Paul CroteauSenior Solution Architect at Rackspace
We asked business professionals to review the solutions they use. Here are some excerpts of what they said:
"We have been able to consolidate storage into Pavilion. Pavilions are our only SANs because it is a bring your own disk solution. When new drives come out, we are able to take out half of the drives in the system, put in new drives, move our VMs over to the new drives, take the other drives out, and populate those with new drives. Then, we are suddenly twice as dense as we were before. NVMe flash is only going to get denser and cheaper so we can make use of that every couple of years by just throwing newer disks into it at a fraction of the cost of a new SAN."
"The high performance is very valuable, as well as the enterprise reliability features."
"There's lots of flexibility in how we use the resources while also maintaining a small footprint."
"It is efficient and very simple for our administrators to use."
"The optimization of the cache memory of each engine and the use of persistent memory."
"Technical support has been excellent."
"The solution's snapshot capabilities and replication are very good features. Snapshots are allowing us to quickly build analytical models directly from production data. This gives us amazing insights into market trends and allows us to build more effective trading algorithms. Replication offers us unparalleled levels of resilience."
"The performance is very good. Our predominant workloads are all less than 5 milliseconds and it's most common to have a sub-1-millisecond response time for our applications. In terms of efficiency, we've turned on compression and we're able to get as high as two-to-one compression on our workloads, on average."
"PowerMax NVMe has made it a lot easier to understand how much we are able to provision. It has made it a lot faster to provision new things. 90% of my time for provisioning has been reduced. Also, it has made it very easy to understand and see everything behind it versus the older heritage, where Dell EMC was very convoluted and hard to get working. Things that used to take an hour, probably now take five to 10 minutes."
"There is no management overhead involved in optimizing performance. It does it so well on its own. We don't have to manage much at all. It really is like a set it and forget it solution. My storage engineers love the system. It is a lot less work than our previous systems, which weren't bad by any means. There is not nearly as much management as before. So, we are saving dozens of hours per month for our storage team, and that is a real cost in our business."
"The most valuable features are deduplication and compression, which together, enable you to have more space."
"Most of the features for the reduction in data compression are useful. It is also very easy to use and administer. Its performance is also good."
"Over the years, it has become increasingly user-friendly."
"The maintenance service and support from IBM is very good."
"The compression and deduplication features are the most valuable."
"The installation is nice and easy."
"I like most of the features. Its speed, performance, and availability are valuable. We are implementing the data reduction technology the most."
"The power systems are very reliable if you are running 24/7 operations. For ongoing mission-critical applications, it's the best solution."
"The rail system that Pavilion uses to mount up into a standard Dell or APC cabinet extends further back than normal rails, and they cover up the zero PDU slot. So, I don't like the rail system that comes with the device. That is my biggest complaint."
"In our current configuration, we can only run the line controllers in high availability, active-standby mode, whereas we would like to see active-active implemented."
"I would like to see the management layer improved."
"I would like NVMe to be end-to-end in the next release. Right now, it is not end-to-end."
"The main feature that I personally want to see is the possibility to upgrade to the next generation without changing all the components and just change the engine, relying on the compatibility matrices between two different generations. Meaning that we could just keep the enclosure and upgrade the engine, integrating the enclosure to the existing pool, then adding automation tools for orchestration."
"If the solution had more power-saving capabilities, it would be quite nice."
"It's a relatively new product, but for the next release I would like to see higher bandwidth on the front-end adapters. This would allow even greater scalability for critical workloads and consolidation for non-critical workloads. The hosts may not require that level of I/O performance today. However, it allows us to scale physical non-cloud environments without large investment."
"Firmware updates are a bit painful because you have to involve their support, as opposed to having the ability to do it yourself."
"Support of the product can be slow and an administrative challenge: planning, scheduling, and overseeing data center access for a Dell EMC rep. One improvement could be to enable a self-maintenance option. The requirements that we go through to get Dell EMC onsite to replace failed drives, power supplies, and other small redundant parts can be unnecessarily complex. If simplified, they could send us the parts, then we could replace them much faster, more easily, and truly within the SLA parameters."
"The security features can be improved such that the encryption does not affect performance in any way."
"They can include Amazon file system S3 protocol in the upcoming releases. It is a cloud file system. IBM FlashSystem doesn't have this feature in the box for high-end or mid-range. We have got requests for this from customers because we need to use S3 for EDI application storage. At the beginning of every year, IBM releases firmware. When I find any bugs in the firmware during the year, I am unable to find any information from IBM regarding the bug. I need to open a ticket, and the IBM engineering team makes a patch only for me. This patch is not public. By creating a customized patch for a client, they don't really solve the issue for everyone. If multiple users have the same bug, IBM should upload the patch on the official website so that we can download it. IBM FlashSystem has a monitoring tool in the box, but it is not advanced. I need a more advanced tool for more advanced equations and monitoring. All top three storage vendors, that is, EMC, IBM, and Pure Storage, don't have a powerful monitoring tool. To monitor our box to show the statistics for I/Os and latency, I need to pay for extra software. The built-in monitoring storage is not mature enough to handle all requests and generate all reports that I need. They can include the functionality to stretch a cluster natively without using any additional boxes. In addition, there are some features that EMC has integrated with the box. These features are not available in IBM FlashSystem."
"The customer's expectations are what they get on the cloud, they're expecting even in the on-premises deployments, going forward."
"It could be easier to implement."
"They can improve its initial configuration. The initial configuration is currently very difficult. There are multiple choices or alternative ways to configure based on the use case and what you are targeting out of the device, that is, more capacity or more performance. These multiple alternatives cause a lot of confusion. They should increase the processing part of the nodes. Currently, you can cluster up to eight nodes. From my experience and the workload that I am facing in my environment currently, I would like to see either a bigger or stronger node or a larger number of nodes that can be clustered together. We formally communicated to them that we need to see either this or that, and they are working on something."
"The pricing needs to be more competitive."
"Their technical support needs improvement in terms of reachability for the clients and response times. They should be more responsive and have more online platforms for support. They should make more technical information available online. There could be some kind of documentation community."
"IBM should improve its data reduction development."
"This is hardware. They have a singular array that you can populate with your own disk, or you can buy the disks through them. For controllers, you pay for the components inside of the SAN, but there is only one chassis that they work with."
"The licensing fees are very reasonable."
"The cost is expensive. While VMAX now has good pricing, PowerMax is a little expensive."
"We hope that with the combination of both NVMe and SCM the next PowerMax will be much cheaper that the one which we acquired."
"Negotiate hard and consider the commercial advantages/benefits to Dell EMC for onboarding your product."
"One area for improvement, one that everybody always comes to, is price... it's still quite expensive to purchase these big arrays... For us, the pricing doesn't make Dell EMC uncompetitive."
"In terms of price-performance, it beat out other competitors when we were taking a look and comparing it to the market. That was one of the biggest driving points for us."
"The labor savings and support have been significant. If we're talking 100 hours of labor every three months, that is 100 hours of a database engineer costs. There are performance latency numbers as well as costs associated with recovering data that gets lost, and this system doesn't lose data. You can look at numbers that go around the cost of downtime, if data is not available. This system doesn't go down. Everyone's ROI is going to be unique, but the dependability and performance of the system combined with its ease of operation will definitely save businesses of all sizes money."
"The integration is already included in the license cost of IBM FlashSystem. The integration is very easy. You get the IBM storage core with all software, firmware, and upgrades. EMC provides the features in the box, but they are not free for customers. There is a licensing cost for features. We have yearly licensing, but IBM has also provided a new option where you pay as you go. They provide a big box, and I pay, for example, for 10 terabytes. If I exceed 10 terabytes, IBM will charge for the new storage after 10 terabytes. It is a good opportunity in the market for using the storage as a cloud and paying as you go."
"They've been much more aggressive in the last five, six years than they were before that."
"This is an expensive product and if the price were reduced it would be better."
"Among IBM, Dell EMC, and Pure Storage, IBM is the cheapest. The price is also based on our location, the size of our entity, and our regular annual purchases from them. We are a very big IBM customer, so we normally get very high discounts. We are not a big customer of Pure Storage. We don't buy that much from Pure Storage per year. Everything is included in the price. There is no extra license for different functions."
"Its price is very good."
"I find the pricing of the solution to be very reasonable."
"You purchase it as a bundle and the price is comparable."
"The solution requires a license and could be less expensive."
Pavilion HyperParallel Data Platform
The Pavilion HyperParallel Data Platform™ dramatically accelerates what organizations achieve by delivering universally unmatched storage performance, in an incredibly compact solution while reducing data center costs and complexity. Unrivaled flexibility for multiple data types and protocols, along with broad ecosystem integration, ensure that every customer has choice and control.
What is the Pavilion HyperParallel Data Platform
The Pavilion HyperParallel Data Platform is comprised of the Pavilion HyperParallel Flash Array™ and Pavilion HyperOS™. The Pavilion HyperParallel Flash Array leverages a unique, switch-based architecture to create a multi-controller solution that delivers an unmatched combination of high performance, ultra-low latency, and storage density. Pavilion HyperOS is a powerful, purpose-built storage operating system designed to unlock the power of the multi-controller Pavilion HyperParallel Flash Array, which delivers scalability and flexibility that no other solution can offer.
Pavilion HyperParallel Data Platform Data Sheet
Download the Pavilion HyperParallel Data Platform data sheet. Updated: December 2020
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.
IBM FlashSystem products are enterprise computer data storage systems that store data on flash memory chips. Unlike storage systems that use standard solid-state drives, IBM FlashSystem products incorporate custom hardware based on technology from the 2012 acquisition of Texas Memory Systems. This hardware provides performance, reliability, and efficiency benefits versus competitive offerings.
Dell EMC PowerMax NVMe is ranked 8th in All-Flash Storage Arrays with 7 reviews while IBM FlashSystem is ranked 5th in All-Flash Storage Arrays with 13 reviews. Dell EMC PowerMax NVMe is rated 9.2, while IBM FlashSystem is rated 8.0. The top reviewer of Dell EMC PowerMax NVMe writes "CloudIQ ensures that all our arrays are properly communicating so we can see performance and storage capacities". On the other hand, the top reviewer of IBM FlashSystem writes "Simple licensing, good performance, and easy to use and administer". Dell EMC PowerMax NVMe is most compared with Dell EMC PowerStore, Dell EMC Unity XT, Dell EMC XtremIO, Hitachi Virtual Storage Platform F Series and Pure Storage FlashArray, whereas IBM FlashSystem is most compared with Pure Storage FlashArray, Dell EMC Unity XT, Dell EMC PowerStore, HPE Nimble Storage and NetApp FAS Series. See our Dell EMC PowerMax NVMe vs. IBM FlashSystem report.
See our list of best All-Flash Storage Arrays vendors.
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