EMC VNX [EOL] Review

Some of the valuable features are non-disruptive updates, SSD tier, and storage pooling.


How has it helped my organization?

It has enabled us to consolidate storage, both primary and secondary, on a single platform. This simplified administration provided the necessary performance to our virtualized infrastructure.

What is most valuable?

  • Reliability, excellent support by EMC, and VMware integration
  • High availability including non-disruptive updates: We cannot afford downtime windows.
  • SSD tier: Provided desired performance with fewer disks
  • Storage pooling and auto-tiering: Simplified storage management
  • Seamless integration with VMware
  • Fairly simple administration using Unisphere

What needs improvement?

I would like to see a larger SP cache and finer grained auto-tiering.

Based on our workloads, we see repeatedly in performance reports that the built-in controller (SP) cache of our VNX model is not sufficiently large, resulting in forced cache flushing.

The report states that this "can be addressed with a shared global cache in next generation VNX systems". But for this VNX generation (1st), the cache size results in an overloaded system.

Regarding auto-tiering, this generation VNX FAST algorithm moves data in 1GB chunks between tiers. With our predominantly transaction oriented workload (random reads) this didn't afford benefits.

So when we purchased new VNXs (same generation), we configured the SSD tier as FAST Cache, a large 2nd tier consisting of 10K disks with a small 3rd tier with NL-SAS disks. Had the block size been smaller, auto-tiering may have been more effective for our workloads.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We did not encounter any stability issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We did not encounter any scalability issues.

How is customer service and technical support?

Technical support was fantastic.

Which solutions did we use previously?

We switched because the previous solution was outdated. We were using Multiple IBM DS4700, external SCSI arrays, and HP MSA.

We needed to consolidate storage along with server consolidation on modern and faster storage technology that would integrate with VMware.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was straightforward. It was part of the virtualization project undertaken by our partner.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We evaluated NetApp.

What other advice do I have?

The product has been superseded.

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