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Haseeb Sheikh
Assistant Manager IT Infrastructure at a comms service provider with 5,001-10,000 employees
Real User
Top 5
Simplified storage provisioning for us, enabling us to assign any volumes in two to three minutes
Pros and Cons
  • "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."
  • "There is also room for improvement in the PowerMax architecture and hardware itself. They should design the PowerMax on the basis of PCIe 4.0. I would like to see the possibility of an NVMe drive that operates on PCIe 4.0 and not PCIe 3.0."

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use case for PowerMax is hosting our VMware environment with VMware SRM hosted on and connected to both. The PowerMax does the SRDF replication for VMware SRM, and some of the workload on it is for the physical environment that consists of Unix, AIX, and Sun Solaris. In addition to that, we have physical Windows and Linux servers as well. We have 1,200-plus virtual machines hosted on PowerMax.

We have two PowerMax 8000s, each deployed at a different site. The capacity of the PowerMax at the primary site is 500 terabytes, and approximately 200 terabytes at the DR site.

How has it helped my organization?

We are coming from the VMAX environment where the storage provisioning was a bit complex. We had to create volumes manually from the command line. But with the introduction of the PowerMax, it's a piece of cake for us. We can assign whatever volumes we want in two to three minutes. Storage provisioning has become very simple for us and is a real improvement.

What is most valuable?

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.

Along with that, the NVMe response time is very good. We used to have a VMAX 20K but we have just upgraded, and moved two or three generations ahead to PowerMax, and the response time is great. Because we are coming from a hybrid storage scenario, the performance of NVMe is a huge upgrade for us. The 0.4 millisecond response time means our application works great and we are seeing huge performance improvements in our VMware and physical environments.

Regarding data security, EMC has introduced CloudIQ solution with the PowerMax environment, and that enables live monitoring of the telemetry and security data array of the PowerMax. CloudIQ also has a feature called Cybersecurity. That monitors for security vulnerabilities or security events that are occurring on the array itself. That feature is very helpful. We have been able to do some vulnerability assessment tests on the array, which have helped us to resolve issues regarding data security and security vulnerabilities. We are not using the encryption feature of the PowerMax, because we didn't order the PowerMax configuration for it.

CloudIQ helps the environment and lets us manage the respective connected environments. A good feature in CloudIQ is the health score of each connected infrastructure. It gives you timely alerts and informs you when a health issue is occurring on the arrays and needs to be fixed. Those reports and health notices are also sent to Dell EMC support, which proactively monitors all the infrastructure and they will open service requests themselves.

In terms of efficiency, the compression we are currently receiving is 4.2x, which is very good efficiency. We are storing 435 terabytes of data in just 90 TB. In addition to what I mentioned about the NVMe performance, which is very good, we were achieving 150k IOPS on the VMAX, but on the PowerMax the same workload is hitting 300k-plus IOPS. That is sufficient for the workload and means the application is performing as required, according to the SLAs as defined on the PowerMax.

When it comes to workload congestion protection, we have not faced any congestion yet in our environment. We have some spikes on Friday evenings, but they are being handled by PowerMax dutifully. It can beautifully handle up to 400k IOPS, even though it is only designed for 300k IOPS. That is another illustration of its good performance.

What needs improvement?

The CloudIQ features still need to be improved because CloudIQdoes not support PowerProtect DD capacity, although it is working well overall.

Their mobile app also still needs improvement. 

In addition, the web GUI is good and shows all the related reports, but I would like to see more granularity in the reports, and reporting on CloudIQ should be done in the web GUI interface.

There is also room for improvement in the PowerMax architecture and hardware itself. They should design the PowerMax on the basis of PCIe 4.0. I would like to see the possibility of an NVMe drive that operates on PCIe 4.0 and not PCIe 3.0. The design could be very much better if they did some R&D and introduced a version based on PCIe 4.0.

For how long have I used the solution?

I manage the IT infrastructure of a telco company in Pakistan. I look after the servers and storage infrastructure and I've been with the company for the last eight years. Recently, we have deployed PowerMax, PowerProtect DD and PowerScale Isilon, with the help of Dell EMC and their partners.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

In terms of availability, Dell EMC claims PowerMax will give you six nines. We have not faced a single issue in the last six months with PowerMax. The storage has been very stable for us and it's performing well. It's giving us the right amount of uptime and availability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The NVMe scale-out capabilities were a factor we had in mind when we were evaluating the PowerMax against competitors, including IBM and Huawei. The scale-out capabilities are very important. We have 4 TB of cache with four directors right now, and we can add capacity in the future. If that capacity is met and we need to add more engines for our workload, we can do that very easily.

We are not currently using the NVMe SCM storage tier feature, but that is in the pipeline. If there is a high-demand workload in the future, we will consider the SCM storage.

How are customer service and support?

Dell EMC's support for PowerMax has worked great for us. If we have to open a severity-one, we call their support line. Other than that, the support portal works great. If we have to open a severity-two, or they open a service request with the proper severity, the infrastructure and storage support are very good. They will escalate an issue to the next level when required, as well.

There is some margin for improvement in that they should develop an application for support where you could see support tickets and escalate them if you want.

How would you rate customer service and support?

Positive

How was the initial setup?

I was involved from the initial design to the product evaluation from different vendors, and I was involved in the whole migration project through to its conclusion.

Dell EMC dedicated project managers and members of its professional services team to handle all of our migration from VMAX to the PowerMax without any hassle. And all of our data was successfully migrated within 1.5 months. It was a very good experience for us. There was no downtime and it was a totally non-disruptive migration for VMware, AIX, Windows, and Linux. Only some of the Solaris environment experienced a disruption because we had to reboot the servers. The rest of the migration was non-disruptive and the deployment was very good for us.

For maintenance and admin of the solution, two people report to me. They manage the PowerMax series along with me as the team lead. On the user side, there are different stakeholders. We provision storage to them and then they map the storage to various OSs for VMware, Linux, Solaris, AIX, and Windows. That team is a bit larger and has separate departments, with approximately 25 to 30 people.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We evaluated PowerMax against IBM FlashSystem 9200R and against the Huawei Dorado V6. At that time, Huawei did not have the VMware certification due to US policies and enforcement, but Dorado now has VMware certification. That's why we rated the PowerMax highest.

What other advice do I have?

The solution is very stable and performs well. If you are doing research, look at the architecture of all the available vendors. Evaluate every storage solution with respect to architecture, the NVMe version they are using, and the hardware which they are using.

Out of 10, I would give PowerMax a nine. It has worked very well for us.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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Senior IT Infrastructure & Data Center Operation Engineer at Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT), Egypt
Real User
Top 10
Very stable, easy to scale, and allows us have tiered storage and distribute RAID for any volume
Pros and Cons
  • "3PAR is different from other storage solutions because it uses a chunklet when we initiate the storage. Every disk is submitted as a 1 GB chunklet. This chunklet can be RAID 1, 4, 5, or 6. This fabulous feature is very useful for me because I can distribute the RAID for any volume. The adaptive optimization is the biggest feature in 3PAR. 3PAR is very usable with thin volume because it detects zeros while writing. Every time I tell the hypervisor to make the full provisioning, it makes the volume as simple provisioning in 3PAR, not full provisioning. Other vendors take this volume as thick provisioning because of which the capacity is reached quickly. It doesn't happen in 3PAR because it detects zeros. It only writes the data, and it doesn't write zeros. There are two processors in 3PAR: the ASIC processor and the main processor. The ASIC processor detects zero writing and doesn't write it, which is a big feature in 3PAR."
  • "File Persona can be better. I don't use File Persona because it has many problems with my environment. The antivirus that it has is not compatible with File Persona, and that's a big issue with File Persona. 3PAR is not as good as Dell when making a file in the storage. 3PAR for a block is very good, but when comparing row capacity, I get 14% capacity with 3PAR, but with Dell, I get 60% capacity."

What is our primary use case?

I use 3PAR as the standard storage. The main production is VMware, and it is connected to 3PAR across fabric switch. The fabric switch between them is MDS Switch and Notebook 8. We also have a Hyper-V environment, which is connected to the same storage. The main service is the exchange service. I have a public cloud and a private cloud. I use 3PAR as a private cloud.

How has it helped my organization?

In our organization, the storage is not detected from the first day, so I don't have the workload. The workload is run in my environment, and 3PAR is the best solution. If I have a workload from Thursday, I don't make the adaptive optimization on this because 3PAR is collecting all the storage and doing all tiering of the storage. If I have another disk from a new line, 3PAR makes it as tiering and adaptive. When a VM has more rights about the storage, it will make such VM of a higher tier. It can make it a C-tier. If the VM has a need for more IOPs, they need to use the scale command every time. This VM will move to another tier, and after the weekend, I will schedule adaptive optimization to check if this VM needs this tier or not. This way I can make all the storage tiered. If the workload is big and needs more IOPs, it moves the VMs from one tier to another tier. This is the main advantage. 

What is most valuable?

3PAR is different from other storage solutions because it uses a chunklet when we initiate the storage. Every disk is submitted as a 1 GB chunklet. This chunklet can be RAID 1, 4, 5, or 6. This fabulous feature is very useful for me because I can distribute the RAID for any volume. 

The adaptive optimization is the biggest feature in 3PAR. 3PAR is very usable with thin volume because it detects zeros while writing. Every time I tell the hypervisor to make the full provisioning, it makes the volume as simple provisioning in 3PAR, not full provisioning. Other vendors take this volume as thick provisioning because of which the capacity is reached quickly. It doesn't happen in 3PAR because it detects zeros. It only writes the data, and it doesn't write zeros. There are two processors in 3PAR: the ASIC processor and the main processor. The ASIC processor detects zero writing and doesn't write it, which is a big feature in 3PAR.

What needs improvement?

File Persona can be better. I don't use File Persona because it has many problems with my environment. The antivirus that it has is not compatible with File Persona, and that's a big issue with File Persona.

3PAR is not as good as Dell when making a file in the storage. 3PAR for a block is very good, but when comparing row capacity, I get 14% capacity with 3PAR, but with Dell, I get 60% capacity.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is very stable because the controller is active-active. It is more secure if you make the best design and make two fabric switches around that.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

3PAR is easy to scale up and scale out. It can serve a production workload without any problem. To scale up, you can have another inclusion in 3PAR. To scale out, you can add another controller. You can also have more IOPs in your production. 

We have 5,000 users of this solution. The main workload is in 3PAR now. I will also implement 3PAR on another site.

How are customer service and technical support?

Their live technical support is available 24 hours a day. When I open a ticket with them, the support calls me within 30 minutes and schedules a meeting to show the issue.

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

I have PowerMax from Dell. I also have Dorado from Huawei in my environment, which is all-flash.

How was the initial setup?

It is straightforward. I power on 3PAR and take care of the cabling. 3PAR is managed by two components: a services processor and a server component. The server can be a virtual appliance or a physical appliance. 

For upgrading, I take different configurations from the services processor. I update a package on the servers, which makes it easy to upgrade in production. For initial configuration, I do an upgrade offline, and it is easy.

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

It is lower in price as compared to other vendors, such as Dell. As compared to Huawei, all storage solutions are expensive, including this one.

What other advice do I have?

If you are a new company and you need more capacity, availability, and scalability, you can choose 3PAR. Otherwise, you can choose another storage. When you put 3PAR, you must tell the customers about the usable capacity from the first day, not the row capacity.

I would recommend taking the official course from HP for 3PAR before performing any tasks. This is because 3PAR is not easy to manage in your IT environment. You must know everything about storage and how everything is written in the storage.

I would rate HPE 3PAR StoreServ an eight out of ten.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Network & System Support Engineer at a recruiting/HR firm with 5,001-10,000 employees
Real User
Runs fast and without errors while being very stable
Pros and Cons
  • "The solution runs pretty fast."
  • "The solution requires a higher availability."

What is most valuable?

The device works very well.

We like how we can report and access everything directly over the cloud.

The solution runs pretty fast.

What needs improvement?

The solution requires a higher availability.

The pricing of the solution isn't ideal. They should work to make it more affordable. It's very expensive.

I'd like to be able to configure the solution from vCenter, which isn't possible right now.

It would be great if the solution offered even more integrations and plugins.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've been using the solution for three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is very stable. It's been working for three years, and we haven't had any errors. There aren't crashes. There isn't any bug or glitch that affects the way it functions.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is good. It's easy to expand the solution as needed.

We have around 1,000 people working with the solution currently. We use it quite extensively.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support is really good. They give us adapted support and it's very helpful. We're satisfied with the level of support we get.

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

I have experience with a few different solutions. Nimble is quite a large solution that runs well without errors. One of its competitors, NetApp, is good but hard to configure. You need to really be an expert to configure it. With Nimble, you don't have to be overly technical. 

I've also worked with Huawei devices in the past as well.

How was the initial setup?

The solution has an easy initial setup. It was straightforward. We didn't find it to be complex. You don't need advanced knowledge, or to be an expert.

Deployment is pretty quick and takes just 25 minutes. It's really quite fast.

We had three team members deploy the solution. They also maintain it. They were all part of the administration team.

What about the implementation team?

We were able to install the solution ourselves without any outside help. We didn't need any help from an integrator or consultant.

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

The solution is quite expensive. We can't really afford to buy a second device.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We've recently been looking at Pure Storage.

What other advice do I have?

We're currently using model CS5000 and we're on version 5.05.200.

We are not yet on the cloud. We're on-premise. We installed it in our data center. In tests and features, they call it InfoSight. InfoSight collects logs and tries to send to the cloud. It's customizable, and it offers reports for you and any upgrade. It tries to give you information about your device.

I'd recommend the solution. I'd rate it nine 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.
Enterprise Solutions Architect at a tech services company with 1-10 employees
Real User
Top 10
Good compression and performance, easy to expand, and the support is good
Pros and Cons
  • "Our customers have given very positive feedback about InfoSign, which is the management software for this solution."
  • "This solution would be expensive for small business and it could be priced more competitively for that market."

What is our primary use case?

We are a solution provider and all-flash storage is one of the products that we sell to our customers. Primera is one of the ones that we recommend for data centers.

What is most valuable?

Our customers have given very positive feedback about InfoSign, which is the management software for this solution.

Primera has good performance and the compression is also good.

It integrates well with other software including Docker and Kubernetes.

It is easy to expand.

What needs improvement?

This solution would be expensive for small business and it could be priced more competitively for that market.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been working with Primera for six months.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This is a stable solution and none of our customers have reported a problem with it.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scaling the capacity is easy with Primera. This is for medium-sized businesses, as the larger businesses usually choose Nimble, and in smaller businesses, they use cloud-based solutions to save on operating expenses.

How are customer service and technical support?

The support from HPE for this solution is really good.

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

I work with a variety of vendors for all-flash storage solutions including Nimble, Primera, NetApp, Pure Storage Evergreen, E8 storage, and Huawei. A lot of the products from different vendors have the same features. This suitability of one vendor over another depends on their budget, as well as their plans for growing the business in the future.

Pure Storage Evergreen has the number-one compression and deduplication capability.

When a customer wants good performance for their database, we suggest Primera, Pure Storage, and perhaps Huawei. At this time, we also discuss other features with the customer so that they understand them.

NetApp is another vendor that is a popular choice in our market for medium and large businesses. Similarly, our customers have had good experience with Dell Storage. When it comes to Big Data and a lot of capacity, Dell is the solution that we recommend. Huawei has good solutions and they are more competitively priced than others, and the performance is not bad.

How was the initial setup?

I have not set up this solution personally but with the feedback that I have heard from the engineers, I know that it is very easy.

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

The price of this solution is good for medium-sized and large businesses.

What other advice do I have?

Overall, Primera is a good product and if it is suitable for the requirements then it is one that I recommend.

I would rate this solution a nine 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: Partner
General Manager - IT Operations at a tech services company with 201-500 employees
Real User
High efficiency and simple setup
Pros and Cons
  • "The efficiency ratio is just as high as advertised. It's very high relative to other storage solutions as well. The compression and deduplication capabilities are also very high."
  • "One improvement I am hoping for in the next release is unified storage."

What is our primary use case?

In addition to being a data center, we are a cloud service provider, so our E990 is connected to our cloud systems. In the cloud itself, we provide storage as a service to the customer from the Hitachi E990 boxes.

What is most valuable?

The efficiency ratio is just as high as advertised. It's very high relative to other storage solutions as well. The compression and deduplication capabilities are also very high.

What needs improvement?

One improvement I am hoping for in the next release is unified storage. The other storage systems we use are unified, but E990 is not unified. Only block storage is available. To get the same functionality with the E990, you have to configure it through the NAS setup, which adds some additional costs. I would also like more capacity in a single box — expand the space up to 4 petabytes.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Hitachi E990 for about one year.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's a very stable system. In the past year, we haven't had any issues with this.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is a little bit of an issue. The horizontal scalability is not there—only the vertical scalability is there. 

How are customer service and technical support?

They're very professional and up to date. Their sales staff and support teams are quite good. The pre-sales support is also excellent.

How was the initial setup?

It's simpler than earlier storage solutions. There are a lot of things that we had to do in the past, but setup and implementation are very simple here. Deployment takes about a week or so. It usually takes no longer than 15 days at most, from the site readiness stage to completion.

What other advice do I have?

I would rate Hitachi an eight out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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