Compare Dell EMC PowerScale (Isilon) vs. Panasas ActiveStor

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Top Review
Find out what your peers are saying about Hewlett Packard Enterprise, IBM, Dell EMC and others in NAS. Updated: September 2021.
534,299 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Quotes From Members

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

Pros
"The solution is extremely easy to manage. This is its most valuable feature.""The stability of the solution is good.""The single pane of glass for both IT and for the end-user is a valuable feature. On the IT side, I can actually control where things are stored, whether something is stored on solid-state drives or spinning drives... The single pane of glass makes it very easy to use and very easy to understand. We started at 100 terabytes and we moved to 250 and it still feels like the exact same system and we're able to move data as needed.""The solution has simplified management by consolidating our workloads. Rather than managing all the different workloads on different storage arrays, Windows Servers, etc., we just have one place per data centre where we manage all their unstructured data, saving us time.""It has allowed us to have more consistent quality controls. It has also allowed us to expand the number of servers in clients processing and accessing data, allowing us to get a lot bigger projects out the door.""For maximizing storage utilization, PowerScale is great. When you write the data to it, it spreads it out to all the nodes, so you get all the performance from the entire pool.""You plug in a new node and data starts migrating over to it, and IT spreads out the load. We've added multiple nodes to the system since deploying it. The process is pretty seamless, and we are able to do it with no downtime. It's a very easy process to do.""This is the best platform that we could have for storage utilization. It is affordable and scalable. At the end of the day, it's something that we find very easy to use."

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"We've found the product to be quite flexible."

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Cons
"The solution isn't suitable for small environments or small customers.""The solution can be a bit complex for those not well versed in the technology.""There aren't many templates still coming out for it. They need to provide templates so we can copy and paste what we've done in the past to future, new things.""The replication could lend itself to some improvement around encryption in transit and managing the racing of large volumes of data. The process of file over and file back can be tedious. Hopefully, you never end up going into a DR. If you do go into a DR, you know the data is there on the remote site. However, in terms of the process of setting up the replicates and filing them back, that is just very tedious and could definitely do with some improvement.""It is a bit higher priced than some of the other systems.""There is room for improvement with the updates. It can take a significant amount of time to do a major OS update. However, even though it takes multiple reboots, the cluster stays up. If we want to apply a newer version of the OS, we have to roll back some of the patches so that we can upgrade. It requires a few reboots just to do that. The cluster doesn't come down, everything is still running, but it's time-consuming, at times.""Some improvements to the NFS support would be of interest to us.""Because of the magic that it does 'under the hood,' it is very difficult to find out within the system where all your storage is going. That's a little bit of a ding that we have on it. It does so much magic in order to protect itself from drive failures or multiple drive failures, that it automatically handles the provisioning and storage of your data. But by doing that, finding out why a file of a certain size, or a directory of a certain size, is using more storage than is being reported in InsightIQ, is very difficult to discern."

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"The solution is quite expensive."

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Pricing and Cost Advice
"The solution is expensive; it is not the cheapest solution out there. If you look at it from a total cost of ownership perspective, then it is a very compelling solution. However, if you're looking at just dollar per terabyte and not looking at the big picture, then you could be distracted by the price. It is not an amazing price, but it's pretty good. It is also very good when you consider the total cost of ownership and ease of management.""The pricing is expensive, but I think it's a fair value because it does manage itself. It definitely is much simpler than any of the other scale-out storage platforms that we've looked at in the past.""The platform is not cheap. However, on the software side, you can choose what you want license. So, you can start your licensing with the features that you need, then after buying the platform add some other features.""The only drawback for us is that it's a large upfront investment. This was a huge decision for a startup company to make. It took a bit for us to get over the line on it, but we have not regretted it."

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Questions from the Community
Top Answer: There are also the policies that you set up on replication and purging files, and policies for something called WORM. That's a "write once, read many," where you can't overwrite certain files or… more »
Top Answer: We're at the A200 version, which is more for online archiving. It's storage-based, but they're called archive nodes. They're all SATA spinning disks. If you need a lot of storage at a cheap… more »
Top Answer: The only problem with the WORM (write once, read many) feature is it does take up more space than if you just wrote a file, because it writes stuff twice. But it works for us for chain-of-custody… more »
Top Answer: We've found the product to be quite flexible.
Top Answer: The solution could be cheaper. Right now, it's pricey. We don't pay a recurring licensing fee. We just paid for the whole system, including the hardware and software, as well as support and service… more »
Top Answer: The solution is quite expensive. The solution could offer better support and better local support options.
Ranking
3rd
out of 27 in NAS
Views
10,404
Comparisons
6,669
Reviews
8
Average Words per Review
1,811
Rating
9.4
12th
out of 27 in NAS
Views
290
Comparisons
225
Reviews
1
Average Words per Review
335
Rating
9.0
Comparisons
Also Known As
PowerScale, Dell EMC Isilon
ActiveStor
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Overview

Dell EMC Isilon scale-out storage solutions are designed for enterprises that want to manage their data, not their storage. Our storage systems are simple to install, manage, and scale to virtually any size. Isilon storage includes a choice of all-flash, hybrid or archive nodes. Isilon solutions stay simple no matter how much storage capacity is added, how much performance is required, or how business needs change in the future.

In our most recent product, the ActiveStor Ultra, Panasas has developed a new approach called Dynamic Data Acceleration Technology. It uses a carefully balanced set of HDDs, SATA SSD, NVMe SSD, NVDIMM, and DRAM to provide a combination of excellent performance and low cost per terabyte.

• HDDs will provide high bandwidth data storage if they are never asked to store anything small and only asked to do large sequential transfers. Therefore, we only store large Component Objects on our low-cost HDDs.

• SATA SSDs provide cost-effective and highbandwidth storage as a result of not having any seek times, so that’s where we keep our small Component Objects.

• NVMe SSDs are built for very low latency accesses, so we store all our metadata in a database and keep that database on an NVMe SSD. Metadata accesses are very sensitive to latency, whether it is POSIX metadata for the files being stored or metadata for the internal operations of the OSD.

• An NVDIMM (a storage class memory device) is the lowest latency type of persistent storage device available, and we use one to store our transaction logs: user data and metadata being written by the application to the OSD, plus our internal metadata. That allows PanFS to provide very low latency commits back to the application.

• We use the DRAM in each OSD as an extremely low latency cache of the most recently read or written data and metadata.

To gain the most benefit from the SATA SSD’s performance, we try to keep the SATA SSD about 80% full. If it falls below that, we will (transparently and in the background) pick the smallest Component Objects in the HDD pool and move them to the SSD until it is about 80% full. If the SSD is too full, we will move the largest Component Objects on the SSD to the HDD pool. Every ActiveStor Ultra Storage Node performs this optimization independently and continuously. It’s easy for an ActiveStor Ultra to pick which Component Objects to move, it just needs to look in its local NVMe-based database.

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Sample Customers
OMRF, University of Utah, Translational Genetics Research Institute, Arcis, Geofizyka Torumn, Cyprus E&P Corporation, Colburn School, Columbia Sportswear, Harvard Medical School, University of Michigan, National Library of France,
Advanced Mask Technology Center Airbus Argonne National Laboratory The University of Texas at Dallas School of Arts Technology and Emerging Communication Башнефть Boeing Bosch California Academy of Sciences Caltech Canon Case Western Reserve University Conoco Phillips Deluxe DirecTV Fairfield Technologies United States Federal Reserve Garvan Institute of Medical Research Goodyear Halliburton Harvard Medical School Honeywell In-Depth Geophysical Intel Kawasaki Lockheed Martin 3M Magseis Fairfield Mammal Studios The Man Group McLaren Mercedes-Benz MINES ParisTech NASA US Navy National Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasures Center NBCUniversal National Institutes of Health Nio National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Northrup Grumman Novartis Partners Healthcare Procter & Gamble PGS Pratt & Whitney Rutherford Appleton Lab Siemens Sim International Sinopec Solers Square Cnix TGS Toyota Motorsport GMBH Toppan Turner UMass Medical School United Technologies University of Georgia University of California Los Angeles University of Minnesota University of Notre Dame University of California San Diego Center for Microbiome Innovation Whiskytree
Top Industries
REVIEWERS
Manufacturing Company11%
Comms Service Provider11%
Agriculture11%
Educational Organization11%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Computer Software Company32%
Comms Service Provider18%
Manufacturing Company6%
Government6%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Comms Service Provider25%
Computer Software Company24%
Government12%
Financial Services Firm8%
Company Size
REVIEWERS
Small Business25%
Midsize Enterprise17%
Large Enterprise58%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Small Business16%
Midsize Enterprise16%
Large Enterprise68%
No Data Available
Find out what your peers are saying about Hewlett Packard Enterprise, IBM, Dell EMC and others in NAS. Updated: September 2021.
534,299 professionals have used our research since 2012.

Dell EMC PowerScale (Isilon) is ranked 3rd in NAS with 9 reviews while Panasas ActiveStor is ranked 12th in NAS with 1 review. Dell EMC PowerScale (Isilon) is rated 9.4, while Panasas ActiveStor is rated 9.0. The top reviewer of Dell EMC PowerScale (Isilon) writes "As you add more nodes in a cluster, you get more effective utilisation". On the other hand, the top reviewer of Panasas ActiveStor writes "Easy to use and flexible with great performance". Dell EMC PowerScale (Isilon) is most compared with NetApp FAS Series, Qumulo, HPE StoreEasy, Huawei OceanStor 9000 and NetApp Private Storage, whereas Panasas ActiveStor is most compared with Sonexion Scale-out Lustre Storage System and NetApp FAS Series.

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