All-Flash Solutions - Real Users Weigh In

Users give feedback on all-flash solutions

What do real users have to say about all-flash solutions?

With a 72% increase in revenue growth over the past year, all-flash solutions have matured to a point where they account for much of the growth in the enterprise storage industry. Yet with so many vendors on the market, with a wide array of valuable features and benefits to choose from, choosing an all-flash solution to fit your company’s specific needs can be challenging.

In this article, IT Central Station users weigh in on the leading all-flash solutions available in today’s market. They describe how these solutions made an impact on their companies, while also pointing out where they see room for improvement.

HPE 3PAR Flash Storage

The Pros

Great value for capacity

This Senior Systems Administrator at a pharma/biotech company describes 3PAR as a user-friendly, reliable all flash solution:

“The ease-of-use, reliability, and the value I get for the capacity are the most valuable features. All of the deduplication and compression features allow me to buy much less storage to fulfill my business needs. I don't have very many support issues with it.”

Unified experience

In this Network Administrator’s review, he writes that 3PAR’s most valuable feature is the fact that everything is unified:

“It is easy to use. The OS and the UI are straightforward. It's all manageable inside HPE OneView and it is attached to HPE Synergy. It's a unified experience. It really sucks going through 10 different systems and trying to fit all of them in. It takes too long and it is confusing. In fact, being unified is what it is all about. Being unified is the biggest win and the biggest draw.”

Room for Improvement

For this Director of Network Services at a financial services firm, 3PAR can improve its alerting capabilities:

“Maybe they could have better alerting. We've had an issue where we had a flapping network link, and it didn't tell us that was happening. We only saw symptoms of the issue. I'd like to see better reporting for those types of issues. Even though the support is better than NetApp was, there are still some improvements they could make in their support.”

NetApp All Flash FAS

The Pros


Manjunath D., Senior Unix Administrator at Synopsys, highlights NetApp’s deduplication feature as highly valuable:

“The important features are space savings, deduplication, compression and compaction. By enabling the deduplication, we save a lot of space, because we use it for VDA. We also see some performance improvement compared to the SAS spinning disks. This solution gives us better throughput, better performance and better space-saving efficiency. These are the benefits the user group has seen.”

A lot of storage in less rack space

This System Administrator at a retailer writes that using an all-flash solution like NetApp allows his company to fit a large amount of storage in less rack space:

“The most valuable features are speed, latency, and throughput. We have a few workloads where we need speed, high throughput, and fast response time. We have some OLTP applications. It is very useful for that environment. In addition to what I’ve already mentioned, the other thing is we are short on rack space. We can fit a lot of this storage in less rack space. It actually helps us reduce our cost, and increase efficiency.”

Room for Improvement

Prashanth N., Global Manager (Storage) Cloud Managed Services at IT Convergence, writes that he would like to see end-to-end automation as an option:

“I would like to see end-to-end automation that would enable service providers to get the infrastructure with faster provisioning, decommissioning, or even performance analysis; end-to-end includes compute, network, storage and applications.”

Tintri VMstore

The Pros

Speeds up deployment

Reynaldo M., Windows Systems Analyst at a manufacturing company, describes how Tintri VMstore helped speed up his company’s deployment:

“It sped up deployment significantly. This is one of the greatest improvements because we are able to deploy several virtual machines in seconds. The cloning feature on the Tintri Box is really impressive. In the past we used a typical SAN solution. We made the switch because of the simplicity of the design. We can use the same network devices that have a large number of connections, instead of SAN switches. That's one less layer. And because the deployment is really fast of the box.”

Good for implementing a VDI environment

Raymond H., System Engineer at a university, highlights how an all-flash solution like Tintri VMstore is helpful when implementing a VDI environment:

“I'd say if you are going for VDI environments or need to provide high end VMWare solutions make sure to try Tintri. When implementing our VDI environment we noticed that we were unable to push out the IOPS for the VDI's to achieve the performance we wanted to. With Tintri we are able to deliver good performing VDI desktops.”

Room for Improvement

Mike G., Network Administrator at a healthcare company, writes about the bugs that he experienced occasionally while using Tintri:

“There are occasional bugs but Tintri has been good about fixing them quickly. The bugs are mostly cosmetic; I've never had a bug impact end users or VMs. In regards to the bugs, we have had minor issues here and there, when accessing things in the UI. Nothing to note recently but in previous releases, we have had a lot of issues with AD integration. However, those issues have been resolved.”

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Dell EMC XtremIO Flash Storage

The Pros

Data Warehousing

Todd G., Senior Storage Engineer at a insurance company, highlights XtremIO’s data warehousing capabilities as valuable:

“Prior to the XtremIO, we just could not perform the data warehousing activities that enable our company to achieve business objectives necessary for being in the ultra-competitive insurance provider world. The acquisition of XtremIO for our data warehouse was easy to configure and set up. XtremIO is so easy to manage. It hasn't taken away from our ability to support the remainder of our existing environment.”

Data reduction

Christian T., System Engineer IAAS at a financial services firm, points out data reduction as XtremIO’s most valuable feature:

“The data reduction (deduplication and compression) is the most valuable feature in our business case. We calculated a reduction ratio of 3:1 to get a positive case, and we actually reached a little bit higher (3,1:1). This makes our business case even better. Even with this feature, the response time is far below what we received with our other storage arrays.”

Room for Improvement

This Technology Solutions Director at a tech services company suggests to add native replication to XtremIO:

“If Dell/EMC were to add native replication to the XtremIO, that would be a great improvement. Right now, external appliances are needed to replicate XtremIO to XtremIO, or to another EMC system. Having built-in replication will cut the cost of data recovery solutions by removing the expensive appliances and the software required to make the data flow between the two sites. Until the release of XtremIO X2 this summer, there is currently no “built-in” replication capabilities between XtremIO appliances. This is a feature that some competitors have that XtremIO Gen 1 does not.”

IBM FlashSystem

The Pros

Easy-to-use GUI

This Design Engineer at a recruiting/HR firm highlights how easy it is to use the IBM FlashSystem GUI:

“For me and for the operations team, the ease-of-use of the GUI is the most valuable feature. It's really easy to understand. It's really easy to do tasks. That's what I like most. The performance is really good. From an operations perspective, definitely the ease-of-use stands out. Compared to other products and other vendors, it's much, much easier.”

Quick response times

For this Senior Solutions Architect at a tech services company, IBM FlashSystem provides fast response times:

“The V9000 incorporates both the Spectrum virtualization layer as well as flash technology. It does it in such a unique manner that it provides super fast response times. There's low latency for the customers. It's very simple and easy. It uses the same interface as all the Storewize products do, so it's a very short ramp-up time for customers.”

Room for Improvement

Ismael S., Storage Administrator at Sprint, suggests that IBM FlashSystem make improvements to their commands:

“There is a need for more help with the commands because, from version to version, they change; so what I used to use back in the different version, I can't use now. Thus, it would be helpful if they improve that aspect.”

Read more user reviews for other all-flash solutions from the IT Central Station community.

Related Categories: All-Flash Storage Arrays

author avatarPierre Chapus
Top 20Real User

Could you be able to include Kaminario and Pure Storage brands? We sold some to several of our customers and they perform well with great efficiency, far ahead from old concepts from xtremIO or FAS, for example simply because they are born exclusively for flash storage! And I encountered no breakdown or performance problem till now. Scale up and a true and complete scale out is included for Kaminario, which is amazing, allowing to evolve without stopping anything. So, i think these brands deserve your consideration because they are a reality in the active storage field.

author avatarDanielle Felder

Thank you for your feedback! Pierre, we will make sure to include Kaminario and Pure Storage in a future article. If you haven't already reviewed them, we would love you to add your reviews, so our community can benefit from your expertise.

author avatarConsultant

All flash FAS along with NetApp NPS and ONTAP cloud has help us move workloads into public and private cloud easily