EMC VNX [EOL] Review

Can combine drives of different types into a virtual Storage Pool.


How has it helped my organization?

By utilizing the Storage Pools feature of the VNX, our organization can provide the required performance without having to over-invest in storage for data that doesn't require expensive drives.

What is most valuable?

One of the best features of the VNX is the ability to combine drives of different types into a virtual Storage Pool. By combining small but fast flash drives, SAS drives, and high-capacity but slower NL-SAS drives, the VNX can intelligently move data to the different tiers of storage based on usage. This maximizes performance and investment by making sure commonly accessed data is stored in flash, while rarely-accessed data can be sent to the NL-SAS drives.

What needs improvement?

The management software used for the VNX is Unicenter. While it is an improvement over Navicenter, used in older EMC SANs, it still feels outdated in comparison to other SAN management software. Reporting is clunky and requires data collection to files, which then have to be retrieved and uploaded to a third-party site for processing before finally downloading the report.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

There were never any stability problems thanks to fully redundant storage processors, power supplies, and hot spare drives.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We did purchase additional shelves of drives a few years after the initial purchase. Again, with the support of EMC technical services, the hardware was added to the VNX without downtime or disruption. The Storage Pools allow for dynamic addition of new drives.

How is customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

Customer service is top-notch with a dedicated sales and technical resource who are familiar with your environment and spend a lot of time understanding your business needs.

Technical Support:

EMC technical support is top notch when utilizing the ESRS appliance which sends critical alerts directly to EMC. Failed drives were replaced without any input on my end, sometimes before I became aware of the failure. Support can also remote in and perform code upgrades.

Which solutions did we use previously?

Previous to the VNX, we were using an EMC CX-80 SAN. The reason for switching was to stay on a supported platform.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup involves completing a pre-install survey, which the installer needs to properly configure the settings (IP addresses, DNS, NTP, etc.). The questions are easy to understand.

What about the implementation team?

The initial hardware setup and configuration was completed by on-site technicians from EMC. They were fully trained and certified on the VNX and had completed dozens of similar installations.

What was our ROI?

We calculated our ROI to three years and the planned life of the VNX is six years. We are currently in the process of migrating to a new EMC XtremIO SAN, which will have an even shorter ROI.

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

While EMC tends to be on the expensive side, the stability and support of their products are top-notch and I feel are worth the cost.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

When we evaluated SANs, we also looked at solutions by IBM. Our familiarity and relationship with EMC weighed heavily with our choice.

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

As a model of a vnx structure with steps for a convergent network

What is its relation to this aspect?

10 May 17
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