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EMC VNX [EOL] OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

What is EMC VNX [EOL]?
With EMC VNX you'll have the right blend of flash, capacity, and application-aware software. Scale up storage for midrange workloads, optimized for virtual applications and cloud environments.

EMC VNX [EOL] is also known as VNX.

Buyer's Guide

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

EMC VNX [EOL] Customers
Samsonite, Comanche County Memorial Hospital, Kindred Healthcare
EMC VNX [EOL] Video

Archived EMC VNX [EOL] Reviews (more than two years old)

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AZ
User at AIT
Real User
The Nimble CS-Series has proven to be reliable with 100% uptime

What is our primary use case?

Primary storage in our data center, and we use it with an HPE SAN switch. We've worked with EMC for about three years.

How has it helped my organization?

It has very simple management with reliability and also security. We do not have any complexity with these products.

What is most valuable?

When we started the process of looking for a SAN vendor I had four primary criteria: reliability, performance, cost, and simplicity. We were really looking for a unicorn and were fully expected to have to make compromises in one of those areas. The Nimble CS-Series was recommended by our solutions provider, and we were blown away. Not only was it the most affordable option, but it was the easiest to deploy, had the best performance, and has proven to be reliable with 100% uptime.

What needs improvement?

SDS (software-defined storage) is so required in next releases because we are going to the next generation of IT infrastructure environment.

For how long have I used the solution?

One to three years.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
MC
User at i4
Consultant
The replicating of the entire storage unit was a very useful function, but the instant snapshotting feature slowed down its performance

What is our primary use case?

In an on-premises four-server cluster where there was a replication VNX5300 on a different location for backup and disaster recovery purposes.

How has it helped my organization?

It didn't perform as advertised because the instant snapshotting feature while working as advertised slowed down the performance of the entire storage solution.

What is most valuable?

The replicating of the entire storage unit to a different location was a very useful function. It made disaster recovery possible in hours instead of days.

What needs improvement?

The performance impact snapshotting had on the cluster was enormous. The entire cluster performance took a performance impact of about 30% as soon as we created one snapshot of all the volumes created on the cluster.

For how long have I used the solution?

One to three years.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Find out what your peers are saying about Dell EMC, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Pure Storage and others in All-Flash Storage Arrays. Updated: October 2021.
540,984 professionals have used our research since 2012.
it_user870861
IT Specialist at a healthcare company with 501-1,000 employees
Real User
Multi-tiering helps use storage efficiently

Pros and Cons

  • "Multi-tiering, positively affects the efficiency of the storage space."
  • "If the VNX had embedded encryption, that would be great."
  • "The scalability is average because the storage has some hardware limitations and, obviously, operating system limitations."

How has it helped my organization?

We have all the information residing on the same hardware, the same storage. So if the servers go down, we have already secured the data in the storage.

What is most valuable?

Multi-tiering, because it positively affects the efficiency of the storage space.

What needs improvement?

The next release is the Unity storage. That is the new family. Many of the features that are included in the Unity have improved over the VNX features. The VNX is a little bit old. What would help would be if the VNX had embedded encryption. That would be great.

For how long have I used the solution?

Three to five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's really stable. We haven't had any issue such as data unavailability or data loss.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is average because the storage has some hardware limitations and, obviously, operating system limitations. So the scalability is a little bit limited. But that has been improved in the new storage family called Unity.

How is customer service and technical support?

We do use technical support and it is always good.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was simple and really fast.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

When we compared it with other products, the performance and the security were the advantages that this storage gives us.

What other advice do I have?

When selecting a vendor there are many criteria we look at but those that come to mind are scalability, security, resilience.

I think it's a good solution. It has many benefits, features that are of interest for many customers. 

With the new system, the Unity, many of the deficiencies of the VNX were solved. But the VNX offers features and stability that other products don't. It's really reliable.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
RESC
Storage Solutions Architect at a manufacturing company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Top 10
​The VNX 5700 provides a large number of features including the ability to work for both file and block as a unified array.

Pros and Cons

  • "The replication feature provides another functionality to protect your data."
  • "It would be very helpful to get an automated report that shows you the size of the checkpoints and get warnings when a checkpoint is reaching either maximum capacity per a file system or hitting the ceiling on the SavVol pool consumption."

What is our primary use case?

We use it for our production environment for the last 5 years. We use it as a Unified box which includes both File and Block storage on the same unit.

How has it helped my organization?

Our company saved money in maintaining the unified platform in most of our locations and has the ability to perform backups and replication of the unit with similar arrays.

What is most valuable?

The VNX 5700 provides a large number of features including the ability to work for both file and block as a unified array. The ability to run a unified array is a great advantage when the company economics would not allow you to have separate arrays for your servers and another one for your file systems and use the unit as NAS. Through a single interface called UNISPHERE™, we manage the array. It allows you to administer both the block and file in a single pane. The process of extending the size of either an LUN or a file system is very intuitive. It also provides a command line interface that you can use to connect using Putty.exe but some of the commands that you can execute through the GUI are not available in CLI, or at least that is what EMC support has told me.

Another great feature is the checkpoints for file systems. We use the checkpoints as backups for our file system instead of having them in a separate product. It is a risk to put the backups and production data in the same array, but we understood it and went with it. We have limited times when our checkpoints become corrupted for some reason (reaching a maximum size of a file system 16TB) or another but the majority of the time works according to plan. For the block, you can use LUN cloning and have the ability to present a copy of the same LUN used for production to your test environment and test applications, programs, OS, or any others without affecting your production environment.

The replication feature provides another functionality to protect your data. In our scenario, we only use it for disaster recovery. Since we have a global presence and we are tasked to protect data from around the globe, we have enabled replication between locations. The replication works well between VNX and Celerra NS480s, NS40s, NS20s or NX4s. You can also set replication between VNXe (1st generation, like VNXe3300, VNX3150, or others) where your VNXe is the source. However, you can not set up a file system replication when the VNXe is the target of your replication job. Also, there are limitations with VNXe replication (second generation, like VNXe3200) since it would not allow you to establish replication partners.

UNISPHERE™ Analyzer allows you to see the hot spots on the block side. When you enable the Analyzer, it collects performance data and then with EMC support you can see the areas of problem in the array. It allows you to justify adding more space or moving your servers around to other LUNs with less saturation. Once the user becomes familiar with how the Analyzer works, he/she could run it without engaging support and identify areas of concern. It is very helpful to show the application teams if the storage is causing the slowness of a particular application hosted in the specific LUN or not.

What needs improvement?

Once you establish a replication job, when the file system is synchronizing its data to the target file system, it tends to create a balloon effect where it creates a file system that grows as the new data is synchronizing. It would be very helpful if the replication job could incorporate a self-cleaning job after the synchronization job completes to reduce the size of the file system in the target automatically. Very often, we have to run a script called “SavVolReclaim” to clean up space consumed while the replication is in progress. If the replication job hits its maximum capacity of 16TB while synchronizing, it stops the replication job. By adding this reclaim process natively, it would eliminate additional unnecessary work for the storage administrators.

It would be very helpful to get an automated report that shows you the size of the checkpoints and get warnings when a checkpoint is reaching either maximum capacity per a file system or hitting the ceiling on the SavVol pool consumption.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

A few years back, we ran into a problem where datamover hosting our file systems panicked due to an incompatibility with a Mac OS, and in another case with WAN Accelerator SMB protocols. The VNX5700 is very stable, and it has a lot of redundancy built in.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

In this version of the VNX, the maximum size of a file system is 16TB. The maximum number of read-only checkpoints per file system is 96 and 16 writeable checkpoints. The maximum number of physical drives in the VNX5700 is 500. However, you can work with EMC and ask them for RFQ to go beyond the number of physical drives to add a few more.

How are customer service and technical support?

EMC technical support is great when you get the right resource. Like any other support center, they have levels of support. Level 1 is an entry level person that is learning more about the product and sometimes is new to the company. The Level 1s are great for simple questions or issues. When you face more complex issues, try to ask them to escalate the case to the next level. They need to justify the reason to escalate the case, so the more information that you can provide the better. Level 2 and Level 3 are more skilled and have more experience with the product. Level 4s are the subject matter experts, they know the product well and understand issues and interoperability with other products.

A great added benefit is that you can add your VNX to the ESRS gateways. When a problem arises, EMC could connect to the array directly and start troubleshooting the issue before you get in to see what is causing the problem. This activity would generate a support request, and the EMC Technical Support Engineer could contact the person included in the system by either email or phone and let him/her know of the issue that the array is facing. They would not make any changes without your written authorization.

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

We have the Celerra NS480s, NS40s, NS20. We switched because the arrays were at the end of life by EMC support.

How was the initial setup?

We migrated from Celerras to VNX. The migration process was very complex. We needed to make sure that the CIFS servers had all the data and the replication of data would not start over from zero and saturate our network traffic with data that we already replicated once.

What about the implementation team?

We used EMC professional services to assist with the implementation.

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

EMC is a good company with which to negotiate pricing, especially if you are a new customer for them. In our experience, it is better to ask for End of Life (EOL) of a particular product before you purchase it. I would suggest buying five-year support contracts so EMC can provide you with a better discount. The trend in the industry is coming to flat support contract year after year, but EMC is not there yet. EMC Support year to year could become cost prohibitive. Only buy the licenses for what you would need. The sales team may try to sell you everything. If needed, engage a consultant to review your configuration and pricing.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We did not evaluate other products in proof of concept, but we looked at EMC Isilon, NetApp, and Hitachi.

What other advice do I have?

The VNX is a good platform, but like any other storage unit, it has some limitations. If you are doing a migration from your current environment, make sure that you purchase professional services that include physical or remote presence during the migration or cutover. Write all your requirements and make sure that the EMC sales team validates with the professional team all your requirements. Although EMC would assist you in most of the process, I prefer to get everything in writing and not just in words. Take the time to thoroughly define all your requirements and identify the items that you would perform versus the vendor to avoid surprises when you are in the middle of the migration or cutover.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
System Administrator at Dhaka Bank Limited
Real User
The stability of the hardware is good, but the administrative console needs some improvement

Pros and Cons

  • "The implementation of both block and file system storage in a single GUI provides is better situated than most other storages."
  • "The administrative console (Navisphere/Unisphere) needs some improvement, especially on their Java-based GUI. The updated version of Java is not compatible."

What is our primary use case?

The stability of the hardware, and its ability of manage millions of IOPS, provides great comfort to system administrators, IT managers and CIOs.

How has it helped my organization?

With respect to high I/O load during peak business hour and stable replication (remote site mirror), VNC has improved very well. The user is facing less "Administratively Fracture" or "System Fracture", as when using their previous system.

What is most valuable?

The implementation of both block and file system storage in a single GUI provides is better situated than most other storages.

What needs improvement?

The device is nicely planned and user-friendly, but the administrative console (Navisphere/Unisphere) needs some improvement, especially on their Java-based GUI. The updated version of Java is not compatible. Also, the interface is delayed on updating its status (of snapshot).

For how long have I used the solution?

Less than one year.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No issues.

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

Before using EMC VNX, EMC CLARiiON had been used.

What about the implementation team?

I would rate the implementation team as a seven out of 10.

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

Reducing dependency on JavaServer Pages (JSP) could improve the administrative overhead.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user520506
Storage Administrator with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
FAST Cache & FAST ​Pool are key components for us

What is most valuable?

FAST Cache & FAST Pool are very useful and similar to the SDS solution on a single storage system.

What needs improvement?

Source deduplication and compression will improve the TCO of these storage systems.

For how long have I used the solution?

About five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The product is rather stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Yes, we have had issues. The system is limited by the number of enclosures.

How are customer service and technical support?

The best tech support we've had has been from EMC.

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

We've moved from the EMC CLARiiON CX4 series to EMC VNX.

How was the initial setup?

Not very complicated,…

What is most valuable?

FAST Cache & FAST Pool are very useful and similar to the SDS solution on a single storage system.

What needs improvement?

Source deduplication and compression will improve the TCO of these storage systems.

For how long have I used the solution?

About five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The product is rather stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Yes, we have had issues. The system is limited by the number of enclosures.

How are customer service and technical support?

The best tech support we've had has been from EMC.

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

We've moved from the EMC CLARiiON CX4 series to EMC VNX.

How was the initial setup?

Not very complicated, mostly straightforward.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

IBM, NetApp.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user441645
Director of Exploitation at a security firm with 10,001+ employees
Vendor
All the environments of the company are consolidated into only one storage

What is most valuable?

Tier configuration between SSD and SAS disks. The blocks with more access are moved to the SSD disk.

How has it helped my organization?

All the environments of the company are consolidated into only one storage. Physical end virtual systems are on the same cabinet.

What needs improvement?

I do not know, because all products function well.

For how long have I used the solution?

Since 2010. During different years, we have worked with VMAX, VNX5300, VNX5500, VNX5800, and RPA.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Only with a big load in the CPU, because we have compression active in many LUNs.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No issues.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is very good.

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

Our old storage was HPE XP10000 and EVA5000. EMC storage has the best performance and functions.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was very simple.

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

With this product, the licensing software and capacity are very expensive.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Yes, IBM XIV and HPE 3PAR.

What other advice do I have?

First look for many options and compare. I am sure that EMC will convince you.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: EMC Global Partner in Spain
it_user755361
Senior Associate, Enterprise Systems, EMEA & APAC Technology Services
Vendor
It allows us to consolidate our storage for better efficiency

What is most valuable?

  • FAST auto-tiering is a great feature.
  • FAST cache is very good for performance.
  • The unified ability allows us to have a cost effective SAN and NAS storage combined on our smaller sites.

How has it helped my organization?

Unified VNX allows us to consolidate our storage for better efficiency.

What needs improvement?

It is not the easiest product to implement and manage, especially on the NAS side, but that is now fixed in its successor product from Dell EMC called Unity.

For how long have I used the solution?

Over six years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is rock solid.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

There are upper limits, but these are rarely reached depending upon the VNX model being used.

How are customer service and technical support?

Dell EMC support is good, but expensive.

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

We have standardised on VNX, and now on the Unity successor product, having moved away from NetApp and EVA, which were not as reliable or as flexible.

How was the initial setup?

Setup can be complex for the inexperienced storage administrator, especially on the NAS side. However, with training and/or experience, the VNX product is flexible and manageable.

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

VNX is not the cheapest in the market for SAN. But for NAS and SAN, the product is cost effective. I recommend that new purchases look to the successor product of Dell EMC Unity for the best pricing. For licensing, make sure you request Data at Rest Encryption (D@RE), if needed, as this is not bundled as standard.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

HPE Nimble is a good competing product, especially as it now has the backing of HPE. However, Nimble is a point solution as it is SAN only. If you wanted to add NAS to a Nimble, you could use VMware and UnityVSA, but those are extract costs.

What other advice do I have?

VNX remains a great product. However, it is being superseded by the Dell EMC Unity product, which offers better pricing, All-Flash offerings, and a true Unity storage pool for maximum efficiency and flexibility.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user736935
Technical Specialist at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
Consultant
We require a very high throughput for our database and this product gives us the desired response

What is most valuable?

  • Levels of performance
  • Protection
  • Compliance
  • Ease of management

How has it helped my organization?

In a banking environment, on which we required a very high throughput for our database, we have used this product and our desired response was received.

What needs improvement?

They may change the disks from NL-SAS to Flash, but it would be costlier for customers.

For how long have I used the solution?

We implemented the solution in 2015 and it is still in our environment until now.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No, it is easily scalable.

How are customer service and technical support?

EMC technical support is good in India. They meet the SLAs well.

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

In our previous solution, we were getting less performance from our DB. So, it was a better idea to change to EMC.

How was the initial setup?

Initial EMC setup is easier than other Storage product vendors. It is mandatory to know the default IPs of SPs and the password for the admin user.

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

Pricing and licensing quotes can be requested by the vendor's sales team. There response rate is high.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We also had the option of NetApp and HP Storage, but from a pricing and support perspective, we preferred EMC.

What other advice do I have?

It's a good product and easy to deploy.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partners.
it_user736938
Consultor de soluciones de tecnología
Vendor
It has a good, high-level of storage along with Auto Tiering

What is most valuable?

  • Auto Tiering
  • It has a good, high-level of storage.

How has it helped my organization?

With integration, you can compress, and reduce the load of your Oracle DB, in relation to HCC.

What needs improvement?

Main business applications run on it.

For how long have I used the solution?

For about five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Not in this case, but it has its limits based on the model you chose.

How are customer service and technical support?

The specialist are a 10 out of 10. Unfortunately to reach them, it could cost you hours on the phone.

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

I am a consultant. Customers change solutions all the time because of reliability, relationships, and costs.

How was the initial setup?

It was easy. Just know the protocol (what to turn on first and what IP address to connect to).

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

Oracle is never the cheaper solution. Compared to others, it is always among the most expensive.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Yes, it was compared with EMC VMAX and Dell Compellent.

What other advice do I have?

Upon implementation, use the guide from the official manual, and if they have access to the EIS.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Asher Suhail
Solutions/Systems Engineer with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
It can scale to meet the needs of the growing business without compromising performance

What is most valuable?

  • Auto Tiering: Ability to automatically move data from fast SSD drives to low cost disk drives and vise versa.
  • Performance: Increase performance with FAST Cache (SSD), QoS and Auto Tiering.
  • Unified storage: Provides capabilities for both block and file storage.

How has it helped my organization?

  • Improved Performance: Since implementing VNX, we achieved a 10 times increase in the performance for its end users.
  • Increased Scalability: As we continue to grow, VNX can scale to meet the needs of the growing business without compromising performance.
  • Simplified Management: VNX's ease of use and Unisphere management software allow us to provision new storage in just minutes and instantly view its performance.
  • Data Protection: VNX's replication solutions deliver comprehensive data protection and disaster recovery.

What needs improvement?

I think one area where we would like to see improvement is better deduplication and compression. Some other vendors offer better deduplication and compression ratios and performance.

For how long have I used the solution?

Five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No, I think VNX is one of the stable storage products available in the market.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No. Very easy to scale, both capacity and performance-wise.

How are customer service and technical support?

A nine out of 10.

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

We had EMC Celerra (file storage) and Clariion (block storage). When EMC introduced VNX, it provided both file and block storage capabilities. It was a no brainer for us to replace our existing storage with VNX. VNX made storage management simple as well as the cost of maintenance went down from two storage arrays to one.

How was the initial setup?

EMC did the initial setup. Though VNX management is pretty straightforward. Utilizing Unisphere, we can provision storage in matter of minutes.

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

From a licensing perspective, my advice to others would be to take a look at VNX Total Efficiency Pack. This unlocks all the features of VNX.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We did not.

What other advice do I have?

My advice would be to do research on VNX application performance.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
Asst.Manager - IT Operations at a retailer with 10,001+ employees
Vendor
One of the best supports you will ever get with top notch tech support and live chat

What is most valuable?

  • Its reliability and ease of use.
  • Single console for managing block and file (CIFS/NFS)
  • Data replication to DR site for both block and file
  • Auto tiering - Data movement in-between the pool
  • Fast cache - Global cache for low end arrays
  • EMC ViPR - A complete insight into the storage performance
  • Deduplication and compression

How has it helped my organization?

With more than 145 applications including SAP for different businesses running in our environment, our requirement was always to have a storage with a very good response time and performance.

What needs improvement?

So far we haven't had many issues with the VNX. However, the Data Mover (that manages CIFS/NFS) part needs some improvements. EMC's new storage (Unity) has no DM's as the NAS functionality is all virtual.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used EMC products for nine years and VNX products for six years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No, we have never had issues with stability apart from one instance where we were hit by a bug in the VNX code. After an upgrade, it was resolved permanently.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No issues with scalability.

How are customer service and technical support?

One thing I would like to explicitly mention here is the EMC support. It is by far one of the best supports you will ever get in comparison with any vendor. The Live chat option gives it an extra edge and the technical support is always top notch.

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

Yes, we were using HPE Storage, which was not a bad solution, but EMC wins hands down when it comes to the Enterprise storage. We were having stability/performance issues with HPE Storage.

How was the initial setup?

Initial setup is very straightforward and easy as long as you know what goes where.

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

Yes, when it comes to pricing, EMC might be a little on the higher side, but you can't buy the performance of a Ferrari in a Toyota. Hence, you get what you pay for.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Since we were using HPE Storage, we had a look at IBM Storage as well. After a features comparison and our requirements, EMC was the right choice.

What other advice do I have?

EMC VNX is a mid-range enterprise storage. Make sure to choose the right system and do have a look at their EMC Unity series that has hybrid as well as All-Flash arrays. Before doing any implementation, make sure to do right-sizing and you will be good for the next five years.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
AV
Professional system engineer at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
Consultant
Technical support is fast and always fixes the issues

What is most valuable?

It is hard to say which features are the most valuable. All other arrays can do pretty much the same, so it's hard to tell. At least I haven't used any feature that would be unique to other arrays.

How has it helped my organization?

As long as I have been working at my current company, it has always been one of EMC's biggest customers, and has had the most EMC certified engineers in the world, so the company's whole business is based on EMC's products.

What needs improvement?

  • Upgrade the GUI
  • Full integration with VMware
  • The Unisphere for VNX needs improvement as it is old and slow.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used VNX 5700 for three years, but only for the NAS file system. For VNX 8000, it's been six months already, but only for block.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

When everything is standardized and unified, it is pretty stable.

I have not encountered any issues with stability, but a friend of mine did in another company. They had problems with snapshots, which made the whole VNX very slow. EMC wasn't able to fix the issue, so they had to stop using snapshots.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No issues. It has always been used in small isolated environments.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is a nine out of 10. It's fast and always fixes the issues. It would be a 10 out of 10 if sometimes I wouldn't have to tell Level 2 support how to navigate using Linux commands. Level 3 is good though.

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

Previously, I worked with 5700 because I worked in another company. The previous version could be changed just to handle bigger loads, but that is not the case neither in the current version nor in my current company.

How was the initial setup?

Initial setup is usually done by the vendor itself. The product comes preconfigured, though you have to adjust it a little bit. Everything seems to be fairly simple.

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

Pricing depends on the version, and the version depends on the environment you have. Plan what do you need, then decide what to buy. These days it is not necessary to have all the features in the array, which may cost a lot. If you are using VMware, it can do the same, sometimes for less.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Sadly, I did not have the chance to evaluate other products. The customer chose himself. In my other company, we didn't want to lose the EMC Elite support package and stuck with EMC, not choosing another vendor.

What other advice do I have?

It's a known product. It's a fairly stable product, but you may get more features from other vendors for less. Try them, too. Like the 16Gb SAN, which EMC still does not offer, and the 32Gb. which is already on the way.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
Infrastructure Architect at a retailer with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
It Was Ill-Equipped To Handle Our Environment Though Tiering Does Allow Dynamic Data Allocation Among Disk Types

What is most valuable?

Tiering, because it allows your data to dynamically move among different disk types based on demand in the last 24 hours. This removes the manual work to keep data in certain disk types.

How has it helped my organization?

We actually stopped using the VNX as it was ill-equipped to handle our environment with the way EMC spec’d it out. I do not recommend the Gen 1 VNX to anyone in this day and age. It’s outdated technology and a newer far less expensive array can more than adequately handle 99% of the tasks better than the VNX architecture.

What needs improvement?

EMC could have made the effort to spec the device appropriately. Instead, they low-balled the config in 2011 to make the price tag look alluring. Then, less than 12 months in, we needed to spend 35% of the cost of the entire array to put enough disks in the array to make it both perform and contain enough capacity, which only lasted until mid-2013. The device had multiple issues from 2013 – 2016 and numerous support calls to no avail, until I told them they would lose our business if they couldn’t identify the issue.

They finally spilled the beans, years after all of the issues, that the device was not spec’d appropriately for our environment. If they would have been honest about it, instead of cheaping out the config to make the solution appear appealing, this could have been avoided.

The competitor’s product was more expensive but would have destroyed the VNX’s capabilities. All they cared about was the sale.

For how long have I used the solution?

Six years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Yes, there were many performance issues due to the storage pool latency being averaging more than 7ms, causing user-side impacts; spikes all the way to 256ms, array-wide. All issues surround the original EMC config, and poor architecture in their attempt to add disks to fix their own issue. It caused us three years of production-level issues including downtime to key servers.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Yes, this solution is sensitive to scalability in the sense that you require certain proportions of all three tiers of disk if you enable Auto-Tiering. This resulted in performance issues with the mid-tier having insufficient capacity. The array was thrashing to attempt to use 7200 RPM SATA disks in the lowest tier since they had the capacity. This was disastrous and EMC would not even acknowledge the issue until they forced us to prove it.

How are customer service and technical support?

Two out of 10 for overall technical support. Simple hardware issues like failed drives were promptly dealt with, but performance issues were treated like mysteries even by tier 2 support and engineers. This went on for over three years. We had to use our own team to prove to them, with their own tools, what the issue was in the NAR files.

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

HPE EVA. End-of-life standard lifecycle replacement.

How was the initial setup?

EMC made it overly complex, and miswired the B fabric on our fibre channel. We fixed it a year later, after it caused an outage. To be clear, this was a paid-for EMC install engineer. Mistakes happen, but costing a company in downtime is not acceptable.

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

Ask thrice, not once, not twice… Ensure it is spec’d for your needs for performance and capacity. Ensure you have the appropriate suites purchased up front, and always buy the warranty for all years up front, or EMC will gouge you on years four and five. The $75,000 in support we would have pain in year four for a maxed out VNX 5300, let us simply pay for a chunk of a next-gen, all flash array and solve all issues for latency and performance as well as capacity.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Yes, first-gen HPE 3PAR and IBM.

What other advice do I have?

Stay away, it’s old technology now. Look at newer arrays and features.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user713796
Territory Manager
Vendor
Enables hardware disk replication

Pros and Cons

  • "From my point of view, the configuration that I can sell is restricted to the EMC best practices. It is hard to make a mistake in a solution. It means the configuration has good performance and scalability options."
  • "VNX can improve by offering flexible upgrade options. It's not possible to add a single HDD to a current array and there are fixed rules to make upgrades."

How has it helped my organization?

VNX 5200 works well with a medium VMware cluster. It has good performance and enables hardware disk replication. This is great, because before that, the customer was using a software replication solution that had many problems.

What is most valuable?

From my point of view, the configuration that I can sell is restricted to the EMC best practices. It is hard to make a mistake in a solution. It means the configuration has good performance and scalability options.

What needs improvement?

VNX can improve by offering flexible upgrade options. It's not possible to add a single HDD to a current array and there are fixed rules to make upgrades.

When I work with other vendors like IBM, I can add a single disk to an array to get more capacity, it's simple. For VNX, you have to add a new array, not just a single disk.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I did not encounter any issues with stability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is easy to scale.

How are customer service and technical support?

I would rate the level of technical support as very good.

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

This storage solution replaced an IBM DS4700 and a V7000. They were outdated.

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

Review your needs and consider the right licensing.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user697029
Vice President at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees
Vendor
It is very stable even during multiple power failures.

Pros and Cons

  • "It is very stable even during multiple power failures."
  • "EMC VNX needs to support bigger SSD and the Next Generation EMC Unity does this."

How has it helped my organization?

A hybrid tiered storage such as VNX enables data where IOPS is critical to be placed in SSD and archive data to be placed in NL-SAS disks where the IOPS are not in demand.

What is most valuable?

It is very stable even during multiple power failures.

What needs improvement?

EMC VNX needs to support bigger SSD and the Next Generation EMC Unity does this.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

There were no stability issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

There were scalability issues, the scalability options are limited due to supported SSD.

How are customer service and technical support?

I would rate the technical support a 10/10.

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

Previously, we had Clariion, VNX was the next technological shift.

How was the initial setup?

It is very easy to set up, guides are available on the EMC site .

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

The initial pricing and licensing are reasonable, the yearly EMC is more expensive

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We looked at IBM Storewize V7000.

What other advice do I have?

Go through EMC best practices available for proper disk sizing and allocation.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user478692
IT Officer - Hardare & Software
Vendor
Some of the valuable features are integration with VMware and support for virtualization.

Pros and Cons

  • "Integration with VMware"
  • "Poor connection to FC."

How has it helped my organization?

  • It has increased our availability as we have gone to full virtualization.
  • It has greatly improved our efficiency as we have reduced server deployment time.
  • It has also reduced our energy costs as we now have fewer servers with its support for virtualization.

What is most valuable?

  • Integration with VMware
  • Support for virtualization
  • High performance
  • Easy management

What needs improvement?

Poor connection to FC.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

There were no scalability issues.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is excellent, but somewhat slow in the African region.

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

We did not use different solution before.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was straightforward.

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

Pricing is somewhat higher, especially in Zambia, perhaps due to the low sales volume.

What other advice do I have?

It is a great product: scalable, reliable, and robust.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user637824
Tech Specialist at a financial services firm with 5,001-10,000 employees
Vendor
FAST doesn't require configuration and is managed by the array itself.

Pros and Cons

  • "FAST (auto-tiering): Doesn't require configuration and is managed by the array itself."
  • "Intel Xeon processors with under 2 GHz processing speeds could be replaced with more recent ones."

How has it helped my organization?

It has a simple-to-manage GUI and provides very good performance for the load-intensive applications. Also, the data tiering capabilities are good.

What is most valuable?

  • FAST (auto-tiering): Doesn't require configuration and is managed by the array itself.
  • SNAP feature: Takes only 10% of the space, an improvement compared to the earlier space utilization with RLPs.
  • NAS: Using CIFS, NFS, and mixed mode shares is not as cumbersome as when compared with NetApp.

What needs improvement?

The processing speeds of the Xeon controllers and scalability options are areas with room for improvement:

  • Intel Xeon processors with under 2 GHz processing speeds could be replaced with more recent ones.
  • Also, the scalability (connectivity between racks; daisy-chaining made more robust - basically, loops of 8 DAEs to be enhanced).

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We had no stability issues. Bug fixes are released from time to time and uptime performance with best practices is guaranteed.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We encountered scalability as it is limited by backend slots, and NAS performance is significantly reduced when scaling.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support has superb response times and expertise.

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

We did not previously use a different solution.

How was the initial setup?

The architecture is fairly simple; hence, the setup has never been complex.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Before choosing, we looked at EVA from HPE and Compellent from Dell.

What other advice do I have?

It is a good product with a simple setup and easy administration.

The product is simple to install and manage. (It has a better GUI compared to others, with performance monitoring embedded within.)

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We are a partner.
it_user637809
Technical Sales Architect at a tech services company with 201-500 employees
Consultant
Integration with VMware is valuable, due to the migration from bare metal to virtualized environments and then on to the cloud.

Pros and Cons

  • "The most valuable feature is the tight VMware integration, due to the migration from bare metal to virtualized environments and then on to the cloud."

    How has it helped my organization?

    We took a while to jump onto VNX – largely for file with our block storage handled by EMC Symmetrix. VNX turned out to be the rugged little brother that went in, did the job and kept on working while using the same tools – but at lower price.

    What is most valuable?

    The most valuable feature is the tight VMware integration, due to the migration from bare metal to virtualized environments and then on to the cloud.

    VNX provides the full feature set, automated storage tiering to optimize flash, and file dedupe in what used to be a price-competitive package. That area is now being ceded to Unity as the storage landscape undergoes sweeping changes with HCI.

    What needs improvement?

    Storage is undergoing a sea change in affordable cost per bit, solid-state drives and new latency requirements for applications. Over time, VNX has become pricier than its competitors, and we have turned enthusiastically to Unity. While the VNX-F was released several years ago as an AFA in VNX trim, we still went with EMC XtremIO instead because of performance and pricing.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    We embraced VNX after it was a mature product and have not had stability issues.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    We have not encountered scalability issues, but then we did not try to use VNX beyond its target application range.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    We have received excellent support from EMC and now Dell.

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

    We were using EMC Symmetrix and NetApp previously but moved our midrange file to VNX due to the commonality of the tool sets and tight VMware integration.

    How was the initial setup?

    Initial setup was a breeze compared to our previous EMC Symmetrix space. It was kind of like going from manual to automatic transmission.

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

    Time your acquisitions and license discussions around year-end close.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    As indicated, we were on EMC Symmetrix and NetApp. VNX came along at the right time for us and allowed for support and tools consolidation, provided more services and allowed us to reduce overall support costs.

    What other advice do I have?

    Be clear on what your storage applications are and what level of scale you need. For the big Kahuna in the back end, we still use EMC Symmetrix for our block, but for small to midrange, our VNX is giving way to Unity for price points. Check your application profiles as your mileage will vary.

    Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: My organization is a reseller of EMC products – besides consuming their dogfood.
    it_user647445
    VMware and Storage Engineer at a transportation company with 10,001+ employees
    Vendor
    I value deduplication and compression to save space. The CLI could be better documented.

    Pros and Cons

    • "I really value deduplication and compression to save space."
    • "The CLI could be better documented, like with VMAX."

    How has it helped my organization?

    It is our Tier-2 storage which is easy to provision from and has decent performance.

    What is most valuable?

    I really value deduplication and compression to save space.

    What needs improvement?

    The CLI could be better documented, like with VMAX.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    We actually had data loss from too many simultaneous drive failures on the 7500.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    We have not yet encountered any scalability issues in our environment.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Technical support was on a par with typical EMC. In other words, not the best and not the worst.

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

    We were moving to IBM v7000 for price. However, it doesn't support NAS

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup was straightforward.

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

    Look at other newer options. Unisphere is slow and Java based. This is not the easiest array to manage.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    It was already installed when I was hired.

    What other advice do I have?

    To me, the mid-tier storage arrays are getting displaced by lesser expensive All-flash options.

    EMC has been selling XIO at a very affordable price.

    Hitachi has a lot of cool features out-of-the-box that EMC does not have.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user417420
    IT Infrastructure and Operations Manager at a comms service provider with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Vendor
    Some of the valuable features are non-disruptive updates, SSD tier, and storage pooling.

    Pros and Cons

    • "High availability including non-disruptive updates: We cannot afford downtime windows."
    • "Based on our workloads, we see repeatedly in performance reports that the built-in controller (SP) cache of our VNX model is not sufficiently large, resulting in forced cache flushing."

    How has it helped my organization?

    It has enabled us to consolidate storage, both primary and secondary, on a single platform. This simplified administration provided the necessary performance to our virtualized infrastructure.

    What is most valuable?

    • Reliability, excellent support by EMC, and VMware integration
    • High availability including non-disruptive updates: We cannot afford downtime windows.
    • SSD tier: Provided desired performance with fewer disks
    • Storage pooling and auto-tiering: Simplified storage management
    • Seamless integration with VMware
    • Fairly simple administration using Unisphere

    What needs improvement?

    I would like to see a larger SP cache and finer grained auto-tiering.

    Based on our workloads, we see repeatedly in performance reports that the built-in controller (SP) cache of our VNX model is not sufficiently large, resulting in forced cache flushing.

    The report states that this "can be addressed with a shared global cache in next generation VNX systems". But for this VNX generation (1st), the cache size results in an overloaded system.

    Regarding auto-tiering, this generation VNX FAST algorithm moves data in 1GB chunks between tiers. With our predominantly transaction oriented workload (random reads) this didn't afford benefits.

    So when we purchased new VNXs (same generation), we configured the SSD tier as FAST Cache, a large 2nd tier consisting of 10K disks with a small 3rd tier with NL-SAS disks. Had the block size been smaller, auto-tiering may have been more effective for our workloads.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    We did not encounter any stability issues.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    We did not encounter any scalability issues.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Technical support was fantastic.

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

    We switched because the previous solution was outdated. We were using Multiple IBM DS4700, external SCSI arrays, and HP MSA.

    We needed to consolidate storage along with server consolidation on modern and faster storage technology that would integrate with VMware.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup was straightforward. It was part of the virtualization project undertaken by our partner.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We evaluated NetApp.

    What other advice do I have?

    The product has been superseded.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user637818
    Director de Explotación IT. COE. at a security firm with 10,001+ employees
    Vendor
    Some of the valuable features are tier configuration and backup and refresh development on test environments.

    Pros and Cons

    • "Good performance for VM environments"
    • "There is an easy replication process between distinct data centers via VPLEX and/or RPA. But I hope in the future that EMC/Dell could replicate this with other types of storage."

    How has it helped my organization?

    All of the VMware farm is configured into this storage.

    What is most valuable?

    • Good performance for VM environments
    • In one cabinet, we have many environments: VMware, Oracle, Adabas, NAS (CIFS and NFS resources), and mix disks on tier configurations
    • Tier configuration with different disks (SAS, SATA, Flash)
    • The software for management is very user-friendly
    • Snapshots for backup and refresh development on test environments

    What needs improvement?

    There is an easy replication process between distinct data centers via VPLEX and/or RPA. But I hope in the future that EMC/Dell could replicate this with other types of storage.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    I did not encounter any stability issues.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    I did not encounter any scalability issues.

    How is customer service and technical support?

    I would give technical support a rating of 10/10.

    How was the initial setup?

    The setup was very easy.

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

    The pricing and licensing were both very balanced.

    What other advice do I have?

    This is a good option if you are looking for good performance.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    ITCS user
    Network Analyst at a healthcare company with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Vendor
    Top 10
    Can combine drives of different types into a virtual Storage Pool.

    Pros and Cons

    • "One of the best features of the VNX is the ability to combine drives of different types into a virtual Storage Pool. By combining small but fast flash drives, SAS drives, and high-capacity but slower NL-SAS drives, the VNX can intelligently move data to the different tiers of storage based on usage."
    • "The management software used for the VNX is Unicenter. While it is an improvement over Navicenter, used in older EMC SANs, it still feels outdated in comparison to other SAN management software."

    How has it helped my organization?

    By utilizing the Storage Pools feature of the VNX, our organization can provide the required performance without having to over-invest in storage for data that doesn't require expensive drives.

    What is most valuable?

    One of the best features of the VNX is the ability to combine drives of different types into a virtual Storage Pool. By combining small but fast flash drives, SAS drives, and high-capacity but slower NL-SAS drives, the VNX can intelligently move data to the different tiers of storage based on usage. This maximizes performance and investment by making sure commonly accessed data is stored in flash, while rarely-accessed data can be sent to the NL-SAS drives.

    What needs improvement?

    The management software used for the VNX is Unicenter. While it is an improvement over Navicenter, used in older EMC SANs, it still feels outdated in comparison to other SAN management software. Reporting is clunky and requires data collection to files, which then have to be retrieved and uploaded to a third-party site for processing before finally downloading the report.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    There were never any stability problems thanks to fully redundant storage processors, power supplies, and hot spare drives.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    We did purchase additional shelves of drives a few years after the initial purchase. Again, with the support of EMC technical services, the hardware was added to the VNX without downtime or disruption. The Storage Pools allow for dynamic addition of new drives.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Customer Service:

    Customer service is top-notch with a dedicated sales and technical resource who are familiar with your environment and spend a lot of time understanding your business needs.

    Technical Support:

    EMC technical support is top notch when utilizing the ESRS appliance which sends critical alerts directly to EMC. Failed drives were replaced without any input on my end, sometimes before I became aware of the failure. Support can also remote in and perform code upgrades.

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

    Previous to the VNX, we were using an EMC CX-80 SAN. The reason for switching was to stay on a supported platform.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup involves completing a pre-install survey, which the installer needs to properly configure the settings (IP addresses, DNS, NTP, etc.). The questions are easy to understand.

    What about the implementation team?

    The initial hardware setup and configuration was completed by on-site technicians from EMC. They were fully trained and certified on the VNX and had completed dozens of similar installations.

    What was our ROI?

    We calculated our ROI to three years and the planned life of the VNX is six years. We are currently in the process of migrating to a new EMC XtremIO SAN, which will have an even shorter ROI.

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

    While EMC tends to be on the expensive side, the stability and support of their products are top-notch and I feel are worth the cost.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    When we evaluated SANs, we also looked at solutions by IBM. Our familiarity and relationship with EMC weighed heavily with our choice.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    ITCS user
    System Administrator at a computer software company
    Vendor
    Customer service responds on time. ​The management software could be easier to use.

    What needs improvement?

    Ease of use of the management software

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have used it for five years.

    What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

    We have not encountered any deployment issues.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    We have not encountered any stability issues.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    We don't have any case where we need to add more storage on this product.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Customer Service: Customer service does respond on time. Technical Support: Technical support is good.

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

    I did not previously use a different solution. When I came in to my company, they were already using…

    What needs improvement?

    Ease of use of the management software

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have used it for five years.

    What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

    We have not encountered any deployment issues.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    We have not encountered any stability issues.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    We don't have any case where we need to add more storage on this product.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Customer Service:

    Customer service does respond on time.

    Technical Support:

    Technical support is good.

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

    I did not previously use a different solution. When I came in to my company, they were already using this product.

    How was the initial setup?

    Initial setup is not as straightforward as other new storage that is available now; there are many things to do to create pool, LUN.

    What about the implementation team?

    We implemented it through the vendor team; they have the knowledge on how to implement the product.

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

    You need a lot of licenses in order to use this product, which makes the product expensive; the maintenance contract price also increases significantly every year.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    I did not evaluate other options, as they already implemented the product before I started working at the company.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    ITCS user
    Senior SAN Engineer with 501-1,000 employees
    Real User
    The auto-tiering helps in the speed of data access.

    Pros and Cons

    • "The most valuable feature is the auto-tiering, which helps in the speed of data access."
    • "There is no easy way to defrag a RAID group. It would be nice to be able to reduce the size of a storage pool if the storage is not needed anymore."

    How has it helped my organization?

    It is very easy to create new storage for a new requirement. Adding more storage to an existing storage pool is very quick and easy.

    What is most valuable?

    The most valuable feature is the auto-tiering, which helps in the speed of data access. We have a big VMware storage pool in each of our three arrays and we have never had users complain about response of any VM in our environment.

    What needs improvement?

    There is no easy way to defrag a RAID group. It would be nice to be able to reduce the size of a storage pool if the storage is not needed anymore.

    When you need to defrag a raid group, in earlier array versions of EMC arrays like the CX line all you needed to do was to right click the raid group and select the Defrag option and the array would defrag the raid group. Now with the VNX series arrays, if you need to defrag a raid group it is a multi-step process that is all manual.

    1. You need to list all the LUNs that need to be moved.

    2. Then create temporary LUNs of the same size and SP in a location not in the raid group.

    3. Migrate these LUNs to another location outside of the raid group.

    4. Then create the LUNs again back in the original raid group, this will move all of the unused space to the end of the raid group.

    5. Migrate the temporary LUNs back to these LUNs in the original raid group.

    With that being said, with the VNX array, you never have to defrag the space in a Storage Pool.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    No issues in stability.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    No issues in scaling up, but there is no way to reduce the size of a storage pool.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Customer Service:

    EMC's customer service is excellent.

    Technical Support:

    Their technical support is great. They have been able to quickly help when I have encountered any issue with this platform.

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

    We were previously using the CX3 arrays. We switched because the CX3 was end of life and we needed a platform that could support more disk space growth.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup was straightforward. But, we did have professional services help with the installation.

    What about the implementation team?

    We used a vendor team.

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

    Make sure you understand how the licensing works and that you are getting the right set of licenses if you need array-to-array replication.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We also looked at the HPE 3PAR. I liked the array, but we stayed with the EMC product because we already knew how to manage it.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user519738
    Senior System Administrator – Infrastructure at a construction company with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Vendor
    Archives data to be placed in NL-SAS disks where IOPS is not in demand.

    Pros and Cons

    • "It is very stable, even during multiple power failures."
    • "EMC VNX needs to support bigger SSDs. Next generation EMC Unity will do this."

    How has it helped my organization?

    A hybrid, tiered storage such as VNX:

    • Enables data where IOPS is critical to be placed in SSDs
    • Archives data to be placed in NL-SAS disks where IOPS is not in demand

    What is most valuable?

    It is very stable, even during multiple power failures.

    What needs improvement?

    EMC VNX needs to support bigger SSDs. Next generation EMC Unity will do this.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    We have not had stability issues.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    We have had some scalability issues. Scalability options are limited due to the supported SSDs.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Technical support gets a rating of 5/5.

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

    Previously, we had CLARiiON. VNX was the next technological shift.

    How was the initial setup?

    VNX was very easy to set up. Guides are available on the EMC site.

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

    The initial pricing and licensing are reasonable. Yearly EMC is more expensive.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We looked at IBM V7000 and others.

    What other advice do I have?

    Go through EMC best practices for proper disk sizing and allocation.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user334509
    Storage Architect at a tech services company with 5,001-10,000 employees
    MSP
    It's easy to use and integrate, but they need to make major changes to the file services.

    Valuable Features

    It's easy to use, and integrate, I'm not storage-centric, as I just integrate storage along with other things. I can go in there and follow instructions to complete the job. I know all products are different, especially how they’re all clustered differently. For me, I don’t care because not looking at raw data or specifications (e.g. how many SSDs, how tiered), I just follow instructions for the virtualization aspect.

    Improvements to My Organization

    It’s one of the better industry-accepted names and standards. Not necessarily cheap, but for me it’s all about familiarity. I've worked with this type of storage for many years.

    Room for Improvement

    Make major changes to the file services, Celera, do something like a lite version. It used to be more solid product before unifying Clarion and Celera.

    Stability Issues

    It’s very stable in all the years I've worked with it. I know it’s stable and the support is there.

    Scalability Issues

    It’s definitely scalable. VNX to large SAN with SDD to all with extra storage for VDI, they’re all hugely scalable. You can keep adding blocks of storage for different tiers, as well as sites of storage, with other products (replicated with backups).

    Customer Service and Technical Support

    All experiences with tech support have been positive. It was never problem with product itself, mostly configuration issue caused by the integrator or client. They worked through it.

    Initial Setup

    I was always second fiddle as there was always a network person and virtualization person and a storage person. It's always straightforward in terms of everyone following plan and working together. The end result is always the operational system being delivered.

    Other Solutions Considered

    • NetApp
    • Dell

    Research stuff that’s been proven, and what you can afford.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user330870
    IT Director at a consumer goods company with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Vendor
    We can deploy quickly and it’s storage-based, making it data-focused that provides a virtualized and structured way of moving data.

    Valuable Features

    It’s a great platform that’s evolved very quickly that overtook NetApp with the Vblock initiative. Everything was valuable – HA, SRM, Vplex, metrocluster, entire suite of products

    Improvements to My Organization

    We can deploy quickly and it’s storage-based, making it data-focused that provides a virtualized and structured way of moving data.

    Room for Improvement

    I can’t think of anything because they’re evolving more and more. They’re making headway into datacenter where non-structured data-type infrastructure around Hadoop, security, encryption.

    Stability Issues

    It's very stable, and works well with VMware.

    Scalability Issues

    It’s amazing, you can add and stack, and add more elements. You can group to scale horizontally and vertically, can add VMware tech, can add flash arrays, and everything integrates seamlessly. The intelligence controls everything. I don’t worry about infrastructure and I don’t have to move to the cloud.

    Customer Service and Technical Support

    Our TAM is great and acts as a liaison for us with EMC.

    Initial Setup

    It was complex, as you really need to understand what you’re doing and have different layers (architects engineers operations, networking, etc.), BUT it’s straightforward, as if you follow procedures, it will work out well, but everyone needs to be onboard. It’s simple to run, but the setup was complex.

    Other Advice

    they don’t quite provide enough security in the data centre. There’s a discrepancy between it, DevOps and automation.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user229383
    Solutions Architect - EMC at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
    Real User
    It's a powerful and effective entry level SAN that you can provision on your own, but it needs to support FAST-VP.

    Valuable Features:

    It is easy to deploy, has a simple interface, and has all the valuable features a small business would need to get going. It has thin provisioning which means a lower TCO and it has FAST cache support which means that performance is not compromised.

    Improvements to My Organization:

    This entry level product has just enough premium features to make it effective. One example is when a client was able to leverage the thin capabilities of the array and it's tight VMware integration to go from a legacy array taking up lots of rack space and power to a 2U VNXe1600 which helps reduce the amount of rack space and in turn power and cooling requirements

    Room for Improvement:

    As an entry level array, this is just right, but adding support for FAST-VP would be beneficial although that feature is available on the higher end VNXe3200.

    Other Advice:

    If you are looking for a stable,powerful and effective entry level SAN that you can provision on your own for a small environment or a small office/remote office situation - this is definately the product for you.

    Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We are partners and authorized re-sellers.
    it_user281955
    Director with 51-200 employees
    Vendor
    Block and NAS on multiple VNX's are all managed from the same Unisphere GUI, but with the functionality/flexibility, the interface is more complex.

    What is most valuable?

    Block and NAS on multiple VNX's are all managed from the same Unisphere GUI. Plus, it has great data migration tools e.g. EMCopy.

    How has it helped my organization?

    Unisphere provides a one-stop go-to place to manage all my VNX storage arrays, saving me time, and screen space.

    What needs improvement?

    I preferred HP EVA over Clariion for block due to the simpler GUI, but the VNX (that uses Clariion-like block) appears more complex due to the flexibility it ultimately offers. It has more functionality/flexibility which means a more complex interface. But, all things considered, Unisphere is a very good interface. It doesn't seem too fast though, but that could be the environment rather than the VNX product, to be fair.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I've used it for four years, nine if you include when it was Clariion.

    What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

    No issues encountered.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    No issues encountered.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    No issues encountered.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Customer Service:

    I don't like the way EMC's Powerlink support is behind a wall. You need to register an account, and join that account with your product serial numbers to open up the support pages and downloads for your products. As a consultant, I find that far too restrictive.

    Technical Support:

    They are very good if you engage with them, so very high.

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

    I use whatever my end client has purchased, be it EMC or another product. I don't often get to choose, but I would recommend a VNX if asked.

    How was the initial setup?

    The documentation is very very good (with the exception of CAVA (optional anti-virus agent). That took some figuring out before I got it working properly, due to a subtle detail with physical/virtual data-movers. Setting one up should only be done with the documentation. never wing it.

    What about the implementation team?

    Mostly in house, but I've worked with a vendor team post implementation where they test it end to end, and they're excellent.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    I didn't choose it, but I would choose it. As mentioned above, I have enjoyed both EMC and HP's offerings in the marketplace. Depending on how simple the customer needs it to be, might sway my recommendation one way or the other, but in terms of functionality, VNX is very very good.

    What other advice do I have?

    Watch the YouTube videos first, they're very good. If you understand what's being said, buy it.

    Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: I am 100% independent with no agreements in place to sell vendors products or recommend anything that I wouldn't put my name to. I do currently work as a contractor for Hewlett-Packard, but our customer happens to use EMC products for their storage. I work on the projects implementing the EMC kit and also data migration using EMC Celerra tools.
    ITCS user
    Senior Specialist at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
    Consultant
    We're able to copy in more than two data centers, but setup with more than three data centers was complex.

    What is most valuable?

    • Scalability
    • High performance
    • Easy administration

    How has it helped my organization?

    We need, in real time, to be able copy in more than two data centers, and EMC gave us a better solution with great performance.

    What needs improvement?

    We get good performance from all our applications like Oracle DB, SAP, Sybase DB, Exchange, and SharePoint which are running on the backend of my storage device.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    We've used it for one year, alongside RPA, VMAX, and VPLEX, all by EMC.

    What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

    No issues encountered.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    No issues encountered.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    No issues encountered.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Customer Service:

    9/10 - we get immediate support from EMC.

    Technical Support:

    9/10 - we get immediate support from EMC.

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

    There was no previous solution in place.

    How was the initial setup?

    It's a complex setup as we have three different data centers, which are far from each other.

    What about the implementation team?

    The implementation was done by a team from EMC who were 9/10.

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

    EMC products are costly when compared to other vendors such HP, Hitachi, Dell, and NetApp.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    No other options were evaluated.

    What other advice do I have?

    If you have a banking and finance domain, then go for EMC products as they offer better performance and scalability.

    Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We are global partners of EMC.
    ITCS user
    Technical Manager / Administrator at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
    Consultant
    This SAN series provides us with vendor-specific features in our VMware Hypervisor-based virtualized infrastructure. However, it needs ASIC-based functions.

    What is most valuable?

    They have more different/flexible models in the midrange storage area In comparison with other vendors . They have also built in VMware specific features . Lastly, it has reasonable performance/cost.

    How has it helped my organization?

    In a virtualized infrastructure based on VMware Hypervisor, the VNX series SANs provide some useful vendor specific features for us.

    What needs improvement?

    • Storage processor architect for real active/active HA
    • ASIC based functions are needed

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I've used it for about four years.

    What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

    No issues encountered.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    No issues encountered.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    In comparison to other products, VNX scales out well.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Customer Service:

    It's satisfactory. This company really care for their customers.

    Technical Support:

    So far, we have had a response to all our queries from tech support.

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

    No previous solution was in place.

    How was the initial setup?

    The deployment procedures are very simple, and based on a step-by-step installation guide.

    What about the implementation team?

    We implemented our device ourselves .

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

    We have preloaded/license free vendor specific feature for VMware infrastructure with EMC VNX Series SAN Systems. It would be a good choice for midrange businesses due to the performance/features and cost. The licensing terms and conditions are a flowing Pay-As-You-Grow method and it's a good option for long term planning.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We only compared different VNX models.

    What other advice do I have?

    Pay attention to the initialization procedure. Also, the reinitialization procedures are very complex after the initial VNX product .

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    ITCS user
    Storage admin (Server Support Team) at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Consultant
    It's got some great features, such as fast caching and RecoverPoint, but it's expensive.

    Valuable Features:

    Fast VP Fast cache Snap clone Snap shot RecoverPoint SAN copy Mirror copy Access Logix

    Use of Solution:

    I have worked on CLARiiON and all series of VNX.

    Implementation Team:

    I implemented and performed the migration myself.

    Cost and Licensing Advice:

    EMC pricing is too expensive, like the Apple brand iPhone in the cellphone market.

    Valuable Features:

    • Fast VP
    • Fast cache
    • Snap clone
    • Snap shot
    • RecoverPoint
    • SAN copy
    • Mirror copy
    • Access Logix

    Use of Solution:

    I have worked on CLARiiON and all series of VNX.

    Implementation Team:

    I implemented and performed the migration myself.

    Cost and Licensing Advice:

    EMC pricing is too expensive, like the Apple brand iPhone in the cellphone market.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    ITCS user
    System Engineer at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
    Consultant
    With raid pools, you aren't limited with RAID size, but caching needs to be improved.

    What is most valuable?

    Raid pools Snapshots

    How has it helped my organization?

    With raid pools, you aren't limited with RAID size. Snapshots will ease your testing on the applications.

    What needs improvement?

    Caching Auto-tiering

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I've been using block OE 5.32 and file level 7 and the VNX 2 series, block OE 5.33 and file level 8 for six years.

    What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

    Not really.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    If it's configured properly after sizing, then no.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    No, it's easy to upgrade and expand.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Customer Service: It's great. Technical Support: It's great.

    Which

    What is most valuable?

    • Raid pools
    • Snapshots

    How has it helped my organization?

    • With raid pools, you aren't limited with RAID size.
    • Snapshots will ease your testing on the applications.

    What needs improvement?

    • Caching
    • Auto-tiering

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I've been using block OE 5.32 and file level 7 and the VNX 2 series, block OE 5.33 and file level 8 for six years.

    What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

    Not really.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    If it's configured properly after sizing, then no.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    No, it's easy to upgrade and expand.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Customer Service:

    It's great.

    Technical Support:

    It's great.

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

    HP EVA and once NetApp, but they both had slow performance and a lack of features so we switched.

    How was the initial setup?

    The first time was easy, as it was a simple design.

    What about the implementation team?

    We did it in-house.

    What was our ROI?

    It's around 250% over 12 months due to the amount of data that we have.

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

    Start with the basic licensing and add upon need. In our market, we need keep the cost of 1TB at less than $1000.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    NetApp is better with CIFS and file shares.

    Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We are considered as a special customer, as we can do implementation as a man in the middle.
    it_user263403
    Network Engineer at a educational organization with 501-1,000 employees
    Vendor
    We're able to over-provision and have had plenty of storage for the past two years, but ​it only supports 10Gb copper and not 10Gb fiber.

    Valuable Features

    The cost of the product, because it's considered an entry level product for what it does, but it had everything we needed for a great price.

    Improvements to My Organization

    All our storage is now in two places, a primary site and a DR site. Network shares, VM storage, etc. all come from the same physical infrastructure at both locations. Instead of getting more servers for storage, we were able to over-provision this and have had plenty of storage for the past two years. We recently just added another DAE to both locations pretty easily which extends the storage even more.

    Room for Improvement

    It only supports 10Gb copper, and cannot do 10Gb fiber. The system health screen could be more useful and show more important information. No support for flash drives.

    Use of Solution

    I've used it for two years.

    Stability Issues

    Stability has been rock solid, as we have been running both units for over two years with no major problems. There are redundant power supplies for everything. We have lost a DAE because of a double power failure and the unit still was fully functional, once the DAE came back online it meshed back into the array seamlessly.

    Customer Service and Technical Support

    Customer Service:

    EMC customer service has always been spot on. Any issues we have are dealt with right away.

    Technical Support:

    EMC has great online support and tech support over the phone. Their knowledge base is pretty easy to use and updates are easy to find.

    Initial Setup

    Deployment was quite straight forward, we did not need any assistance from EMC. Any small questions we had could easily be found online or via YouTube.

    It was very straightforward as long as you have a basic knowledge of networks and network storage. The instructions provide a great starting point and you can continue online for more and better information.

    Implementation Team

    It was done in-house, with just a single deployment person with a second person helping with ISCSI and other configuration options.

    ROI

    We have not done any calculations, but the costs we have saved in power consumption, data center space, and cooling cannot be ignored. We went from three full racks of servers, to a half rack (not all EMC, the rest is a Cisco UCS deployment). The savings alone on the three factors above over the past two years have probably paid for this investment already.

    Pricing, Setup Cost and Licensing

    Pricing is very good, especially for educational institutions. Licensing is pretty straight forward really, it's just a support contract that is needed to keep everything up to date but there are no extra license fees or anything once you get the unit.

    Other Solutions Considered

    We evalulated HP, Dell, and NetApp storage products in the same class

    Other Advice

    Use Google and YouTube when implementing, there are lots of tips and advice out there, along with best practices. There's lots of stuff not on EMC's site but other helpful sites as well. There is a pretty large community now for this product line.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user5157
    Sr System Engineer at a outsourcing company with 501-1,000 employees
    Vendor
    Huge performance improvements when we switched from CX. But requires expert help for minor troubleshooting.

    Valuable Features:

    A new ST VP is significant change introduced with VNX which makes data access considerably fast. Performance is noticeably great as compared to other Celera and Clarion models. SSD are used for caching due to which data reading /writing is quite fast. Database operations are quite fast over this storage with cache and FC channeled connection. It has extremely large and flexible storage size as per the need.

    Room for Improvement:

    Due to very complex structure and sophisticated architecture, it needs experts for trivial troubleshooting also. It’s bulky and expensive.

    Other Advice:

    We moved from CX with FC/SATA to VNX with SSD, SAS, NL-SAS. Using SSD as Fast Cache (and for VDI boot images) we have seen huge performance gains in certain operations. Our exchange admin reported that db defrag operations that ran for hours per db were now able to complete for all dbs in under 2 hours. We like the Fast Cache and see over 50% of the IOs from the VNX being provided by those two disks.
    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.