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Dell EMC PowerScale (Isilon) vs Panasas ActiveStor comparison

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Here are some excerpts of what they said:
Pros
"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 those technologies evolve, the amount of data generation never gets smaller. It just always seems to get bigger. This is one of the absolute key aspects: We can grow on demand without having to forklift stuff.""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 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.""The solution has simplified management by consolidating our workloads. Rather than managing all the different workloads on different storage arrays, Windows Servers, etc., we just have one place per data centre where we manage all their unstructured data, saving us time.""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.""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.""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.""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."

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"We've found the product to be quite flexible."

More Panasas ActiveStor Pros →

Cons
"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 management and monitoring tools comprise a disparate suite of products and the roadmap is very unclear. We've got four different products that look after the Isilon, management-wise, and it's a bit of a mess.""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.""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.""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.""Some improvements to the NFS support would be of interest to us.""The solution can be a bit complex for those not well versed in the technology."

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"The solution is quite expensive."

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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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    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: 
    We've found the product to be quite flexible.
    Top Answer: 
    The solution could be cheaper. Right now, it's pricey. We don't pay a recurring licensing fee. We just paid for the whole system, including the hardware and software, as well as support and service… more »
    Top Answer: 
    The solution is quite expensive. The solution could offer better support and better local support options.
    Ranking
    4th
    out of 27 in NAS
    Views
    10,496
    Comparisons
    6,081
    Reviews
    8
    Average Words per Review
    2,053
    Rating
    9.5
    12th
    out of 27 in NAS
    Views
    290
    Comparisons
    212
    Reviews
    1
    Average Words per Review
    335
    Rating
    9.0
    Comparisons
    Also Known As
    PowerScale, Dell EMC Isilon
    ActiveStor
    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.

    In our most recent product, the ActiveStor Ultra, Panasas has developed a new approach called Dynamic Data Acceleration Technology. It uses a carefully balanced set of HDDs, SATA SSD, NVMe SSD, NVDIMM, and DRAM to provide a combination of excellent performance and low cost per terabyte.

    • HDDs will provide high bandwidth data storage if they are never asked to store anything small and only asked to do large sequential transfers. Therefore, we only store large Component Objects on our low-cost HDDs.

    • SATA SSDs provide cost-effective and highbandwidth storage as a result of not having any seek times, so that’s where we keep our small Component Objects.

    • NVMe SSDs are built for very low latency accesses, so we store all our metadata in a database and keep that database on an NVMe SSD. Metadata accesses are very sensitive to latency, whether it is POSIX metadata for the files being stored or metadata for the internal operations of the OSD.

    • An NVDIMM (a storage class memory device) is the lowest latency type of persistent storage device available, and we use one to store our transaction logs: user data and metadata being written by the application to the OSD, plus our internal metadata. That allows PanFS to provide very low latency commits back to the application.

    • We use the DRAM in each OSD as an extremely low latency cache of the most recently read or written data and metadata.

    To gain the most benefit from the SATA SSD’s performance, we try to keep the SATA SSD about 80% full. If it falls below that, we will (transparently and in the background) pick the smallest Component Objects in the HDD pool and move them to the SSD until it is about 80% full. If the SSD is too full, we will move the largest Component Objects on the SSD to the HDD pool. Every ActiveStor Ultra Storage Node performs this optimization independently and continuously. It’s easy for an ActiveStor Ultra to pick which Component Objects to move, it just needs to look in its local NVMe-based database.

    Offer
    Learn more about Dell EMC PowerScale (Isilon)
    Learn more about Panasas ActiveStor
    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,
    Advanced Mask Technology Center Airbus Argonne National Laboratory The University of Texas at Dallas School of Arts Technology and Emerging Communication Башнефть Boeing Bosch California Academy of Sciences Caltech Canon Case Western Reserve University Conoco Phillips Deluxe DirecTV Fairfield Technologies United States Federal Reserve Garvan Institute of Medical Research Goodyear Halliburton Harvard Medical School Honeywell In-Depth Geophysical Intel Kawasaki Lockheed Martin 3M Magseis Fairfield Mammal Studios The Man Group McLaren Mercedes-Benz MINES ParisTech NASA US Navy National Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasures Center NBCUniversal National Institutes of Health Nio National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Northrup Grumman Novartis Partners Healthcare Procter & Gamble PGS Pratt & Whitney Rutherford Appleton Lab Siemens Sim International Sinopec Solers Square Cnix TGS Toyota Motorsport GMBH Toppan Turner UMass Medical School United Technologies University of Georgia University of California Los Angeles University of Minnesota University of Notre Dame University of California San Diego Center for Microbiome Innovation Whiskytree
    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 Provider28%
    Computer Software Company27%
    Government11%
    Financial Services Firm6%
    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 Hewlett Packard Enterprise, IBM, Nasuni and others in NAS. Updated: January 2022.
    563,148 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    Dell EMC PowerScale (Isilon) is ranked 4th in NAS with 10 reviews while Panasas ActiveStor is ranked 12th in NAS with 1 review. Dell EMC PowerScale (Isilon) is rated 9.4, while Panasas ActiveStor is rated 9.0. 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 Panasas ActiveStor writes "Easy to use and flexible with great performance". Dell EMC PowerScale (Isilon) is most compared with NetApp FAS Series, Qumulo, HPE StoreEasy, Huawei OceanStor 9000 and Cloudian HyperFile NAS Storage, whereas Panasas ActiveStor is most compared with NetApp FAS Series, HPE 3PAR StoreServ and Sonexion Scale-out Lustre Storage System.

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