise16%
    Large Enterprise66%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business34%
    Midsize Enterprise15%
    Large Enterprise51%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business22%
    Midsize Enterprise21%
    Large Enterprise57%
    Find out what your peers are saying about Dell EMC PowerScale (Isilon) vs. IBM FlashSystem and other solutions. Updated: January 2022.
    563,327 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    Dell EMC PowerScale (Isilon) is ranked 4th in NAS with 10 reviews while IBM FlashSystem is ranked 2nd in NAS with 27 reviews. Dell EMC PowerScale (Isilon) is rated 9.4, while IBM FlashSystem is rated 8.4. The top reviewer of Dell EMC PowerScale (Isilon) writes "As you add more nodes in a cluster, you get more effective utilisation". On the other hand, the top reviewer of IBM FlashSystem writes "Good performance, energy efficient with a small form factor, helpful support". Dell EMC PowerScale (Isilon) is most compared with NetApp FAS Series, Qumulo, HPE StoreEasy, Huawei OceanStor 9000 and IBM Scale-out NAS, whereas IBM FlashSystem is most compared with Pure Storage FlashArray, Dell EMC PowerStore, Dell EMC Unity XT and HPE Nimble Storage. See our Dell EMC PowerScale (Isilon) vs. IBM FlashSystem report.

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