Dell EMC PowerMax NVMe Review

Improved transparency at the end user level and performance on the I/O side


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

Which version of this solution are you currently using?

PowerMax 2000
**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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