Compare Dell EMC PowerMax NVMe vs. Dell EMC SC Series

Dell EMC PowerMax NVMe is ranked 1st in NVMe with 29 reviews while Dell EMC SC Series is ranked 8th in All-Flash Storage Arrays with 21 reviews. Dell EMC PowerMax NVMe is rated 8.8, while Dell EMC SC Series is rated 8.4. The top reviewer of Dell EMC PowerMax NVMe writes "The compression and deduplication are the most valuable features because of the cost savings". On the other hand, the top reviewer of Dell EMC SC Series writes "No-forklift upgrade means I can change out controllers, add shelves, storage, or SSD drives, while it's up and running". Dell EMC PowerMax NVMe is most compared with Pure FlashArray//X NVMe, NetApp NVMe AFF A800 and IBM FlashSystem 9100 NVMe, whereas Dell EMC SC Series is most compared with Dell EMC Unity, HPE 3PAR Flash Storage and Nimble Storage.
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Most Helpful Review
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Quotes From Members

We asked business professionals to review the solutions they use. Here are some excerpts of what they said:

Pros
It is efficient and very simple for our administrators to use.For the migration process from the older VMAX arrays to PowerMax, we VMotioned everything. It was easy.The stability is great. It is five nines.It has reduced our footprint in different physical locations.The number one most valuable feature is reliability. I want to go home at the end of the day and come in the next day knowing it works, especially since we have storage offshore.We were able to move away from a middleware solution for high availability, going right to snapshots and data replication on arrays.We use ESRS for our call-home, and a lot of times, Dell EMC will respond to the issue before we even know it.The response time, compared to XtremIO, is far better.

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The most valuable feature is the ability to replicate. We are running a financial company and it needs to be available 24/7. We can't afford any downtime.It has good dedupe and compression. Also, the built-in data migration capabilities are pretty good, as is the federation. When we started migrating the workloads from different storage platforms, like NetApp and XtremeIO, it helped us in moving to that direction.With auto-tiering, it's easier to understand than most arrays, knowing that all of your writes go to the tier that you specify, with easy-to-create storage profiles.A valuable feature is the performance of the auto-tiering. It will move hot data up to your fastest Tier 1 or move your slow data down. Data progression is what it's called. With the auto-tiering you can have multiple tiers, you can have your Tier 1 be either spinning or flash, all the way down to 7.2K. It will change the RAID on the fly so your writes come in at RAID 10. After they sit for a while, they get converted to RAID 5, then they'll cool off and move down the tiers. Your performance is kept going, while the cold data is moved to your slow, non-performance tiers.With federation, you can have multiple systems across sites. You can treat them as one, and with a live migration, volumes don't go down. You can move them from site to site, doing maintenance, and keep your environment up.It's very scalable, especially with federation. If you outgrow the number of spindles that a unit can support, depending on the model, you can go into federation.The most valuable feature is the no-forklift upgrade. While the thing is running, I can change out the controllers one at a time and keep the customer up and running. I can add shelves and storage and SSD drives or spinning drives to the system, while it's running. I can bring all that in and rebalance the load across the new disks or, if we take disks away, rebalance the load across what's remaining, and it just works.There's some new stuff coming with 7.3, which just got released, where they're spreading the sparing across the whole array, rather than having a dedicated spare disk, and have it sit there and do nothing until one of them dies, and then it kicks in - and having to rebuild all of that. Now, they'll do the sparing across all the disks and they say that is going to add not only space but performance to the array, with 7.3.

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Cons
I would like NVMe to be end-to-end in the next release. Right now, it is not end-to-end.The initial setup was complex, and we had experienced people working on it.The initial setup was complex, as it is a complex system and you have to learn a lot.Setting up PowerMax with VMAX is always complex.I would like to see the rack change. They have defaulted to the standard rack, so our fiber cables are crowded when we shut our back door.We have issues that we don't know about, which Dell EMC fixes.I would also like to see a real-time, graphical view of metrics. I don't know how far back in time we can look, but if we could see the performance from two months or three months back, and how it is performing now, that would be helpful.The initial setup was a little bit complicated.

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Licensing, especially on the storage line, could use some simplification. It's not terrible, but, for example, with the Isilon series, they've gone to completely a la carte. A la carte is very difficult to traverse, as to what you need. It would be more beneficial, at least from my point of view as a customer, if they did it more like car companies do, where there are package linesOne option I would like to see is, when you're up on the view-screen, to be able to incorporate getting to what HPE call the iLO, the Integrated Lights-Out. To be able to get that instead of having to go back and trying to find IP addresses and re-institute those would be good. It would be good to be able to that put on the initial splash screen.I would like to see higher compression, dedupe, faster I/O, and bigger drives.I would like to see an integrated key manager in the controllers. Currently, it's an external product. It would be nice to have the option of having a built-in key for self-encrypting drive features.We can definitely see a need for it being a multi-controller system for customers who want to scale beyond the current capability. That's always a downside. A lot of the new systems are scaling vertically, they scale out, and the Compellent, of course, is controllers with shelves under it, so you don't scale out with it, unless you add another one. But if you do, they don't talk to each other, like some of the other solutions that we sell.An issue we had was that the controller went down during an upgrade because of their upgrading the code. One side of the switch was down.In terms of additional features, I would like to see some kind of I/O meter, to indicate what we are using in terms of performance. I would like to see automation with that, where it would give me the trends. I want to know those things easily, to help me know where issues are going to occur.I would like to have 100% functionality through the web app.

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Pricing and Cost Advice
The cost is expensive. While VMAX now has good pricing, PowerMax is a little expensive.From a general capital investment, it's one of the higher price points in the market. It depends on the size and software features that you would include in a system. So, the cost varies dramatically.The cost has room for improvement.It scales enormously, but it's expensive to do so.Our costs are on a yearly basis.Our costs for the product are three million.From reclaiming data center space which is so tightly constrained these days, it will pay for itself in a short amount of time, which is fantastic. Anything we can do to get more out of our current physical data center space helps us a ton, and PowerMax has helped enable that.

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We have found it to be affordable. Comparing the cost with other hardware, it seems to be right in line with the compute and the storage that we get with it.The scalability seems a bit more expensive than even buying a brand new one so far. That has been kind of a drawback.We were able to afford two tiers of flash storage at a price where the competition was giving us one tier or just a handful of discs.The maintenance is usually pretty good. It's not like some of the others where they increase it in the fourth, fifth, or sixth years.It's absolutely affordable. Again, not having to do a forklift upgrade like some of the others have had to do in the past, it's very affordable for our customers and they continue to buy.Compared to other solutions out there, it's affordable.It has a good price point and offers some value-added enterprise features.We have reviewed many platforms over the years. It is probably the best solution for its value.

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Ranking
1st
out of 7 in NVMe
Views
1,543
Comparisons
641
Reviews
28
Average Words per Review
512
Avg. Rating
8.8
8th
Views
2,310
Comparisons
1,455
Reviews
20
Average Words per Review
588
Avg. Rating
8.5
Top Comparisons
Compared 27% of the time.
Compared 19% of the time.
Also Known As
Dell EMC PowerMax, PowerMaxSC Series Storage
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Dell EMC
Dell EMC
Overview

Dell EMC PowerMax is the world’s fastest storage array. It delivers new levels of performance and efficiency with a future-proof architecture that features end-to-end non-volatile memory express (NVMe) and a built-in machine learning engine. PowerMax is built on the comprehensive functionality and proven resiliency of Dell EMC’s flagship storage platform. It is designed for six-nines of availability and offers data-at-rest encryption (D@RE), massive scalability, and best-in-class data protection with Symmetrix Remote Data Facility (SRDF), the gold standard in remote replication.

Dell EMC SC Series arrays provide a unified platform for the ultimate in performance, adaptability and machine-driven efficiency. SC Series software delivers modern features that help you meet aggressive workload demands using the fewest drives necessary. With an open, future-ready design, SC Series storage integrates seamlessly with applications and infrastructure, enabling you to scale on a single platform and add capabilities without forklift upgrades.

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Learn more about Dell EMC PowerMax NVMe
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Sample Customers
Rackspace, Open Line
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Top Industries
REVIEWERS
Financial Services Firm23%
Healthcare Company23%
Retailer18%
Manufacturing Company14%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Software R&D Company52%
Comms Service Provider8%
Manufacturing Company7%
Healthcare Company6%
REVIEWERS
Healthcare Company23%
Non Profit15%
Manufacturing Company15%
Wholesaler/Distributor8%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Software R&D Company34%
University21%
Retailer7%
Healthcare Company7%
Find out what your peers are saying about Dell EMC, Pure Storage, Hewlett Packard Enterprise and others in All-Flash Storage Arrays. Updated: October 2019.
372,124 professionals have used our research since 2012.
We monitor all All-Flash Storage Arrays reviews to prevent fraudulent reviews and keep review quality high. We do not post reviews by company employees or direct competitors. We validate each review for authenticity via cross-reference with LinkedIn, and personal follow-up with the reviewer when necessary.
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