Dell EMC XtremIO Overview

Dell EMC XtremIO is the #15 ranked solution in our list of best All-Flash Storage Arrays. It is most often compared to Dell EMC PowerMax NVMe: Dell EMC XtremIO vs Dell EMC PowerMax NVMe

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

Dell EMC XtremIO is also known as Dell EMC XtremIO Flash, Dell EMC XtremIO X2, XtremIO, XtremIO X2.

Buyer's Guide

Download the All-Flash Storage Arrays Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: April 2021

Dell EMC XtremIO Customers
Raiffeisen Bank Bulgaria, Wentworth-Douglas Hospital
Dell EMC XtremIO Video

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Manager, EMEA Datacenter and Database Operations at a tech vendor with 501-1,000 employees
Vendor
The stability needs improvement. And, it is expensive as you scale.

What is our primary use case?

The performance very good, and the use case is actually we decided to have all flash a couple years ago and Xtreme IO was one of the vendors that your EMC partner reccomended so there was no discussion of what kind of storage we would buy.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable features are: Complete performance Ease of use

What needs improvement?

The stability of the product needs improvement.

For how long have I used the solution?

Three to five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I am not too impressed with XtremeIO because we had a major failure.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is very expensive to scale. You have to buy an additional system to extend from one disc, for instance.…
Technical Specialist Storage at a insurance company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Very easy to use in terms of administrative tasks on the GUI

Pros and Cons

  • "It has very good performance for an application which needs lower latency and a better response, for example, in microseconds."
  • "The GUI could be modified more in terms of how the different components are linked to each other."

What other advice do I have?

It's very good in terms of performance and the ease of use of its GUI. However, we had issues at the data corruption level, which resulted in multiple X-Brick failures. It's a big question for the stability and availability when we have enterprise level customers on such an Xtreme Performance array.
Find out what your peers are saying about Dell EMC, Pure Storage, IBM and others in All-Flash Storage Arrays. Updated: April 2021.
501,499 professionals have used our research since 2012.
AW
Solutions Architect at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Moved and zoned our Prod Client facing Applications. Quicker response to the business and more efficiency.

What other advice do I have?

A proof of concept will provide the best results for determining what solution you should go for.
Systems Engineer at a energy/utilities company with 501-1,000 employees
Vendor
None of the features are valuable for us. It produced an outage and they didn't deliver on promises made.

What other advice do I have?

Don't do it.
Storage Engineer at a healthcare company with 10,001+ employees
Vendor
A couple of the valuable features are linear performance and deduplication.

Pros and Cons

  • "Linear performance – The XtremIO wasn’t the fastest in all tests against other all flash arrays, but even with a massive workload, the response time and user experience were absolutely predictable with no sharp drop-offs."
  • "Native data replication: To replicate data between XtremIO devices, you need to use EMC’s RecoverPoint appliances to move the data."

What other advice do I have?

We had an established EMC footprint in our data center and a good relationship. Exploring their AFA made sense. To keep things honest, we evaluated other products and conducted a PoC with other vendors. The XtremeIO product wasn’t always the fastest, but it was absolutely linear in performance and we encountered no issues. The PoC kept pricing honest as well.
IT Manager - Storage & Backup at a healthcare company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Its speed and reliability are valuable.

Pros and Cons

  • "Speed and reliability:"
  • "I would like hardware capacity additions to be a little more flexible. The upgrade path for the existing XTremIO units requires you to purchase 2 XBricks at a time and they need to be the same capacity as the existing XBricks."

What other advice do I have?

Download and utilize a free deduplication\compression tool to identify effective rates to determine effective capacity cost.
CT
IT Operations Manager at a energy/utilities company with 201-500 employees
Real User
Dedupe, compression and high I/O are the most valuable features.

Pros and Cons

  • "It is great for applications like Microsoft Exchange, ERP, SQL and VDI; basically saved the VDI buy-in from users, as now performance was seamless in comparison to a physical PC."
  • "Get rid of the Java aspect of the GUI console."

What other advice do I have?

I wish we bought double the capacity but we only had so much to spend, as I would put every application/server on this array.
Senior Developer at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
Real User
Management, planning, and support are areas with room for improvement.

Pros and Cons

  • "Thin storage allocation"
  • "Management: At the time, there was no snapshot scheduler, so I had to write XSnapCourier to address it. The sad thing is that even after the newest release, which includes a native scheduler, most customers using XSnapCourier chose to stick with it due to a more feature-rich experience."

What other advice do I have?

Don’t consider it. Look at a platform that has actual support. EMC is a big name, but their support model is terrible with an even worse model for implementation. For a platform you literally can’t touch without them, you’re stranded on a desert island with no help in sight.
System Engineer IAAS at a financial services firm with 5,001-10,000 employees
Vendor
Deduplication and compression are the most valuable features.

Pros and Cons

  • "The guaranteed sub-millisecond response time for a 4K block."
  • "In some cases where we don’t need the flexibility of the virtualization layer, we could free up resources on the VPLEX by using the storage replication."

What other advice do I have?

The XtremIO by itself without a virtualization layer has some drawbacks, like storage replication. I really would recommend them to install it in combination with a storage virtualization layer.
Sr Network Administrtor at a consumer goods company with 10,001+ employees
Vendor
It has offloaded high IOPS processes and cleared the main arrays for bulk work.

What other advice do I have?

Our company didn’t send anyone to operations training until we had the unit for two years. I would advise you to send your technical expert to take the training early on.
CS
Systems Engineer Senior at a healthcare company with 5,001-10,000 employees
Real User
Some of the valuable features are inline deduplication and the snapshot capability. The physical architecture could use some higher levels of redundancy.

Pros and Cons

  • "The speed is extremely valuable."
  • "The physical architecture could use some higher levels of redundancy."

What other advice do I have?

I would make sure you do not put all your eggs in one basket on this hardware. I would make sure updates have an extended down window and are prepared for the array to not service I/O during these updates as a worst case scenario. It deduplicates well, but I would not run a database and the log files on the same array, to be safe.
Senior Infrastructure Engineer at a manufacturing company with 201-500 employees
Vendor
The most valuable features are deduplication and data optimization.

Pros and Cons

  • "Performance and deduplication. This is a very robust block storage option that offers both performance and data optimization."
  • "Ease of use is key in the converged and hyper-converged world that requires administrators to have both hypervisor and storage skills."

What other advice do I have?

Make sure you understand the shutdown and redundancy for this product. Test these features to protect the storage controller’s journaling.
Senior Storage Engineer with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
We can perform data warehousing and see performance stats.

Pros and Cons

  • "Ease of management, aside from the serious performance, is the best feature."
  • "I believe having more replication options comparatively to VMAX (other than RecoverPoint) would be great."

What other advice do I have?

Do an on-premise PoC to see how simple it is and test the performance. Run through a Mitrend data analysis if you want an understanding of deduplication rates for the mileage you will get out of it. You can run it to 100%. However, why would you want to risk of hitting the wall if you run out of storage?!
Technology Solutions Director, Converged Infrastructure at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Consultant
It can run workloads with little design consideration.

Pros and Cons

  • "XtremIO’s capability to run any workload without much in the way of design considerations makes this very easy to use and size."
  • "Right now, external appliances are needed to replicate XtremIO to XtremIO, or to another EMC system."

What other advice do I have?

If you have the workloads that require the performance that XtremIO provides, without having to consider what workloads you are throwing at this array, then this solution is for you.
Director at a pharma/biotech company with 10,001+ employees
Vendor
Valuable features include deduplication and cloning capability. Management and reporting need improvement.

Pros and Cons

  • "Deduplication and cloning capability"
  • "Management and reporting need improvement."

What other advice do I have?

* Provide clear requirements * Test to verify that the results are as expected * Spend time to carefully integrate it into your support model, including reporting/dashboards and proactive monitoring.
TD
Director of Infrastructure Services at a tech services company with 201-500 employees
Real User
Compression, deduplication, and snapshots are the most valuable features.

Pros and Cons

  • "Snapshots are valuable because of their seamless nature, as well as the minimal space each snapshot takes."
  • "It needs a way to determine the deduplication of each LUN and what the impact would be if we were to move data from one LUN to another."

What other advice do I have?

The flash market is saturated with vendors and their products. This product is an all-around solid player. However, make sure that deduplication is a major factor before purchasing. If snapshot and snapshot consolidation is key, then this is the product for you.
Systems Architect at a insurance company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
The most valuable features are low latency, high I/O, and large bandwidth. When you lose one of the scale-out nodes, your hosts will see a large drop in I/O.

What other advice do I have?

Don’t use this product. There are better solutions out there.
Senior Systems Engineer at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees
Vendor
The most valuable features are IOPS performance, thin provisioning, and deduplication savings.

Pros and Cons

  • "Very good IOPS performance"
  • "They can improve the product by providing an HTML5-based interface instead of the Java GUI based application."

What other advice do I have?

Make sure you understand the basic fundamentals of SAN, IOPS, and data deduplication.
AW
Solutions Architect at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Provides Integrated Copy Data Management. I would like to see an integration of the management server.

What other advice do I have?

A testing and integration PoC needs to be done with full diligence.
AN
AGT Infrastructure Operations at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 20
The deduplication and snapshot copies are valuable.

What other advice do I have?

Mileages vary, so please test the dedupe rate and performance metrics you are achieving for your workload, before implementing in production.
Windows Administrator at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
I appreciate its ease of use and compression rates.

What other advice do I have?

Once you use it, you will not regret it.
IT Analyst at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Flash array with deduplication and compression. I would like to see improvements in the database workloads.

What other advice do I have?

This solution is good for VDI environments, but not recommended for database workloads.
Independent Analyst and Advisory Consultant at Server StorageIO - www.storageio.com
Consultant
Top 10
XtremIO, XtremSW and XtremSF EMC flash SSD portfolio redefined
EMC (@EMCflash) today announced some new, enhanced, renamed and a rebrand flash solid-state device (SSD) storage portfolio around theme of XtremIO. XtremIO was the startup company with a new all flash SSD storage array that EMC announced they were buying in May 2012. Since that announcement, Project “X” has been used when referring to the product now known as XtremIO (e.g. all flash new storage array). Synopsis of announcement - Product rollout and selective availability of the new all flash SSD array XtremIO - Rename server-side PCIe ssd flash cards from VFCache to XtremSF - New XtremSF models including enhanced multi-level cell (eMLC) with larger capacities - Rename VFCache caching software to XtremSW (enables cache mode vs. target mode) What was…
Cloud services professional at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
Consultant
Initial setup of this product following stacking and racking servers is straightforward.

What other advice do I have?

Be it XtremIO or anything else, you need to see that requirements are aligned with the following: - Data Centre space and cost. - Storage growth trend and capacity forecast. - Application performance and requirements. - Operational readiness and implementation timelines.
Sr. Technology Engineer at a insurance company with 10,001+ employees
Vendor
It provides good user experience and replication for DR purposes. It should have native replication.

What other advice do I have?

Make sure you understand and check how EMC’s replication and licensing policy for replication works. Also make sure you are at the latest code and fully understand how the grouping and clustering of hosts on the storage array works.
Sr. Storage Engineer at a consultancy with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
For me, the valuable features are Deduplication and Compression. I have unfortunately had some bad experience with bugs and failed upgrades.

What other advice do I have?

Consider your migration methods to this array and know your data. For instance, if you are running Windows 2012 you may consider disabling ODX on the entire array which is disruptable or disabling on every single 2012 host. Talk to your SE about this.
Principal Storage Engineer at a tech consulting company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Consultant
We use it for multi-version databases. We've seen reduced DEV/UAT refresh periods.

What other advice do I have?

Understand your workloads and use-cases. This is not a perfect solution for all flash workloads. If you cannot take advantage of deduplication and compression there may be better/cheaper solutions. If you want simplified replication, this is not the product for you. For us, performance wasn’t the prime driver. We wanted a scalable solution and our workloads could take advantage of deduplication extremely well so this was an obvious choice.
Practice Manager - Cloud, Automation & DevOps at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
Real User
This is the first time I have witnessed 400,000 IOPS in any kind of enterprise lab.
Originally posted at vcdx133.com. Today I completed the initial performance testing of my EMC XtremIO PoC system. I wanted to take a shot at it myself before the EMC SMEs come in to tune and optimise the configuration. In a single word, “Wow!” This is the first time I have witnessed 400,000 IOPS in any kind of enterprise lab. I look forward to seeing what additional tricks the experts can make my “X-bricks” perform. Business Requirement for XtremIO I can imagine people reading this and asking, “Why? It is so expensive!”. Well, the organisation I work for uses monolithic storage (EMC Symmetrix VMAX) which has been sized for capacity, and after 2 years of use we are feeling the impact of performance degradation as we consume the total capacity of the solution. My business…
Practice Manager - Cloud, Automation & DevOps at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
Real User
The XtremIO cost would be slightly cheaper than the VMAX, and 1/3rd the size.
Originally posted at vcdx133.com. I am currently testing my EMC XtremIO PoC system with EMC. One of the great benefits of XtremIO is the Deduplication feature, which at a minimum will be 10:1, so the experts tell me and will be even better in version 3.0. My current Symmetrix VMAX configurations are 250TB and 350TB of tiered SSD, 15KFC and SATA storage for 2 sites. So assuming a 10:1 dedupe ratio, could I replace my two Symmetrix VMAX solutions with two XtremIO systems of 2 X-bricks (with 20TB model)? It almost seems too good to be true! From a price perspective, the XtremIO cost would be slightly cheaper than the VMAX (after the highly combative process of vendor bashing, sorry – negotiation, in my region) and from a space perspective 1/3rd the size (with SAN Fabric). No need…
Solutions Architect with 51-200 employees
Vendor
NetApp vs. XtremIO vs. HDS
Flash and Hybrid block arrays Flash has changed storage forever and almost every new array purchase needs to have some degree of flash included, so the market now offers three distinct types of array: Hybrid - Exploits the performance of flash and the lower cost of HDDs All-Flash hybrid - Packaged to deliver a low cost per GB of flash Ground-up design - Purely designed for flash with no support for HDDs As always there is a huge range of price points, due to the architecture, features and performance scaling, for these arrays. Efficiency features are critical in some use cases (i.e. VDI), but less so in many others and performance scaling for the majority of solutions is substantially higher than legacy arrays built just for HDDs. Historically array performance scaling was limited…
Independent IT Analyst with 51-200 employees
Vendor
It clearly needs some improvements here and there but this product is maturing very quickly.
EMC XtremIO most interesting characteristic? Predictability. Last week, thanks to Tech Field Day Extra, I attended a presentation from the EMC’s XtremIO team. Some of my concerns about this array are still there but there is no doubt that this product is maturing very quickly and enhancements are released almost on a monthly basis… and it’s clear that it has something to say. A rant about All Flash In these days, contrary to the general (and Gartner?) thinking, I’m developing the idea that considering All Flash Arrays a separate category is a totally non sense ( you can also find an interesting post from Chris Evans about this topic). Flash memory is only a media and storage should be always categorized looking at its characteristics, features and functionalities. For…
Federal Civ/Intel Engineering Lead at a tech vendor with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
Top Reviewer
XtremIO Gen2 delivers. There's potential for improvement, efficiencies, and even hybrid considerations.
Several months ago I walked through some of the issues we faced when XtremIO hit the floor and found it not to be exactly what the marketing collateral might present. While the product was very much a 1.0 (in spite of its Gen2 name), EMC Support gave a full-court-press response to the issues, and our account team delivered on additional product. Now it’s 100% production and we live/die by its field performance. So how’s it doing? For an organized rundown, I’ll hit the high points of Justin Warren’s Storage Field Day 5 (SFD5) review and append a few of my own notes Scale-Out vs. Scale-Up: The Impact of Sharing Compression: Needed & Coming Snapshots & Replication XtremIO > Alternatives? It Depends Scale-Out vs. Scale-Up: The Impact of Sharing True to Justin’s review, XtremIO…
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