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Dell EMC PowerMax NVMe Valuable Features

Senior Solution Architect at Rackspace

We use the solution's CloudIQ features for what we call fleet management. We manage hundreds of devices. We use this to make sure that all our arrays are properly communicating so we can see performance, storage capacities, etc. We can also generate reports on usage and performance. Our customers with dedicated solutions rely on CloudIQ for reports, but we also have a lot of homegrown internal tools which give us the same features so we don't use it as much as our customers, but we use it occasionally.

CloudIQ is definitely helpful for our customers who use it, but our teams are using internal tools that we've trusted for years. CloudIQ is very helpful for helping to manage storage for customers who need the tools but don't have their own.

In regards to efficiency and performance, we don't have escalations to the vendor at all because it works so well. These devices are a beast. Historically, before the PowerMax came out, we would sometimes experience storage performance bottlenecks because there were a lot of customers in the shared or multi-tenant environment. So, we have a lot of customers requesting a lot of data. We do things at an enterprise-level at scale. Therefore, we would see performance bottlenecks. The efficiency of the system has now just proven that it works phenomenally. It can allocate resources to different storage tiers, like a Gold, Silver, or Bronze tier. If Gold is busy, it can go and request resources from the Silver or Bronze layer as we have defined them. We no longer see performance issues because the system just runs really well and handles a lot of scaling in both directions. 

There is an underlying QoS-type functionality behind-the-scenes where we are providing storage with an SLA based on tiers (Gold, Silver, or Bronze tiers). For example, if the Gold tier does not hit its minimum required performance, the system will kick into a lesser quality of service. It will reach out to the other storage tiers and consume more bandwidth, if needed. However, in our experience, the system works so well that we don't actually have to use that feature. On the very rare occasions that we need to, we just go click a button in the background. The system works so well that we don't actually have to use the QoS capabilities.

It works great. We don't ever have to escalate to the vendor. PowerMax is really a game changer for us. Historically, we would have bottlenecks on older, spinning disk gear, but this NVMe technology is really solid. Now, it works phenomenally. Therefore, storage is not a problem for us. The performance that we are experiencing changes the customer's conversation from talking about I/O to response times or latency. We used to have to worry about disk and how quickly could your data go in and out. Now, things are so dang fast that we just want to know how quickly we can connect to it, so the latency is pretty cool. We don't have any issues with performance efficiency at all.

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Storage Team Manager at a government with 10,001+ employees

What is most valuable to us is the fact that it has multiple engines, and each of those engines works in conjunction in a grid environment. That's important to us because we have so many different use cases. One example might be that a state trooper pulls someone over at 2 o'clock on Sunday morning and wants to go into the LEIN system, which is the law enforcement information network. He wants to see who this person is that he has pulled over and gather as much information as he can on that person. We can't predict when he's going to pull someone over, nor can we predict when backups are actually going to be taken against the volume that he's going to for that information. The PowerMax allows us to do backups of that volume at the same time that he is looking up the data he needs, and there's no impact on performance at all.

The performance is very good. Our predominant workloads are all less than 5 milliseconds and it's most common to have a sub-1-millisecond response time for our applications. In terms of efficiency, we've turned on compression and we're able to get as high as two-to-one compression on our workloads, on average. Some workloads can't compress and some can compress better, but on average, we're a little bit more than two-to-one.

The solution’s built-in QoS capabilities for providing workload congestion protection work pretty well because we actually don't even turn on the service level options. We leave it to the default settings and allow it to decide the performance. We don't enforce the Platinum, Gold, or Silver QoS levels. We just let the array handle it all, and it does so.

We also use VPLEX Metro, which is a separate service offering from Dell EMC. It does SRDF-like things, but it's really SRDF on steroids. Of course it copies data from one data center to the other, but with the VPLEX, not only does it copy it synchronously, but it also has coherent caching between both data centers. That means we are literally in an Active-Active mode. For instance, we can dynamically move a VMware host that is in one data center to another data center, and we're not just doing vMotion with the host. The data is already in there at the other data center as well. It's all seamless. We don't have to stop SRDF and remount it on another drive. It's already there.

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VP Global Markets, Global Head of Storage at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees

Uptime and availability are first and foremost. The deduplication and compression capabilities are also excellent, allowing us to be very efficient with the physical hardware that we need to deploy on-prem in order to fulfill our requirements. It has given us excellent value for money without compromising performance.

The solution's snapshot capabilities and replication are very good features. Snapshots are allowing us to quickly build analytical models directly from production data. This gives us amazing insights into market trends and allows us to build more effective trading algorithms. Replication offers us unparalleled levels of resilience.

The management overall is excellent. Dell EMC continues to build on very solid foundations, which have been evolving for over two decades. 

The REST APIs are great.

The solution exposes excellent automation opportunities.

We have found the performance to be very good so far.

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Learn what your peers think about Dell EMC PowerMax NVMe. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: December 2021.
555,358 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Infrastructure Lead at Umbra Ltd.
  • The cost of the entire solution
  • Their dedupe rates
  • Ease of use
  • Simplicity

Data availability is very high. Data security is also very good. There are a lot of encryption methods available.

We use the solution’s NVMe SCM storage tier feature. There is almost no overhead or management time involved. It was kind of set it and forget it.

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Solution Architect at Sybyl

It is a good, resilient product.  

The good thing that we have found is the enhanced data savings. For example, in an XtremIO, we were seeing the space savings was 1:4 or 1:3. With PowerMax, I have seen 10:1 and 12:1. This is something that has really come out as a distinctive feature and is helping us a lot.

The Unisphere GUI has been enhanced. A lot of options have been added to the GUI. Though, if somebody is planning to buy PowerMax, they should also have some associated training with that.

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Product Manager at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees

Based on our experience with VMAX, there isn't any hardware failure or something like that in PowerMax. Performance-wise also, everything is fine. We haven't faced any performance issues or any hardware failure. Its performance is great as compared to VMAX. Its I/O per second rate is higher than the old model.

We can use it block-wise, and we can also use it at the file level. It is good for any environment.

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Presales Engineer Information System and Security at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
  1. The optimization of the cache memory of each engine and the use of persistent memory. 
  2. I/O density with predictable performance when we grab the I/O to host, as the storage level supported by the PowerMax is too far to be reached regardless of workload and storage capacity utilization. 
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Senior BDM at a tech services company with 51-200 employees

The deduplication of the solution is excellent and the compression is quite helpful. These are the most useful aspects of the solution for us.

The initial setup is quite straightforward.

Technical support has been excellent.

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Solution Administrator at Telcel

It is important that the product provides NVMe scale-out capabilities. We support many things with the product and we need to know what the architecture is. It makes things very simple for us.

The data security and availability are pretty good. We have many clients connecting to the box, which means security is very important. This is true when it comes to remote support. The compliance is very good.

The performance is very good on our servers. It's superior. And the QoS capabilities for providing work congestion protection are also important because about 99 percent of our servers are production servers.

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Senior System Administrator at PRASAC Microfinance Institution Limited

We like the compression, dedupe, and I/O on the PowerMax. They are better than on the XtremIO.

Snapshots make it easy to deploy production, pre-production, and UAT environments. It is easy to snapshot and reverse snapshot to other environments, compared to other storage vendors.

In addition, we have a lot of users in our core system and the PowerMax performance is very good. The I/O performance is running fine; it's not an issue.

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Learn what your peers think about Dell EMC PowerMax NVMe. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: December 2021.
555,358 professionals have used our research since 2012.