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Dell EMC PowerMax NVMe OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

Dell EMC PowerMax NVMe is #1 ranked solution in best NVMe All-Flash Arrays and #7 ranked solution in best All-Flash Storage Arrays. IT Central Station users give Dell EMC PowerMax NVMe an average rating of 10 out of 10. Dell EMC PowerMax NVMe is most commonly compared to Dell EMC PowerStore: Dell EMC PowerMax NVMe vs Dell EMC PowerStore. The top industry researching this solution is Computer Software Company, accounting for 34% of all views.
What is Dell EMC PowerMax NVMe?

Dell EMC PowerMax is the world’s fastest storage array. It delivers new levels of performance and efficiency with a future-proof architecture that features end-to-end non-volatile memory express (NVMe) and a built-in machine learning engine. PowerMax is built on the comprehensive functionality and proven resiliency of Dell EMC’s flagship storage platform. It is designed for six-nines of availability and offers data-at-rest encryption (D@RE), massive scalability, and best-in-class data protection with Symmetrix Remote Data Facility (SRDF), the gold standard in remote replication.

Dell EMC PowerMax NVMe is also known as Dell EMC PowerMax, PowerMax.

Dell EMC PowerMax NVMe Buyer's Guide

Download the Dell EMC PowerMax NVMe Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: October 2021

Dell EMC PowerMax NVMe Customers

Rackspace, Open Line

Dell EMC PowerMax NVMe Video

Archived Dell EMC PowerMax NVMe Reviews (more than two years old)

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Elias Riveros Malky
Regional Alliance Manager at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
MSP
It is efficient and very simple for our administrators to use

Pros and Cons

  • "It is efficient and very simple for our administrators to use."
  • "I would like NVMe to be end-to-end in the next release. Right now, it is not end-to-end."

What is our primary use case?

We use it for tying in high-end analytics services. PowerMax has some tiers which a make difference between the use of the data for our customers. All Dell technologies Solutions have tiers with faster hard disks. This one has special tiers to grant another level of data. That's why we use PowerMax and NVMe technology.

It is best for block storage.

How has it helped my organization?

SAP and Oracle Database are on PowerMax. Most of out critical services are on it. We use SRDF, which is a software. You can utilize the storage. It's very good, because you can make a stretch faster between two data centers.

What is most valuable?

The analytics and transactional data are its most valuable features.

With PowerMax, you don't have to buy new storage, like with the older VMAXs.

It is efficient and very simple for our administrators to use.

What needs improvement?

I would like NVMe to be end-to-end in the next release. Right now, it is not end-to-end.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is a high-end storage. It is never down. This high-end technology is designed for mission-critical operations, where systems can't go down or it will affect a business' reputation and/or revenue.

How are customer service and technical support?

With these type of high-end technologies and their uptime, there is no need to contact support.

How was the initial setup?

Compared to VMAX, the initial setup is very easy. Setting up VMAX was a pain versus PowerMax, which was simple and efficient.

To migrate the data from VMAX to PowerMax, we used SRDF. It was fast. In some cases, we used VPLEX.

What about the implementation team?

We used both an integrator and reseller to assist with the deployment.

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

The cost is expensive. While VMAX now has good pricing, PowerMax is a little expensive.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Our solution is focused using Dell technologies.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: SONDA
DT
Storage Architect at a manufacturing company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
The technical support has been A+

What is our primary use case?

Our mission-critical environment is on the PowerMax.

How has it helped my organization?

It does what it's supposed to.

What is most valuable?

The All-Flash array Performance Reliability

What needs improvement?

Our operations team would say that the GUI needs improvement. You taking an island-of-storage and just creating another.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is acceptable and what we expected.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support has been A plus.

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

We chose this solution because we wanted to go with the All-Flash array.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was complex, and we had experienced…

What is our primary use case?

Our mission-critical environment is on the PowerMax.

How has it helped my organization?

It does what it's supposed to.

What is most valuable?

  • The All-Flash array
  • Performance
  • Reliability

What needs improvement?

Our operations team would say that the GUI needs improvement.

You taking an island-of-storage and just creating another.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is acceptable and what we expected.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support has been A plus.

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

We chose this solution because we wanted to go with the All-Flash array.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was complex, and we had experienced people working on it.

For the migration process from the older VMAX arrays to PowerMax, we VMotioned everything. It was easy.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We considered Dell EMC and NetApp.

What other advice do I have?

There is nothing that is not there.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Learn what your peers think about Dell EMC PowerMax NVMe. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: October 2021.
543,424 professionals have used our research since 2012.
TT
Storage Architect at a university with 5,001-10,000 employees
Real User
It has one submillisecond latency all the time

Pros and Cons

  • "The stability is great. It is five nines."
  • "The initial setup was complex, as it is a complex system and you have to learn a lot."

What is our primary use case?

We use it for virtualization and consolidation of our data lakes.

We are using PowerMax for SAP and Exchange to run the company. 

How has it helped my organization?

We have two sites and two data centers. So, we use SRDF to do transfers and fail overs.

What is most valuable?

The data services, especially SRDF, are its most valuable features.

We are using Unisphere for monitoring. REST API is great for configuring the storage system.

What needs improvement?

Accessibility to new users needs improvement.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is great. It is five nines.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It scales far beyond what we need, so I am good with that.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support is great. It is a high-end system, so the support should be high-end as well.

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

We previously used mid-range solutions that just didn't scale.

We used to have a whole bunch of arrays. Now, we have consolidated them onto PowerMax. 

We were looking at All-Flash Arrays that have one submillisecond latency all the time. That is what PowerMax delivers.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was complex, as it is a complex system and you have to learn a lot.

What about the implementation team?

We worked directly with Dell EMC for the deployment.

What was our ROI?

We have seen ROI.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We looked at Dell EMC and Pure Storage.

What other advice do I have?

Look at it. Don't be afraid of its complexity. It has great performance.

Data is core to our business. Have an array with our data on it is very important to the business.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
AT
System Engineer at a government with 5,001-10,000 employees
Real User
It has reduced our footprint in different physical locations

How has it helped my organization?

It has reduced our footprint in different physical locations.

What is most valuable?

The health checks and problem solving are its most valuable features.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is good. We never have any issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is great.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical is very good. It is easy to contact someone. They have a great team that helps us.

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

Our performance requirements were that it has to be always stable.

How was the initial setup?

Setting up PowerMax with VMAX is always complex. The support from Dell EMC helped made a difference. …

How has it helped my organization?

It has reduced our footprint in different physical locations.

What is most valuable?

The health checks and problem solving are its most valuable features.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is good. We never have any issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is great.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical is very good. It is easy to contact someone. They have a great team that helps us.

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

Our performance requirements were that it has to be always stable.

How was the initial setup?

Setting up PowerMax with VMAX is always complex. The support from Dell EMC helped made a difference.

What about the implementation team?

Dell EMC helped us with the deployment.

What other advice do I have?

It is a really good product. We never max out on the performance.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
RR
Senior Infrastructure Engineer at a retailer with 10,001+ employees
Real User
It is reliable at the end of the day

What is most valuable?

The number one most valuable feature is reliability. I want to go home at the end of the day and come in the next day knowing it works, especially since we have storage offshore.

What needs improvement?

I would like to see the rack change. They have defaulted to the standard rack, so our fiber cables are crowded when we shut our back door.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is reliable at the end of the day.

How was the initial setup?

It is not complex for us because we have done so many of them. We have a lot of people with experience now.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We also considered Pure Storage.

What other advice do I have?

It is a product that people take for granted.

What is most valuable?

The number one most valuable feature is reliability. I want to go home at the end of the day and come in the next day knowing it works, especially since we have storage offshore.

What needs improvement?

I would like to see the rack change. They have defaulted to the standard rack, so our fiber cables are crowded when we shut our back door.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is reliable at the end of the day.

How was the initial setup?

It is not complex for us because we have done so many of them. We have a lot of people with experience now.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We also considered Pure Storage.

What other advice do I have?

It is a product that people take for granted.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
JK
Manager at a manufacturing company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
CloudIQ allows me to pull up my arrays on my phone and check their status at any moment

Pros and Cons

  • "We were able to move away from a middleware solution for high availability, going right to snapshots and data replication on arrays."
  • "We use ESRS for our call-home, and a lot of times, Dell EMC will respond to the issue before we even know it."
  • "We have issues that we don't know about, which Dell EMC fixes."

What is our primary use case?

It is for our corporate ERP systems and databases.

How has it helped my organization?

We specifically use it for our PowerHA on IBM i. We were able to move away from a middleware solution for high availability, going right to snapshots and data replication on arrays.

Managing and monitoring PowerMax arrays from a performance, capacity and health checks perspective is easy with Unisphere and CloudIQ. I have CloudIQ on my phone, so I could pull it up and see the state of my arrays right now.

What is most valuable?

  • The interface
  • Unisphere
  • SRDF
  • Deduplication
  • Compression
  • Encryption
  • The general physical footprints are pretty small compared to previous systems.

For how long have I used the solution?

We're pretty new to the product.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The most reliable part of it is its redundant in frame. My impression is that it is very stable. We haven't had this solution out there for very long, but we haven't had any issues with it yet.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I am impression with the scalability. Right now, we are implementing two three-engine PowerMaxs with about 500 terabytes of data, which will replicate to each other. 

If we need to scale up, it's easy just add another engine and some more drawers. It's non-disruptive, so that is also good.

How are customer service and technical support?

We haven't really had to use technical support. It is pretty much set it up and let it go, like plug and play. I'm sure if we had any issues that we could get in touch with support pretty easily. We use ESRS for our call-home, and a lot of times, Dell EMC will respond to the issue before we even know it.

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

We were using generation one of XtremIO, which had some limitations on number of initiators. It didn't have native support for IBM i. There were just a number of limitations with XtremIO that we don't have now with PowerMax. So, we were pretty consolidated on our previous platform XtremIO, then we migrated from XtremIO to PowerMax.

Our corporate ERP systems of databases are all mission critical. We chose to move to this platform from XtremIO because we wanted a smaller footprint with much more capacity with all of the data services that we got out of XtremIO. We also wanted the ability to use PowerMax in our PowerHA environment with its higher availability.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was very straightforward. It was almost like set it and forget it. We were very satisfied there.

We were using a process that includes Data Domain. We are not using Open Replicator or any other tools. We are taking images of our data and putting it on Data Domain, replicating it to the new site, then rehydrating the data, which makes it easy.

What about the implementation team?

We went with Dell EMC directly for the deployment.

What was our ROI?

Our application requires five milliseconds of latency or less. We are seeing about 250 microseconds of response time, so that beats our expectations by five times.

What other advice do I have?

I would definitely give it a shot. It is so easy. Dell EMC has been so good with us in terms of evaluating the product and seeing it run side-by-side against other products and vendors. So, it has been great.

We were pretty satisfied with what we got.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
AJ
Senior Engineer at a healthcare company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Improved our SQL and Oracle Database response times, but needs configuration automation

Pros and Cons

  • "The response time, compared to XtremIO, is far better."
  • "I would also like to see a real-time, graphical view of metrics. I don't know how far back in time we can look, but if we could see the performance from two months or three months back, and how it is performing now, that would be helpful."

What is our primary use case?

We work in robotics and we need better response times. Our primary reasons for buying this solution are our SQL and Oracle databases, to improve the performance in running queries and their response times.

How has it helped my organization?

It has simplified our operations when it comes to troubleshooting. We're on-call every time there is an issue and I can show them, 100 percent, that there is no problem on the storage side. I can show them there is no issue here.

The solution has helped to improve our services, in the medical field.

What is most valuable?

The response time, compared to XtremIO, is far better.

What needs improvement?

I would like to see better provisioning of storage from PowerMax, as well as automation. If you have a cluster with 15 datastores you have to back and select everything for report groups, as an example. You have to create 15 datastores and bundle them in a storage group. If there was some automation of this process, a script or a workflow, to configure everything, that would be great.

Unisphere could be improved and I would also like to see a real-time, graphical view of metrics. I don't know how far back in time we can look, but if we could see the performance from two months or three months back, and how it is performing now, that would be helpful.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's stable, like VMAX, which has been pretty stable for the last few years.

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

We had XtremIO but we have been a Dell EMC user for a long time. The solution's architecture influenced our buying decision because of the performance and storage growth. With XtremIO we have had storage growth issues.

How was the initial setup?

The setup is pretty straightforward. With VxBlock 1000, everything is pre-installed.

What was our ROI?

The application folks are happy.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We didn't look at other solutions.

What other advice do I have?

I would recommend this product. For us, this is the best product.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
RL
Director of Enterprise Infrastructure at a financial services firm with 5,001-10,000 employees
Real User
It has the ability to consolidate storage

What is most valuable?

It has the ability to consolidate storage.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is a true, stable product.

How are customer service and technical support?

We have really good support for our data center and compute.

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

We had a multitude of storage systems, like Dell EMC Compellent, that we needed to consolidate. A Compellent would take an entire rack space.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was a little bit complicated.

What other advice do I have?

PowerMax has been great for us. We are doing SRDF/A.

What is most valuable?

It has the ability to consolidate storage.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is a true, stable product.

How are customer service and technical support?

We have really good support for our data center and compute.

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

We had a multitude of storage systems, like Dell EMC Compellent, that we needed to consolidate. A Compellent would take an entire rack space.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was a little bit complicated.

What other advice do I have?

PowerMax has been great for us.

We are doing SRDF/A.

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.
SW
Storage Admin at a financial services firm with 501-1,000 employees
Real User
Integration using the API for Unisphere is pretty amazing

Pros and Cons

  • "PowerMax, with version 9.02, which we installed recently, has some very good features, such as CloudIQ."
  • "The NVMe integration could be improved."

What is our primary use case?

We acquired PowerMax for virtualization with PowerVC, which is the IBM product for virtualization. We're still in the PoC phase. While we initially acquired it for the PowerVC solution, we hope to deploy everything on it once we finish the PoC.

How has it helped my organization?

The data in our environment grows very quickly. Other solutions were a little bit slow, but with the PowerMax, there isn't going to be any negative impact.

What is most valuable?

Unisphere 9 has good functionality compared to version 8 or version 6. PowerMax, with version 9.02, which we installed recently, has some very good features, such as CloudIQ.

The performance is really good.

I also like that there is integration for automation. We are using the API for Unisphere with PowerMax and it's pretty amazing.

The deduplication and the reduction of data are some of the keys we are looking for because our data is growing so fast. We need a solution to minimize the data.

What needs improvement?

The NVMe integration could be improved.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Whether it's the older version of VMAX, or VMAX All Flash, or PowerMax, all these series are pretty amazing in terms of stability. This is electronics, so nothing is 100 percent perfect.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It's pretty expandable.

How are customer service and technical support?

We haven't used any tech support for this product.

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

We used the PowerVC solution with VNX but that didn't work very well. We're doing a PoC with PowerMax and it's working very well compared to VNX. 

How was the initial setup?

The setup wasn't complex because we have already deployed a number of VMAXs in our environment and they are pretty much the same.

What about the implementation team?

We are buying it directly from Dell EMC.

What other advice do I have?

We did not go with this solution for the consolidation because in the banking environment we have to isolate the various applications. It's a requirement of the business.

I would rate PowerMax at nine out of ten. I have used many different storage systems, all the major VM technologies, but I find that with Dell EMC there are no issues.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
TP
Senior Storage Engineer at a healthcare company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
The brick scalability allows us to add smaller quantities and still get quality performance

Pros and Cons

  • "We are able to provide storage at the right service levels without overmanaging it."
  • "The technical support is lacking. We are working with Dell EMC to get some better understanding of this."

What is our primary use case?

We use it for all entitled storage on back-end hospital systems, VMware, and Citrix.

We will be putting the hospital HR system on it, because we need it to be fast, efficient, and always up. PowerMax will provide this solution for us.

How has it helped my organization?

We are able to provide storage at the right service levels without overmanaging it.

Data is helping us have the performance, so they can do their reporting in the hospitals every day. They are able to maintain with the compression longer.

What is most valuable?

  • Its uptime
  • Dedupe
  • Compression
  • Reliability

What needs improvement?

It would be nice if there was a training course offered by Dell EMC. It would help us use the product.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is very stable. We have no concerns.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The brick scalability solution is very nice. It allows us to add smaller quantities and still get quality performance.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support is lacking. We are working with Dell EMC to get some better understanding of this.

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

Currently, we have a VPLEX with multiple storage arrays behind it. Now, we will be moving to one storage array and getting rid of the rest.

The performance requirements for the Diamond Levels on certain areas, we wanted submillisecond response times. We are still working with our buyer to get this to fruition based on some of our workloads.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is very straightforward because it is All-Flash. We are now looking at maximizing the performance features.

What about the implementation team?

We are still working with our integrator on the deployment since the VMAX is relatively new in the industry that I am working in. We are still working on improving our experience, as they lacked experience in the PowerMax.

The migration process of the VMAX to PowerMax is ongoing. Because we have a VPLEX, it is causing more complexity than if it had been just VMAX to VMAX.

What other advice do I have?

Ensure whomever you work with knows the solution and you get feedback from other customers.

It has good performance and speed, but it is still lacking in training and knowledge.

We are only using Unisphere of the performance management and monitoring tools, as we are not that familiar with the other ones available.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PA
Architect at a healthcare company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
The most valuable features are compression, deduplication, and NVMe-based back-ends for flash technologies. However, I would like it to support NVMe over Fabrics.

Pros and Cons

  • "It is very stable. We expect superior performance and reliability from this particular storage system."
  • "I would like it to support NVMe over Fabrics, because that is the next item for consideration on the NVMe roadmap. PowerMax supports NVMe on the back-end, but when it starts supporting NVMe over Fibre Channel, suddenly various hosts can directly communicate with PowerMax, and with NVMe-oF, as well. Suddenly, Gen 6 and Gen 7 switchers will be able to help facilitate that particular communication channel."

What is our primary use case?

This would be for leveraging the purchase of PowerMax storage system through a service provider, who would deliver the capacity of PowerMax on a service catalog basis. The storage capacity would be offered as a block service and the utilization of the PowerMax would be delivered on a revised written basis.

This will certainly be leveraged to deploy non-critical and mission-critical applications in our environment, in which we have plenty of both at this point in time.

How has it helped my organization?

We expect it to deliver exceptional performance and capacity utilization metrics. This is one of the reasons we are evaluating PowerMax 2000 and PowerMax 8000 at this point in time.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable features are compression, deduplication, and NVMe-based back-ends for flash technologies. 

What needs improvement?

I would like it to support NVMe over Fabrics, because that is the next item for consideration on the NVMe roadmap. PowerMax supports NVMe on the back-end, but when it starts supporting NVMe over Fibre Channel, suddenly various hosts can directly communicate with PowerMax, and with NVMe-oF, as well. Suddenly, Gen 6 and Gen 7 switchers will be able to help facilitate that particular communication channel.

For how long have I used the solution?

We are still in the planning and evaluation stage.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is very stable. We expect superior performance and reliability from this particular storage system.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We expect it to scale.

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

We are slowly moving towards simplifying our current complex environment, but we are not there yet.

In the past, we have been using the various versions and families of VMAX. Now, we are moving more towards PowerMax and newer versions of technology as they get released onto the Dell EMC roadmap. We have been using VMAX based platforms for many years. Suddenly, PowerMax has evolved from the lineage of VMAX. Therefore, we expect Dell EMC to continue to build upon it. 

In terms of the engineering aspects of the performance requirements, we have a variety of applications requiring a certain level of IOPS, response times, and a minimum microsecond latencies. While we understand that PowerMax can deliver to these expectation from a performance standpoint, we will certainly undergo some rigorous proof of concepts (PoCs) with the PowerMax systems to make sure that our current understanding of PowerMax capabilities, from a performance standpoint, meets our expectations.

How was the initial setup?

We are not yet done any setup of PowerMax systems. We are still working on the integration plans.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We have always used Dell EMC. We have evaluated the technologies from some of the other vendors. We have done numerous proof of concepts, and we have done some real hard proof of concepts. Either in the architectural design stage, or in the engineering stage, some of those particular products do not meet the rigorous testing that we do in these types of scenarios and environments.

What other advice do I have?

Use PowerMax.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
VV
Senior Solutions Architect at a healthcare company with 501-1,000 employees
Real User
Performance, replication time, and ease of use are key factors for us

What is most valuable?

Performance Replication time It's become easier to use Dedup and compression

What needs improvement?

I'd like to see the dedup and compression improve. Two to one is not very good. We should be getting something like three, four, or five to one.

How was the initial setup?

The setup was pretty straightforward. It wasn't that hard.

What about the implementation team?

We bought it from a reseller and we used some services from Dell EMC. Our experience with them was pretty good. They showed us the basics and got us started.

What is most valuable?

  • Performance
  • Replication time
  • It's become easier to use
  • Dedup and compression

What needs improvement?

I'd like to see the dedup and compression improve. Two to one is not very good. We should be getting something like three, four, or five to one.

How was the initial setup?

The setup was pretty straightforward. It wasn't that hard.

What about the implementation team?

We bought it from a reseller and we used some services from Dell EMC. Our experience with them was pretty good. They showed us the basics and got us started.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
MT
IT Infrastructure Manager at a retailer with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Our time to response has increased significantly with the new storage tier

Pros and Cons

  • "It was easy for teams to pick up the technology with very limited exposure and training, then implement and support it."
  • "The installation of equipment needed support's help."

What is our primary use case?

The primary use case is block storage.

We are planning on deploying mission-critical applications on this solution for redundancy and performance.

How has it helped my organization?

Our time to response has increased significantly with the new storage tier (SSD).

We have probably replaced eight racks of equipment with one rack of equipment. So, we have seen significant cost savings and performance.

It was easy for teams to pick up the technology with very limited exposure and training, then implement and support it.

What is most valuable?

As per performance, being able to consolidate down some of our older DMZ technologies into one platform.

My team has found the Unisphere to be a valuable tool.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We haven't had any issues with the solution in the six months that it has been live. So, the stability has been very good.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We are getting ready to add to it already, so it is very scalable.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support has been very supportive when we have had to call and ask for their assistance, especially during the installation of the equipment.

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

Our performance requirements were more about the availability and the performance, since we are running mission-critical applications. We have to have low disk latency to meet the application's performance for our Oracle Databases.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was very straightforward. It was easy to implement. They implemented it through their normal processes in a very timely manner.

The migration process from the older VMAX arrays to PowerMax was fairly seamless. When the team came in, they migrated data from one to the other. The process was simple.

What about the implementation team?

A reseller, Advisex, worked with us on the deployment. We have a close partnership with them and had a good experience.

What other advice do I have?

We are happy with what we have.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
JB
Senior Storage Engineer at a transportation company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Because of the compression ratio, we are able to put more on less hardware

Pros and Cons

  • "The PowerMax software and CloudIQ let us get an inside view of our compression and compaction, as well as our usage of the storage."
  • "The initial setup was complex. ESRS is a very complex solution to put into our environment, because it requires external access to the Internet. That's a very tough thing for us to do, because we are a PCI and PII company. We store a lot of data for people which is personal. Therefore, going out to the Internet is not our preferred path."

What is our primary use case?

We are using it for VMware, virtual infrastructures, and our physical host. All of our virtual infrastructure is pretty much mission-critical, and we have all of our virtual infrastructure migrating into the PowerMax family.

How has it helped my organization?

Because of the compression ratio, we are able to put more on less hardware.

The PowerMax software and CloudIQ let us get an inside view of our compression and compaction, as well as our usage of the storage.

What is most valuable?

  • Compression
  • Compaction
  • A lot of storage in a small box.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The PowerMax software has some room for improvement. We have run into a couple bugs with it so far.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It scales well. We currently buy ours fully maxed out, so we don't really worry a whole lot about the scaling from a new infrastructure standpoint.

How are customer service and technical support?

So far, technical support has been really good.

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

We are migrating from HPE 3PAR, and it's been a very easy transition.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was complex. ESRS is a very complex solution to put into our environment, because it requires external access to the Internet. That's a very tough thing for us to do, because we are a PCI and PII company. We store a lot of data for people which is personal. Therefore, going out to the Internet is not our preferred path.

What about the implementation team?

We used Dell EMC directly for the deployment. The experience has been good, so far.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We generally do a PoC. In this case, we went directly to the PowerMax because we felt it was a good solution. Our upper management chose it.

What other advice do I have?

Study the integration very carefully, as far as how you're going to integrate it into your environment, such as how you're going to use ESRS and the other solutions which Dell EMC offers.

As far as provisioning, storage, and use of the array, it's been very simple to use.

For the PowerMax 8000, a million IOs is our minimum requirement. We have yet to be able to test that, but that is our minimum base requirement for a PowerMax 8000.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
SA
Head of IT at National Bank Of Oman
Real User
We were able to migrate without bringing systems down and results have been amazing

Pros and Cons

  • "We are happy with the monitoring that Dell EMC is doing for us. They have helped us to identify many issues during the routine checks, issues which we were not aware of."
  • "We had challenges again with the initial setup. I don't know if there was a gap during the requirement-collection phase, but the box was partially delivered to us with missing parts and it delayed the implementation by about 60 days. It was not as smooth as I would have hoped."

What is our primary use case?

We have used it for a long time and we have recently been upgrading it. Last month we acquired a PowerMax 2000 and we have just finished the migration. We hope it will help us with performance and through the additional features which are part of the software.

How has it helped my organization?

In terms of mission-critical applications, we are running our switch, which is the most critical application that we have in our organization, on the storage box. It is because it is reliable and, in terms of performance, we do not have any issues with PowerMax.

The switch application is very sensitive to IOPs and to the speed of responding and reacting to requests. We went specifically with PowerMax to ensure that we are getting the highest performance, and it has really been exceeding our expectations. We are yet to put it into really demanding tests. We have solutions that we are implementing during the year which will be high-demand in terms of IOPs and performance. We will find out then if PowerMax meets all our requirements.

We use the solution with VMware. It made things easier for us in terms of deployment and implementation.

What is most valuable?

  • Availability
  • Reliability

We are also happy with the monitoring that Dell EMC is doing for us. They have helped us to identify many issues during the routine checks, issues which we were not aware of.

What needs improvement?

We are facing challenges with the SRDF replication which we got with the latest, new box. Overall, it has been working for us so well for the past few years. We hope that whatever bugs there are right now in the PowerMax are going to be sorted out quickly.

There is room for improvement with the enclosures. We were happier with the old VMAX enclosures which looked nicer in our data centers. The new one is dull.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is superb.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have yet to find out what the scalability is like. We recently added this new box and towards the end of the year, or next year, we are going to look at expanding it. So we don't know how easy it is to scale it.

How are customer service and technical support?

Our experience with technical support was different before we got the most recent box. We are facing challenges. We were told that this is the first PowerMax box implemented in our country, so maybe these are teething issues, and hopefully, they will be sorted out quickly. But we are constantly in touch with support, and I have actually been trying to get ahold of one guy here at the Dell Technologies World conference so I can see if he can help us sort out the bugs quickly.

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

We were using the same solution. We just upgraded it.

The solution’s architecture influenced our buying decision with the new features it has, and the smoothness of the migration was also important. The last time we upgraded there was downtime, but this solution gave us the opportunity without bringing down the systems.

How was the initial setup?

We had challenges again with the initial setup. I don't know if there was a gap during the requirement-collection phase, but the box was partially delivered to us with missing parts and it delayed the implementation by about 60 days. It was not as smooth as I would have hoped.

What about the implementation team?

We used a local Dell EMC partner and they were pretty good.

What other advice do I have?

We have already recommended this product to two institutions who called. Our view of the product is positive. Our experience has been positive. As head of IT, my worry was about the migration. We believe in the technology, but how could we achieve a smooth migration? What I have seen was amazing beyond expectation. Things have been so positive, overall.

The migration process from older VMAX arrays to PowerMax is very good. The data dependency is tremendous and the results we got from the migration were amazing. They were beyond our anticipation. Things went smoothly, mostly, with the SRDF technology, and the critical systems were not taken down, so we had 24-hour continuous operation.

We have attended a couple of technical sessions which talked about how to do some analysis on the box, from the box, using the Dell EMC tools. We are exploring those tools to see how we can take advantage of them and improve productivity.

We have faith in the solution and would rate it an eight out of ten. The rating will depend on fixing the issues we are facing.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PV
Solution Architect at a tech services company
Reseller
It offers a high level of availability and near zero downtime

Pros and Cons

  • "It offers a high level of availability, so pretty much near zero downtime."
  • "The most valuable feature is its global cache, which allows for uncompromised performance."
  • "I would like to see continued visibility and analytics in the platform."

What is our primary use case?

The primary use case is for Tier 0 applications. It is meant for applications which are absolutely mission-critical, when you can't compromise your system performance. We have customers who use it across the board for just mission-critical applications, high availability, and guaranteed performance.

How has it helped my organization?

I have customers who are using this for large Oracle and SQL applications and European SAP types of infrastructures. They are integrating PowerMax with ProtectPoint for additional data protection of their data. They are also automating the backup and recovery of those systems through AppSync, which is another product for keeping everything protected in an automated way.

It's a zero light loss upgrade. So, they're upgrading the system without losing any type of light from the communications of the system. Also, it has zero interruption of upgrades.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is its global cache, which allows for uncompromised performance. 

It offers a high level of availability, so pretty much near zero downtime.

It is the best platform for just seeing and getting visibility into performance and capacity utilization. It has very positive management. Through CloudIQ and others integrations that Dell EMC provides, visibility has excellent predictive health metrics that we can look at.

What needs improvement?

I would like to see continued visibility and analytics in the platform.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

There is nothing more stable in the market today.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is very scalable. Depending on what platform you go with, it has both a scale up and scale out architecture. You can scale without compromising performance by adding additional compute nodes to the front-end which allows it pretty much uncompromised capacity expansion and scale-out.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support is excellent. It's a very immediate, high level of support. The Mission Critical ProSupport response team that Dell EMC has is the highest level of support.

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

We looked at this system because we analyzed applications and workloads, then understood our customer's business requirements. It is understanding that there is a need for low latency and zero downtime. We were previously using a combination of VNX and Unity.

When we looked at PowerMax, it was extremely low latency: five submillisecond types of latency. From a general performance perspective, most of these systems that we are designing tend to be more than 100,000 IOPS for input/output operations per second. The other thing is that it handles these types of IOPS with very large block sizes. If you really understand your data, it's very easy to optimize it on PowerMax, and it is exceeding our requirements.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is straightforward with Dell EMC Services. An organization with this type of investment would want to install it themselves. Therefore, with Dell EMC services, it's very easy to get going.

The migration from older VMAXs to PowerMax is extremely straightforward, as it's a zero downtime migration. You can move systems from one VMAX platform to a PowerMax platform with zero downtime and 100 percent of the data migration compatibility. We typically do that coupled with Dell EMC services, as well. They have a very dialed in process for taking that data over to a brand new platform.

What about the implementation team?

We used resellers for the deployment, as we are resellers. We always use resellers, because that is the best option that customers have.

What was our ROI?

We are implementing PowerMax at a much lower ROI than maintaining maintenance on legacy systems. We have actually seen return on investment in as low as two years from an ROI perspective by leveraging PowerMax for consolidation of workloads, as well as consolidation of maintenance contracts, where they might have across multiple legacy platforms.

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

From a general capital investment, it's one of the higher price points in the market. It depends on the size and software features that you would include in a system. So, the cost varies dramatically.

The cost has room for improvement.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Alternatives in the Dell EMC portfolio are primarily XtremIO and Unity. However, PowerMax is the only product which can meet the uptime and latency requirements.

What other advice do I have?

Engage a reseller to analyze the workloads and do the data-driven architecture behind it. Use the data to drive the solution and make sure it meets your requirements.

There is so much innovation in it. They have been very relevant in terms of the Tier 0 workforce. It really differentiates itself in the market.

It meets the needs of what we're trying to do from a file level perspective for performance and capacity.

If you live and breathe by your data, there are a lot of features in PowerMax which allow you to protect yourself from ransomware and other types of relevant threats today. It is not just about a platform for running mission-critical apps. It's also protecting mission-critical apps through features that prevent ransomware infection. If you get infected, it allows for recovery of that data without having to pay the ransom fee or other alternatives.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Reseller.
Darrel Schueneman
Manager Cloud Operations at a cloud provider with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
It integrates well with our existing automation and environment

Pros and Cons

  • "It has dramatically cut down the footprint in our data center and reduced the amount of raw disk capacity that we needed to purchase."
  • "The REST API needs improvement. We are a very big automation company, and this would be big for us."

What is our primary use case?

The primary use case is for SQL database, as it's our primary data tier. We are deploying the main SQL databases for our cloud application on the solution.

How has it helped my organization?

It has dramatically cut down the footprint in our data center and reduced the amount of raw disk capacity that we needed to purchase.

The managing and monitoring of PowerMax arrays from a performance, capacity and health checks perspective is really easy. It integrates well with our existing automation  environment and is inline with all Dell EMC's other values and products. As we are moving an application over to it, it has been very fast, efficient, and easy for our teams.

What is most valuable?

  • Compression 
  • Deduplication

What needs improvement?

The REST API needs improvement. We are a very big automation company, and this would be big for us.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It has been very stable, so far. We have been a VMAX customer for a little awhile, and it is continuing on with the same reputation.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The product is still very new for us, but given what we have heard about it and everything we've seen, it should scale very well and not disrupt us.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support is excellent. We have always had great support.

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

We're actually not going from VMAX arrays to PowerMax. We're going from Hitachi arrays to PowerMax.

Our performance requirements for this solution were response time and very low latency. We were able to cut our response times in half by implementing this solution.

We were using the Hitachi arrays and wanted something easier to manage. After last year's Tech World and hearing all about the brand new PowerMax array, we knew that it was something we had to really look into. We really liked the compression and deduplication.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was very straightforward. We were up and running in no time and immediately serving production applications with it.

What about the implementation team?

We partnered with Data Strategy, who is now Trace3, for our PowerMax implementations. We had a very good experience.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We also considered Hitachi since they were our current vendor.

What other advice do I have?

It's a very strong platform for compression, deduplication, and performance, which makes it tough to compete with.

We use PowerMax as a dedicated Tier 0 for our product.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
DS
Senior Infrastructure Engineer at a financial services firm with 5,001-10,000 employees
Real User
It scales enormously, but it's expensive to do so

Pros and Cons

  • "We can consistently replicate mainframe and open system and have a single recovery point."
  • "Remove the need for physical or hardwired virtual servers to run consistency groups, instead make the expensive array controllers handle that."

What is our primary use case?

Mainframe and open system storage that replicates consistently.

We are a financial services organization, so we are data and investments. It is what our company uses to run. However, I don't know that PowerMax, or VMAX, is anything special compared to other products that we have our data on.

How has it helped my organization?

A lot of our critical applications are mainframe and open system-based, and they spread between those two. So, we need a platform like PowerMax to be able to recover in a DR scenario.

What is most valuable?

We can consistently replicate mainframe and open system and have a single recovery point.

What needs improvement?

I started using CloudIQ two days ago, and all it's been doing is filling up my phone with alerts that aren't worthwhile. There is something going on there that the array is flagging things as inappropriate that aren't really impactful.

I would like to have Snapchat scheduling and the ability to modify that instead of erase a schedule, then recreate it. There are way better ways to do that. 

Support for SRDF consistency groups within the GUI, instead of making that the command line. 

Remove the need for physical or hardwired virtual servers to run consistency groups, instead make the expensive array controllers handle that.

The management interface needs improvement. It shouldn't be as hard to do some of the functions as it is. Also, it shouldn't need Windows Servers to run a million dollar array.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

From a host IO standpoint, the stability has been very good. 

From a replication standpoint, we're actually a company who turned up a bug in the brand new PowerMax. That makes me a little jaded.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It scales enormously, but it's expensive to do so.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support has been good. When we did run into an issue, once I told them what the problem was, they were able to come up with a solution to fix the problem moderately quickly.

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

We came off VMAX. Our performance requirements were to just match the VMAX levels. I find the array is doing that for host IO.

Since we were already on VMAX, our decision was related to a data center move and protecting our data. Prior to that, just getting on the VMAX product line and came from IBM. That was a look at all the mainframe products, which was a cost and functionality play. We picked the product that seemed to have the best cost and functionality with longest term company relationship.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was complex. I found out you can't make the new arrays talk to other arrays on a customer level. You have to reach out to Dell EMC support to do that. It's the only array in my environment where I can't, as a customer, make those changes. That's one of the things that slowed down our install.

The migration from VMAX to PowerMax wasn't much of a migration because it was a DR target. We just changed our SRDF.

What about the implementation team?

We used a reseller to purchase it, but I believe it was Dell EMC badged people who did the install.

The experience wasn't great. The install, in my mind, meant a usable box. The install that I got was a plugged in box. Then, it's like, "Oh, but we still have to do these five steps." I was under a time crunch, so that was a surprise.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

When it's mainframe there are only three: IBM, Hitachi, and Dell EMC. The arrays at this level are all fairly competitive.

IBM doesn't support VMware the way that we needed it to. 

Hitachi and EMC were neck and neck. What won it out was Dell EMC's relationship with our sales team.

What other advice do I have?

It's effective at doing what you need it to do. It's fairly high-powered, but the management interface has a long way to go to be made simple and easy to use.

If you have mainframe, you have few choices, and this is a good choice. If you don't have mainframe, there are a lot of products on the market which are much easier to use. It depends on your requirements. 

SRDF/A is quite good, but even other cheaper arrays have synchronous and asynchronous replication. I don't know that I would look at a product line for this unless your needs are either enormous that you need a box this big or mainframe centric.

The Unisphere has gotten a lot better. It is fairly easy to dig into and find things. It has been a long time coming, but it's there.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
SG
Storage Architect at a manufacturing company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Enables me to manage the flows of data and not worry about feeds and speeds anymore

Pros and Cons

  • "CloudIQ has become an optimal tool for us to get the full picture of all the different arrays, from mid-tier all the way up. It gives us that single view and the ability to launch the Unisphere. That is really is powerful in being able to manage the array."

    What is our primary use case?

    From a storage point of view, our primary uses are as our primary storage which provides all of the capacity for our databases, applications, and most of our mission-critical work at the moment.

    We're planning on moving our most critical databases onto the PowerMax to take advantage of all the new features and functions, as well as the ability for it to grow into the future to continue to provide that top level of performance.

    Data plays a very important role in our business. It allows us to make good decisions and react to our customers' needs. The PowerMax is going to be where we put the most critical data so we can get the fastest results from that investment.

    How has it helped my organization?

    One of the valuable features is that less work needs to be done on the arrays now, compared with what used to be. I used to spend most of my day managing the array. Now I'm more managing the interconnections and the flows of data, and not worrying about the feeds and speeds anymore.

    We've been doing testing before implementing for our Oracle Databases and we're seeing much better performance than we were with the previous generation.

    What is most valuable?

    We're using a combination of Unisphere and CloudIQ. CloudIQ has become an optimal tool for us to get the full picture of all the different arrays, from mid-tier all the way up. It gives us that single view and the ability to launch the Unisphere. That is really is powerful in being able to manage the array.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    With it being part of the Symmetrix family over the years, we don't have a worry at all about it being stable and serviceable. It's been many years since we've had a hardware issue with any VMAX array, and I don't see the PowerMax being any different.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    For us, it has enormous scale in the way it can grow with our needs. Starting out as small as we are, with just a small PowerMax 2000, it is amazing how much capacity we can get in such a tiny footprint.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Support from Dell EMC has been phenomenal. Getting the box up and running was very simple, and any time we have a problem we get the right engineers working on it.

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

    We had been using the VMAX line prior, and this was just a case of capacity and performance growth. We refreshed our environment to get the most performance we can out of our applications.

    The architecture - using the NVMe on the back end, with the designed use Storage Class Memory, and NVMe end-to-end in the future - really influenced us in not wanting to go backward with our purchase. Rather, we wanted to buy a future-looking device that we can keep growing into, to get our value out of that investment.

    How was the initial setup?

    The installation of the PowerMax was very straightforward; probably the easiest implementation of an array that we've done so far.

    What about the implementation team?

    We did it ourselves.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    PowerMax was the shortlist.

    What other advice do I have?

    This should be on your shortlist. You should really take look at PowerMax. They're reliable. They do everything you could possibly want and much more. They have a lot of features that other arrays just don't.

    We'd rate it as a ten. It has done everything that we've asked it to do and much more.

    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.
    JC
    Storage Administrator at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
    Real User
    The solution is more resilient and has helped us consolidate storage

    Pros and Cons

    • "It's faster and more resilient."
    • "There is room for improvement in the replication. It's an important requirement for us."

    What is our primary use case?

    We use PowerMax to provide storage for our clients. The service level is important for the different service classes we propose to our clients.

    How has it helped my organization?

    It's a new generation and class of storage so it's faster and more resilient. 

    We have reached our required performance level with the response time. We have benched the solution with different types of IO. Now we can be sure, with this solution, that the response time is what we need.

    The solution has helped to consolidate storage. With lower space, we now have half a rack.

    What needs improvement?

    There is room for improvement in the replication. It's an important requirement for us.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    The stability has been good.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    The scalability has also been good. We have just bought PowerMax so it's difficult to say much more for now.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Technical support has been good.

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

    The last solution we used was VPLEX. We switched to this new solution because it is more resilient.

    We knew we needed to invest in a new solution to help our clients respond to all their requirements. We needed to make available other services and other classes of storage. The solution's architecture influenced our buying decision. It was important for us to have NVMe because it is faster.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup was a little complex because it was our first time with a high-level storage class from Dell EMC.

    In terms of migrating from older VMAX arrays, they are still running. We are working with Dell EMC to do that. We are migrating from the OS side, so it's not from the storage side. It's a little longer process.

    What about the implementation team?

    We worked with Dell to integrate the solution. Our experience with them was good.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    The other vendor on our shortlist was HPE and we went with Dell EMC because, with all the tests, it seemed to be the best array.

    What other advice do I have?

    My advice is to buy this array.

    We use CloudIQ and we use Unisphere, but for day-to-day management, we prefer to automate all tasks with REST API.

    For now, I would rate this product at nine out of ten. We have tested it and it seems to be resilient and as fast as we need. But we have to do more tests, such as on the replication. That's important for us.

    Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
    John Lyons
    Sales Engineer at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
    Real User
    We were able to move off of Exadata and AIX and consolidate down to one storage platform

    Pros and Cons

    • "The SRDF replication piece is probably the best feature. It's useful for maintaining recoverability in the event of a disaster."
    • "When it comes to Oracle and database workloads, data reduction could be a little bit better. Some of the competition, like Pure, have post-processes which do additional deduplication and compression on the backside; everything is in-line and then they do a secondary process. It would be a good option if you could start getting 5:1 or 6:1 data reduction on database workloads."

    What is our primary use case?

    We used it for Oracle Databases. The customer for which we did the PoC of PowerMax is planning on deploying mission-critical applications on this solution: Oracle workloads such as their quoting system and their data warehouse.

    How has it helped my organization?

    As a partner, we don't have PowerMax in-house but for my customers the SRDF replication is an advantage. The ability to have a scalable, all-flash array is pretty impressive. That's important for our customers.

    In terms of helping to consolidate islands of storage in a data center, the use case for the particular customer for whom we did the PoC was to move off of an Exadata environment and to move off of an AIX environment and consolidate those down to one storage platform. PowerMax did that.

    It is meeting our customer's requirements. They had several large Oracle databases that needed to move over, including from Exadata. Exadata is one of Oracle's fastest systems in terms of Oracle Database workloads. Our customer had to be able to hit certain timelines for jobs that would run. For example, they are running a quote database and they had to be able to hit the same timelines for jobs that were running within that, or better. As a part of the consolidation, the end goal was to limit their licensing on the front end. Being able to consolidate down into that one footprint on the back end helped them save money on the front end.

    When it comes to managing and monitoring PowerMax arrays, the interface has really improved compared to the old VMAX. Getting into the interface and finding out if there are any issues with the array is a lot simpler and more streamlined.

    What is most valuable?

    The SRDF replication piece is probably the best feature. It's useful for maintaining recoverability in the event of a disaster.

    What needs improvement?

    I would like to see more cache because we are limited to two terabytes of cache now. More cache would potentially help drive better improvements in performance.

    Also, when it comes to Oracle and database workloads, data reduction could be a little bit better. Some of the competition, like Pure, have post-processes which do additional deduplication and compression on the backside; everything is in-line and then they do a secondary process. It would be a good option if you could start getting 5:1 or 6:1 data reduction on database workloads. That would be beneficial.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    Since our use of PowerMax was just a PoC, we didn't really have any issues with the with stability. We didn't run it for a long time, it was a 30-day PoC. There wasn't a lot of time to really explore that area. During the PoC it was fine, it was perfect, we didn't have any issues.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    The ability to add additional engines, additional SSDs, is really a benefit to the customer. You can grow it as you need to.

    The PowerMax architecture influenced the buying decision. The ability to grow, to scale from single-engine to multi-engine, was probably the biggest factor in that.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Tech support for PowerMax was pretty good. They came out and set it up and did the install. That took a day. We did have a problem with one of the compression modules and they had it out there and fixed the next day. It was during the install that they uncovered that. We weren't using the array yet anyway, so it was just a byproduct of the installation process.

    How was the initial setup?

    The improvements to the interface have really been great. It's very simple to set up and configure the storage volumes, whether it's a Fibre Channel volume or an iSCSI volume.

    The initial setup was straightforward. I did the setup of the iSCSI volumes to the host and it was it took me less than an hour to do that.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We were initially doing a PoC and comparing PowerMax against other arrays: NetApp, XtremIO X2, and Pure. We were doing a performance benchmark and it came in second compared to XtremIO X2, so it did a good job.

    What other advice do I have?

    I would give PowerMax a nine out of ten, only because we had that single issue with the compression module failing. Otherwise, it did exactly what we wanted it to. It wasn't as fast as the XtremIO, but we didn't think it was going to be as fast as that in the first place. The XtremIO was somewhat oversized. So from a performance standpoint, we were very happy with it.

    Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
    MV
    Engineer at a healthcare company with 5,001-10,000 employees
    Real User
    It Has Zero Downtime. The Stability Is Amazing.

    Pros and Cons

    • "The stability is amazing. Zero downtime reported over the last years."
    • "I would like the scalability to improve, as it requires additional footprints."

    What is our primary use case?

    The primary use case is for Tier 0 applications.

    How has it helped my organization?

    We have no performance related issues due to hardware.

    This solution has helped to consolidate islands-of-storage in our data center due to a reduced footprint. This is because of single pane of glass management.

    Applications require zero downtime. The high availability and the configuration of the current Symmetrix provide all of that.

    We get amazing IOPS and workload with VMware, SAP, and Oracle.

    What is most valuable?

    The stability is the most valuable feature.

    It has a simple GUI, but still has a CLI-like interface for managing and monitoring.

    I find Unisphere and REST API valuable.

    What needs improvement?

    We would like easier DR setup. We require DR operations, and we wish it was a lot easier to do that configuration.

    It could use additional features and easier integration.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    The stability is amazing. Zero downtime reported over the last years.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    I would like the scalability to improve, as it requires additional footprints.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    It's been always stable, so we haven't really required much support.

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

    We had an opportunity to transform our environment. From experience with previous hardware, we selected this solution.

    Our performance requirements were high IOPS, as well as stability. It is meeting those requirements and exceeding our previous infrastructure.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup was complex. The initial implementation team was not familiar with the Symmetrix architecture.

    This was all new implementations for us.

    What about the implementation team?

    We used a reseller for the deployment, who we are no longer working with.

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

    Our costs are on a yearly basis.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    IBM was the competitor. Ultimately, it came down to price.

    What other advice do I have?

    The product is good. Test it yourself. Assess it against other solutions, and you'll be impressed.

    Data plays a role in digital transformation, automation, and database decision-making.

    I am looking into CloudIQ.

    We're not at the NVMe architecture mode yet.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    LW
    Manager of Storage Engineering at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees
    Real User
    It is easy to manage and upgrade

    Pros and Cons

    • "It is easy to manage and upgrade."
    • "There are some stability issues that we just recently experienced. We hope the next release will solve these problems."

    What is our primary use case?

    We use it for our testing and development environments.

    How has it helped my organization?

    It is a hyper-converged solution, which has easy deployment. It is easy to manage and upgrade.

    What is most valuable?

    It doesn't need shared storage.

    What needs improvement?

    There are some stability issues that we just recently experienced. We hope the next release will solve these problems.

    We probably needed more time to test the solution.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    Stability is okay for now. However, but if you are using over 80 percent of the storage, that will become a problem.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    Scalability is very good. We just added another node with computing too, so it is pretty good.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    The technical support is good.

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

    We previously used Cisco HyperFlex and Dell EMC VNXe. Both of these solutions are out-of-date.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup was not straightforward, though it was pretty easy. We did have Dell EMC come onsite and help us, which was good.

    What about the implementation team?

    We worked with Dell EMC directly for the deployment. Our experience with them was pretty good.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We did some research and talked to Dell EMC. We asked what solution they recommended, since we are a Dell EMC shop.

    What other advice do I have?

    I would recommend this product to other customers. It is a very good solution for a remote office, a test environment, and maybe, production. It is not that big.

    We have a lot of other Dell EMC solutions: Unity, Isilon, and VxRail.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    JK
    Member of Technical Staff at Cisco Systems, Inc.
    Real User
    It significantly simplifies storage

    What is our primary use case?

    We are a partner installer.

    How has it helped my organization?

    It significantly simplifies storage.

    What is most valuable?

    The ease of install The ease of maintenance Expandability

    What needs improvement?

    There is some room to grow, especially with some of the installation quirks.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    As an installer, I've seen a lot of different things. It's mostly stable. It's had its fair share of quirks, but support has always been there to help us get around those quirks.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    The scalability is incredible. It's great.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    I use technical support frequently. Support has been relatively great across the…

    What is our primary use case?

    We are a partner installer.

    How has it helped my organization?

    It significantly simplifies storage.

    What is most valuable?

    • The ease of install
    • The ease of maintenance
    • Expandability

    What needs improvement?

    There is some room to grow, especially with some of the installation quirks.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    As an installer, I've seen a lot of different things. It's mostly stable. It's had its fair share of quirks, but support has always been there to help us get around those quirks.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    The scalability is incredible. It's great.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    I use technical support frequently. Support has been relatively great across the board. There have been some language barrier issues in the early morning hours. They transfer calls to China, and there are some translation issues, but they know their stuff. You just have to let them go and type because you don't understand what they are saying.

    How was the initial setup?

    The build process is relatively straightforward.

    What other advice do I have?

    Talk to other people who have the people. It has been a great experience for most of my customers.

    It's pretty much where it needs to be. For the most part, it is solid.

    Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
    James Hughes
    Director of IT at CMA Consulting
    Real User
    We consolidate a lot of various disparate storage arrays into one enterprise solution

    Pros and Cons

    • "Enterprise Cloud Storage is the most valuable feature, along with the data services which come with it, plus the deduplication and compression."
    • "We are very interested in NVMe over Fibre Channel, which I understand is on the horizon. We would like to see that come to fruition."

    What is our primary use case?

    We run a Medicaid data warehouse on a massive enterprise Oracle shop. Therefore, we have a lot of Oracle on PowerMax. We run a big analytics for the New York State Department of Health using Oracle Big Data.

    Because of the Big Data analytics, we require immense IOPS, which the PowerMax handles quite well. Our sole purpose in life is to provide endpoint analytics.

    How has it helped my organization?

    We consolidate a lot of various disparate storage arrays into one enterprise solution.

    We primarily use Unisphere for managing and monitoring.

    What is most valuable?

    Enterprise Cloud Storage is the most valuable feature, along with the data services which come with it, plus the deduplication and compression.

    What needs improvement?

    We are very interested in NVMe over Fibre Channel, which I understand is on the horizon. We would like to see that come to fruition in its ability to traverse the Fibre Channel SAN.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    We've been using VMAX, PowerMax, and Symmetrix for many years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    The solution is rock solid.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    It is a solid platform.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    The technical support is very good. We have the ESRS call-home function, and it's been rock solid since day one.

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

    I have always used Symmetrix and VMAX. Then, it was just a natural progression into the PowerMax solution.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup is very straightforward. We had a team come in and get everything setup. It was handled very professionally. We had a project manager assigned to the account. It was very smooth.

    We used the PowerPath solution for the migration, which allowed us to seamlessly migrate from one storage array to another.

    What was our ROI?

    We have impeccable uptime in our data center with very strict SLAs. We have had zero downtime.

    We run a big Oracle shop, as well as VMware, which is very high performing. It exceeds our needs.

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

    Our costs for the product are three million.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We looked at Hitachi and NetApp, but it really boiled down to our relationship with Dell EMC and the portfolio of the product.

    This solution’s architecture influenced our buying decision because of all the data services incorporated, especially the LAN technology. This allows us to replicate from one site to another.

    What other advice do I have?

    Our SLAs are extremely tight, and we've had zero issues. I would highly advise going with the PowerMax.

    Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
    HH
    Enterprise Infrastructure Services, Storage Service Manager at a transportation company with 10,001+ employees
    Real User
    The compression and deduplication are the most valuable features because of the cost savings

    Pros and Cons

    • "The compression and deduplication are the most valuable features because of the cost savings."
    • "Since the merging of EMC and Dell into Dell Technologies, there has been a hurdle that they've had to overcome, and they're not over it yet. It takes two to three times longer for things to get fixed than it did when they were separate companies. That is something that has to be fixed."

    What is our primary use case?

    The primary use case is the database and high transactional use for block storage.

    How has it helped my organization?

    It simplifies things, as we are using higher availability systems. We have always had a 70:30 effective rule between vital critical applications and those systems which are not critical, important, and discretionary. The Symmetrix's line has always been the go-to for our vital, critical application types. 

    We are also implementing storage virtualization with VPLEX, where it is giving us the ability to move the storage to the proper platform based on the operating characteristics needed by that platform.

    Symmetrix has always been a high-end, high availability system where we have never had one go down. I have never known one to go down. It is just an operational-stable platform that we still have to manage and maintain. However, it's not like some of our lower-end systems, like on the CLARiiON side of it or the Unity systems, where we have to be careful what we put on them and what we do with them because of the loading of the systems. 

    This is why we need to virtualize the storage element, so we can move things to the proper platform. We are going to find that we will have more systems going from the mid-range to the higher range, specifically because of the needs of the platform. Wherein before it was driving by someone determining cost for what they wanted to pay for the storage, which overloaded and created problems for the lower-end tiers, because they're pulling too many IOPS out of that tier.

    What is most valuable?

    The compression and deduplication are the most valuable features because of the cost savings.

    What needs improvement?

    There are glitches in the system at this point in time. I don't get the information that we've traditionally gotten, things like the power report that used to be standard for all EMC components across the board. Now, you can't get them. You get a little bit here in that report and a little bit in another report, but you never get the total amount in one report which gives you the equipment, its power utilization, maximum recharge, the interfaces for the power, and what are the requirements for the interfaces on the other end, so you can know exactly what has to be connected at that point.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    We just started implementing the PowerMax 8000. We have them in a couple different data centers, and we are looking to put in another three in other data centers.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    So far, the scalability has been good. Normally, what we end up doing is putting in a base platform, then adding capacity. However, the capacity adds appears to vary 30 to 45 days on us being able from a time of request to a time we are able to implement, because we were using Cloud Flex. We had been on a utility model for almost six years with Dell EMC, who was one of the early adopters of that type of technology, and in the first three to four years, it saved us over $5 million in expense.

    It's the whole thing of having to go out and buy a multibillion dollar array. It takes us so long to ramp up and be able to get on it, due to the lifecycle components and because of the storage virtualization side of it. It is just incredible how we can just roll in a new platform, transfer the workloads, and have it up and running in days, instead of months.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    We live with technical support. We employed a platform called ViPR SRM, which I think they are redoing. It allows us to take a single pane of glass for an entire storage infrastructure. This gives us a window into what's going on and problem spots that we need to work on. However, there are always times when something is breaking and we have to work with tech support to get it up and running. There have been a few cases where tech support didn't work out well and other cases where they met the margin. 

    Since the merging of EMC and Dell into Dell Technologies, there has been a hurdle that they've had to overcome, and they're not over it yet. It takes two to three times longer for things to get fixed than it did when they were separate companies. That is something that has to be fixed.

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

    Since 2016, we have been buying all-flash components and the price has been trending downwards. What we are seeing in the new products, since we went from the VMAX3 to Power Max, is the price point still drops on the overall cost of the storage. This is what we're trying to do. We're trying to get more value to our internal customers by reducing the cost of usage.

    Our performance requirements were response time and what IOPS we needed out of the platform. It's exceeding what we're asking out of it when we looked at the PowerMax which we have already deployed. We are getting typical response times in half a millisecond (or 500 microseconds) lower because the target was supposed to have been the Generation 3 with 300 microseconds. We were supposed to be able to get around 250 microseconds with the PowerMax 3000. I have seen some of that happen on monitoring side. It doesn't happen all the time, but for certain applications, it does achieve going down to the 250 to 300 microsecond range.

    How was the initial setup?

    The migration from the VMAX arrays to PowerMax was done using our storage virtualization via VPLEX. It was just a matter of submitting the mobility jobs and keeping the queue full as long as it took to get that done. For the storage that was virtualized, that was done in a matter of days in transitioning from the old Generation 2 and Generation 3 to PowerMax.

    What was our ROI?

    On the Symmetrix's line, we are moving away from the VMAX2 and VMAX3 that we have and moving to the PowerMaxs 8000, as quickly as possible, because of the financial incentives. Also, the cost per gigabyte is reduced by at least a third, if not by a half overall, mostly because of the duplication.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    Right now, we're doing a PoC with HPE 3PAR storage.

    We currently have almost 100 percent Dell EMC storage technologies in play. We are looking at it as other vendors to see if they have comparable products, what we can use, and if there are very similar things to what we have.

    I've even been to other classes for other vendors, like IBM. I have looked at IBM storage for various applications and come back to say that we are doing the best of class, so far, because what IBM recommended for the solutions does not exceed the current platforms that we current use for those storage solutions.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    Paul Croteau
    Senior Solution Architect at Rackspace
    Real User
    Top 20
    A huge benefit of it has been the decreasing of our physical footprint

    Pros and Cons

    • "My storage engineers are very happy with PowerMax. They are very pleased with the performance, decreased latency, and dependability. From the team, the RESTful API makes management so much easier for them versus the command line interface."
    • "A huge benefit of the PowerMax has been the decreasing of our physical footprint. We recently did a consolidation where we went from 58 tiles down to 5. If we had used just the PowerMax, we could have gone from 58 tiles down to 2 tiles, which is huge space savings. If you have 56 newly available floor tiles on a raised floor data center, which you previously had to cool and provide power to, then now, not only are my costs going down, I now have more revenue opportunities because I have more space to put new customers."
    • "I would like them to continue improving the management tools and continue moving towards a RESTful API versus CLI."
    • "They should work with the storage engineers to better tweak the management tools to give them improved visibility into their data."

    What is our primary use case?

    Our primary use case for Power Max is customer data. We host hundreds, if not thousands of applications, large and small, for hundreds of thousands of customers. It's the storage platform for our customers' online presence.

    What's not on PowerMax? Because we have hundreds of thousands of customers running thousands and thousands of applications. From the small mom and pop shops running their mission-critical eCommerce site to the major Fortune 500 companies running every major database: Oracle, SQL, MySQL, Postgres, etc. We're running the big database engines, and the database is the holy grail for all online businesses. Therefore, major database applications are very important. Big eCommerce applications for very large brands are running on top of it, as well. We are running everything on it.

    The role that data plays in Rackspace is two-fold because we are both a customer and a partner. As a service provider, we are monitoring millions of data points every hour for our customers. We are monitoring the health of their systems: the traditional IT monitoring, CPU, networking, storage, uptime, security, etc. We are gathering all that data and need systems where we can dump that data, then analyze it without fail, knowing that it will be there. PowerMax gives us the latency and capacity that we need at any scale for all the data that we can throw at it.

    On the customer side, they are using us and our underlying PowerMax infrastructure for their mission-critical applications to do things with big data, dedupe, and other applications. Our customers are using us for the foundation of their big analytics applications.

    How has it helped my organization?

    There are a lot of ways that PowerMax is helping our organization function. From a storage admin standpoint, there is no longer a need to rely on the command line interface (CLI) to get data which is needed for performance monitoring and troubleshooting. When you use a CLI, you're actually requesting copies of data and impacting the performance of that production's data. With the REST API, we can do things, just ask for it, and there is the info. We are not impacting production systems.

    What is most valuable?

    PowerMax specifically is giving us incredible improvements in performance. Significantly decreased the latency, which is different than IOPS. I've been told by the team, "Don't focus on IOPS anymore, it's the latency. Not how fast is the data, but how quick is the data." So, we've seen great performance: Single millisecond type performance, which has been fantastic. 

    Another huge benefit of the PowerMax has been the decreasing of our physical footprint. We recently did a consolidation where we went from 58 tiles down to 5. If we had used just the PowerMax, we could have gone from 58 tiles down to 2 tiles, which is huge space savings. If you have 56 newly available floor tiles on a raised floor data center, which you previously had to cool and provide power to, then now, not only are my costs going down, I now have more revenue opportunities because I have more space to put new customers.

    My storage engineers are very happy with PowerMax. They are very pleased with the performance, decreased latency, and dependability. From the team, the RESTful API makes management so much easier for them versus the command line interface.

    What needs improvement?

    I would like them to continue improving the management tools and continue moving towards a RESTful API versus CLI. 

    They should work with the storage engineers to better tweak the management tools to give them improved visibility into their data.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    We've used it for well over a decade and are very happy with it.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    Stability has been fantastic on PowerMax.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    Right now, we have zero concerns about scalability. It's running everything we throw at it, and we can't wait to get more.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Our relationship with Dell EMC is fantastic. We have very smart storage engineers, and they in turn work with Dell EMC's very smart storage engineers. We have zero complaints. We don't ever have a question that doesn't get answered.

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

    As a major service provider, who has been working with Dell EMC for well over a decade, hosting mission-critical applications for important brands and businesses, along with some health institutions, where access to data is literally a life or death, we have to go with a system that we can trust without fail. PowerMax has been giving that to us.

    How was the initial setup?

    One of the things that we learned right away about PowerMax during the setup is that regardless of your awareness of data type, structure, or compression, we starting seeing benefits immediately.

    Rackspace is running a 1G, 2G, and 3G Dell EMC storage systems, then we added PowerMax into our array farm. So, we are migrating some data into the new PowerMaxs, and it has been smooth as silk.

    What was our ROI?

    I'm going to give PowerMax a ten out of ten just for the savings that I've heard about. From reclaiming data center space which is so tightly constrained these days, it will pay for itself in a short amount of time, which is fantastic. Anything we can do to get more out of our current physical data center space helps us a ton, and PowerMax has helped enable that.

    PowerMax is giving us significant improvements in Oracle and VMware. We are seeing between four to eight times improvements in latency, which is serious numbers. 

    What other advice do I have?

    Look at Dell EMC storage solutions. They have been around for a long time and are time-tested. The R&D department is constantly improving its offerings with better features, better performance, great return on investment for your purchases, and amazing support. Dell EMC bends over backwards to help its partners and customers get what they need out of this stuff. It's time-tested and trusted.

    PowerMax gives our storage engineers everything they need to do their jobs successfully.

    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. The reviewer's company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
    Steve Lotthammer
    Senior Systems Engineer at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
    Real User
    From a reliability standpoint, everything is redundant; uptime is six or seven nines

    Pros and Cons

    • "Uptime by far is the most important thing, and also the replication ability (SRDF). Most of the customers who need this type of availability also want the protection of multiple data centers, and it is able to easily switchover workloads to their other data centers."
    • "I hear from people on my team that they would like improved reporting. While there are some decent tools for doing reporting, they would like to see a lot more built-in functionality. This way when they are logged into the interface everyday doing basic management tasks, they could also see some statistics on what is their storage pool usage and will be their projected usage with their current data growth. They want to be able to see more detailed stats on how they are using the system and have forecasting."

    What is our primary use case?

    Typically, when we are doing PowerMax, it is for applications that we need maximum performance, but also maximum reliability. So, Dell EMC has a lot of other products that can do very high performance, but there are not a lot of other products in the market that can reach the reliability and the availability that PowerMax can.

    The use case goes back to when you need that ultimate uptime, where you can't ever have an application go down. We see this a lot in healthcare applications. We also see a lot of miscellaneous other database applications that need to be up all the time for running web services and service providers.

    How has it helped my organization?

    We definitely have situations where we have multiple siloed storage arrays, especially like higher-end VMXs or mid-range storage. So, we have four or five arrays that we can go and take those and put it on one high performing PowerMax, then deliver it to scale and grow.

    What is most valuable?

    Uptime by far is the most important thing, and also the replication ability (SRDF). Most of the customers who need this type of availability also want the protection of multiple data centers, and it is able to easily switchover workloads to their other data centers.

    What needs improvement?

    I am looking for ease in usability going forward. PowerMax is super powerful, but because it's been around for so long, there is some complexity in configuration and getting the right SLAs set up that you want. I feel like this could be simplified. I would like to see some improvements from there to avoid having to hunt and peck through an interface to do something that I feel should be relatively simple.

    I hear from people on my team that they would like improved reporting. While there are some decent tools for doing reporting, they would like to see a lot more built-in functionality. This way when they are logged into the interface everyday doing basic management tasks, they could also see some statistics on what is their storage pool usage and will be their projected usage with their current data growth. They want to be able to see more detailed stats on how they are using the system and have forecasting.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    The great thing about PowerMax is from a reliability standpoint, everything is redundant. Uptime is six or seven nines.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    PowerMax can grow quite a bit. The design with how storage controllers and engines scale out in regards to storage lets you scale your performance pretty linearly, though not as high as some things, like some of the hyper-converged solutions, but it's pretty nice.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    The tech support has been great. One of the good things with PowerMax, as much as the new branding and everything has come about since Dell and EMC merged, but the actual product history goes back really far. So, there is a ton of expertise from a support perspective within the organization. 

    There is a lot of knowledge out in the community as well, without having to directly engage Dell EMC support. A lot of times you can find community assistance for common problems and configuration needs.

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

    We haven't done very many migrations from VMAX3-AFA to PowerMax, just because they're close enough in numbers and performance. However, we are seeing a lot of movement from earlier generation VMAX to PowerMax. I even have some customers who are still on the DMX era that were moving over to PowerMax. That is going to be a big difference for them.

    Our PowerMax solutions have met all of their requirements that we had when we threw workloads at them.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    There are very few other products on the market which I've run into that can give performance at this level of availability.

    What other advice do I have?

    We do a lot of managed services. Where we get a lot of use from the data is we gather a ton of statistical data about our customers: How they're growing and using their own data. Therefore, we have a lot of metadata about our own customers that we have to sort through. From a consolidation standpoint, it's nice to have all of that in one place. It comes back to performance. We have to be able to pull from a lot of different customers, and do it simultaneously.

    I find that PowerMax is improving performance for workloads, like VMware, SAP, Oracle, and SQL Databases.

    Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
    Tom Dennis
    IT Applications Manager with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Real User
    The data reduction has been very impressive

    Pros and Cons

    • "The smaller footprint of the device has been really nice. We have gone from eight bays to one bay. Having one floor tile in our data center has been pretty awesome. A lot less power and HVAC cooling is being consumed."
    • "There are definitely some improvements that can be made to the CloudIQ."

    What is our primary use case?

    Our primary use case is blocked storage.

    How has it helped my organization?

    The smaller footprint of the device has been really nice. We have gone from eight bays to one bay. Having one floor tile in our data center has been pretty awesome. A lot less power and HVAC cooling is being consumed.

    We have all of our large Oracle databases along with a lot of order processing for our warehouses, which ship out clothing, currently on PowerMax.

    What is most valuable?

    The data reduction has been very impressive.

    What needs improvement?

    There are definitely some improvements that can be made to the CloudIQ.

    CLI and Solutions Enabler need improvement. While it's been around forever and it's proven that it works, it can be cumbersome to operate and train some storage admins on it. Also, if you haven't been using it for a while, it can be complicated.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    The stability is extremely simple. 

    From a Unisphere standpoint, it has gotten a lot easier to manage. I can train some of our admins quickly on how to utilize and provision storage. The complicated aspects of Solution Enabler are still there for guys, like myself, who like to utilize the old school way.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    It's as scalable as any other legacy array.

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

    We were previously using VMAX, and it was the end of their lifecycle.

    Our performance requirements were that it was an all-flash array multicontroller, and it has been great. We always go for multicontroller architecture. 

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup was very easy. We set it on the floor and powered it in and up. The BIN file was already written, so we didn't have to wait on our local customer engineers to write the BIN for us. 

    We have upgraded and already added disks, which was pretty easy to do. The BIN files were quickly modified to accept those disks, which is pretty awesome.

    What about the implementation team?

    I deployed it myself.

    We used post-base migration, which was pretty straightforward, which is not too complicated. I wanted to use the new SRDF-integrated migration method which is integrated with PowerMax, but we didn't get a chance to use it.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    It beats the Unities and XtremIOs. Compared with those products, it's been good.

    We're integrated pretty tightly with Dell EMC, so there was really no exploring outside of Dell EMC.

    What other advice do I have?

    The new version of the Unisphere Solution Enabler is really good.

    It is a very straightforward workhorse of our block storage portfolio. It is one of the best block storage arrays out there. It is a very solid machine that has been around. 

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    Jean Gabriel Dick
    IT Infrastructure at a healthcare company with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Real User
    Outstanding Performance, Data Compression, and Visibility with CloudIQ.

    Pros and Cons

    • "We're consolidating two to three arrays down to one which means that our data center footprint has decreased by like 90%. So we're saving 90% of our space, and it also is much better on power and everything else in our data center. And on top of that, the performance is much, much better than our older arrays."
    • "The most valuable feature is the performance and compression. The most useful tool is CloudIQ."
    • "We've had a couple of little things come up, but for the most part, they've been pretty stable."

    What is our primary use case?

    Our primary use case is data storage, compression, encryption, all in one device. So we need all those things.

    How has it helped my organization?

    We're consolidating two to three arrays down to one which means that our data center footprint has decreased by like 90%. So we're saving 90% of our space, and it also is much better on power and everything else in our data center. And on top of that, the performance is much, much better than our older arrays.

    What is most valuable?

    The most valuable feature is the performance and compression. The most useful tool is CloudIQ.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    Stability of the new PowerMax from what I've found is a lot better than the older version of the VMAX or EMC Dell array. That's one of the reasons why we've purchased more of them going forward. I think it's going to be a pretty prevalent storage array in our environment.

    All of our applications are running on mission-critical applications. We've always been a Dell EMC shop, we've always run all our critical applications on there, and this is just a better and more improved product, so we're just continuing with the cycle that we've had for 20 years.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    It's very scalable. It can grow much larger than I probably would utilize, but I don't like to put all my data in one box. The scalability is enormous in the PowerMax.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    We haven't had to use tech support customer service. We've had a couple of little things come up, but for the most part, they've been pretty stable, so we haven't had any issues.

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

    We don't have a vast I/O performance database or application suite, so the old arrays were taking care of that part. But we see the milliseconds to microseconds response time in the new variety.

    We have purchased some professional services to do NDM migrations. We haven't done any yet, but we will be doing that in the next quarter. From everything I've seen and looked at, and I'm going to take a few more sessions on it. I think it's going to be much easier to migrate data from the old to the new.

    We knew we needed to invest in a new solution based on a compression standpoint and the overall cost by reducing our footprint and fitting more data into a single file, it just made sense, and it's been working great for us so far. And MVME had a considerable influence on my decision to go with PowerMax as well the ability to encrypt and compress at the same time.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup was straightforward. From a hardware stand-up getting ready to go perspective, it was very straightforward. Our internal processes held it up. It wasn't anything that Dell held it up with. It went well.

    The new Unisphere for PowerMax is beneficial in collecting that data although I have not started using the app IQ or, I don't remember what it's called. The alerting, they gather all the data, and I can use my phone and look at an app, and it can tell me right there that my environment is good that day or whatever and it sends me alerts. So, I haven't started using that, but I plan to when I get back, so it just makes the management a little bit easier looking at the whole environment.

    What about the implementation team?

    No, we didn't implement through a vendor we go direct through Dell. And the experience was excellent. We have a great relationship with our Dell sales team as well as their support and customer service organization.

    What was our ROI?

    Our ROI on this is much higher than it was previously with the arrays that we had. Being able to consolidate three arrays into a single footprint has made it much easier and cost-efficient.

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

    From a TCO perspective, we saved a lot of money by getting the over rate consolidating two into one or three into one, so we saved a ton of money on the total cost of ownership over the next four years.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We have multiple solutions, but we're mostly an HDS F-Series company as well as Dell EMC.

    What other advice do I have?

    From what I've heard people seem to think that the cost of the array is prohibitive. And I would tell them to look at the ROI and do their cost analysis on it because from what I've found, cost per gigabyte is much lower than what it was for previous arrays as well as the overall cost of ownership in the reduction of the footprint in the data center is enormous.

    On a scale from one to ten, one being the worst and ten being the best, I would rate the product an eight or nine. So far it's been great.

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