Dell EMC SC Series Pros and Cons

Dell EMC SC Series Pros

Don Woodward
Solutions Consultant at BlueAlly
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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Managinga2b8
Managing Director at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees
The performance benefits weren't surprising, we expected that. What we didn't expect were the densification benefits that we got out of going all-flash. We're able to put more applications on the arrays because of how all-flash performs. The way some of the application profiles have responded to all-flash has been really pleasing.
Everything is sub-5 MS for us. What I've found is that, with all-flash, when an app from my business is slow, I pretty much know it's them and not me. It leads to a performance conversation that has really hit an interesting threshold point where we are better than what they need. So now we get to have that "refactoring your application" conversation a lot quicker because now the performance on the infrastructure side isn't in question anymore.
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Micheal Laggis
Senior Solutions Engineer at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
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.
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Find out what your peers are saying about Dell EMC SC Series vs. EMC VMAX and other solutions. Updated: September 2019.
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SrSysEng0e3f
Senior Systems Engineer at a manufacturing company with 10,001+ employees
The most valuable features are the with back-end dedupe, and the thin nodes. For a 20TB or 60TB, we're using almost a one-to-two ratio.
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Todd Grimes
IT Architect at Synoptek
We replicate between SAN to SAN for a lot of features and supportability. It also helps us when we want to upgrade to a newer SC Series or move the data from one data center to another.
Most valuable features have been the system customization with it, the performance you receive, and their CoPilot Support (or Dell EMC Storage Support).
Connecting it up, you can run it within a few hours.
We see very low latency with very high IOPS for mixed workloads.
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DataCent3afe
Data Center Supervisor with 501-1,000 employees
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.
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Infrastr69c7
Senior IT Infrastructure Manager at a consultancy with 1,001-5,000 employees
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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Virtualiad5e
Virtualization Manager at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
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.
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ITManage50af
IT Manager at a non-tech company with 201-500 employees
It is easy to use, expand the hard drives, add storage, and set up replication.
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David Winegar
Network Admin at Jefferson County Washington
The most valuable feature is the speed for the end-user.
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Dell EMC SC Series Cons

Don Woodward
Solutions Consultant at BlueAlly
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.
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Managinga2b8
Managing Director at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees
Overall, I'd like to see more synergy between Dell EMC's higher-tier platforms and their mid-tier platforms. What I have said, constantly, to my partners at Dell EMC is that the clear articulation of the path is really important to us. In that vein, what I'd also like to see is, with the migration strategy that's built into this product, a lot more attention paid to Dell's - in particular - legacy platforms and how we get from some of our legacy EMC platforms onto this platform with a straight-through migration and scaling strategy, not host-based migrations and not piecemeal... Dell EMC would do well to focus more on my ability to skip a generation, rather than having me take individual hops because I can't greenfield my way into a software-defined data center fast enough. This journey of multiple hops is not helpful.
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Bennie Blakney
Systems Engineer at a pharma/biotech company with 10,001+ employees
One 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.
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Find out what your peers are saying about Dell EMC SC Series vs. EMC VMAX and other solutions. Updated: September 2019.
366,239 professionals have used our research since 2012.
SrSysEng0e3f
Senior Systems Engineer at a manufacturing company with 10,001+ employees
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.
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Todd Grimes
IT Architect at Synoptek
We had times that we needed a file service solution. We've used FluidFS, but it's a solution that is being transitioned out.
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DataCent3afe
Data Center Supervisor with 501-1,000 employees
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.
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Infrastrb44c
Infrastructure Engineer at a healthcare company with 1,001-5,000 employees
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 lines
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ITManage50af
IT Manager at a non-tech company with 201-500 employees
I would like to have 100% functionality through the web app.
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David Winegar
Network Admin at Jefferson County Washington
The ease of use could be improved. It took me a while to learn it.
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David Hammink
System Administrator with 11-50 employees
The administration and support (on the way that they delivered) was a little bit slow.
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Find out what your peers are saying about Dell EMC SC Series vs. EMC VMAX and other solutions. Updated: September 2019.
366,239 professionals have used our research since 2012.
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