Dell EMC XtremIO Flash Review

Dedupe, compression and high I/O are the most valuable features.


How has it helped my organization?

VDI is one of the top mission-critical things we offer our users. This storage runs our whole VDI environment and barely shows a blip on I/O. Previously, we had ran the VDI on non-flash storage and when Windows updates came out, we had to install them in schedule segments so as not to overload the storage. With this storage, we do them all at the same time and there is no impact to performance if 1 or 100 VMs reboot at the same time.

What is most valuable?

Dedupe, compression and high I/O are the most valuable features. It is great for applications like Microsoft Exchange, ERP, SQL and VDI; basically saved the VDI buy-in from users, as now performance was seamless in comparison to a physical PC.

What needs improvement?

Get rid of the Java aspect of the GUI console. Basically, the GUI to administrator the array uses Java as its base to run on. Java at best is buggy and prone to loading issues, so moving away from this platform would be nice.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We had no issues with stability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We had no issues with scalability.

How is customer service and technical support?

I would give technical support 9 out of 10. Nothing is perfect but they sure are close to it.

Which solutions did we use previously?

We previously used deployed EMC VNX storage (and still use it for our lower performance applications) and before that, we had Dell EqualLogic. We switched to an all-flash array as we wanted high performance storage for our three most critical applications (Exchange, ERP and VDI). We wanted to do a full VDI platform for all our users and locations. We wanted the best experience for them, as any hiccup would mean a lower buy-in rate from them. This storage made that task much easier.

How was the initial setup?

We bought it through VCE, so they included setup with it. Things went smoothly. When we did receive the storage, within a day or two, we had a controller failure but since it had two controllers, there was no impact to users. Support was fantastic and got it replaced over the weekend, and we didn’t even have to do anything other than authorize them into our data center to replace the failed part.

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

It is costly but worth it. If the network or infrastructure you have is always a sticking point to users or management, spending the bucks on an all-flash array can help win them over.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We looked at more EMC VNX storage but at that time, we were not aware of this offering. When we started doing the talks with EMC, our rep pointed at this product line and once we saw a demo, we were sold. After more research, it didn’t take us long to get the paperwork in place. We also didn’t look at other vendors, as we utilize VCE as our main infrastructure at our data center so regardless of what model or product line of EMC we bought, VCE would handle the support. This was one of the main reasons of going with VCE, so we wanted to carry it on with the new storage.

What other advice do I have?

I wish we bought double the capacity but we only had so much to spend, as I would put every application/server on this array.

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