Dell EMC SC Series vs. Dell EMC XtremIO Flash

Dell EMC SC Series is ranked 13th in All-Flash Storage Arrays with 21 reviews vs Dell EMC XtremIO Flash which is ranked 7th in All-Flash Storage Arrays with 27 reviews. 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". The top reviewer of Dell EMC XtremIO Flash writes "Dedupe, compression and high I/O are the most valuable features". Dell EMC SC Series is most compared with HPE 3PAR Flash Storage, NetApp All Flash FAS and Nimble Storage. Dell EMC XtremIO Flash is most compared with Pure Storage FlashArray, INFINIDAT InfiniBox and IBM FlashSystem. See our Dell EMC SC Series vs. Dell EMC XtremIO Flash report.
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Quotes From Members Comparing Dell EMC SC Series vs. Dell EMC XtremIO Flash

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Pros
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.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.

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The most valuable features are: complete performance and ease of use.It was very easy and straightforward to setup.It has very good performance for an application which needs lower latency and a better response, for example, in microseconds.Linear performance – The XtremIO wasn’t the fastest in all tests against other all flash arrays, but even with a massive workload, the response time and user experience were absolutely predictable with no sharp drop-offs.Speed and reliability:It is great for applications like Microsoft Exchange, ERP, SQL and VDI; basically saved the VDI buy-in from users, as now performance was seamless in comparison to a physical PC.Thin storage allocationThe guaranteed sub-millisecond response time for a 4K block.

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Cons
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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It is very expensive to scale. You have to buy an additional system to extend from one disc, for instance. It is scalable, but extremely expensive to do so.I am not too impressed with XtremeIO because we had a major failure.The GUI could be modified more in terms of how the different components are linked to each other.Native data replication: To replicate data between XtremIO devices, you need to use EMC’s RecoverPoint appliances to move the data.I would like hardware capacity additions to be a little more flexible. The upgrade path for the existing XTremIO units requires you to purchase 2 XBricks at a time and they need to be the same capacity as the existing XBricks.Get rid of the Java aspect of the GUI console.Management: At the time, there was no snapshot scheduler, so I had to write XSnapCourier to address it. The sad thing is that even after the newest release, which includes a native scheduler, most customers using XSnapCourier chose to stick with it due to a more feature-rich experience.In some cases where we don’t need the flexibility of the virtualization layer, we could free up resources on the VPLEX by using the storage replication.

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Pricing and Cost Advice
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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It is expensive if you need to increase scalability.With some workloads that benefit from compression and deduplication, costs are actually better than some tier 2 subsystems (while latency remains <1ms).It is costly but worth it.Don’t buy this array. You’re paying for loads of magic beans, since it’s mediocre at best for a platform in a rapidly growing field. Look instead at Pure Storage or something with variable block deduplication. You’ll end up spending less and getting a better product with actual support.XtremIO is pretty straightforward about pricing. However, you need to look at your data so you can estimate, with the advice of DEL EMC, what data reduction ratio you will reach. In our case, a 3:1 reduction ration gave us a positive case compared to other storage arrays.It is great when a product can deliver high-end performance capabilities while offering a very competitive price point.It's not cheap, but it absolutely gets the job done. I don't have any real comment regarding licensing specifically.This is the best flash array on the market for high-end workloads, so expect to pay for that. But the support subscription cost is fixed for seven years, which made it easier for us to plan on the maintenance costs.

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Compared 17% of the time.
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Overview

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.

Bring all-flash, scale-out storage to your enterprise applications with EMC XtremIO. Purpose-built for flash, XtremIO storage arrays are amazingly fast. Delivering high IOPS at less than 1 millisecond latency is just the start. EMC XtremIO helps you harness the power of flash storage by building in innovations like content-based data placement and dual-stage metadata.
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Raiffeisen Bank Bulgaria, Wentworth-Douglas Hospital
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