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Oluwatosin Obatoyinbo
Enterprise Architect at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Top 20
Allows us to define different service levels for storage groups to prioritize our workload at the infrastructure level, and provides remarkable value in terms of compression and deduplication
Pros and Cons
  • "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."
  • "They can make the GUI better, especially for the ones that come out of the box. We did encounter a bit of difficulty in setting up the storage. We had to deploy Solutions Enabler on a Linux machine to be able to fully interact with the storage. They need to upgrade the web interface for the management of the storage that comes out of the box. The management interface for NFS is also a bit old and not very intuitive."

What is our primary use case?

We currently use it to power our Oracle databases, especially for our core banking solution. We also use it for storage. We provisioned the storage from PowerMax for various VMs that we created for the applications in that environment.

How has it helped my organization?

We use the NVMe SCM storage tier feature, and that's how we're able to do the service level capability (SLA). We have storage class memory as a part of our deployment, and we have about 10% of our storage sizing allocated to storage class memory. With that, we are able to create different service levels for the disk groups or loans provisioned from this storage.

It most definitely helps in improving storage-related performance in our environment. The way our core banking solution works is that we have what we call ODS blocks. So, for leveraging that SLA, we were able to implement some kind of priority for those ODS blocks. Oracle had said that this is something for which their Exadata has a special way of doing, but based on my own assessment, we are able to achieve relatively similar levels of performance by using PowerMax.

Before we deployed this solution, we used to struggle with processing about 100,000 transactions in 10 minutes. We are now able to process about 350,000 or more transactions. These are conservative figures. We did hit much more than that, but conservatively, we are able to see about 300% performance improvement as compared to the SSD storage that we had previously from IBM. We have metrics to show that. The performance is different, and it is better than what we were used to.

We are in our ideal environment in which the storage double acts as our UAT and our test environment. So, we've seen remarkable deduplication in that environment because we are able to expand the footprint much more than what we are able to do in production. The production environment is a bit more controlled, but in our DR UAT environment, we are able to stretch those capabilities. The metrics that we see and the number of environments that we're able to create is quite remarkable.

It provides NVMe scale-out capabilities, which is pretty awesome. We currently have a plan to scale up. We started off with about 100TB. Based on the performance that we've seen, we're consolidating more workloads on the storage. We need to scale up a bit, and we find it very valuable to be able to do that. The ability to scale out and scale up marginally depending on what you want is quite valuable to us.

What is most valuable?

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.

We also find the compression technology of PowerMax very valuable. In some instances, depending on the kind of data that we have, we can attest to compression ratios of about 9:1, which is very valuable.

The NFS feature is also quite useful for us in our environment. We're able to deploy the NFS capabilities to resolve some of the use cases that we identify.

Its efficiency and performance have been remarkable. It could be because we've not been able to break the limits of what we have. The PowerMax 2000 that we have can do about a million IOPS or so if my memory serves me well. Our use case at the moment isn't stretching as much as that. So, for us, performance has been remarkable in terms of meeting expectations. It has been much better as compared to what we used to have. We see responses to application requests, especially database request queries, in microseconds, as advertised, and even that in some ways gave us a bit of a challenge because the applications couldn't cope with the speed of the response of the storage. So, it was new learning for the providers of the application. The performance has been remarkable. We've seen data within microseconds as advertised. In terms of the IOPS, we've not been able to fully exact the limits, but so far, so good. We are pretty comfortable with that. As we grow organically, we will see more performance and we will be able to drive, but in terms of compression and deduplication, we have received remarkable value.

In the last one year, we haven't had any issues with the availability of the platform, the storage, and the extension of our data. The encryption or data address feature is also there. Even though we've not fully utilized that, it's comforting to know that capability is available for us to explore. We've not had any storage level outage in terms of the data not being accessible within the agreed service. So far, so good.

What needs improvement?

They can make the GUI better, especially for the ones that come out of the box. We did encounter a bit of difficulty in setting up the storage. We had to deploy Solutions Enabler on a Linux machine to be able to fully interact with the storage. They need to upgrade the web interface for the management of the storage that comes out of the box. The management interface for NFS is also a bit old and not very intuitive.

For how long have I used the solution?

We deployed PowerMax for our core banking solution in October last year.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is pretty stable. We've not had any incidents around this storage in the last one year. I can't recall any major incidents. The storage supports our core banking solution, which is always in use. We have 24/7 banking services, and the solution has been pretty stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We are able to scale. There are plans to procure more capacity so that we can consolidate other workloads to this storage.

How are customer service and support?

It was top-notch, and it still is top-notch. They're quite responsive. They have a team of knowledgeable people, and they were quite supportive all through the implementation. They still keep in touch to see how we're faring. I would rate them a nine out of 10.

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

We were using SSD storage from IBM. We moved because of multiple things. One reason was the cost. Another reason was the SCM offering advertised by Dell, which was coupled with the AppSync feature of this storage that allowed us to create clones of our databases for UAT, development, and test purposes. So, the features that we desired in the environment were:

  • Cost and performance
  • The ability to have database clones without necessarily increasing the footprint of the storage required.
  • The ability to create service levels for the storage or for disk groups created from the storage. It was critical for us because of the consolidated environments in which we wanted to use the storage.

How was the initial setup?

With professional services from them, it was straightforward. The only issue was that some of the management and out-of-the-box capabilities needed a bit of work to make it as easy as possible for system admins to provision clones from the storage. Aside from that, the setup was pretty easy and straightforward.

We did the most part in about two weeks or less. Some of the delays must have been from our end because of a few requirements. We had the production site and the DR site, and it took about two weeks. After the arrival of the infrastructure, we did the entire project in about six weeks. The setup of the storage took about two weeks.

For its maintenance, we have a team of three system administrators who also act as storage admins.

What was our ROI?

I believe we have seen an ROI. It took us about eight months to see a return on investment. The way I gauge it is that the ROI started coming in when the storage gave us what our previous capability couldn't in terms of:

  • The ability to do more transactions
  • The ability to see the effects of things like compression and duplication
  • The ability to create and extensively use the storage to create multiple environments as desired

All of these pretty much started coming in when our data footprint increased and our transaction volume also increased.

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

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.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We reviewed a few other solutions. NetApp was one of them. What made us go with Dell was a combination of the offering that we saw and the price point at which that was being offered to us by Dell. So, the combination of the offering in terms of the storage features and the fact that Dell offered us competitive pricing at that point were the main reasons.

At the time we were choosing this product, they and a few others were the only ones boasting of having a true NVMe experience. At that point, they had also introduced the SCM into the mix that lowered the platinum latency to about less than 0.04 milliseconds. Those were the things that really attracted us to this storage solution.

What other advice do I have?

I would advise others to go for it. It is highly recommended for storage for enterprise-level and mission-critical IT workloads. It has fully met the expectations based on what is available in the market and from its competitors. They can do better with the price point to allow us to scale even more, but in general, the solution meets our expectations because one of our goals was to achieve a fine balance between the performance and the cost, and it seems we've been able to get that with PowerMax.

It has not enabled us to consolidate open systems, mainframe, IBM i, block and file, or virtualized data with cloud-connected storage because we've not had use cases for these. Our use case has mainly been traditional in terms of:

  • Having data or raw disk groups allocated to all core databases.
  • Using the disk for virtualizing VMs for creating virtual machines. We are allocating storage to a physical host that we virtualize with VMware to be able to create a virtual context. 

In terms of the built-in QoS capabilities for providing workload congestion protection, I would give it a 4.5 out of a five. The 0.5 point is because sometimes we see, even from the dashboard, that the defined SLAs are violated. It is only for brief moments, and it could be because of any reason, but for the most part, the QoS service works. 

We have not used its CloudIQ features. That was one of the things that actually attracted us to it, but we didn't get to deploy it. If we review the notes again and find that we aren't exhausting what's at our disposal, we'll take it up again. Because of remote work and the sheer fact that the platform has been pretty stable without any issues, the administrators are comfortable with what they can get periodically, so they're not really bothered with checking on the mobile or checking the storage so often.

We deployed SRDF but didn't utilize it fully. We use it for some of the use cases that have better tolerance for any latency issues. We also did the setup for MetroDR but didn't utilize it fully. It is because there is a bit of doubt around the infrastructure that we have in our country. So, MetroDR has not affected our storage and network bandwidth requirements because it has not been aggressively used.

I would rate Dell EMC PowerMax NVMe a nine out of 10.

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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IT Administrator at a construction company with 201-500 employees
Real User
There have been multiple problems with stability, yet the performance makes our system faster
Pros and Cons
  • "For access from virtual machines, iSCSI, and NFS, it is very good. It helps increase performance."
  • "The upgrades themselves are running fine, but after the upgrade is when we have a problem. With the update to 1.4, we had a head crash. They told us, 'This is a known issue. Please upgrade to 2.' We upgraded to 2 and, one week later they told us, 'Yeah, there are some issues in 2.0.0. You can lose data. Please upgrade to 2.0.1.' Overall, they need to make the system stable."

What is our primary use case?

We use it for machines from VMware vCenter which we keep separate from the PowerStore. It is only the storage. They are connected with iSCSI and NFS. We have no virtual machines directly on the PowerStore.

How has it helped my organization?

We are very impressed by the power of the system. We have gained performance for all our virtual machines and our system is running very fast.

Another benefit, for us, is the dedupe rate.

What is most valuable?

For access from virtual machines, iSCSI, and NFS, it is very good. It helps increase performance.

Also, the live dedupe application is very good.

What needs improvement?

In the first weeks, we had some problems with the dedupe. According to the warranty, we should have had a dedupe rate of at least two and we had not reached this value. We got an additional hard disk to match the planned capacity of the system and this helped a lot. We got to a dedupe rate of 1.9, and this was very good.

What we are missing is the monitoring. We cannot implement the health check of the system in our monitoring system. We have to open the PowerStore GUI every day.

Also, we have tried to install a separate virtual machine to integrate PowerStore to vCenter. VMware then provides a virtual machine with Photon OS. We have done this integration two times and it has run for some weeks. Then it stops working and I don't know why. We have not used it again. It has nice features and has saved a lot of time and creates a good integration, but it needs to be more stable.

Overall, they need to make the system stable. Again and again, we have problems with upgrades. The upgrades themselves are running fine, but after the upgrade is when we have a problem. With the update to 1.4, we had a head crash. They told us, "This is a known issue. Please upgrade to 2." We upgraded to 2 and, one week later they told us, "Yeah, there are some issues in 2.0.0. You can lose data. Please upgrade to 2.0.1." Overall, they need to make the system stable.

I try to avoid updates for such important, central systems. They require downtime for the whole company, as this is our only storage. It's not good to do so many upgrades. I have used other storage systems and, with them, it was never necessary to do so many upgrades in one year. Last year, I did four upgrades for the PowerStore but I have never done four upgrades over the lifetime of other storage systems. They have run four, five, or six years, sometimes more. I have never patched so often as I have with PowerStore.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using Dell EMC PowerStore since December of last year, so almost a year.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The problem is the stability. We have a single system and on three occasions we have had unplanned head reboots because of a software failure. The positive side is that there was no impact as a result because there are two heads. It's not good to reboot a head, and we have submitted tickets about it, but the performance and the failover have been good.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We only have a single machine and we are currently using half of the hard disk slots. We have asked for an upgrade for the rest of the hard disks but, from my point of view, it costs too much. We have 12 to 15 hard disks inside and if we try to upgrade only the hard disks, it costs the same as the complete system. This is something I don't understand. It makes no sense. Buying 16 hard disks with storage costs about €40,000 and buying only 16 hard disks costs the same.

How are customer service and support?

Dell EMC's first-level technical support is very fast and they communicate well. Sometimes they explain things so I can understand why something is working the way it is. But currently, we have a ticket at the second level and for two weeks I have had no answer. 

The issue is that each day we get a message from the storage, every three hours, telling us the network connectivity is lost. I don't know if this is true or not, and whether it is a failure. That is the ticket at level two but I have had no information about its status.

How would you rate customer service and support?

Neutral

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

I have used NetApp as well as HPE in the past. In this company, they replaced NetApp with PowerStore because the NetApp system was slow. The dedupe needed much improvement. If they stopped the dedupe, then the system power would go down. And the backup procedure took a lot of time. With PowerStore we have reduced the time for the backup by half or more.

In terms of the decision process to go with PowerStore, I was not working here at the time. After I started the company said, "Okay, in two weeks we are getting new storage. Please integrate it into our infrastructure." I know they needed a more powerful storage system and they wanted an upgrade option for the system.

How was the initial setup?

The integration of PowerStore into our existing environment was very straightforward. We had an external partner that helped us, but we had prepared the system in a test environment. We took that system and put it into the production system in about eight hours and the system was running. We then started to migrate the machines. It was a good implementation process and very fast.

We have two administrators of the solution. They are working with the system full-time handling requests to change hard disks or volumes, and they create new volumes. Across the company we have about 300 users using virtual machines and virtual desktops that are stored on the PowerStore.

What other advice do I have?

The performance of PowerStore is good, but I don't feel the software is completely ready. We have upgraded the system and have had failures on the system. I have never seen as many head crashes on other systems as we have had on the PowerStore in the last year. The system is fast but not stable enough.

I would not buy the system again. You should wait some years until the software is ready and doesn't have a new software release every two months.

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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RahulRukhaiyar
Technical Consultant at Fidelity International
Consultant
Top 20
Useful data protection group, effective compression, and stable
Pros and Cons
  • "The most valuable feature of Dell EMC XtremIO is the data protection (DP) group, it is one of the most advanced features in these types of arrays. The dedupe and compression that this array provides both do a superb job."
  • "In the next release, the solution could have better integration and if we can host assets on the cloud, such as NetApp has the NetApp volumes, which we can host on the cloud directly called NetApp CVO (cloud volume ONTAP). Dell EMC should come up with something purely on the cloud rather than manage services."

What is our primary use case?

We use Dell EMC XtremIO for block data and VDA profiles.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature of Dell EMC XtremIO is the data protection (DP) group, it is one of the most advanced features in these types of arrays. The dedupe and compression that this array provides both do a superb job.

What needs improvement?

The replication of Dell EMC XtremIO could improve. In the newer versions they have improved, however, the replication can be improved further where we can include concurrent or cascaded methodologies.

In the next release, the solution could have better integration and if we can host assets on the cloud, such as NetApp has the NetApp volumes, which we can host on the cloud directly called NetApp CVO (cloud volume ONTAP). Dell EMC should come up with something purely on the cloud rather than manage services.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Dell EMC XtremIO for approximately seven years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is stable and has good performance, it guarantees millions of files. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Dell EMC XtremIO is scalable and it is easy to do. However, we cannot have more than four bricks.

We have approximately 10 people in the storage team who use the solution and 5,000 use the services in my organization. 

The solution is used on a daily basis. The media profiles are launched for each user and it communicates to the Dell EMC XtremIO daily.

How are customer service and support?

We contact technical support whenever there's a hardware failure. If there is a software glitch, such as the one we had where the connectivity status used to flicker. It had to show eight parts, but it flickered and showed five, six, seven, and eight, all the parts. The flickering in the database, which resides within the XtremIO management server actively tweaked a bit and we had a support engineering case open for it with the Dell support. However, it didn't materialize, this is something that should be fixed in the next update.

Overall I would rate the support Dell EMC XtremIO a nine out of ten. We don't reach out to them. Nine only because the hardware could be more durable. All the SSD's could use a single-level cell rather than a multi-cell.

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

I previously used SolidFire and NetApp. There is a third solution I have used called Violin Memory which is not used much, but it's a very good contender. 

The advantages of Dell EMC XtremIO are the market share Dell has and dependability.

All the other solutions are going more towards iSCSI connectivity while Dell is moving away from iSCSI and towards XtremIO's that offer both iSCSI and FC. There is not much development for iSCSI, this is a limiting factor.

How was the initial setup?

The installation was straightforward. If you have everything in place in the network, it would only take two days maximum.

What about the implementation team?

The implementation can be done by the customer, it is done by racking and stacking them.

The solution has a redundant component, there are only disc replacements or battery backups replacement required.

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

The price of the solution should be reduced. The price matches the price of a VMAX service but it does not have the capability of a VMAX service. However, the prices of Dell EMC XtremIO can be reduceable.

What other advice do I have?

I would recommend this solution to others, it will make their life easier.

I rate Dell EMC XtremIO an 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: Partner
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Senior Storage Specialist, Digital Systems at Shaw Communications
Real User
Top 20
Beneficial management software, straightforward installation, and good support
Pros and Cons
  • "The management software that runs in the cloud is called InfoSight and it is very good. It is similar to machine learning software that monitors your hardware."
  • "I would like to have more administrative rights, for example, root-level administrative rights to the underlying OS of the storage array. We want more access to the kind of underlying infrastructure of the storage array rather than relying on support. However, most companies are looking to have more managed solutions which is the opposite direction of what I want."

What is our primary use case?

We use HPE Nimble Storage for VMware VMDK object workloads.

How has it helped my organization?

The first installation we did was at a mine in South America, Chile, in a place called Ike where the elevation was very high that spinning disks were failing, the meantime for failure was low. The main reason we put our first all-flash array was that it was solid-state which has no moving parts. This solution allowed our organization to operate in that location.

What is most valuable?

The management software that runs in the cloud is called InfoSight and it is very good. It is similar to machine learning software that monitors your hardware.

What needs improvement?

I would like to have more administrative rights, for example, root-level administrative rights to the underlying OS of the storage array. We want more access to the kind of underlying infrastructure of the storage array rather than relying on support. However, most companies are looking to have more managed solutions which is the opposite direction of what I want. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using HPE Nimble Storage for four years.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have approximately 5,000 virtual machines servers and over 100 storage arrays and they are placed all over our organization. We are using this solution extensively in our organization.

How are customer service and support?

The technical support has been good in our experience. I have worked with the support quite a lot and I have not had any issues with their support.

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

We have used NetApp previously and our management preferred to use HPE Nimble Storage.

How was the initial setup?

The installation is straightforward. The whole implementation took use approximately one day.

What about the implementation team?

We did the implementation using an in-house team. The solution does not require a lot of maintenance. I have not updated the software in a year and when it is updated it is all done online with no downtime.

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

There is a one-time price for hardware, and with the software support, everything is included, such as software upgrades. The licensing of the solution is included in the cost of the hardware and the support is an extra cost. We have purchased support on an annual basis, but you can purchase support up front for up to seven years. We usually buy five years and near the time of the expiry, we sometimes extend it. 

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I have evaluated Pure Storage and they are very similar to HPE Nimble Storage but are a lot more expensive. For ease of setup and cost perspective, HPE Nimble Storage is the better choice.

What other advice do I have?

We are transitioning a lot of our hardware to Azure and we partnered with Microsoft on their cloud services. For our on-premise setup, we are doing a switch from traditional storage arrays to more of a VMware Cloud Foundation type of structure where we are using VMware vSAN instead of storage arrays.

I rate HPE Nimble Storage 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.
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ICT Director KA Infra at a transportation company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Top 10
Obsolete, stable, overall great support
Pros and Cons
  • "The technical support is good."
  • "The performance of the solution is not good anymore and the software is different from all the other types and is not compatible. There are more negative things at this moment than positive. This is why we are removing them all from our organization this year."

What is our primary use case?

We have used HPE 3PAR Flash Storage in the past for all our IT data. For example, we have used it for claims, office management, business intelligence, business information. It can be used for a lot of purposes.

What needs improvement?

The performance of the solution is not good anymore and the software is different from all the other types and is not compatible. There are more negative things at this moment than positive. This is why we are removing them all from our organization this year.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using HPE 3PAR Flash Storage for approximately 10 years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

HPE 3PAR Flash Storage was scalable in the past but in the current market, it is a four out of ten. You are not able to add more power to the solution, it is not stackable.

We have approximately 6,000 users using this solution.

How are customer service and support?

The technical support is good.

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

I have used Nimble and Primera.

How was the initial setup?

The installation is not that difficult nowadays. It takes approximately two days.

What about the implementation team?

When we need to do the implementation HPE comes with us and does it together with our maintenance department and an external company.

We have three engineers that do the maintenance of the solution.

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

The price of the license depends. Some people expect more from the hardware. Some expect more from the licensing, and that is because you can receive several licenses nowadays, such as the terabyte license. You buy the storage, and you pay extra for the terabyte license for the software. There is a one-time purchase for the license and you pay annually for the maintenance.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I have evaluated NetApp.

What other advice do I have?

HPE 3PAR Flash Storage is old and is obsolete and we are moving to newer versions of the system.

HPE has several storage options, such as Nimble. HPE has a lot of operating systems for their storage, and they all have a different approach. They were all from different companies which HPE bought, for example, Nimble and Primera.

I would not recommend this solution anymore. I would advise others to look for new types of storage solutions.

I rate HPE 3PAR Flash Storage a four 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.
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