Dell EMC SC Series Review

Helped us to virtualize a lot of workloads while maintaining performance

What is our primary use case?

It back-ends our vSphere virtualization farms.

How has it helped my organization?

Overall, it has really helped us to virtualize a lot of workloads where server or application owners were very hesitant to move away from their physical boxes because they were used to having local disks and the performance that came with that. With the SC Series SAN, the performance that we've gotten out of the boxes alleviated anyone's concerns. We do not get complaints about the performance of our virtual infrastructure.

Also, with auto-tiering, it's easier to understand than most arrays, knowing that all of your writes go to the tier that you specify, with easy-to-create storage profiles.

What is most valuable?

  • Reliable
  • Good performance
  • Economical

We also utilize replication. And the data progression feature gives us the ability to economically utilize those solid state discs by having a three-tier solution. That was key for the product.

We make use of VMware's VMotion features quite a bit. You don't even know that the SAN is there. It just moves the workload. It does it quickly. We've been happy.

What needs improvement?

I would like to see an integrated key manager in the controllers. Currently, it's an external product. It would be nice to have the option of having a built-in key for self-encrypting drive features.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We haven't had any issues affecting the stability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It was easy to expand. In year two of our owning the SC8000 SANs, we expanded the flash tiers and it was a piece of cake. Very easy.

How is customer service and technical support?

I have called the SC Series support and they've been great.

How was the initial setup?

I worked with a VAR on the initial setup of the product. It was very straightforward, very easy to bring it online.

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

We were able to afford two tiers of flash storage at a price where the competition was giving us one tier or just a handful of discs.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We looked at several vendors. I work in public education so we have to consider alternate sources for every major purchase. Dell EMC gave us the most bang for the buck and we are comfortable working with them as a company.

When we look to work with a vendor, the important criteria are follow-through, ease of communicating with the vendor, and the quality of technical support.

What other advice do I have?

You have to do your preparation and research but that's no different than buying any SAN. Get to know your local Dell EMC pre-sales engineer quite a bit because they'll be able to help you properly size the unit.

In our mixed workloads, we generally see sub-10ms latency on the product. I don't really have any stats for high-end IOPS because we are not really doing high-performance computing. We have mixed workloads and I'm more concerned with latency than IOPS. But the performance has been great. We have been very happy with it.

**Disclosure: IT Central Station 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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