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IBM FlashSystem Competitors and Alternatives

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Read reviews of IBM FlashSystem competitors and alternatives

MV
Storage Manager at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 20
User-friendly graphical user interface and simplifies reporting for easy management

Pros and Cons

  • "There are a lot of screens for easy management where you can change some settings. But after a few years, the important settings were better after an upgrade, and all the vendors have other ways to upgrade their systems."
  • "HPE 3PAR StoreServ has limited flexibility in building replication solutions. There are limitations to the number of IOPS the system can do. It's not bad as it is doing its job. However, for the application, if you need a toolbox, you can build everything concerning periodic replication modes of synchronous or asynchronous three-site, four-site, with supported cascading which requires you to buy an IBM product. It also takes a few hours to one day to upgrade the system and sometimes; it takes more time because, in some HPE 3PAR StoreServ 20000 Storage, you have an eight-node system. If you do an upgrade, you do it node by node and every node might take more than an hour."

What is our primary use case?

We use HPE 3PAR StoreServ for data storage. Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) had something in the contract because if you can compress data very well, you don't need that much capacity in your systems. If it was not possible to compress to a certain degree, they put some extra capacity in the systems. We bought that borrowed capacity but they separated the one-piece storage boxes added to our environment to get along with that bigger growth in capacity. Despite that, it is a wonderful system with an excellent graphical user interface. Still, new functions are being rolled out.

How has it helped my organization?

I've seen a lot of data storage systems. It's the only storage system you can watch over the application time and it keeps measuring it. We have some thresholds on our end on it, a very good graphical user interface and reporting. 

What is most valuable?

There are a lot of screens for easy management where you can change some settings. But after a few years, the important settings were better after an upgrade, and all the vendors have other ways to upgrade their systems.

What needs improvement?

HPE 3PAR StoreServ has limited flexibility in building replication solutions. There are limitations to the number of IOPS the system can do. It's not bad as it is doing its job. However, for the application, if you need a toolbox, you can build everything concerning periodic replication modes of synchronous or asynchronous three-site, four-site, with supported cascading which requires you to buy an IBM product. 

It also takes a few hours to one day to upgrade the system and sometimes; it takes more time because, in some HPE 3PAR StoreServ 20000 Storage, you have an eight-node system. If you do an upgrade, you do it node by node and every node might take more than an hour.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using HPE 3PAR StoreServ for the past seven years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Last year after summer, HPE had to locate replication groups getting stopped and took a lot of time to find out what's happening, and yet we still don't know what's happening over there. It feels like the message is quite clear after replicating from A to B, and it states that B is not responding very well.

There is a timeout, and it stops the replication group because there is no stability or consistency and is not good at that moment. So that might be negative, but when was the last time? I think in November of last year.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

At one point, some remote copy groups stopped working, and we used a disaster recovery plan because, in production, we replicate everything from A to B and then split up into some remote copy groups, gathering together some data source and clusters. If one of those remote copy groups stops, you don't have DFP anymore and you have to restart them. And last year after starting one of those replication groups; we had some performance issues because they're trying to get in sync as soon as possible using all the resources, so we had to plan very well outside the business hours.

How are customer service and technical support?

We have proactive datacenter care; I call it a storage advocate, and we can send every question to them and we get quick answers. They also help to find out if new releases are available and other services. For now, they have more insights on that. They have better sources sometimes, and I have better sources than them sometimes, but they do a great job and they also assisted us concerning the compression issue we had at the beginning.

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

It is quite difficult to decide on the cost. At one point, I was the project lead to cover with some people, but the price was important and we had its compression calculated. At that moment, it was fair because that was one of the things moving their product due to the cost of HPE 3PAR StoreServ as they were competing with Hitachi and IBM A9000, which I'm not sure if is still available. 

We have done total cost of ownership calculations over the past five years, and we also ask for some cost prices for the sixth and seventh year so that we can get some insights into what happens after those five years. We have some systems that are five years old and we keep them because it's flash data storage. It's still almost a three terabyte solid-state drive, and the support cost is not that high. We'll have a look after that. I see other things happening on the Hitachi boxes with all those license defeats. This is also positive for HPE 3PAR StoreServ, everything is on the license. When we bought the systems, it was the case and then I've been reading something about it. You can buy the rest of the licenses. If you buy a system, that will not be replicated to another system, then you get a license without replication software.

What other advice do I have?

The job of direct channel support to HPE 3PAR StoreServ is not an end of life or end of support but HPE Primera has now replaced it and I hope they get all the functionality in there like the HPE 3PAR. I remember it seems like HPE 3PAR and HPE Primera have support for volume plugins and that will be a big game if they can implement volumes on their system because that kind of release is much better than the datastore level.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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DP
Solutions Developer at Next Dimension Inc.
MSP
Top 10
Mostly typical of production storage for virtual machines but with fewer features and a lower price

Pros and Cons

  • "Fewer features is not necessarily a negative as it leads to simpler operation and lower price."
  • "The features are limited."

What is our primary use case?

We sell the Lenovo ThinkSystem DE 4000 or 6000 series storage arrays. The clients that we sell the products to are mostly manufacturers and the use case for ThinkSystem is always production for storing and operating their virtual environment, which means the units are almost always used for VMware. It is just typical storage for production and virtual machines.  

How has it helped my organization?

It does not improve the way we function as we use it with clients. It gives us another product to offer to fill particular client needs.  

What is most valuable?

As far as features go, the product does not really have a lot of them. The products we sell are Lenovo's low to mid-range stuff. They are not really feature-laden products with added value that make them stand out from other solutions. The lack of complexity and the lower price — because of that lack of complexity — may be the most valuable features.  

The interface is all good.  

What needs improvement?

You can not buy a lot of options for these devices. There are a lot of things that it does not do. Some things that it does not do that we would like it to do include easy tiering. If you have got spindles and you want to cache a couple of terabytes of storage on SSD, that would be something we would like to see that, currently, it does not have the capacity to do.  

The thing it comes down to is that Lenovo needs to add some more of the software features that would allow the ThinkSystem line to compete with other products that we sell. Other than that, it is what it is.  

For how long have I used the solution?

We have had experience with the product for as long as Lenovo has been out with it. I do not know exactly how long that is, but it is maybe seven or eight years.  

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I think these Lenovo products are very stable. We generally do not have issues with their products going down.  

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

ThinkSystem is scalable. Our clients are small top medium-large businesses and within that range, it works well.  

How are customer service and technical support?

When we had to use them, the technical support was very good. If I had to rate them I would give them an eight-out-of-ten. Maybe they need to work on consistency with response time, but the bigger concern comes down to the actual know-how. A lot of times, we have to defer to IBM for support in order to get an answer.  

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

We previously used a different solution from IBM.  

How was the initial setup?

The installation and the initial setup for these is very simple.  

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

The pricing is fine for what the product does.  

What other advice do I have?

The advice that I would you give to others looking into implementing this product is that it is a good product if it fits your needs. Products in this category are not all the same and they all have something unique, but ThinkSystem is a good offer and can work out well if you can work with it to fit the use cases that you have.  

On a scale from one to ten (where one is the worst and ten is the best), I would rate this product as probably and eight-out-of-ten overall. I would give it that rating because it is a good product. It is stable. It is well supported. It just lacks some depth in the area of features. That ends up not necessarily being a strike against the product because, price-wise, it is a good value. If you want all the bells and whistles, Lenovo wants you to move up the ladder on something else they have to offer.  

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Reseller
Daniel Aramayo
Implementation and Support Engineer at PRACSO S.R.L.
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Reasonably priced, scales well, and offers good stability

Pros and Cons

  • "The initial setup was extremely simple and straightforward."
  • "I'd like to see the product implement active replication for vehicles such as VMware."

What is our primary use case?

We primarily use the solution for cluster applications and databases. We use the solution on the DBA and those that use double machines.

What is most valuable?

Being able to have broken files on-site on the same appliance is quite useful.

The newer version of NVME has a really noticeable difference in quality versus the last generation. It's better in terms of latency. It allows for so much more input.

The initial setup was extremely simple and straightforward. 

The stability is quite good.

We've found the scalability to be excellent.

The price of the product isn't too high.

What needs improvement?

To be able to do the welcome files simultaneously on a lower version would be helpful. 

I general, we don't really have any pain points when dealing with the solution.

The solution should improve its logon requirements.

I'd like to see the product implement active replication for vehicles such as VMware.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability has been very good and very reliable. There are no bugs or glitches. It doesn't crash or freeze. Its performance has been good.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution can scale if you need it to. It offers good scalability.

We have already expanded capacity and installed additional chokes and it works perfectly, with no downtime and no impact on production.

We do have plans to increase usage in the future. We're looking forward to installing more clusters and extending the offering.

While we have five main users that manage the arrays, we have many, many general users of the product.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is not overly complex or difficult. It's quite simple and very straightforward. A company shouldn't have any issues with the process. 

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

We pay for licensing on a yearly basis. We're pretty happy with the cost. It's reasonable and not overly expensive.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Before choosing this solution, we evaluated solutions from HP, IBM, and Dell EMC.

What other advice do I have?

We are partners. 

While I would recommend the product to others, I would also advise that they try it out first via a proof of concept if they are not so sure about the solution. It's free and they can experiment with all the features in their own environments.

I'd rate the solution at a ten out of ten. We are very happy with the product overall.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
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VK
CISO at a manufacturing company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Good support, highly reliable, with high capabilities, and is secure

Pros and Cons

  • "This is a good product with high capabilities and high reliability."
  • "I would like to see an audit account set up such that the user can log in, see the configuration, and see the logs, but they cannot make any changes."

What is our primary use case?

The primary use is as a SAN device for my ERP solution, as well as for my Windows Servers.

What is most valuable?

This is a good product with high capabilities and high reliability.

What needs improvement?

I would like to see an audit account set up such that the user can log in, see the configuration, and see the logs, but they cannot make any changes.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using this Hitachi Virtual Storage Platform for one and a half years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This solution is very stable and in the last one and a half years, we have not faced any issues with it. We are going to continue using it in the future.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

This product is pretty scalable. We have approximately 1,200 users who are storing data or using it one way or another.

How are customer service and technical support?

We had some issues with the creation of partitions and it was taken up by Hitachi and it was resolved immediately. I would say that their support is pretty good.

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

Prior to this, we were using the IBM V3700 series, and we upgraded from that to the Hitachi.

How was the initial setup?

The installation was straightforward. We faced some issues because of the travel calendar because there is no partner for Hitachi in the North zone. It took some time, but it was pretty good.

What about the implementation team?

An integrator assisted us with the deployment. In total, there were six people involved in setting up the complete configuration. Three of them were from my side, and the other three from the vendor.

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

The cost price of this product is better than its competitors.

What other advice do I have?

This is a product that I don't think needs any improvement because I don't see any challenges. I definitely recommend this solution to others.

The security of this solution depends on how it is installed.

I would rate this solution a nine out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Sarith Sasidharan
System Administrator at a government with 201-500 employees
Real User
Top 5
Very stable, good performance, much faster than other solutions, and has native cloud integration

Pros and Cons

  • "Its performance is most valuable. This solution is much faster than other as well as older storage solutions. The performance of the system is very good. We are getting 50 times better experience than the older storages. We are using AFF 300. It also has native cloud integration and most of the features."
  • "Its pricing should be better. Its price is competitive, but they need to improve the pricing. They have different licensing models, which they need to improve. My expectation was cloud integration, which they have, but it is a different license. Therefore, people cannot enjoy it. If I want to use it, I need to pay extra. There is a cost involved for everything, but it should reach everyone. It is similar to having a Rolls-Royce, but you need to pay extra for the key. If you want the key, you need to pay."

What is most valuable?

Its performance is most valuable. This solution is much faster than other as well as older storage solutions. The performance of the system is very good. We are getting 50 times better experience than the older storages. We are using AFF 300. It also has native cloud integration and most of the features.

What needs improvement?

Its pricing should be better. Its price is competitive, but they need to improve the pricing. They have different licensing models, which they need to improve.

My expectation was cloud integration, which they have, but it is a different license. Therefore, people cannot enjoy it. If I want to use it, I need to pay extra. There is a cost involved for everything, but it should reach everyone. It is similar to having a Rolls-Royce, but you need to pay extra for the key. If you want the key, you need to pay.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is very stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have around 3,000 users. We plan to increase the usage of this product.

How are customer service and technical support?

Their technical support is good. I am satisfied with their support.

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

I have been using only NetApp in this company, and it is good. I also have experience with solutions from Hitachi, EMC, Dell, IBM, HP, and others.

How was the initial setup?

It is very easy. It hardly took four hours.

What about the implementation team?

We used an integrator for deployment, and we are satisfied with the experience.  

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

They need to improve its pricing. The storage market is dying. So, they need to improve the price because it should reach all people. NetApp is one of the top ones, and they are charging a little bit of royalty as compared to other storage solutions.

What other advice do I have?

I would rate NetApp EF-Series All Flash Arrays a ten out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

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