EMC VNX [EOL] Review

Integration with VMware is valuable, due to the migration from bare metal to virtualized environments and then on to the cloud.

How has it helped my organization?

We took a while to jump onto VNX – largely for file with our block storage handled by EMC Symmetrix. VNX turned out to be the rugged little brother that went in, did the job and kept on working while using the same tools – but at lower price.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is the tight VMware integration, due to the migration from bare metal to virtualized environments and then on to the cloud.

VNX provides the full feature set, automated storage tiering to optimize flash, and file dedupe in what used to be a price-competitive package. That area is now being ceded to Unity as the storage landscape undergoes sweeping changes with HCI.

What needs improvement?

Storage is undergoing a sea change in affordable cost per bit, solid-state drives and new latency requirements for applications. Over time, VNX has become pricier than its competitors, and we have turned enthusiastically to Unity. While the VNX-F was released several years ago as an AFA in VNX trim, we still went with EMC XtremIO instead because of performance and pricing.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We embraced VNX after it was a mature product and have not had stability issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have not encountered scalability issues, but then we did not try to use VNX beyond its target application range.

How is customer service and technical support?

We have received excellent support from EMC and now Dell.

Which solutions did we use previously?

We were using EMC Symmetrix and NetApp previously but moved our midrange file to VNX due to the commonality of the tool sets and tight VMware integration.

How was the initial setup?

Initial setup was a breeze compared to our previous EMC Symmetrix space. It was kind of like going from manual to automatic transmission.

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

Time your acquisitions and license discussions around year-end close.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

As indicated, we were on EMC Symmetrix and NetApp. VNX came along at the right time for us and allowed for support and tools consolidation, provided more services and allowed us to reduce overall support costs.

What other advice do I have?

Be clear on what your storage applications are and what level of scale you need. For the big Kahuna in the back end, we still use EMC Symmetrix for our block, but for small to midrange, our VNX is giving way to Unity for price points. Check your application profiles as your mileage will vary.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: My organization is a reseller of EMC products – besides consuming their dogfood.
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