Dell EMC PowerStore Review

VMware integration was a big factor for us, and we have benefited from the advanced dedupe, compression, and replication

What is our primary use case?

We do a lot of cloning of databases for either troubleshooting or to stage and prepare implementation. We are a SaaS provider in the real estate industry and we're either using the PowerStore to help expedite things in our development environment, or we're using it to help troubleshoot any problems that we have.

We have north of 13 petabytes of storage in our environment.

How has it helped my organization?

PowerStore has enabled us to add additional storage to that we hadn't planned on, which allows us to defer the purchase of some additional storage.

We've really improved the amount of storage that we're able to effectively utilize because of its better deduping. It has about a 50 percent better dedupe rate, with its intelligence, than we had been previously getting. Overall, we've benefited from the dedupe, compression, and replication, the advanced technology, of this frame. It's all better than what we had in the previous generation of XtremIO appliances, and above what we were getting in the Dell EMC Unitys.

What is most valuable?

My guys have told me that the administration tools take advantage of machine learning and make recommendations to the admins, and that makes the administration easier.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've been using Dell EMC PowerStore for about six months.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We've had no issues with the machines since turning them on.

The machine supports "six nines" of availability. Anything they could do to push it closer to "seven nines" of availability would be extremely beneficial.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It scales both horizontally and vertically.

How are customer service and technical support?

The support has been phenomenal.

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

We replaced an older, high-performance storage device that was very expensive. With PowerStore, we were able to achieve the IOPS, and we were also able to get a data compression rate significantly above what we had expected. We were able to retire that older, very expensive piece of storage by bringing in the PowerStore. It's been faster and cheaper than we had expected, per terabyte.

Another reason that we were after this machine was PowerStore's VMware integration. We're a very large VMware customer. Some 98 percent  of our workload runs on VMware.

How was the initial setup?

The setup was very straightforward. We bought it with the setup from Dell EMC support. We bought it, they shipped it, and a Dell EMC engineer coordinated with my storage engineer. We set it up and then did the data migration. On these particular frames, we needed very little help. It all went very seamlessly.

We had a couple of data center engineers involved, as well as a couple of storage admins, and a storage architect.

Our storage administrators took very limited training to get up to speed on the machines.

What about the implementation team?

Dell EMC was involved and the experience was very good. They showed up when they were supposed to, all the pre-work was done. They did the post-work, and there were no concerns from our team.

What was our ROI?

We exceeded the business case of the device that we had. We were able to add more workloads to the environment than the business case allowed, and we are still migrating more. So our cost per IOP and our cost per gigabyte have been substantially lower than our business case.

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

We did a very competitive analysis on the pricing and compared it against the tradeoffs of the other storage products that we had previously bought, and we found PowerStore to be favorable on a cost-per-compute basis.

There's still a cap on the upgrade path, where you can consume all the engines within the frame before you have to go to another frame. I would like more flexibility to increase the number of engines on the frames. Normally, we exceed the IOPS on the frames before we can ever exhaust the storage, so anything they can do to help us avoid stranded storage capacity, capacity that we couldn't get to, would be beneficial.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We've looked at several other solution environments, including Pure, HPE, as well as Violin and a couple of the other vendors that rate high in industry reviews. For us, with our large dependence on VMware, if we can get a cost-competitive solution from Dell EMC, with their ability to support VMware, we end up with a whole lot less finger-pointing in the mix.

You can add compute or capacity independently, meaning it has greater capabilities than the Unitys that we had been targeting for our non-SaaS environment, and it has performed admirably.

What other advice do I have?

Clearly test out the workloads and don't necessarily be afraid because it's a new device. Work with Dell EMC to get a great contractual solution that will protect you with the new technology. This new technology does perform. It's a great performance machine.

Although it's a relatively new platform, I was fairly confident in Dell EMC technology's support for the environment and in the performance that we had had with other machines. I felt there was very little risk in the migration to this solution, and we were really excited about the improved capabilities.

In terms of PowerStore's built-in VMware hypervisor, we really haven't used it at the edge, although I can see its capabilities there. As a SaaS provider, we generally provide in the center. For the targeted workload that we have, it's performing substantially better than we had expected within our business case.

We're very happy with the machine. It has multiple CPUs per storage frame, which is better than the predecessor machine, and there is a RAM increase as well. We got what was advertised and even a little bit better than what was advertised.

We've been very excited by the capabilities of the appliance, to the point that the person who runs the infrastructure for me is now looking for a proposal to consolidate all of our non-VMAX work on PowerStores. The performance and the administration of the machine have been great and we're looking at how we can get additional returns on this targeted workload.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?


Which version of this solution are you currently using?

**Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
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