Dell EMC SC Series vs. SolidFire

Dell EMC SC Series is ranked 13th in All-Flash Storage Arrays with 21 reviews vs SolidFire which is ranked 11th in All-Flash Storage Arrays with 14 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 SolidFire writes "Some of the valuable features are compression, deduplication, and thin provisioning". Dell EMC SC Series is most compared with HPE 3PAR Flash Storage, Nimble Storage and Pure Storage FlashArray. SolidFire is most compared with NetApp All Flash FAS, Pure Storage FlashArray and Dell EMC XtremIO Flash. See our Dell EMC SC Series vs. SolidFire report.
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Quotes From Members Comparing Dell EMC SC Series vs. SolidFire

We asked business professionals to review the solutions they use. Here are some excerpts of what they said:
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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Overall performance of the solution.The scalability and being able to implement it quickly.Individual settings you can put on each individual volume, if you want to do that.We can add a node, we add compute, we add storage, and we've had really good luck with that.If we get complaints about any kind of performance metric issues, whether it's storage related or something on the virtual side, we use it to pinpoint what the actual issue is.SolidFire is one of the products that does have great APIs right out-of-the-box. It works great. The tools and the other stuff seem to work a little better right out-of-the-box than the ONTAP stuff does, C-Mode.Being able to provide quality of service as promised.Templates are already predefined for it. If you're coding it up, it will take two days. You can pick up a template right there from the API, and it just works for you. Implementation done in 10 minutes.

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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's a very good Windows-type solution. But we do a lot of legacy systems and the like. So it's getting that incorporated into it that would help us.A little better segregation of the multi-tenancy. Right now, it's just VLAN-specific, that's all you can do.We had some false positives, power supplies failing, and that's really been about it. We had a couple of glitches during some upgrade processes but nothing that was really concerning to us.For example, the ease of use with the reporting. Right now it's not impossible, but you have to know Sequel. It's a little time consuming to get those customized reports in there.They could do a file-based NAS: SolidFire NAS-based. It's probably not its niche, but that is our direction, not to use block, and it's block. Solid state block is what it is.I would like to see integration with the cloud, number one. Being able to spin SolidFire in the cloud.So feature-wise, I would say more reporting tools that could be merged into it.We have a large fiber channel infrastructure, and that's one area that we haven't seen implemented in SolidFire, its more iSCSI.

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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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We would probably use SolidFire more, except we're getting more bang for our buck with our purchases of ONTAP right now, and the deal we made with NetApp, so it's more of just a cost decision

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Top Comparisons
Compared 18% of the time.
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Compared 26% of the time.
Compared 22% of the time.
Compared 11% of the time.
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Also Known As
SC Series Storage
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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.

SolidFire delivers all five core elements needed to deliver newfound storage agility to your next generation data center and beyond. With SolidFire you can deploy new applications and capabilities faster, provide more agile and scalable infrastructure, increase application performance and predictability, enable automation and end-user self-service and raise operational efficiency and reduce cost.

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Sample Customers
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California Public Utilities Commission, RFA, 1&1, Ultimate Software , Endicia, ezVerify, MercadoLibre, Sungard Availability Services, ServInt, Elastx, Hosted Network, Colt, Crucial, iWeb, Datapipe, Databarracks
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