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Dell EMC PowerScale (Isilon) vs FreeNAS comparison

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Featured Review
Find out what your peers are saying about Dell EMC PowerScale (Isilon) vs. FreeNAS and other solutions. Updated: January 2022.
564,599 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Quotes From Members
We asked business professionals to review the solutions they use.
Here are some excerpts of what they said:
Pros
"This is the best platform that we could have for storage utilization. It is affordable and scalable. At the end of the day, it's something that we find very easy to use.""PowerScale allows us to manage storage without managing RAID groups or migrating volumes between controllers. It has really simplified things. We're not having to worry about the underlying infrastructure. That takes care of itself. We just worry about the data. It's really easy for deploying and managing storage at the petabyte scale.""You plug in a new node and data starts migrating over to it, and IT spreads out the load. We've added multiple nodes to the system since deploying it. The process is pretty seamless, and we are able to do it with no downtime. It's a very easy process to do.""The stability of the solution is good.""There are also the policies that you set up on replication and purging files, and policies for something called WORM. That's a "write once, read many," where you can't overwrite certain files or certain data. It puts them in a "protected mode" where it becomes very difficult for someone to accidentally delete. We use that for certain files or certain directories, because we're dealing with video and some video has to be protected for chain-of-custody purposes. The WORM feature works great.""The single pane of glass for both IT and for the end-user is a valuable feature. On the IT side, I can actually control where things are stored, whether something is stored on solid-state drives or spinning drives... The single pane of glass makes it very easy to use and very easy to understand. We started at 100 terabytes and we moved to 250 and it still feels like the exact same system and we're able to move data as needed.""For maximizing storage utilization, PowerScale is great. When you write the data to it, it spreads it out to all the nodes, so you get all the performance from the entire pool.""It has allowed us to have more consistent quality controls. It has also allowed us to expand the number of servers in clients processing and accessing data, allowing us to get a lot bigger projects out the door."

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"Its stability is the most valuable. It is reliable, and we don't have to worry too much about it.""It integrates well into either Windows or Linux environments.""What I like about it is that I can work on it from any computer or any device. The initial setup is very simple. The setup wizard is really helpful."

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Cons
"The solution can be a bit complex for those not well versed in the technology.""There is room for improvement with the updates. It can take a significant amount of time to do a major OS update. However, even though it takes multiple reboots, the cluster stays up. If we want to apply a newer version of the OS, we have to roll back some of the patches so that we can upgrade. It requires a few reboots just to do that. The cluster doesn't come down, everything is still running, but it's time-consuming, at times.""It is a bit higher priced than some of the other systems.""Some improvements to the NFS support would be of interest to us.""There aren't many templates still coming out for it. They need to provide templates so we can copy and paste what we've done in the past to future, new things.""The replication could lend itself to some improvement around encryption in transit and managing the racing of large volumes of data. The process of file over and file back can be tedious. Hopefully, you never end up going into a DR. If you do go into a DR, you know the data is there on the remote site. However, in terms of the process of setting up the replicates and filing them back, that is just very tedious and could definitely do with some improvement.""Because of the magic that it does 'under the hood,' it is very difficult to find out within the system where all your storage is going. That's a little bit of a ding that we have on it. It does so much magic in order to protect itself from drive failures or multiple drive failures, that it automatically handles the provisioning and storage of your data. But by doing that, finding out why a file of a certain size, or a directory of a certain size, is using more storage than is being reported in InsightIQ, is very difficult to discern.""The thing that they are working on now, and we are following closely is more native cloud integrations. The way that we envision workloads in the future is around moving compute to data instead of the other way around. So, we would like to have a single pane glass to manage storage across a variety of different platforms, including native cloud. That would be awesome."

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"The support for S3 needs to be improved.""They can improve the integration with PSA systems. This functionality could be better.""The one thing that I find difficult to do which is very time-consuming is that I like to have a backup of the important files."

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Pricing and Cost Advice
  • "The solution is expensive; it is not the cheapest solution out there. If you look at it from a total cost of ownership perspective, then it is a very compelling solution. However, if you're looking at just dollar per terabyte and not looking at the big picture, then you could be distracted by the price. It is not an amazing price, but it's pretty good. It is also very good when you consider the total cost of ownership and ease of management."
  • "The pricing is expensive, but I think it's a fair value because it does manage itself. It definitely is much simpler than any of the other scale-out storage platforms that we've looked at in the past."
  • "The platform is not cheap. However, on the software side, you can choose what you want license. So, you can start your licensing with the features that you need, then after buying the platform add some other features."
  • "The only drawback for us is that it's a large upfront investment. This was a huge decision for a startup company to make. It took a bit for us to get over the line on it, but we have not regretted it."
  • "I always want things to be less expensive. However, I would say the pricing is fair. Their costs are in alignment with their competitors. It is a good value for the money."
  • "We paid an additional fee to have Dell's ProDeploy Plus team implement it."
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  • "For our configuration, we pay a little bit less than €10,000 ($12,000 USD) per year."
  • "Its price is okay. It suits our needs."
  • More FreeNAS Pricing and Cost Advice →

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    Questions from the Community
    Top Answer: 
    Since it can scale so easily, as long as I have money to buy more nodes, I can grow it as big as I need to. That is important in our business. As sequencing technologies continue to evolve, and as… more »
    Top Answer: 
    Since I have to manage all the budgets, I always want things to be less expensive. However, I would say the pricing is fair. Their costs are in alignment with their competitors. It is a good value for… more »
    Top Answer: 
    Something that still could be improved upon is adding additional node types of different sizes to facilitate a better way to run in distributed offices. For example, we have a lab up in Flagstaff, but… more »
    Top Answer: 
    What I like about it is that I can work on it from any computer or any device. The initial setup is very simple. The setup wizard is really helpful.
    Top Answer: 
    The solution is free and open-source. That said, if you have hardware failures, then there's the cost of replacing it. That's the only cost. In my case, when I was finding the discs were failing too… more »
    Top Answer: 
    The one thing that I find difficult to do which is very time-consuming is that I like to have a backup of the important files. However, they're so big. I haven't really found documentation that… more »
    Ranking
    4th
    out of 27 in NAS
    Views
    10,496
    Comparisons
    6,081
    Reviews
    8
    Average Words per Review
    2,053
    Rating
    9.5
    6th
    out of 27 in NAS
    Views
    3,065
    Comparisons
    2,309
    Reviews
    3
    Average Words per Review
    828
    Rating
    7.7
    Comparisons
    Also Known As
    PowerScale, Dell EMC Isilon
    Learn More
    Overview

    Dell EMC Isilon scale-out storage solutions are designed for enterprises that want to manage their data, not their storage. Our storage systems are simple to install, manage, and scale to virtually any size. Isilon storage includes a choice of all-flash, hybrid or archive nodes. Isilon solutions stay simple no matter how much storage capacity is added, how much performance is required, or how business needs change in the future.

    FreeNAS is an operating system that can be installed on virtually any hardware platform to share data over a network. FreeNAS is the simplest way to create a centralized and easily accessible place for your data. Use FreeNAS with ZFS to protect, store, backup, all of your data. FreeNAS is used everywhere, for the home, small business, and the enterprise.
    Offer
    Learn more about Dell EMC PowerScale (Isilon)
    Learn more about FreeNAS
    Sample Customers
    OMRF, University of Utah, Translational Genetics Research Institute, Arcis, Geofizyka Torumn, Cyprus E&P Corporation, Colburn School, Columbia Sportswear, Harvard Medical School, University of Michigan, National Library of France,
    Morroni Technologies Inc., Creative Integrations
    Top Industries
    REVIEWERS
    Energy/Utilities Company18%
    Manufacturing Company9%
    Comms Service Provider9%
    Agriculture9%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Computer Software Company30%
    Comms Service Provider19%
    Manufacturing Company7%
    Government6%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Comms Service Provider30%
    Computer Software Company22%
    Government8%
    Educational Organization5%
    Company Size
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business21%
    Midsize Enterprise29%
    Large Enterprise50%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business18%
    Midsize Enterprise16%
    Large Enterprise66%
    No Data Available
    Find out what your peers are saying about Dell EMC PowerScale (Isilon) vs. FreeNAS and other solutions. Updated: January 2022.
    564,599 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    Dell EMC PowerScale (Isilon) is ranked 4th in NAS with 10 reviews while FreeNAS is ranked 6th in NAS with 3 reviews. Dell EMC PowerScale (Isilon) is rated 9.4, while FreeNAS is rated 7.6. The top reviewer of Dell EMC PowerScale (Isilon) writes "As you add more nodes in a cluster, you get more effective utilisation". On the other hand, the top reviewer of FreeNAS writes "Easy to implement and has a good setup wizard but needs better documentation". Dell EMC PowerScale (Isilon) is most compared with NetApp FAS Series, Qumulo, HPE StoreEasy, Huawei OceanStor 9000 and IBM FlashSystem, whereas FreeNAS is most compared with StarWind Storage Appliance, NetApp FAS Series, NETGEAR ReadyNAS, Qumulo and HPE StoreEasy. See our Dell EMC PowerScale (Isilon) vs. FreeNAS report.

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