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Dell EMC SC Series OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

Dell EMC SC Series is #1 ranked solution in top Frame-Based Disk Arrays and #11 ranked solution in best All-Flash Storage Arrays. IT Central Station users give Dell EMC SC Series an average rating of 8 out of 10. Dell EMC SC Series is most commonly compared to Dell EMC PowerStore:Dell EMC SC Series vs Dell EMC PowerStore. The top industry researching this solution are professionals from a computer software company, accounting for 29% of all views.
What is Dell EMC SC Series?

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.

Dell EMC SC Series was previously known as SC Series Storage, Compellent.

Dell EMC SC Series Buyer's Guide

Download the Dell EMC SC Series Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: December 2021

Dell EMC SC Series Customers

TGen, Frost Science, Gerrie Electric

Dell EMC SC Series Video

Archived Dell EMC SC Series Reviews (more than two years old)

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KristianPalsmar
Director of Technology with 501-1,000 employees
Real User
Reliable and dynamic storage system but I would like to have a broader view of both the network and the system

Pros and Cons

  • "The interface is easy to use which makes the product user-friendly."
  • "The connection should be better integrated with the network to offer a better view of the system."

What is our primary use case?

Dell Compellent storage just provides for our storage needs.

How has it helped my organization?

It has given us a reliable and dynamic storage system that we did not match before with our previous solution.

What is most valuable?

The feature I have found the most valuable is that the interface is easy to use which makes the product user-friendly.

What needs improvement?

I think it would be nice if the connection were better integrated with the network so I could get a broader view of both the network and the system. This would be good in order for us to be able to troubleshoot anything that is going wrong.

The product has improved so much over the years that it is hard to think of something else that it really needs to be improved now in comparison to where it was. It is actually kind of good the way it is. Nothing is really annoying me right now. It is really just working and you hardly have to know it is there.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Dell Compellent for five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The product is both stable and scalable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is a scalable product. We don't have any problem with that. Right now we have about 600 end-users on the system.

How are customer service and technical support?

I'm very satisfied with the company's technical support. It's very nice. We were using Dell's Copilot Support and it was really very good.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Five years ago we used to have some off-brand thing. It was not a very good solution. It was just a collection of hard drives. When we got to a point we realized it wasn't able to do the job we had to choose another solution. That was when we did a little research and switched to a virtual environment and went with Compellent.

How was the initial setup?

I think that overall the setup was pretty complex. It is not something you just set up in a heartbeat. You need to do some configuration so it takes a little bit longer than just push a button to install.

What other advice do I have?

I think that overall that the product is very good for us and what we need it to do. 

The advice I would give to other people considering Compellent depends on what they want to do and what they want to use it for. I'm going with a hybrid converged infrastructure now. If you looking for traditional storage then I would definitely recommend it.

On a scale from one to ten where one is the worst and ten is the best. I would rate Compellent overall as a seven.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
EC
Chief Business Technology Consultant at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Consultant
The infrastructure protection is good and it is very easy to use

Pros and Cons

  • "The setup and installation is much simpler now, because Dell has standardized the configure process."
  • "Compellent comes in the form of a component that's not true of a unified storage platform."

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use case of this solution is for deduplication software but that is just one of the features we use it for. We also use it for infrastructure protection or other objectives.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable features would be the ease of use and the cost effectiveness. Compared to other mid-range constrict technologies from Dell, this is a much cheaper solution.

What needs improvement?

Compared to other solutions, Compellent comes in the form of a component that's not true of a unified storage platform, for instance, to block a level of support can only be done through two different platforms.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for a month now on premises.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is very stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is easy to scale - you can either add additional hard drives, or use expansion closures. That makes it easier to scale. We have a broad spectrum of small, medium and large-scale clients, and we are able to cover all sizes of organizations.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support is quite good, especially coming from the speed of the technology and support that we received in the past. So yes, it's quite recommendable.

How was the initial setup?

The setup and installation are much simpler now because Dell has standardized the configure process. 

What other advice do I have?

I would definitely recommended this solution to others. However, if they are looking at the unifier, there are other alternatives. I would like to see it becoming more unified in the next release. I will give it an eight out of ten, because I think there is room for improvement. Nothing's perfect.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Learn what your peers think about Dell EMC SC Series. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: December 2021.
555,139 professionals have used our research since 2012.
OD
Pre-Sales Architect at a tech services company with 1-10 employees
Real User
Good Compression and Deduplication with competitive pricing

What is our primary use case?

We are a solution provider and this we resell this solution to our clients.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable features are the Compression and Deduplication.

What needs improvement?

It is difficult to say where this solution needs improvement because it is very good. While the price is competitive, in the next release it would be better if they could reduce the fees.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for between two and three years.

How are customer service and technical support?

I think that Dell EMC is one of the best technical support services in Ukraine. I am satisfied with the technical support.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was straightforward, it took one day to deploy it.…

What is our primary use case?

We are a solution provider and this we resell this solution to our clients.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable features are the Compression and Deduplication.

What needs improvement?

It is difficult to say where this solution needs improvement because it is very good.

While the price is competitive, in the next release it would be better if they could reduce the fees.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for between two and three years.

How are customer service and technical support?

I think that Dell EMC is one of the best technical support services in Ukraine.

I am satisfied with the technical support.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was straightforward, it took one day to deploy it.

The deployment model is for all cloud types.

What about the implementation team?

We deployed this solution ourselves.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The pricing of this solution is competitive.

What other advice do I have?

We are partners with Dell EMC.

I would recommend this solution.

I would rate this solution a nine out of ten.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
SG
Presales Engineer at a computer software company with 5,001-10,000 employees
Real User
Leaderboard
Very simple to use, it's very efficient, and a customer won't make many mistakes when using it

Pros and Cons

  • "It is just as stable as any other high-end solution."
  • "I don't think the solution is very scalable."

What is most valuable?

Compellent is a very easy-to-use solution because after the first installation you have no more parameters to fix. You can add discs easily and all discs are in one group or folder. It is also very easy to expand. 

The solution is very complete as you can use it as solo for primary storage for production, and you want to implement a cluster with two storage systems, all you need is include it in the software of the storage system. So it's easy and very efficient, and when I have to choose a solution for a customer, I must find out what kind of security the customer wants. When I use this solution, I have all kinds of installation possibilities. So, for me, it is a very good solution.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

When we installed this solution, we were surprised by how stable and efficient it is.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

For me, there is only one limitation with the scalability of the solution. When you have the solution with two controllers, and you add a lot of SSD, you reach a limit. You have to use your system in his linear opérating zone. when you add discs, you add IOPS and storage space. there is a saturation point of the controller beyond which you add only storage space but no more IOPS, the limit point is reached  and the limit is almost 60 discs. You can put in 200 discs, mostly at once. This point limit the scalability of the full flash solution with only one system. you can add another system in fédération mode to exceed this limit.

How are customer service and technical support?

I am very impressed by the simplicity of the solution. They have very good support system called CoPilot. Whenever I contact them, they are very efficient. Whenever a customer calls them, they immediately take his problem in account wihout going through a support level 1; we are immediately in contact whith expert.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We work on different solutions. The most important point for me is how is implemented disc virtualization. In this solution, disc management is really very simple and disc utilisation is efficient. all disc are add in a group and raid is oragnized on 2Mo stripe. The stripe are organizer in 2 raid automatically : by default, 20% in raid 10 to write blocs with very effective performane and 80% raid5 to store data with a good use of space.When you add many disks in the folder their are automatically integrated in the profile and add performance to production. The possibility to implement two system in a cluster and can also be integrated in a federate mode to agregate multiple system in one global storage.

What other advice do I have?

My advice to others would be to get the demo to test the solution out. On a scale of one to ten, my rating is a ten. Simplicity and stability are very important for me, and this solution is very simple to use, it's very efficient and a customer won't make many mistakes when using it. 

In the future, I would like to see better monitoring so that we can give to the customer an indication of their capacity to upgrade. These kinds of tools must be very user-friendly - especially for those customers that didn't study storage functionality in detail. 

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
JN
System Engineer at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Real User
A stable solution with an easy setup and good compression capabilities

What is most valuable?

The compression capability is the solution's most valuable feature.

What needs improvement?

The interface could be simplified. The cost of the solution could be better.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for about one year.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I'm unsure about how truly scalable the solution is. It might be scalable. I don't know for sure. We have about 100 people using it right now.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is very good. I do use it from time to time and it's always excellent.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We did previously use a…

What is most valuable?

The compression capability is the solution's most valuable feature.

What needs improvement?

The interface could be simplified.

The cost of the solution could be better.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for about one year.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I'm unsure about how truly scalable the solution is. It might be scalable. I don't know for sure. We have about 100 people using it right now.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is very good. I do use it from time to time and it's always excellent.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We did previously use a different solution. We switched because there's big portfolio in our environment. Sometimes it's Compellent, sometimes it's IBM.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is okay.

What other advice do I have?

We use the on-premises deployment model.

I would recommend it to others. I'd rate the solution eight out of ten.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
MR
COO at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
Real User
A solution with excellent storage capabilities that's very stable and easy to set up

Pros and Cons

  • "The solution is stable; we've had no problems at all."
  • "The lower model, the 3000, should have duplication. It doesn't right now. It's only from 5000 that this is offered, but it depends on the performance. It could be they don't offer it on lower models because the duplication is too much of a burden to the performance."

What is most valuable?

The solution's most valuable features are its storage capabilities and its duplication.

What needs improvement?

The solution could use more integration with popular backup systems. Dell storage solutions are not very integrated. There are no dedicated models for, for example, Veeam backup or Redhouse backup, etc.

The lower model, the 3000, should have duplication. It doesn't right now. It's only from 5000 that this is offered, but it depends on the performance. It could be they don't offer it on lower models because the duplication is too much of a burden to the performance.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for about two years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is stable; we've had no problems at all.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is okay, but the pricing of additional discs is pretty high. It's more optimized for the whole model of discs, not for single disc upgrades. We have about 500 users on the solution currently.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is good. They have good information and good remote monitoring of the systems. There are good accessibility and knowledgable engineers, so overall, we have a very good impression of the support of this solution. The take a reasonable amount of time to answer our queries.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We didn't previously use a different solution. We added this to replace some older methods because it's flexible and the visual storage was generally a very good idea.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was rather straightforward. Deployment took about a month for the  5000, and the SC 3000 took about a week.

What about the implementation team?

In terms of assistance with implementation, for the 5000 we used the Dell pilot program and for the SC 3000 we used a reseller.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

We purchased the whole package at once. We don't pay any additional fees annually.

What other advice do I have?

We are using the private cloud deployment model and utilize both the 3000 and 5000 models of the solution.

My advice to others considering using the solution would be, first of all, to buy the full disc on the shelf, not part of the shelf. Buy all the discs, and then buy another shelf because it's most effective financially. Buying a single disc is extremely ineffective and extremely expensive.

I would also advise others to look for backup software that is compatible. If you use something and it's not supported, you may be disappointed. We don't use it and don't plan to use it, so this is not a problem for us. There are probably others, however, that may look for an optimization method for their backups.

I would rate the solution eight out of ten; it would be higher if the solution had better integration capabilities.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
RW
Senior IT Infrastructure Manager at a consultancy with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Helped us consolidate siloed storage, but there were disk failures

Pros and Cons

  • "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."

    What is our primary use case?

    We are heavily virtualized and it is used for the storage. It's performing well, we have had no issues to date.

    How has it helped my organization?

    It has improved our organization because before, we had the storage in silos. This solution allowed us to consolidate into a single Compellent system. That helped us to maximize our management greatly. 

    What is most valuable?

    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.

    The response time is also great.

    What needs improvement?

    We've had failures with disks, but no downtime. We were able to change them before they caused a problem.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    Three to five years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    It is a stable solution. We haven't had any downtime.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    It can scale. We actually added a different chassis to it during the time we were using it.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Technical support was responsive, we got to the right person. We have never had a problem with them.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    We were using EqualLogic before we went to the SC Series. We switched because we had them in silos so we needed to consolidate.

    When we select a vendor, our most important criteria is that we should be able to depend on their product. Absolutely no failures. Uptime is most important.

    How was the initial setup?

    I wouldn't say the setup was straightforward. It was complex, but it was manageable at the same time.

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    The solution is affordable. We bought an entry-level solution and, for the price and the amount of storage that we got, we consider it a deal.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We are a Dell EMC shop, so we always go with Dell EMC and Vmware as we have never been in a situation where we were unable to find a Dell product that suited our requirements perfectly. 

    What other advice do I have?

    If you don't have a SAN infrastructure, this is a great one, a great entry-level SAN to start with.

    We are actually moving on to a vSAN. Within the next two months, we won't be using the SC Series anymore and will be migrating away from it to a vSAN. There were no problems with the SC Series, we just wanted to implement a hyperconverged system.

    The SC Series performed the functions we needed it to perform.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    Darren Norfleet
    Storage Team Leader at a healthcare company with 10,001+ employees
    Real User
    Works in high-performance environments like Oracle and SQL, but needs more functionality

    What is our primary use case?

    We're starting our ScaleIO implementation. We have vSAN but we also have software-defined. Our primary goal is to reduce our infrastructure costs by having another offering out there, outside of the traditional SAN storage environment.

    How has it helped my organization?

    It's definitely scalable, definitely fits the majority of our use cases, in high-performance environments such as Oracle, SQL, and so forth.

    What needs improvement?

    In particular, for us, we have two primary data centers. The hospital is located in New York but we have two data centers in New Jersey. So geo clustering is a big thing for us, for our active-active environment.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    It's still an early phase for us, but as of right now it's stable.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    We've been looking at it for some time, and we decided to go for it for our projects for this year.

    How was the initial setup?

    In terms of the initial setup, we did two. We did the software-only and we also did the hardware. Software-only was pretty straightforward. With hardware, the challenge we had was that we're pretty siloed in our environment so we had to get networking involved. It was the complexity of the network which was difficult, to make sure we had the performance in the environment.

    What other advice do I have?

    Start slowly. Generally, initially, you'll get pushback because people are used to traditional storage. Start with what we call low-hanging fruit. For example, we put our test environment on it. Once people become comfortable with it, see that it performs well, then they'll start looking for it for the higher-tier environments.

    We're using VMware and it's particularly easy, you just provision the storage. But when it's a physical environment and you're trying to go to that environment you have to have a migration, usually a whole space migration. We try to get away from that because it's time-consuming, after hours, and so forth.

    I would rate the SC Series at seven out of ten right now. That might change as future releases come out and more functionality comes into the product.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    JS
    Infrastructure Engineer at a healthcare company with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Real User
    "Downright easy" to manage, and support has saved us a lot of time

    Pros and 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 lines"

      What is our primary use case?

      What we are using from Dell EMC is their server line and their storage line. We're pretty well embedded with Dell EMC.

      How has it helped my organization?

      We no longer have an issue, especially in the support arena, of wasted hours: getting support, waiting for support to arrive onsite. It's been a huge time saver for us.

      What is most valuable?

      The most valuable feature is the customer support. Everyone has a product that goes wrong. It's how well they handle it when it does, and Dell EMC has been tremendous at that.

      In terms of managing the solution, they've gone from "not bad to manage" to "downright easy."

      We have integrated the system with Exchange and vSphere, among others.

      What needs improvement?

      They need to make it a little cheaper.

      What do I think about the stability of the solution?

      I won't entertain any other vendor at this point.

      What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

      In terms of scalability, so far, so good. We run a whole lot of different product lines. The ability to scale, at least within the product series, has been wonderful.

      How is customer service and technical support?

      Technical support has been top-notch.

      How was the initial setup?

      The only thing that made the setup difficult were the layers of project management. I know they're going through some changes as Dell and EMC merge, but they really need to take a strong look at how project managers are deployed and what their level of knowledge is. More often than not, I'm having to run those calls.

      What was our ROI?

      We've been able to take them and run them completely to end-of-life. For us, storage side, that's about five years. We consider that the best turnover rate for us, while for server hardware it's three years. With support contracts, they've all made it to the end of those time frames.

      What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

      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, when it comes 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. That would be my one complaint.

      What other advice do I have?

      I always recommend them.

      Regarding the purchasing process, we were working with a VAR and they helped loop us together with the sales engineers and usually, within a few hours of discussion, we were able to drill down on everything. We had a product solution figured out, and almost next-day.

      The most important criteria when selecting a product like this are the reliability of the equipment itself and the support.

      I rate the solution at nine out of ten. They've really got the customer service, especially in the support arenas, nailed. They make information-gathering on their solutions, especially during pre-sale, easy to do.

      Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
      JM
      Automation at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees
      Real User
      Streamlines VM deployment but support needs improvement

      What is our primary use case?

      We use it for converged infrastructure.

      How has it helped my organization?

      It helps us streamline deployment of VMs.

      What needs improvement?

      Customer support could be improved. It takes five or six reps to finally get someone who can help us.

      I would also like to see a better ability to capture driver firmware, compatibility, and upgrade metrics to be compliant.

      What do I think about the stability of the solution?

      The stability is fine until it comes to patching, and then we have issues. Whenever we have issues related to driver and firmware, it's a pain.

      What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

      The scalability is good.

      Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

      We switched because of cost.

      How was the initial setup?

      The initial setup was straightforward.

      Which other solutions did I evaluate?

      We've used everything from HPE to UCS. We've used a lot of different stacks.

      What other advice do I have?

      I rate the solution at seven out of ten. To be a ten it would need better support and better compatibility metrics across the firmware driver stack.

      Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
      RD
      Virtualization Manager at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
      Real User
      Built-in migration capabilities have been very helpful, compression and dedupe are good

      Pros and Cons

      • "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."

        What is our primary use case?

        We use it as the OS drives for our VMs. Our is a hybrid solution.

        How has it helped my organization?

        It's good storage product for our C and D drives for the virtualization space.

        What is most valuable?

        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 in that direction.

        What needs improvement?

        It would be great if they could increase the compression and dedupe ratio.

        What do I think about the stability of the solution?

        We haven't had any issues with stability so far.

        What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

        It's scalable.

        How are customer service and technical support?

        Technical support is good.

        Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

        We had XtremeIO for the past three or four years and, prior to that, we had NetApp. I think the SC Series works better. We are pretty happy with it. In terms of performance with mixed workloads, the SC Series is pretty good. We don't see a lot of latency as we saw with NetApp. But I would say XtremeIO and SC are similar in that regard.

        Most storage platforms are the same, but when it comes to the performance and dedupe, as I said, those were the main criteria, what we were after when we talked to Dell EMC. The relationship and trust are also very important.

        How was the initial setup?

        The setup was straightforward. We used Dell EMC Professional Services, and they came in. A company like ours is pretty big, so we use the vendors to come in and install things because we don't want to mess them up. They gave us the development documents, etc., so we're really happy.

        What was our ROI?

        The ROI is good.

        What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

        It is affordable. We need more discount, but it's good. Pricing is more important than improving on dedupe or compression.

        Which other solutions did I evaluate?

        We looked at Nimble and NetApp. We went with Dell EMC. We have a good relationship since most of our stuff is on VMware. When Michael Dell bought VMware we said, "Yeah, we should increase our usage," and, of course, we have been using EMC for more than a decade.

        What other advice do I have?

        Research is important. Understand the product. Just like any other technology you use, research is the most important part.

        Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
        BB
        Systems Engineer at a pharma/biotech company with 10,001+ employees
        Real User
        The way everything is integrated makes it seem there is less hardware to keep up with

        Pros and Cons

          • "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."

          What is our primary use case?

          We use it for VDI, mainly. In terms of performance, there were some difficulties to begin with, with a lot of different upgrades. It took a lot of time because we've got several of them. With all the upgrades done, it has run pretty smoothly.

          Right now, we've just got one particular system on it, where we're just trying to test the waters to figure out if it's good because we use a combination of Dell EMC and Cisco equipment. So far, the Dell EMC seems to be doing pretty well. There are some applications that we've run where it appears that the Dell EMC would be a better solution.

          How has it helped my organization?

          We like the integration, the nodes themselves, the way that everything is integrated together. It seems like it's less hardware to keep up with.

          Speed and performance seem to be good on the hardware side.

          What needs improvement?

          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 calls 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.

          What do I think about the stability of the solution?

          As I said, when we first deployed it, there were a lot of upgrades that had to be done. We would have trouble with this or that, networking would fall, stalls, delays. We would have to run through another upgrade. We've got about 50 or 60 of these pieces of equipment, and to do an upgrade would take 30 to 40 hours.

          We've had to coordinate that back and forth, as this is a live system. Since we got through that process - and it took weeks - it seems to have been a lot more stable. It's almost to the point now that we can say that we're pleased with it. To begin with, we were ready to throw it out the window.

          What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

          We like the scalability. It seems like we can increase it and add to it when the need comes, to meet our growth.

          How is customer service and technical support?

          In my position, I don't use the technical support. We do have other employees who, I'm sure, have used it. There are several times that we've called them. So far, we have not had complaints about the tech support. They've been able to resolve the issues that we've had.

          What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

          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 cost is a saw-off compared to other options because there's not a lot of difference between them. You just have to figure out what would be the best.

          What other advice do I have?

          I would consider Dell EMC to be one of the top options, by all means. I've liked HPE, but it seems that they are integrating with that, as far as VMware is concerned. The two that we're currently using are Cisco and Dell. They're the main two that we're bouncing back and forth with.

          At times the SC Series has been slow. Most of the time, we have found the problem is on the appliance side, not the hardware side.

          I rate the solution at eight out of ten. To get it to a ten it would need fewer upgrades and getting things right to begin with. That's really one of the core issues that we've had with it: so many upgrades. Once every two to three weeks we've had to upgrade firmware or something else. Although now, that has slowed down.

          Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
          JD
          Systems Engineer at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
          Real User
          Gives us the replication, I/O, and uptime we need

          Pros and Cons

            • "I would like to see higher compression, dedupe, faster I/O, and bigger drives."

            What is our primary use case?

            It's the storage backbone for our virtual environment. So far the performance has been very good.

            What is most valuable?

            • Replication
            • Uptime
            • I/O

            What needs improvement?

            I would like to see higher compression, dedupe, faster I/O, and bigger drives.

            For how long have I used the solution?

            One to three years.

            What do I think about the stability of the solution?

            I have no complaints, so far, about the stability.

            What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

            It's very easy to scale.

            How are customer service and technical support?

            I have not needed to use technical support yet.

            Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

            We had old technology. We wanted to move to stuff that's more VMware-aware.

            Our most important criterion when selecting a vendor is price.

            What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

            We have found the solution to be somewhat affordable. The scalability seems a bit more expensive than even buying a brand new one so far. That has been kind of a drawback.

            What other advice do I have?

            Do your research, check out all the vendors, and get your hands on it as much as possible.

            Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
            AP
            Data Center Supervisor with 501-1,000 employees
            Real User
            Helped us to virtualize a lot of workloads while maintaining performance

            Pros and Cons

            • "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."
            • "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."

            What is our primary use case?

            It back-ends our vSphere virtualization farms.

            How has it helped my organization?

            Overall, it has really helped us to virtualize a lot of workloads where server or application owners were very hesitant to move away from their physical boxes because they were used to having local disks and the performance that came with that. With the SC Series SAN, the performance that we've gotten out of the boxes alleviated anyone's concerns. We do not get complaints about the performance of our virtual infrastructure.

            Also, 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.

            What is most valuable?

            • Reliable
            • Good performance
            • Economical

            We also utilize replication. And the data progression feature gives us the ability to economically utilize those solid state discs by having a three-tier solution. That was key for the product.

            We make use of VMware's VMotion features quite a bit. You don't even know that the SAN is there. It just moves the workload. It does it quickly. We've been happy.

            What needs improvement?

            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.

            What do I think about the stability of the solution?

            We haven't had any issues affecting the stability.

            What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

            It was easy to expand. In year two of our owning the SC8000 SANs, we expanded the flash tiers and it was a piece of cake. Very easy.

            How is customer service and technical support?

            I have called the SC Series support and they've been great.

            How was the initial setup?

            I worked with a VAR on the initial setup of the product. It was very straightforward, very easy to bring it online.

            What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

            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.

            Which other solutions did I evaluate?

            We looked at several vendors. I work in public education so we have to consider alternate sources for every major purchase. Dell EMC gave us the most bang for the buck and we are comfortable working with them as a company.

            When we look to work with a vendor, the important criteria are follow-through, ease of communicating with the vendor, and the quality of technical support.

            What other advice do I have?

            You have to do your preparation and research but that's no different than buying any SAN. Get to know your local Dell EMC pre-sales engineer quite a bit because they'll be able to help you properly size the unit.

            In our mixed workloads, we generally see sub-10ms latency on the product. I don't really have any stats for high-end IOPS because we are not really doing high-performance computing. We have mixed workloads and I'm more concerned with latency than IOPS. But the performance has been great. We have been very happy with it.

            Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
            Micheal Laggis
            Senior Solutions Engineer at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
            Real User
            Gives you the flexibility of spinning disk, flash, or a combination, while auto-tiering keeps hot data up on your fastest Tier 1

            Pros and Cons

            • "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."

              How has it helped my organization?

              It's easy to expand. Back in the day, if you wanted to expand, you would have to buy a block of disk from somebody or a new shelf. Here, if you have open spots, you buy some more disk and you expand.

              What is most valuable?

              What I really like, from the model line starting with the 3000 all the way up, is the flexibility. You can have spinning disk, you can have flash, you can have a combination. 

              Another 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.

              They already integrate with Dell Storage Manager, so you can manage multiple, you can set up replication, you've got monitoring, vSphere, Hyper-V.

              What needs improvement?

              Going into the unit itself, to manage, takes a little more intuition. But when you integrate it into the Dell Storage Manager it gives a much more GUI, user-friendly area to manage, provision volumes, etc.

              What do I think about the stability of the solution?

              It's very stable.

              What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

              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.

              How is customer service and technical support?

              Copilot support is next to none. I've dealt with a lot of support before. With Copilot, you're usually on the phone if you have a problem. Even as a customer, not a partner, if you have an issue or you're planning on upgrading code, you call Copilot, they do a system check, they give you the thumbs up. The support is very helfpul.

              How was the initial setup?

              The 3000 Series are user-installable but, as a certified installer, I have found that customers, if they're not used to the interface, like to come in and have a tutorial to see the interface and how it's done. Anything in 5000 Series and above requires a certified installer. You want to make sure that you get your networking and zoning set up properly; and to get a walk-through on setting up the environment and for getting used to it.

              It does not have a steep learning curve. Especially in the SMB, the front-end is not hard. You set up the Storage Manager, it gives you the dashboard and tells you when you're over-provisioned, and shows performance and the like.

              What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

              It's very affordable. Anything from an SMB on up to the large enterprise - from a 3000 Series all the way up to a 9000 Series - with federation and you name it.

              What other advice do I have?

              You should definitely have a partner come in. If you're going to do a multi-tier environment, look at your IOPS: What are your hot IOPS, what's your total storage need? You need to plan out those different tiers because that's where it saves you money. You don't have to go all-flash if you don't need it. You only need to be able to deliver your performance and most places have tons of cold data that they aren't aware of. So, having someone come in and do an assessment of your current storage environment and see what performance you really do need - what you're getting now and what your projected growth will be - is important, so that a system can be properly sized. That should be a pre-sales process. Your engineer should understand Compellent and be able to size it properly.

              I just deployed a 3000 Series in a small VDI environment and, during a bunch of huge data copies, I was seeing 15,000 IOPS at less than about 7 or 8 milliseconds of latency and that was on 10K disk. I was really impressed with that.

              The most important factor when looking at a vendor is, are they there to sell you a box or are they there to help you? Are they there for the long term?

              From my dealings with it, it's right up there at ten out of ten. Obviously, there are more expensive systems out there but, for all the deployments that I've seen or done, its been a rock solid platform.

              Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
              Don  Woodward
              Solutions Consultant at BlueAlly
              Reseller
              No-forklift upgrade means I can change out controllers, add shelves, storage, or SSD drives, while it's up and running

              Pros and Cons

              • "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."
              • "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."

              What is our primary use case?

              It's primary storage. It started off as just being spinning disk, but recently we've had a lot of traction with customers adding flash and even going to all-flash systems. Some of our customers have had it six, seven, eight years.

              It performs quite well. We had a customer who had an Oracle all-flash system, and they needed to run VMs in their disaster recovery facility and, of course, they did not want to purchase the Oracle storage because it's extremely expensive. So, they added flash to their existing Compellent storage, they were using a DR for the other stuff. It has performed quite well for them.

              How has it helped my organization?

              One of the nice things about it is that there is no forklift upgrade required to upgrade the storage. That's why a lot of our customers like it.

              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. That's another reason the customers like it.

              We've been able to maintain a lot of customers over the last six or seven years. We actually started selling the SC Series - it was called the Compellent - before Dell purchased them.
              We had picked it as a strategic storage for our company to sell. It has been good to us over the years. We continue to make a lot of sales.

              What is most valuable?

              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.

              Also, in terms of auto-tieriing, Compellent writes all of its writes into Tier 1, unless of course you do something silly and pin a whole bunch of LUNS, which means you're telling your VM, your data stores, that they have to live in that top-tier storage. As long as you follow the best practices recommendations and let it do its own auto-tiering then it works very well. 

              In most cases the customers with all-flash, most of their active data lives in flash. So, they're really using all of those IOPS and performance in that tier, and the other tier or tiers are just being used for cold data storage. It works very well, as long as customers follow the best practices there.

              What needs improvement?

              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.

              For how long have I used the solution?

              More than five years.

              What do I think about the stability of the solution?

              It's absolutely stable. There were some issues in the early days with the tiering, but they straightened that out. What was happening was, if the first tier filled up - and it wasn't necessarily because of pinning - but if the first tier filled up because you overran the "write" amount that you had in the first tier, it died, actually.

              Dell EMC was really quick in fixing that. Now, if it gets to 90 percent, if you start to overrun that tier, it will start moving stuff automatically. It doesn't have to wait for the tiering, "seven down and three up." The way that it works is, if you're in the top tier here and something is not accessed in the last seven days, it will move down to the next tier and it takes three days to move it up. But with it automatically tiering it down, it can automatically go and take it out of there if it sees that it's going to fill up.

              What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

              It scales very well. It's not a multi-controller system right now. They are limited to two controllers, like some of the others. It is an active-active controller, so both controllers are processing LUNS. One of them is called the leader and it is the transcriber - think of it as the "court reporter" guy. But both of them actually take reads and writes.

              How are customer service and technical support?

              I do use technical support quite often. In fact, any time I do an upgrade I call Copilot and let them know that I'm going to be doing an upgrade, in case anything happens and they get an alert. They'll also do a system check for me so that I know everything's working at 100 percent before I go in there and start pulling cables or adding cables. It gives me peace of mind. A customer can't say, "Well, you broke it." It was that way before we started. And in some cases, support won't let me start the upgrade, they'll advise me not to. I work with them quite a bit. They are probably the best support that you'll find.

              But recently, things have changed a little bit. I have gotten some wrong answers from Copilot. I have to double-check their work on certain things. I've had at least three times where I've gotten the wrong answer from someone, which is not good.

              But they're always responsive, whether you call at three in the morning or three in the afternoon. It's the same group of people up in Minnesota. They're not in India, they're not in the UK, they're not in Turkey, they're not somewhere where they have a thick accent and you can't understand them. 

              I think the reason for the changes, from what I'm seeing and what I've heard, is that they have now started pulling some of the other storage people, who may have done the EqualLogic stuff, the lower-end storage, into the Copilot fold, and are having them do the support. I'm sure it's just a popularity thing.

              We were concerned too, when EMC came on board, that Dell would bury the SC line at some point. What we've been told is that they're going to continue it on. It's a much better product than even they imagined. It seems the product is going to stick around for a while, from what we've been told by Dell EMC.

              Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

              We still sell some EqualLogic. I had worked with that before. I had also worked with the EMC Series for many years, back to 2000. I still do both EqualLogic and SC Series.

              How was the initial setup?

              I'm a certified SC Storage Engineer and when our company sells the SC Series, I will go out and install it. I've been doing it for a long time so I can do a lot of the stuff with my eyes closed now.

              It's not something that an end-user is going to pull out of the box and set up. You have to some knowledge of the SAS chaining, how it works with the Compellent, and how you load the software and how to set it up. It does have a pretty easy GUI on the setup. It's not command-line-based like some other stuff. The SAS chaining is the hardest part to understand.

              What was our ROI?

              We just had a customer that ripped out a whole cabinet of spinning disks and they're down now to one shelf of 24 flash disks and three shelves of spinning disk to replace all that. We're talking about a huge return on power, cooling, rack space, and cost of maintenance, because they do charge by the shelf for their maintenance. Now they've got four shelves as opposed to 18 or 19 that they had before. That maintenance cost goes down quite a bit because of that and that's all because of the SSD drives now, being able to add those in.

              About four or five years ago, they finally brought on the what we call the hybrid and full SSD to existing customers. Initially, it started off that only new systems could be all-flash, and now we're going back and we're seeing a lot of our customers who add the flash in and revitalize their whole storage system, completely.

              What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

              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.

              Which other solutions did I evaluate?

              We have looked at different solutions over the years. We represent quite a few: EqualLogic, the SC Series, NetApp, and, now that HPE has Nimble, we sell Nimble. About the only ones we don't sell are Pure and Tintri.

              We looked at a lot of others, back in the day, that are gone now. Going with the EqualLogic and the SC Series was a wise choice because they're still here, seven or eight years later and people are still buying them and people are still upgrading.

              What other advice do I have?

              The SC Series is not the thing for your mom and pop shop. It is an enterprise-grade, mid-tier business type solution. It depends on how much space you need. Some situations can be fine with the EqualLogic series, although that's going to go away and, perhaps, the lower-end Unity's will replace them. You have to look at all those factors.

              In terms of performance with mixed workloads, generally, the Compellent has been very good. If it's over the 20ms mark that's not good, but I have never seen any problems with that, in particular, when we've added flash.

              In terms of migrations, I haven't used the built-in capabilities. I'll use VMware's VMotion to move things from one SAN to the other. A couple of years ago I had a Compellent upgrade where, at that time, they didn't support the upgrade I mentioned earlier, where you do one controller at a time on that thicker model, so I had to set them up side by side. They had some physical servers and I just used replication to replicate the LUNS over to the new SAN. I then shut down the physical servers for a few minutes and pointed everything to the new SAN and that worked great. I know they do have the data import, it's just something that we don't generally use because most of our customers are fully virtualized.

              We sell the equipment and install it. I do both sides of the field, the engineering, both pre-sales and post-sales.

              We still have a lot of customers that are in the 6 series. A lot of our customers have moved up to 7.1. If you have the SSD drives, then you can do things like dedupe, which you can't do on the older versions, and you can't do if you don't have the SSD drives. Evidently, the deduplication uses some part of the SSD drives for metadata or something like that, so that's a must.

              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 having 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 not only going to add space but performance to the array. I've got a couple of customers that want to use that very soon.

              I like the SC Series. I enjoy working with it. We've done a lot of sales lately, which is kind of surprising with all the new, fancy, all-flash arrays out there. Customers really don't need all-flash today, and that's really where SC fills in, with its auto-tiering, hybrid - mixed SSDs and spinning disks - customers just don't need all-flash systems. They don't have that kind of workload.

              Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner and reseller.
              GR
              Senior Systems Engineer at a non-profit with 501-1,000 employees
              Real User
              Fast performance, secure and reliable - no downtime

              What is our primary use case?

              We use it for storage. The performance is great. So far there are no issues at all.

              How has it helped my organization?

              The benefits are the reliability and the performance. That is what we look for and it works great for us.

              What is most valuable?

              It's secure and fast. There's no downtime and the HA works great. Everything is easy and their support is great. 

              Mostly, during an upgrade process, there is no downtime at all. The way they do is really great. Very easy, straightforward. There is a pre-check and then, when they finish it, they do a post-check. It's great the way they do the upgrade, no downtime at all.

              What needs improvement?

              Something that has been needed should be coming out with the 6.7 version of vSphere: You don't need a hot spare, so that should give you more IOPS. They've figured out how to do a RAID across all the drives, rather than using a hot spare. So the hot spare can be used too. You won't need a dedicated hot spare any longer.

              For how long have I used the solution?

              One to three years.

              What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

              Scalability is fine. It's much easier. I can add more drives and just keep on adding stuff if I want to. Of course, that affects your price point.

              How are customer service and technical support?

              We've had great support from the Dell EMC team. I would rate their Copilot support the best that we have seen in the industry. I have used support with every vehicle we have, but their support is the best. Great engineers. Great engineering team. It's straightforward, easy, and you get the right people.

              Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

              We were previously using Compellent. At the time we went with Compellent we looking for a solution which was affordable for us. We are a non-profit organization and it worked great from that point of view. They were new, they had this great solution. We looked at it and we said, "Okay, it is at our price point and it works great. Let's get it and done." Dell EMC acquired it but they continued the same support and it worked fine.

              When selecting a vendor, what I look for is a good technical solution. As a technical guy, that's all I look for.

              How was the initial setup?

              I engineered the solution, architected it with their support. We have also upgraded several times.

              What was our ROI?

              I think our ROI has been good. We used Compellent for seven years and it worked great. We didn't have any major downtime or major performance issue. We're already three years into the SC Series, so I hope I can use it for four more years. That would be a good ROI.

              What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

              So far, the solution has been affordable for us. We have a 48-drive solution and that works great for our headquarters site. Their pricing goes by the number of physical drives that you have and the drives are not cheap. Whenever you want to upgrade something there is a price issue. For example, for a 4TB SSD, they may charge you seven grand or eight grand. It's expensive. So we try to get the maximum use out of what we have, for five to seven years, and then upgrade it.

              Which other solutions did I evaluate?

              We were looking at HPE, and we had looked at a product called OSNEXUS. They operate in the same town as us so we thought we could get support from them. We looked at five or six products.

              We actually went with two solutions. In India, we are using OSNEXUS, which is located in the Seattle area. We use Dell EMC in our headquarters.

              What other advice do I have?

              It depends on your budget. What are the criteria you're looking for? And it depends on how much storage you're going to use and the cost associated with that. There a lot of solutions now, software-defined solutions, which are way cheaper, but everything has a price. It depends upon your usage. If you are going for virtualization, sure, go ahead and use it.

              Performance for a regular workload is pretty great, using 3000 IOPS and, during backup at night, it goes up to the 3000 IOPS as well.

              Overall, the underlying technology they are using is really great. That's the whole thing. It's how they do the data programming, the read-cache and the write-cache. That's why everyone understands it very easily. "Oh, this is the underlying technology that you're using." And the new features they are coming up with, they're constantly trying to improve the system.

              I rate it an eight out of ten. It's reliable and gives us performance. It's not a ten because no product is a ten. Technology is changing so fast. I'm sure they're adapting to it but nobody can say, "That is a ten out of ten," on a technical thing. It doesn't work that way.

              Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
              Nick Goodman
              Solutions Architect at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
              Real User
              Performance and tiering capabilities have made it a success for our customers

              What is our primary use case?

              We use the SC platform for storage solutions. As a partner, it's usually one of our go-to products for mid-range customers.

              How has it helped my organization?

              When it comes to mid-range storage solutions, it's usually our preferred solution, from all-flash all the way up to hybrid solutions too. Over time, the technology and how it performs, and its tiering capability, have been successful for us.

              What is most valuable?

              • Ease of use
              • Scalability
              • Performance
              • Value for price

              What needs improvement?

              They've actually already done something that I think is needed, which is integration with Unisphere, which is the Dell EMC management platform, and then CloudIQ is their performance analytics solution. So they've actually implemented things that people have been asking for.

              In addition, in any platform, there is always room for improvement. We're always looking for performance increases and keeping up with flash devices, and new products that are coming out.

              What do I think about the stability of the solution?

              It's a very stable product.

              Honestly, most of the complaints I hear about this solution are either because systems have been misconfigured or sized improperly. Probably 90 percent of the issues people have are because it's not sized properly.

              What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

              It's very scalable. They have solutions designed for SMB all the way up to enterprise customers with multiple petabytes of data. The SC Series is one of the two mid-market products for Dell EMC, so there is absolutely room for their solutions to grow with a company's needs.

              How is customer service and technical support?

              Regarding Copilot - which is what they called their support, pre-Dell EMC - people have always had nothing but great things to say about it.

              Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
              RM
              Senior Systems Engineer at a manufacturing company with 10,001+ employees
              Real User
              We see improved performance with our mixed workloads and the dedupe is very effective

              Pros and Cons

              • "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."
              • "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."

              What is our primary use case?

              We use it for our production loads and for whatever is running on all the production VMs, including our database and regular applications. In terms of performance, we have had issues once or twice, but apart from that, it has been amazing.

              How has it helped my organization?

              With mixed workloads, we are seeing at least a 15 to 20 percent improvement. The protocols also make it easier than in days past. We just follow the process. Finally, instead of buying new storage, with the thin nodes in this solution we are leveraging almost a one-to-two ratio.

              What is most valuable?

              The most valuable features are the back-end dedupe, and the thin nodes. For a 20TB or 60TB, we're using almost a one-to-two ratio. 

              What needs improvement?

              The 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 these things easily, to help me know where issues are going to occur. We want to see the trends, performance-wise.

              What do I think about the stability of the solution?

              The stability is perfect. That's why we keep on using Dell EMC products in particular.

              What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

              The scalability is okay. We buy a new product so that we do not reach the limit. For example, if we are anticipating storage needs of 60 or 80TB, we buy a 100TB. We plan at least 25 percent more, in advance, so we haven't had the chance to scale them up.

              How is customer service and technical support?

              Our experience with technical support has been absolutely wonderful. They have a pretty good team.

              What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

              The solution is affordable, but we are a large customer with Dell EMC and we have corporate level discounts. Having said that, everybody definitely, obviously, wants the cost to be lower. And now there is All-Flash and its price is going down day by day.

              Which other solutions did I evaluate?

              We don't want Dell EMC to be a monopoly, as our only product. So we do have a competition, which helps with price negotiation. We have NetApp products as well, that's the main competitor. Technology-wise, we compare a few workloads there, a few workloads here. Doing so also helps us avoid any major downtime, any major outages.

              We'll attend trade shows, and Dell EMC will also call us to give us a technical briefing. At that time they explain the differences between the old and new products. Then, we'll look at the budget we have and the anticipated production with that solution, and go from there.

              We have an internal process. We have to go through all the vendors and weigh metrics we have defined. From there, we have to explain to our internal architecture team what the differences are between the competing products. They will then approve or reject at that point.

              What other advice do I have?

              In terms of criteria when selecting a vendor, if there is an outage and we do not get proper support from their technical team when we call them, in such a scenario we are looking at their competitors sooner.

              Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
              RA
              Sr. Systems Administrator Manager at a manufacturing company with 5,001-10,000 employees
              Real User
              Gives us good performance, it's easy to scale and reliable

              What is our primary use case?

              We use it for storage. We have gotten really good performance out of it, fast IOPS.

              We don't use the hybrid solution, or the built-in data migration capabilities, protocols, or DIP inline upgrades.

              How has it helped my organization?

              It's faster than our last storage system. It brings efficiencies with it. 

              What is most valuable?

              • Easy to configure
              • Reliable

              What do I think about the stability of the solution?

              Very stable. We rarely have any types of issues or failures.

              What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

              It's easy to scale, easy to add on to.

              How are customer service and technical support?

              I have used technical support. I received good customer service and I was able to get my questions answered. It took them just a couple of hours to get back to me.

              Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

              Our company, overall, has an Enterprise License Agreement with Dell EMC, so we transitioned off of older systems on to Dell EMC hardware. Our last storage solution was end-of-life so we wouldn't even have been able to get support through the original vendor, we would have had to go third-party. We decided not to do that, we decided to buy new.

              The most important features when selecting a vendor are stability, scalability, and ease of use.

              How was the initial setup?

              The initial setup was very easy to do. Straightforward.

              What was our ROI?

              Our support costs are less.

              What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

              Compared to other solutions out there, it's affordable. It would be nice if the cost was even lower.

              Which other solutions did I evaluate?

              NetApp and Nimble were on our shortlist.

              Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
              MH
              Virtualization Team Leader at a healthcare company with 10,001+ employees
              Real User
              Allows us to grow service on demand

              What is our primary use case?

              We use it for running all our business workloads.

              How has it helped my organization?

              it allows us to grow service on demand.

              What is most valuable?

              Usually, we have pretty low latency. Our storage is less than 10ms, which is pretty good. No dramas there. That's pretty good performance.

              What needs improvement?

              For what it's doing today there isn't too much that I think they need to add to it. It's doing what it needs to do.

              What do I think about the stability of the solution?

              The stability is quite good. I have nothing but good things to say about it.

              What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

              The scalability is pretty good. We have had no problems at this point.

              How are customer service and technical support?

              Technical support is really good. We have had good, high-quality support with our SC Series. They respond quickly.

              Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

              It's very similar to our previous storage, which made the transition to start using it easy. That was pretty good. We had been using EqualLogic storage. We switched because our old solution went end-of-life.

              How was the initial setup?

              The setup was pretty good. We got the support people, Professional Services people, to come in and install it. It was fine.

              What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

              It's definitely affordable. Of course, it would be better if they made it cheaper, even more affordable.

              What other advice do I have?

              I rate it a nine out of ten. Nothing gets a ten.

              Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
              MS
              IT Manager at a non-tech company with 201-500 employees
              Real User
              It is easy to use, expand the hard drives, add storage, and set up replication

              Pros and Cons

              • "It is easy to use, expand the hard drives, add storage, and set up replication."
              • "I would like to have 100% functionality through the web app."

              What is our primary use case?

              We use Dell EMC storage at two data center sites for hosting vSphere server environments. Those server services are something that we offer internally in the company: SharePoint, GIS mapping services, license servers, and domain controllers. Pretty much everything is hosted on those servers or on the storage.

              What is most valuable?

              It is easy to use, expand the hard drives, add storage, and set up replication.

              What needs improvement?

              • I would like the ability to monitor and manage the storage.  
              • The web GUI is not fully there. 
              • I would like to have 100% functionality through the web app.

              For how long have I used the solution?

              More than five years.

              What do I think about the stability of the solution?

              The solution is stable. We have not had too many problems. The issues that have come up have been addressed very quickly via Dell EMC. 

              What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

              It is scalable. You can easily add-on storage to the core platform. 

              How is customer service and technical support?

              I like using the technical support. Their support is set up where they actually get notified before we do if there's an issue. Thus, they are very proactive about issues.

              What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

              It has a good price point and offers some value-added enterprise features.

              What other advice do I have?

              Dell has a foot in the door. We buy their servers and have relationships with their account manager and reps. I'm content. 

              Dell EMC has been through some changes over the past couple of years. When Dell merged with EMC, it was a bit rough, but they have great experts. That kept us in this realm because of their support and team.

              It is a great, mid-level introduction to storage. I would recommend it. We are happy with it.

              Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
              Todd Grimes
              IT Architect at Synoptek
              MSP
              We see very low latency with very high IOPS for mixed workloads

              Pros and Cons

              • "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."
              • "We had times that we needed a file service solution. We've used FluidFS, but it's a solution that is being transitioned out."

              What is our primary use case?

              We primarily use it to support our customers. We are a managed service provider.

              We have private and public clouds that we use it for. 

              The performance over the years has been great. We like the platform and the upgrade features that it has. The biggest thing which we like is the support that we receive.

              How has it helped my organization?

              We see very low latency with very high IOPS for mixed workloads. Therefore, we are getting great performance. Our customers have been very satisfied because they use a wide range of applications.

              We use the data migration utilities a lot. 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. 

              It allows us to focus on what we want to do. We want to work with our customers, helping them with their applications. We've had only a few times that we have to call into support for additional performance to make sure everything is working well. Each time, the support teams come back and show us areas that we need to strengthen on, and our customers have been very happy.

              What is most valuable?

              Most valuable features have been the system customization with it, the performance you receive, and their CoPilot Support (or Dell EMC Storage Support).

              The auto-tiering feature is one of the key reasons that we do use the SC Series platform. It was cost effective and allowed us to have high-end 15K discs, then auto-tier those down to 7K discs, which gave us the best value for our money.

              What needs improvement?

              We had times that we needed a file service solution. We've used FluidFS, but it's a solution that is being transitioned out.

              For how long have I used the solution?

              More than five years.

              What do I think about the stability of the solution?

              It is very stable. Upgrades have been pretty much flawless. Being able to swap out components and upgrade them later on has also been a huge benefit in keeping the platform cost effective.

              What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

              It is very scalable. It's been able to function for all its assigned workloads.

              How is customer service and technical support?

              Their support is probably the best I have ever worked with.

              How was the initial setup?

              The initial setup was very straightforward.

              What about the implementation team?

              I was able to utilize the Dell EMC support team and have everything installed and upgraded.

              What was our ROI?

              It is one of the most cost effective systems for us. We have been able to run it longer than most, getting the most benefit and money out of it.

              What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

              We have reviewed many platforms over the years. It is probably the best solution for its value.

              What other advice do I have?

              Look at the Compellent solution. It probably offers the most features: 

              • Ease of use with their system.
              • Being able to configure it.
              • Connecting it up, you can run it within a few hours. 

              Most important criteria when selecting a vendor: 

              • The support team behind it.
              • The stability of the system. 
              Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
              RB
              Infrastructure Engineer at a leisure / travel company with 1-10 employees
              Real User
              It has been one of the most stable products in our data center

              What is our primary use case?

              We use it in our production and environmental support along with our VDI infrastructure.  It has been working to our expectations.

              What is most valuable?

              Compared to some of the hardware that we support, from an infrastructure operator standpoint, I never had any problems with the system.

              What needs improvement?

              We have seen some degraded throughput with mixed workloads. We have been working with Dell EMC to correct some of these latency issues.

              What do I think about the stability of the solution?

              It has been one of the most stable products in our data center.

              What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

              We have not had to scale yet.

              What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

              We have found the solution to be…

              What is our primary use case?

              We use it in our production and environmental support along with our VDI infrastructure. 

              It has been working to our expectations.

              What is most valuable?

              Compared to some of the hardware that we support, from an infrastructure operator standpoint, I never had any problems with the system.

              What needs improvement?

              We have seen some degraded throughput with mixed workloads. We have been working with Dell EMC to correct some of these latency issues.

              What do I think about the stability of the solution?

              It has been one of the most stable products in our data center.

              What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

              We have not had to scale yet.

              What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

              We have found the solution to be affordable.

              What other advice do I have?

              Do your research if you are looking into this product.

              I am very happy with it.

              Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
              TP
              Managing Director at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees
              Vendor
              Give us densification benefits: We're able to put more applications on the arrays because of how all-flash performs

              Pros and Cons

              • "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."
              • "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."

              What is our primary use case?

              We're a large financial institution and we use them at our branch sites. They're definitely not enterprise-grade, but where we need to have an all-flash solution for applications, and a smaller footprint, that's where we use them.

              The performance has been excellent.

              How has it helped my organization?

              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. We got both a CapEx benefit and a benefit on the performance side.

              Everything is sub-5ms 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.

              From an organizational perspective, the benefits are really around the decrease in performance-related issues. From an application perspective, when you think about incident management, those people are now spending their time very differently, where we have the SC Series deployed. It really has allowed us to advance a CapEx conversation, where our business partners, our LOBs, are actually behind us because they're seeing the benefit, real-time, in operations: the request for business cases to refresh environment instead of trying to sweat the current assets; now they're seeing the value prop. So we have a lot of people coming to the table supporting the expense, supporting that CapEx, perhaps a year or two sooner than they normally would have, because they understand.

              What is most valuable?

              Being a managing director I don't get "under the cover" as much as I used to, but what I can tell you from what my teams say is that it is a lot less intensive from a performance-troubleshooting perspective. The management software is a lot cleaner. We typically don't have performance issues anymore so our operations team gets to spend their time in different ways. We're getting to spend a lot more time thinking about how to deploy more efficiently and how to be creative about I/O profiles and tiering, in ways that we didn't get to do before, because we were troubleshooting performance issues, issues that we don't have now because of all-flash.

              What needs improvement?

              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. What I've found is that when it comes to the "enablement wrapper," that's what I like to call it, or the "services wrapper," that is wrapped around this whole idea of a transition from legacy to new, 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.

              For how long have I used the solution?

              One to three years.

              What do I think about the stability of the solution?

              So far, I haven't had an incident, so the stability is good. No downtime.

              What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

              It scales as well as the previous mid-range capability we had. I think for us, because we're in a situation where we're in flux between fiber channel and IP, I'm probably not the best person to relate to this question because a lot of our scalability issues have more to do with the network transformation that we're under and less so with the product.

              We have in the neighborhood of 15,000 VMs.

              Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

              We always invest. We're on a five-year depreciation cycle. At year-five, we do an evaluation of whether or not, from a refresh perspective, we need to move forward. The virtualization that's going on in our data center impacts that. In addition, we are green-fielding right now to software-defined storage, so some of these solutions are actually considered legacy right now. Applications are not refactoring at the same rate at which there is a desire to become software-defined, so we still have physical servers, some of which rely on fiber channel. Some of them, we can't even get to refactor into IP-based storage, even if it were still using a monolithic array. We have to provide our customers with what they need, so the need to invest has to do with meeting our customers' demands.

              When looking at a vendor the most important criteria for me, specifically, are stability and reliability. Performance would be second, but stability and reliability are ultimately the most important thing. We have mission-critical applications and they just cannot fail.

              What was our ROI?

              To be honest with you, as a financial institution, I don't think we spend a lot of time thinking about ROI. We are so large, and our scale is so huge, that the economics that we're able to get out of Dell EMC when we go to the table, are quite remarkable.

              For us, once you put a five-year depreciation cycle on top of that, we really don't have an ROI issue. What we're really about is ease of management, about automation, about understanding performance impacts, and that densification piece which really helps to pay the bill. 

              The one thing I can say, from an ROI perspective, is that the overall densification increase that we've seen, because of how flash seems to be operating with some of these application profiles, has definitely lead to a much better ROI. But it's not something we spend a lot of time thinking about.

              What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

              The partnership that we have with Dell EMC is great, so we always get to a solution that is affordable. We are A Dell EMC shop and we have been for a long time. A lot of that is not just because of the strength of the brand. A lot of that is because they build the best storage. For us, being enterprise-critical and having applications that process lots of transactions every day, we can't take chances on our applications and the ability of our storage to be reliant. Performance is important. Cost is absolutely important, but we're always willing to spend a little bit more for what we consider to be the best.

              Which other solutions did I evaluate?

              We're a multi-vendor shop. We do that on purpose to make sure that each vendor gives us their best. HPE was on the shortlist as well as some, what I consider to be up-and-comers, like Pure. They had a play but it wasn't a serious play. When it got down to the last two, HPE was the competition.

              What other advice do I have?

              Do your homework. Get in the lab. Figure out what it does and doesn't do. Figure out what's different. Understand your I/O profiles. Understand your applications. Think about how you want to best choose your app mix, when it comes to what's possible. Often, when people go all-flash for the first time, especially in the mid-range, they might be a little surprised at what's possible. Rack one up, fully populate it with disk, and really see what you can get out of it before you make assumptions around what you need and how your applications are going to behave.

              We have not used the built-in capabilities for migration yet. What we're looking forward to is understanding the opportunity to possibly use these as a migration weigh-station between some of our older VMAXs or any of our other mid-tier storage platforms; where we might be able to use some of those migration solutions to help us get from legacy faster. We haven't done any migration between the two yet. All we've done is refresh tune-up.

              I rate the solution an eight out of 10 because, overall, for the market that it's serving, it is just a really great product. For us, the extensibility that we've gotten in terms of being able to run multiple application workloads and still get a nice densification factor - and not have to worry a lot about over-provisioning and tiering or about a lot of the other things we used to have to worry about, thanks to the all-flash and the way that it operates - has been really nice. The management overhead is minimal. It just works. It's a workhorse.

              Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
              David Winegar
              Network Admin at Jefferson County Washington
              Real User
              improves our speed, storage space, and recovery times

              Pros and Cons

              • "The most valuable feature is the speed for the end-user."
              • "The ease of use could be improved. It took me a while to learn it."

              What is our primary use case?

              We use it for storage for a virtual environment.

              How has it helped my organization?

              It has definitely improved our speed, storage space, and recovery times.

              What is most valuable?

              The most valuable feature is the speed for the end-user.

              What needs improvement?

              The ease of use could be improved. It took me a while to learn it.

              I would also like to see all-in-one appliances. That's what I'm here, at VMworld 2018, to look at.

              What do I think about the stability of the solution?

              The stability is okay, and the maintenance response time is excellent.

              What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

              The scalability is endless.

              How are customer service and technical support?

              Technical support is perfect. We use it all the time. 

              Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

              We were using Dell EMC servers and then went to the virtual environment.

              The most important factor for me, when selecting a vendor, is reliability. I have been using Dell EMC since day one and I'm not willing to switch at this point.

              How was the initial setup?

              I was involved in the initial setup and it was straightforward.

              What was our ROI?

              The value that we've seen is a reduction in costs: virtualization versus physical servers.

              What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

              It's a very affordable solution.

              What other advice do I have?

              We do not use the hybrid solution yet.

              I would rate the solution we are currently using at eight out of 10. Moving to the next performance level would make it a 10. And for this particular solution, the only thing I would like to see improved is the price.

              Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
              YM
              IT Manager at a pharma/biotech company with 5,001-10,000 employees
              Real User
              Phone Home support is very good, providing proactive troubleshooting

              What is our primary use case?

              It acts as our VM storage, and the performance is good.

              What needs improvement?

              It could be hyperconvergent in the future.

              For how long have I used the solution?

              One to three years.

              What do I think about the stability of the solution?

              Stability is good so far.

              What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

              The scalability is very good because we can add up to, if I'm not mistaken, another three stacks, three cases. There is room for us to keep upgrading the capacity.

              How are customer service and technical support?

              The Phone Home support is very good. It provides proactive troubleshooting and responds to end-customers like us.

              We also have a local vendor to support us and all our IT infrastructure. They are acting as our consultant.

              Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

              Initially, when we chose this product it was because of the cost component and because the service was very good.

              For me, when selecting a vendor the most important issue is support, after-sale services.

              How was the initial setup?

              The initial setup was straightforward. Everything was done by the engineers on site. Very little was required of IT during the setup. So it was pretty easy for us.

              Which other solutions did I evaluate?

              We did do some comparisons between HPE 3PAR as well as Dell Compellent, but we choose Dell, as I mentioned, because of the cost factor.

              What other advice do I have?

              The first thing you need to know is what you need, what your requirements are. The second thing is how much of a budget there is.

              I rate Dell Compellent an eight out of 10. So far, we haven't faced any problems. Even during the upgrades, there have been no issues. In addition, support is very good.

              Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
              DH
              System Administrator at Reuter GmbH
              Real User
              It is fast and performs well

              Pros and Cons

              • "It is fast and performs well."
              • "The administration and support (on the way that they delivered) was a little bit slow."

              What is our primary use case?

              It is performing well.

              How has it helped my organization?

              We have a bit more storage, and it is faster.

              What is most valuable?

              • Ease of use
              • Reliability
              • It is fast and performs well.

              What needs improvement?

              The administration and support (on the way that they delivered) was a little bit slow.

              For how long have I used the solution?

              Less than one year.

              What do I think about the stability of the solution?

              So far, so good. However, we have only had it running for four months.

              What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

              Scalability is good. We still have more room.

              How are customer service and technical support?

              We have not used technical support yet.

              Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

              Our previous solution ran out of space and IOPS. Therefore, we had to get something which was faster.

              How was the initial setup?

              The initial setup was pretty straightforward, though I was not involved. A co-worker did it.

              Which other solutions did I evaluate?

              Only Dell EMC products were on our shortlist.

              We did look at Nutanix, but they did not fit into the way that we are organized. We also looked at NetApps, but quickly dismissed them.

              What other advice do I have?

              I would recommend to buy Dell EMC 3020 to anyone researching these type of solutions.

              Most important criteria when selecting a vendor:

              • Reliability
              • Support: We knew the support from EMC was really good.
              Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
              it_user735222
              IT Manager
              Vendor
              You can create volumes and easily assign them to VMware clusters, increasing their size

              Pros and Cons

              • "Easy management of volumes: You can create volumes and easily assign them to VMware clusters, increasing their size."
              • "The process of reallocating data from fast disks (SSD or SAS) to slow disks (SATA) gives you better performance and better use of resources."
              • "Snapshots in VMware. You can’t do snapshots since the storage itself does that. Therefore, some apps (Veeam, for example) don’t work well with this kind of tiering storage."

              How has it helped my organization?

              There is no need to archive data and/or move data from expensive storage since the device does that itself depending on the use of the data. This is the data that you moved to the slower disks.

              What is most valuable?

              1. Easy management of volumes: You can create volumes and easily assign them to VMware clusters, increasing their size.
              2. Performance management: The process of reallocating data from fast disks (SSD or SAS) to slow disks (SATA) gives you better performance and better use of resources.

              What needs improvement?

              Snapshots in VMware. You can’t do snapshots since the storage itself does that. Therefore, some apps (Veeam, for example) don’t work well with this kind of tiering storage.

              For how long have I used the solution?

              Three to five years.

              What do I think about the stability of the solution?

              No issues.

              What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

              It is more difficult than others, since once you need to growth, you need to make sure what tier you will increase to in order to redistribute the data. It can take more time and planning, but is worth the effort.

              How are customer service and technical support?

              Excellent, Copilot (support for Compellent) is excellent.

              Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

              Yes, we used to have EMC and Hitachi Storage. The growth of storage was limited and price/performance were not good.

              How was the initial setup?

              Initially, it can be difficult since you need to understand the tiering philosophy. It is very different to normal SAN deployments, but once you understand them, they are very straightforward.

              What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

              Take your time to meet with your representative and tell them your needs and listen careful to every recommendation. Always keep in mind, this is not just a enclosure with disks is a complete SAN as a service. There is software, license, and storage in one single solution.

              Which other solutions did I evaluate?

              Yes, IBM's and HP's tiering solutions, but there are too expensive and bulky.

              What other advice do I have?

              Document your needs, current storage, expansion, and timeframe for replays (snapshots). If you have backups or replications in place, make sure they work with Compellent Tiered Storage.

              Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
              ITCS user
              Implementation Unit at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
              Consultant
              Excellent unified storage solution for the enterprise.

              What is most valuable?

              Live Volume, Chargeback, Sync Replication (Cascade/Mixed mode), Fast Track.

              How has it helped my organization?

              Additional features like Live Volume, Chargeback, Sync Replication (Cascade/Mixed mode) and Fast Track makes this storage unique. Moreover, you can integrate your existing infrastructure--no matter whether it's FC or FCoE or iSCSI--with this unified storage solution. This means you don't need to buy a new storage solution for future escalation.

              What needs improvement?

              Improvement is a continuous process for every technology. Similarly, Compellent is improving its software (Storage Center) and releases updated version often.

              For how long have I used the solution?

              One and a half years.

              What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

              Not yet. But matching color coding during zoning is sometimes a little bit annoying.

              What do I think about the stability of the solution?

              No.

              What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

              Not yet.

              How are customer service and technical support?

              Customer Service:

              I don't have any complaints.

              Technical Support:

              Excellent. I think EMC support service is equivalent of Copilot service of Compellent. And their response time is really good.

              Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

              Switched from EqualLogic because of Unified scale out architecture. You can use this storage file and block level both. Further, if you consider with others OEM like EMC for unified solution you have to consider VNX 5200/5300 above. Whereas there is no model dependency on Compllent.

              How was the initial setup?

              No issues. The installation and configuration is very simple.

              What about the implementation team?

              Yes. I did the implementation. There is no doubt about Dell's expertise level. They have really an efficient and expert group of people.

              What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

              Technically I can say that day to day cost is at a considerable level. Previously I told you if you consider 5-8 years solution then it'll minimize your day to day cost. Because, later to scale up your capacity you just need to add DAE (Disk Array Enclosure). That's all. And DAE is cheaper than buying a new storage for scale up capacity.

              Which other solutions did I evaluate?

              None.

              What other advice do I have?

              Definitely I would like to say to all others, if you want good unified storage solution with satisfactory level ROI just go with Compellent. It'll give you flexibility, good ROI and you can integrate your existing infrastructure without facing complexity, no matter what kind of infrastructure you have (FC, iSCSI or FCoE).

              Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.