Dell EMC XtremIO Review

Deduplication and compression are the most valuable features.

How has it helped my organization?

We use it together with VPLEX, which virtualizes the storage array with all its benefits.

This virtualization layer adds to the latency. With XtremIO behind the VPLEX, the response times are far below the response time we have on our other storage arrays, even with the SSD onboard.

What is most valuable?

The data reduction (deduplication and compression) is the most valuable feature in our business case.

We calculated a reduction ratio of 3:1 to get a positive case, and we actually reached a little bit higher (3,1:1). This makes our business case even better.

Even with this feature, the response time is far below what we received with our other storage arrays.

Another valuable feature is the guaranteed sub-millisecond response time for a 4K block.

What needs improvement?

It has no storage replication. The replication is done through the VPLEX. In some cases where we don’t need the flexibility of the virtualization layer, we could free up resources on the VPLEX by using the storage replication.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Until now, we have not encountered any issues with stability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We did not immediately have scaling issues. Scaling up is, in fact, very easy. Just “buy” an X-brick of 40TB and plug it in. The system does the rebalancing automatically. Since we use a VPLEX, the scaling limitation lies with the VPLEX.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is good. The installation went smoothly from DEL EMC’s site. We did not encounter real technical issues yet, but the questions we had were all answered within an acceptable time frame.

Part replacements are done transparently without any intervention from our site.

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

We used HPE and EMC storage arrays, but the main reason we switched was the positive business case. We have a lot more flexibility (VPLEX), reduction of cost and floor space (XtremIO), due to deduplication and compression.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup of the XtermIO was very straightforward in combination with VPLEX. The setup of the VPLEX was little bit more complex, but XtremIO just needed to be connected to the VPLEX.

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

XtremIO is pretty straightforward about pricing. However, you need to look at your data so you can estimate, with the advice of DEL EMC, what data reduction ratio you will reach. In our case, a 3:1 reduction ration gave us a positive case compared to other storage arrays.

What other advice do I have?

The XtremIO by itself without a virtualization layer has some drawbacks, like storage replication. I really would recommend them to install it in combination with a storage virtualization layer.

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