Dell EMC XtremIO Flash Review

It can run workloads with little design consideration.

How has it helped my organization?

The fact that we can put up to five times more data on the XtremIO X-Brick prevents us from having to buy large amounts of disks.

This enclosure occupies six rack units of space, which means we aren’t paying a lot of money for rack space in our co-location facility.

What is most valuable?

XtremIO’s capability to run any workload without much in the way of design considerations makes this very easy to use and size. The configuration of the product is simple, as is creating and presenting volumes.

The snapshot capabilities, that hardly consume any disk space, are also impressive.

What needs improvement?

If Dell/EMC were to add native replication to the XtremIO, that would be a great improvement.

Right now, external appliances are needed to replicate XtremIO to XtremIO, or to another EMC system.

Having built-in replication will cut the cost of data recovery solutions by removing the expensive appliances and the software required to make the data flow between the two sites.

Until the release of XtremIO X2 this summer, there is currently no “built-in” replication capabilities between XtremIO appliances. This is a feature that some competitors have that XtremIO Gen 1 does not.

In order to replicate block data from XtremIO to XtremIO, or XtremIO to another EMC product, a customer must purchase RecoverPoint appliances and licenses.

To replicate virtual machines, you can either buy RecoverPoint appliances and licenses, vSphere replication and licenses, Zerto, Veeam, or another product.

Buying these add-ons increases the cost of maintaining redundant copies of XtremIO data.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We have not encountered any stability issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have consumed ~756GB of disk on a 2-brick cluster and have much more than the physical capacity of the system provisioned. There have been no problems with scalability at all.

How is customer service and technical support?

I would give technical support the highest rating. Dell/EMC appears to have employed the team that developed XtremIO. Deep product questions or operational questions make it to them.

Which solutions did we use previously?

We were using VNX. The compression and deduplication numbers, as well as the level of effort needed to build RAID groups on this storage processor array to support workloads, caused us to consider XtremIO.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was totally as expected.

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

This is the best flash array on the market for high-end workloads, so expect to pay for that. But the support subscription cost is fixed for seven years, which made it easier for us to plan on the maintenance costs.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We did not evaluate other options.

What other advice do I have?

If you have the workloads that require the performance that XtremIO provides, without having to consider what workloads you are throwing at this array, then this solution is for you.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We are a Titanium Partner with Dell | EMC.
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