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Geo-computing Manager at a energy/utilities company with 201-500 employees
Real User
Easy to manage, consolidates disparate storage products, and improves operational efficiency
Pros and Cons
  • "Our users are able to easily roll back snapshots without going through IT."
  • "The management and monitoring tools comprise a disparate suite of products and the roadmap is very unclear. We've got four different products that look after the Isilon, management-wise, and it's a bit of a mess."

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use case is unstructured file storage. It is pretty simplistic and architected in a very simple way.

The product centralizes all of our subsurface digital data. It also includes normal PDFs and Word documentation that we have. 

How has it helped my organization?

Centralizing our data with the Isilon has helped to take the pressure off of our IT department, without having to move around our 32 old file server systems. In general, it has made our operations more efficient.

We use the CloudIQ feature to monitor performance remotely, although it represents a very small part of our storage operation.

Dell regularly adds new features and one of the recent upgrades promised performance improvements, which was a big draw. At this point, I can't confirm whether or not there have actually been any improvements noted. The SyncIQ features are changing dramatically to be a bit more flexible in the future, which is something that I'm keen to see.

This solution allows us to manage storage without managing RAID groups or migrating volumes between controllers. It's not something that took up much time before so it hasn't had a large impact, but it's good that we don't have to do it.

Using this product has enabled us to maximize the business value of our data because now, we can store all of our data in one place. This means that we have the agility of recalling large volumes that we would otherwise have had on hard drives in different places. Initially, we didn't have the storage required to hold all of the data together, and now, it's coming more into play as we look into dashboarding and TIPCO. We can now look at our data as a whole, instead of in little parts that were as such because of limitations we had in storage. 

This solution has helped eliminate data silos. At the moment, we only have subsurface data on the unit and don't have any production data. However, it's helped us to be able to compile our data and expose it to the company. In this aspect, it has stopped data silos.

We have been able to consolidate our workloads, meaning that our storage management has been simplified. Having it all in the same place, not having to expand it all the same, and not having to rejig our backups has made it easier to work with.

What is most valuable?

Our users are able to easily roll back snapshots without going through IT.

An important feature for us is scalability.

This product gives us a backup system with everything online, which is a big win for us.

Having an on-premises solution like Isilon is better for us than a cloud-based solution in terms of both price and performance. Price-wise, moving to the cloud is an unknown cost, as opposed to a known one. Performance is affected by latency because the cloud data center is between 3,000 and 3,500 kilometers away. This distance has a significant effect on latency.

What needs improvement?

The management and monitoring tools comprise a disparate suite of products and the roadmap is very unclear. We've got four different products that look after the Isilon, management-wise, and it's a bit of a mess.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using the Dell EMC PowerScale (Isilon) devices for approximately three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability has been rock solid. We've had two incidents; one of those was its fault and that was in the very beginning. It was resolved within a reasonable timeframe. The other incident was external switching.

So, it's not been without some problems, but in the time we've had it, that's nothing significant.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

This product is expandable and it scales well. The scale doesn't change how you administer it. Whether it's a megabyte or a petabyte, it's all the same when it comes to managing it.

We added a node and it is easy to do. We simply asked, paid for it, and it was done. When choosing this product, it was somewhat important that we could start with a few nodes and scale very large.

This product will be able to meet unpredictable future storage needs with ease.

This is being used in a single department with no plans for expansion.

How are customer service and support?

Technical support has been alright and I would rate them an eight out of ten.

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

Prior to having the Isilon, we had multiple file storage systems. We used to have 32 old server file systems and in conjunction with Dell, we came up with this solution as a way to consolidate them into one centralized storage.

Before Isilon, we really didn't have a solution, and now we can focus more on data management rather than storage management. All of our subsurface data was spread over the existing servers. We had an issue where we couldn't go over to terabytes because it affected the backup, so we always had to move data around and some of our projects were starting to span over to terabytes, and that was causing a headache.

With Isilon, we don't have that problem anymore and we're not shifting data around. It's all in one spot. We're not unloading hard drives and loading hard drives onto the system. We just unload them once and keep them there and then they get tiered appropriately.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was straightforward. We leveraged Dell entirely to implement it, and it took between two and three days to deploy.

Without the help of Dell's ProDeploy Plus, it would have taken us weeks to deploy.

What about the implementation team?

We used ProDeploy Plus, which is Dell's implementation service that is available at an additional cost.

One storage engineer is suitable for deployment and maintenance.

What was our ROI?

We have seen a return on investment, although intangible.

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

One of the reasons we chose this on-premises solution is that it's a known cost. In our case, lifting to a cloud-based solution was an unknown cost and in the current environment of tight budgets, having a known cost is a huge benefit.

We paid an additional fee to have Dell's ProDeploy Plus team implement it.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We did not evaluate other products in advance of choosing Ipsilon.

What other advice do I have?

This product provides policy-based automation for managing storage, but we don't use automation in our use case. Similarly, it provides support for the S3 protocol but it is something else that we don't use.

In our use cases, the data remains where it is and doesn't go anywhere. We don't use any of the edge or cloud features.

My advice for anybody who is implementing this product is to purchase the extra support from Dell to deploy it. This is what we did and if anybody else is going down that path then I'm sure they'll be fine.

I would rate this solution a nine out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
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.
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Senior Consultant at a tech company with 11-50 employees
Reseller
Top 5
Good stability and performance with the capability to scale
Pros and Cons
  • "The stability of the solution is good."
  • "The solution can be a bit complex for those not well versed in the technology."

What is most valuable?

The solution is easy to use.

The product has global name recognition.

The performance, overall, is quite impressive.

The stability of the solution is good.

What needs improvement?

The solution lacks a cloud version.

It would be useful if the solution could direct to AWS or Google Cloud effectively or have an AWS version. With the global lockdown conditions, you can't get to the site. It would be easier if it was connected to the cloud.

The solution can be a bit complex for those not well versed in the technology.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using this solution for a few years now.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution, so far, has been very stable for us. We don't have issues with Isilon itself, however, every once in a while we do face a few stability issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution is scalable, however, it's quite complex, so it's not exactly straightforward. For organizations that have a lot of items they need to upgrade, it's good to have support to help. However, the solution can scale if a company needs to.

We have a few hundred users on the solution right now.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support aspect of the solution has been good. We've been satisfied with their level of attention and find them to be knowledgable and helpful.

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

We didn't previously use a different solution, however, we are looking to switch solutions now, simply due to the fact that we would like to migrate to the cloud.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was a bit complex for personal not knowledgeable with the solution. When you are just shown a manual, it does take a while to understand how everything works. It's not exactly straightforward.

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

While the initial setup isn't too expensive, it can end up being expensive depending on how many machines you have or how big you are.

What other advice do I have?

We're a reseller of Isilon products.

I'm not sure which version of the solution we are using. It's one of the version seven releases.

Right now, we are researching moving from on-premise to cloud, and want to know whether there is something that is more convenient than Isilon when moving to a cloud server. 

For example, with EMC, if you have something on-premise, and if you want a cloud version, you should rather take ECS. The company finds the concept a bit confusing, so they are looking around for something that is similar in terms of ease of use, and yet has a cloud version as an option.

As it stands now, I'd advise new users to rather use the Dell EMC service and learn on the job. It will be faster to get set up and be able to handle the solution.

It's still a fairly good solution. Overall, I'd rate it eight out of ten.

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
Product Categories
NAS File and Object Storage
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