Dell EMC SC Series Review

Automated architecture that proactively optimizes your database


What is our primary use case?

We use it for multiple databases. We use it for Oracle and for SQL. We also use it for file systems — Oracle, SQL, file system storage. Most of our use cases involve Oracle, SQL, VMware, and large file systems.

I am a storage architect. have a state administrator that works with me as well.

Internally, within our company, there are a few dozen employees using this solution. Externally, we literally have millions of people that hit that storage system every day.

As far as our database administrators, they're always looking at the storage performance. Some of them actually have read-only log-ins to the storage array itself. They can log in and look at directly what the storage performance is for their database.

Currently, we are not using this solution extensively because it's becoming a sunset solution. There's no option to increase usage. It's like saying you want to buy a '65 Mustang — no, you can't get one brand new, they don't make those anymore. There's no expansion being done because the product's no longer available. 

How has it helped my organization?

It's allowed us to have one hundred percent uptime over the last five years — maybe more. One hundred percent uptime on our storage as far as quantitative numbers go.

What is most valuable?

They have a feature called Live Migrate; it's been very, very useful. It allows us to move storage from one SC series array to another, with no downtime. That's a very useful feature. The other useful features are, of course, high availability architecture that's built into it. That's very useful.

What needs improvement?

There's always room for improvement in the operating code; minor improvements here and there. We haven't had any real requests for them lately. I can't really think of anything.

Support for Non-Volatile Memory Express (NVME). Most of the newer storage systems support it, but this one doesn't because of its age. Support for that was something we had looked at, but they said, "No, we're not offering that with this. It's going to be in the next product, not in this product because the architecture is just too old." 

I'd look for that — support for NVME. That's really the only supportable or new feature that I'd really be looking for.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Dell EMC SC Series for roughly 12 years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Dell EMC SC Series is very stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It's very scalable. That's one of the things we like about it — it's highly scalable.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support is very good.

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

We were using EMC Clariion.

How was the initial setup?

It's gotten better over the years. Initially, back in '08, it was very complex. Nowadays, it's a lot more simple and easier to deploy depending on which model you purchase, too. Some models are easier to deploy than others. I would say, for the most part, it's pretty simple.

What about the implementation team?

Deployment took roughly two to three days, using professional service from Dell. We purchased the help of a consultant to assist us with deployment. It was a good experience overall.

Only one person is needed for deployment. Two people are needed to provide maintenance.

What was our ROI?

Performance would be a good return on investment indicator — the performance of the array. High availability features are a good indicator of the ROI. Those are probably the top two, the performance and availability.

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

The support we pay annually. Support typically depends on the array. It can range anywhere from $7,000 to a couple of hundred thousand dollars. It just depends on the specific one you're talking about and how big it is. It's based on size. The larger the array, the larger the maintenance cost. It's hard to really give you a range because the range is so wide. I don't even know if it'd be useful because you're talking anywhere from $5,000 to $250,000, depending on which specific array you're talking about. 

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We looked at Kaminario as a storage vendor. We also looked at NetApp as well.

The reason why we didn't go with them was due to the price and the features that they had at the time. The feature set that the SC series had was better than the others.

What other advice do I have?

My advice would be to look at the succeeding product, the replacement product that replaces it.

On a scale from one to ten, I would give Dell EMC SC Series a rating of nine.

Just looking back at it over time, the initial setup was a little more difficult back in the 2008, 2009 timeframe. If that wasn't so difficult back then, I would give them a ten. As I said, that did get better. They got much better over time, but that's why I said nine out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises

Which version of this solution are you currently using?

Version 7.4
**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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