We changed our name from IT Central Station: Here's why
Nikolay Muravev
Lead System Administrator at Central Hospital of Civil Aviation
Real User
We have not yet hit the ceiling in its efficiency, performance, and scalability
Pros and Cons
  • "We removed the need to observe whether we ran into issues with the performance of disks or number of IOPS. Previously, our Oracle Database would throw us performance errors. Now, with PowerMax, everything runs smoothly."
  • "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."

What is our primary use case?

We are a medical organization. We use PowerMax with medical ERP. We have some government projects that utilize PowerMax because we have 99.99% reliability and uptime requirements.

We are not using cloud-connected storage. However, we are using PowerMax to virtualize our local/on-premise infrastructure.

We do not have a big installation. In Russia, our company was among the first companies who purchased PowerMax appliances. Our environment is around 250 terabytes.

How has it helped my organization?

We removed the need to observe whether we ran into issues with the performance of disks or number of IOPS. Previously, our Oracle Database would throw us performance errors. Now, with PowerMax, everything runs smoothly.

I would access the solution’s built-in QoS capabilities for providing workload congestion protection at 10 (out of 10), as we are using the highest, platinum-level minimum response time from the system. The NVMe SCM storage tier feature offers crazy speeds. When we were looking for a storage solution, we were looking for the most reliable, high performance, latest solution to delay end-of-life. Our PowerMax setup everywhere enables the diamond-level setting with enabled monitoring. Until this day, we have not experienced any anomalies. We simply don’t experience workload congestion. Our primary requirement was the reliability of PowerMax, then the rest of the features, like NVMe SCM, were a nice add-on

What is most valuable?

We value maximum system uptime because our projects are associated with a government customer. We have medical ERP, which is used throughout Russia, covering 8 time zones. If it fails, then we have big problems. Therefore, the stability of the system is important for us.We are using PowerMax and VMware vSphere Virtual Volumes (vVols).

We use Power Pass, which is an additional software from Dell EMC, alongside multi-passing in our SAN network. This allows us to balance uploads and optical links of our SAN network.

What needs improvement?

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.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using PowerMax in a production environment since August 2019.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

My colleague and I are responsible for the infrastructure, network, and PowerMax storage.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

In terms of storage users, we have about 1,000 people.

How are customer service and support?

We are happy with everything, especially their technical support. We had a situation where there was an outage in the data center associated with our electricity supplier. Later, when we launched the infrastructure, the support perfectly helped us with this issue.

How would you rate customer service and support?

Positive

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

PowerMax exceeded our expectations. We previously used its predecessor VNX, which reached end-of-life and end-of-sale, i.e., we stopped receiving support for it. We have been using PowerMax for the last three years and have not yet hit the ceiling in its efficiency, performance, and scalability.

How was the initial setup?

The deployment took about two days. We moved in segments, checking that everything was working properly, before moving forward with the migration.

What about the implementation team?

The initial setup and integration of PowerMax were carried out by Dell EMC. We then migrated it via vSphere from our previous solution EMC VNX 5700 to PowerMax.

What was our ROI?

We don’t calculate ROI on PowerMax.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

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.

I would suggest initially purchasing PowerMax with a longer support contract to reduce your support costs.With our previous EMC VNX solution, we were able to lock in the support costs, but we failed to do so with PowerMax. Therefore, it is more cost effective for us to purchase a new appliance with a support contract than to support PowerMax at these support cost amounts. For example, if the purchasing price was a million dollars, then the support costs a third of the total appliance cost per year.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We briefly looked at and evaluated Hitachi. However, in 2019, PowerMax didn’t have any direct competitors. There might have been a similar Huawei solution, but it was not really the same as PowerMax.

The primary reason that we went with PowerMax is because we have always preferred Dell EMC solutions. Our previous solution was a Dell EMC product and we were very satisfied with its reliability and performance until its end-of-life.

What other advice do I have?

The NVMe has great speed with an Oracle Database, but that is not that important for us.

I often use the mobile CloudIQ client, which I find very useful.

I would rate the solution as 10 out of 10. It works perfectly apart from the support costs.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Flag as inappropriate
Ahmed Kamel
Sr. Storage Systems Engineer at a pharma/biotech company with 5,001-10,000 employees
Real User
Secure, fast performance, and good reporting capabilities
Pros and Cons
  • "The UI is very easy to use. We can add volumes and manage them easily."
  • "PowerMax Storage needs improvement in the area of monitoring tools. It should have more functions and more complicated analysis options inside the monitoring tools."

What is our primary use case?

I work in data storage as a senior administrator.

I use multiple Dell EMC protection and storage tools like VMAX and PowerMax network for data domains. This product is an onsite data center and we have two PowerMax boxes. One of them is for our main site and the other is for our disaster recovery (DR) site.

We use PowerMax SRDF as our main application.

How has it helped my organization?

With the NVMe technology, performance in terms of IOPS has improved. Things are generally faster, although there are some bottlenecks with the integration of IBM servers.

The biggest way that PowerMax has improved the way our organization functions is through an increase in performance. The business of pharma is complex and the IOPS demand is huge. In the past, we used VMAX storage, and there was a big issue with the performance. Everybody complained about performance, servers, and storage, saying that they didn't have enough space. We tried many different solutions in an attempt to solve the performance issue.

For example, we tried reducing the data that was stored on disk, and we tried removing unused data. We turned to development and asked that some programs have fewer features. Finally, management made the decision to implement the PowerMax solution, and it solved the issue. As soon as we migrated from VMAX to PowerMax NVMe, the performance increased and everybody felt better.

The security is good. We enabled DSE for our encryption.

CloudIQ has made our lives better. It provides notifications, where you receive an email to let you know about your storage and your SAN. It is a powerful tool, although we have had to upgrade it a few times. Overall, it is a good monitoring tool that gives us a powerful and easy way to monitor our servers.

What is most valuable?

This product provides NVMe scale-out capabilities, which is important to us because our performance and IOPS have improved. The administrators have felt better about our environment since we implemented PowerMax. The storage is much better, overall.

We use the NVMe CSM and it's a very powerful feature that makes our business stronger. The performance is improved, making everything faster.

The reporting functionality is very good.

The UI is very easy to use. We can add volumes and manage them easily.

What needs improvement?

We have faced problems integrating IBM servers and adding volumes. The capacity on the IBM servers was not the same and we needed to perform a reclamation process on the DR site to fill the same capacity on the storage site.

The SRDF software has an issue when it's used in conjunction with VMware. In the past, we were using SRDF for VMware but in swapping from VM to DR site, VMs take a very long time. In some cases, where the data on the main size was many terabytes in size, it took a very long time to replicate to the DR site. Some VMs power on automatically, without entering any schedule. We had to migrate to RecoverPoint, which is another solution from Dell, but we still use SRDF for things that are not stored on VMware disks. When we enabled hardware compression, things improved.

PowerMax Storage needs improvement in the area of monitoring tools. It should have more functions and more complicated analysis options inside the monitoring tools. For example, if I need the tool to analyze monitoring logs from one month ago, it can't be done because it retains data only for the past two weeks.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been working with Dell EMC PowerMax NVMe for more than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This solution is very stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

This is a very scalable product. We have approximately 170 VMs running on the servers.

Between administrative users, including server administration and monitoring, we have approximately 20 users.

How are customer service and support?

The support is very good.

They respond very quickly when we have issues and the responses are good. However, the first-level engineers take more time to investigate some problems. The first level of support could use some improvement. Specifically, they should be faster at solving problems. If there are critical issues then we need them to be solved quickly, and the first level simply takes too long to investigate.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Our management is satisfied with PowerMax. There had been a discussion with IBM about obtaining a storage solution from them but when we saw the power that PowerMax had, we opted for the next version of it instead.

What other advice do I have?

PowerMax SRDF is a very powerful tool that will replicate data to a DR site. It is very fast and has many powerful features including data compression. 

This is a powerful solution for us and our performance is 100% better since we implemented it. Overall, for enterprise-level mission-critical workloads, the solution is very powerful.

I would rate this solution an eight out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Flag as inappropriate
Learn what your peers think about Dell EMC PowerMax NVMe. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: January 2022.
563,148 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Product Manager at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
No hardware failures, great performance, and reduces workload
Pros and Cons
  • "Based on our experience with VMAX, there isn't any hardware failure or something like that in PowerMax. Performance-wise also, everything is fine. We haven't faced any performance issues or any hardware failure. Its performance is great as compared to VMAX. Its I/O per second rate is higher than the old model."
  • "I would like to see more development in the cloud environment. It would be good if it comes in the cloud kind of setup."

What is our primary use case?

We have PowerMax 2000. It is for our clients. We have two PowerMax in our environment. One is in production, and another one is on the DR site. We have to replicate the data from production to that one.

How has it helped my organization?

It is important for our clients that PowerMax provides NVMe scale-out capabilities. They are also getting great performance as compared to the old storage array model. 

Provisioning is faster and immediate. We can do immediate allocation and configuration. As compared to the old storage array model where it used to take half an hour, in PowerMax, we can do it in 5 to 10 minutes. It doesn't take that much time, and there isn't much delay in the PowerMax array.

Our workload is reduced because we are not dealing with any issues. We are not facing many issues on the PowerMax side as compared with the previous one.

What is most valuable?

Based on our experience with VMAX, there isn't any hardware failure or something like that in PowerMax. Performance-wise also, everything is fine. We haven't faced any performance issues or any hardware failure. Its performance is great as compared to VMAX. Its I/O per second rate is higher than the old model.

We can use it block-wise, and we can also use it at the file level. It is good for any environment.

What needs improvement?

I would like to see more development in the cloud environment. It would be good if it comes in the cloud kind of setup. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for two and a half years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is very stable. It has very few failures. In the last two and a half years, there is only one failure that I have faced in PowerMax. That was because one of the ports went down. The port was replaced within two days or something like that by an EMC engineer. Hardware failure is very rare in PowerMax. Previously, in VMAX, multiple drives used to fail within a day itself. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

In our setup, we are just using less than one petabyte. In the PowerMax itself, we are using 130 or 150 TB. For scalability, it is the best option. We can directly connect the PowerMax array with the other storage array devices, such as a USB, without any performance issues.

How was the initial setup?

We don't have much involvement in it. Whenever the customers need any help, they ask for some help from our side, and accordingly, we provide the help. They usually involve us only when they have any doubt. The entire configuration is done by EMC itself, so we are not a part of the implementation.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

We don't have any involvement in the pricing. We are just from the backend support team for the PowerMax array. If any expansion is required, we will just inform the customer, and the customer directly contacts the EMC person. They discuss and finalize the dealings, and we are not involved in those dealings.

What other advice do I have?

It is a good solution for any environment. You won't face any issues in terms of performance and stability. 

SRDF has helped to reduce storage costs, but I can't provide the numbers. We don't handle that aspect. We are from the support team, and for capacity, there is a separate team in our environment. That capacity team takes care of the capacity and does the daily basis and monthly basis kind of calculation. We are just supporting the existing environment, and we have to maintain its availability.

We have not been able to consolidate open systems, mainframe, IBM block, and file or virtualized data with cloud-connected storage using PowerMax. That's because currently in our environment, there isn't a separate cloud, and the cloud is not connected with this PowerMax.There is also no mainframe server. We have a separate storage array for IBM in our environment. Similarly, EMC is also separate.

We have not used PowerMax's NVMe SCM storage tier feature and PowerMax's built-in QoS capabilities for providing workload congestion protection. We have also not used PowerMax's Metro Smart DR, also known as MetroDR.

PowerMax would be useful for enterprise-level storage or mission-critical IT workloads, but in our environment, we only have the basic model, which is PowerMax 2000. As per my understanding, it will be good and useful for mission-critical applications.

I would rate it a nine out of 10. I am not giving it a 10 because day by day, technology is improving, and there might be another solution that is better than this. Even EMC might find another solution and introduce it.

Disclosure: PeerSpot contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor. The reviewer's company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
Flag as inappropriate
Presales Engineer Information System and Security at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Improved transparency at the end user level and performance on the I/O side
Pros and Cons
  • "The optimization of the cache memory of each engine and the use of persistent memory."
  • "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."

What is our primary use case?

The primary use case is data storage consolidation for mission-critical applications, like billing, the charging system, mobile payment, and intelligent network. Virtualization and cloud infrastructure are where the customer is using many solutions for virtualization, like Hyper-V, Oracle Virtual Machine, OpenStack, VMware, Solaris, Linux, Kubernetes, and Docker. Disaster recovery was also the main focus of the customer to guarantee RPO and RTO. The last use case was a NAS solution through the eNAS provided by PowerMax. The previous eNAS hosted by VMAX 10K has its limits in term of size limit for a file system.

How has it helped my organization?

Helped our organization by improving performance on the I/O side. Before migrating to PowerMax, customers were faced with many performance issues due to high latency from the back-end and front-end side. Our previous storage was VMAX 10K, and with the evolution of business applications, it became more exigent in term of performance, intelligent data placement with FAST VP, resilience, replication, data protection with snapshot, and no more tasks for provisioning servers and applications. E.g., at the end of month, when the financial department ran the script to produce reports for the BI solution, these scripts generated many performance issues and the storage was struggling. With PowerMax, this is very transparent at the end user level.

What is most valuable?

  1. The optimization of the cache memory of each engine and the use of persistent memory. 
  2. I/O density with predictable performance when we grab the I/O to host, as the storage level supported by the PowerMax is too far to be reached regardless of workload and storage capacity utilization. 

What needs improvement?

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. When you move from VMAX 200K to PowerMax you swap Array. Or DELL EMC must give to the customer the ability to reuse component to the new Array. For example with IBM Storage like Storwize you can reuse enclosure from Gen2,2+ on Gen 3

For how long have I used the solution?

One year.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Good.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Good.

How are customer service and technical support?

Proactive.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Yes, we previously used Dell EMC VMAX 10K. We switched just for tech refresh.

How was the initial setup?

Straightforward.

What about the implementation team?

Very good expertise.

What was our ROI?

No access yet.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

We hope that with the combination of both NVMe and SCM the next PowerMax will be much cheaper that the one which we acquired.

Grab performance I/O, and analyze it for better sizing and costing. 

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Yes, Huawei. 

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Private Cloud

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

IBM
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Senior BDM at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Real User
Top 20
Excellent technical support with a straightforward setup and great compression capabilities
Pros and Cons
  • "Technical support has been excellent."
  • "If the solution had more power-saving capabilities, it would be quite nice."

What is our primary use case?

We primarily use the solution for putting together solutions for our customers.

How has it helped my organization?

They provide up-to-date, leading-edge products that are constantly improving the technological provision of hardware and software for the customer.

What is most valuable?

The deduplication of the solution is excellent and the compression is quite helpful. These are the most useful aspects of the solution for us.

The initial setup is quite straightforward.

Technical support has been excellent.

What needs improvement?

The product would be better served if there was a slight reduction in price at the moment due to the marketplace. People haven't got as much money. If they could offer more of a discount, it would help their customer base out quite a bit. Even if it was just in the short term, it would make a big difference.

If the solution had more power-saving capabilities, it would be quite nice.

The solution could benefit from even more speed and increased redundancy and flexibility.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for about one year. It hasn't been that long.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We do hope to increase usage in the future. All we just need to do is get more opportunities and as the marketplace opens up from COVID, we will be increasing our prospecting efforts.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is fantastic. they are quite knowledgeable and responsive. We've extremely happy with the level of support they provide.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

The switching happens as the vendor, Dell EMC, brings out new products to supersede the old products. It's a natural evolution of things as products get better through significant R&D, and for us to follow that evolution.

How was the initial setup?

For us, the initial setup is not overly complex. We've got very highly trained engineers and therefore it's no problem.

Demployment is still fairly standard. It hasn't really altered too much, so it's not gotten shorter or longer. In terms of the strategy, we have a standard scope of work document that we always employ when implementing new solutions.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The licensing costs are reasonable.

What other advice do I have?

We're resellers.

We actually use the PowerStore 3000 and 1000 products.

I would definitely recommend this solution to other organizations. We've been very happy with it.

I would advise people to make sure that you introduce the features and benefits of NVMe and the power and speed and articulate that well to management or the customer.

I'd rate the solution at a nine out of ten. It's not perfect. It's evolving. However, it's almost perfect.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Reseller
Solution Administrator at Telcel
Real User
We use MetroDR for backups and it helps reduce our storage costs
Pros and Cons
  • "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."
  • "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."

What is our primary use case?

I am the solution administrator for Telcel. I use it to analyze the host and for data availability. It is a useful tool for me. I use it a lot every day. It is used for mission-critical operations.

How has it helped my organization?

We use the PowerMax SRDF/Metro Smart DR to replicate information on some servers that are important to our company. We use it as a backup from each box and it helps to reduce our storage costs.

What is most valuable?

It is important that the product provides NVMe scale-out capabilities. We support many things with the product and we need to know what the architecture is. It makes things very simple for us.

The data security and availability are pretty good. We have many clients connecting to the box, which means security is very important. This is true when it comes to remote support. The compliance is very good.

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.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Dell EMC PowerMax NVMe for about four years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's very stable. 

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.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We plan to increase our usage of the product.

How are customer service and support?

Dell EMC's technical support is pretty good.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Initially, we had Dell EMC VMAX 800 and then VMAX 20K and 40K all-flash. We have recently installed a couple of PowerMax 8000s, and our migration program includes going from VMAX 20K to the PowerMax 2000 and 8000.

How was the initial setup?

The setup was pretty easy. We are a team of three people who handle storage and the deployment was not complex. We had no problem with it. It took us about eight hours.

What about the implementation team?

We received help from EPS Consulting.

What other advice do I have?

We use the PowerMax SRDF/Metro Smart DR, and the bandwidth is excellent but the equipment is in the same location.

Overall, I don't see much that they need to do to improve the product. It's very good.

Disclosure: PeerSpot contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor. The reviewer's company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
Flag as inappropriate
Pisey NAP
Senior System Administrator at PRASAC Microfinance Institution Limited
Real User
Top 20
Gives us better storage I/O for our big apps, and the dedupe and compression work well
Pros and Cons
  • "We like the compression, dedupe, and I/O on the PowerMax. They are better than on the XtremIO."
  • "We would like more documentation, a guide to the features of the PowerMax."

What is our primary use case?

We use it for our core banking data.

How has it helped my organization?

It has improved storage I/O for our big apps and restores. And the snapshot process and data compression are better.

What is most valuable?

We like the compression, dedupe, and I/O on the PowerMax. They are better than on the XtremIO.

Snapshots make it easy to deploy production, pre-production, and UAT environments. It is easy to snapshot and reverse snapshot to other environments, compared to other storage vendors.

In addition, we have a lot of users in our core system and the PowerMax performance is very good. The I/O performance is running fine; it's not an issue.

What needs improvement?

We would like more documentation, a guide to the features of the PowerMax. We needed to use the option to reclaim storage and we had to chat with the Dell EMC team.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using Dell EMC PowerMax NVMe for around one year.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Because we have just started using it, we haven't scaled up yet.

How are customer service and support?

We have opened cases with the Dell EMC team and we have chatted with them. They have provided good, fast support for us. But in some cases they did not explain the solution well.

How would you rate customer service and support?

Positive

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We used XtremIO. We switched because we found many of the features and the functions are better on the PowerMax than they are on the XtremIO. An example would be the snapshot. When we would do snapshots on the XtremIO, we could delete a snapshot, even when we were mapping to the host. But with PowerMax, we cannot delete a snapshot when mapping to the host.

How was the initial setup?

The setup was difficult because PowerMax has more functionality, but some of that functionality is still not clear to us.

Four people work with it on my team; all system admins.

What other advice do I have?

PowerMax is a good storage solution for the banking sector. Choose it for your core banking system, because of the dedupe and compression, the I/O, and the high availability for your data.

Disclosure: PeerSpot contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
Flag as inappropriate
Buyer's Guide
Download our free Dell EMC PowerMax NVMe Report and get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions.