Dell EMC SC Series Review

We see improved performance with our mixed workloads and the dedupe is very effective


What is our primary use case?

We use it for our production loads and for whatever is running on all the production VMs, including our database and regular applications. In terms of performance, we have had issues once or twice, but apart from that, it has been amazing.

How has it helped my organization?

With mixed workloads, we are seeing at least a 15 to 20 percent improvement. The protocols also make it easier than in days past. We just follow the process. Finally, instead of buying new storage, with the thin nodes in this solution we are leveraging almost a one-to-two ratio.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable features are the back-end dedupe, and the thin nodes. For a 20TB or 60TB, we're using almost a one-to-two ratio. 

What needs improvement?

The issue we had was that the controller went down during an upgrade because of their upgrading the code. One side of the switch was down.

In terms of additional features, I would like to see some kind of I/O meter, to indicate what we are using in terms of performance. I would like to see automation with that, where it would give me the trends. I want to know these things easily, to help me know where issues are going to occur. We want to see the trends, performance-wise.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is perfect. That's why we keep on using Dell EMC products in particular.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is okay. We buy a new product so that we do not reach the limit. For example, if we are anticipating storage needs of 60 or 80TB, we buy a 100TB. We plan at least 25 percent more, in advance, so we haven't had the chance to scale them up.

How is customer service and technical support?

Our experience with technical support has been absolutely wonderful. They have a pretty good team.

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

The solution is affordable, but we are a large customer with Dell EMC and we have corporate level discounts. Having said that, everybody definitely, obviously, wants the cost to be lower. And now there is All-Flash and its price is going down day by day.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We don't want Dell EMC to be a monopoly, as our only product. So we do have a competition, which helps with price negotiation. We have NetApp products as well, that's the main competitor. Technology-wise, we compare a few workloads there, a few workloads here. Doing so also helps us avoid any major downtime, any major outages.

We'll attend trade shows, and Dell EMC will also call us to give us a technical briefing. At that time they explain the differences between the old and new products. Then, we'll look at the budget we have and the anticipated production with that solution, and go from there.

We have an internal process. We have to go through all the vendors and weigh metrics we have defined. From there, we have to explain to our internal architecture team what the differences are between the competing products. They will then approve or reject at that point.

What other advice do I have?

In terms of criteria when selecting a vendor, if there is an outage and we do not get proper support from their technical team when we call them, in such a scenario we are looking at their competitors sooner.

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