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MohanReddy
Sr. Technology Architect at a pharma/biotech company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 20
Its data management software has helped us run operations very quickly, saving us a lot of time
Pros and Cons
  • "Regarding features, SnapMirror is one we depend on right now. It helps us provide snapshots to the customers on request. There are many scenarios in which we might take snapshots in various daily use cases. We trigger the snapshots, which gives us a sense of security because we know we have this technology in place if something happens."
  • "NetApp should offer more training so everyone can learn about the products. Other vendors have a lot of training options. It would be great if NetApp would highlight how to use the features more so that every admin or person can gain more knowledge about this technology."

What is our primary use case?

We are using AFF for a few clients. It's a specific type of data we use for these arrays, not like a block kind of thing or regular data. A few clients have particular requirements about where we put all the data. We are primarily using FAS, and we have around four or five AFF boxes. We don't deal with AFF regularly. 

We're not currently using NetApp Cloud Backup, but we're planning on implementing it. I'm not sure because my architect is the one who manages the end-to-end services for NetApp. He makes all the decisions on the NetApp side whether we use AFF or FAS. AFF is a unified storage box, so we route certain data to AFF. 

How has it helped my organization?

AFF has simplified data management across SAN and NAS environments. As admins, we're always trying to reduce the complications on the technology end. We're looking at the product from a single perspective. It's more about how the team engages with it. If one person on a 10-person team isn't comfortable with the features, then that's where we have to improve our understanding and where the vendor can help us. With AFF, we haven't had this issue. The whole team is thrilled to work on the product.

NetApp's ONTAP data management software has also made tasks simpler for us. There's no question about that. It has helped us run operations very quickly, saving us a lot of time. Before ONTAP, we used to spend a long time doing regular operations, but with the latest version of the tool, our day-to-day operations are much quicker and easier.

If you asked me to rate AFF's effect on the flexibility of SAP and Oracle workloads, I would give it a seven out of 10. AFF is what we are using right now, but the team isn't fully utilizing it because our architect team is managing everything. We haven't had enough time to look into that. We were interested in that. It is easier to understand and manage. There isn't a need to dig into that. However, I'm on the backend side of things, and we are still looking for some relevant documents that can help us understand this aspect better.

What is most valuable?

AFF is user-friendly. A person who has no experience with NetApp can handle it comfortably. Regarding features, SnapMirror is one we depend on right now. It helps us provide snapshots to the customers on request. There are many scenarios in which we might take snapshots in various daily use cases. We trigger the snapshots, which gives us a sense of security because we know we have this technology in place if something happens.

What needs improvement?

NetApp should offer more training so everyone can learn about the products. Other vendors have a lot of training options. It would be great if NetApp would highlight how to use the features more so that every admin or person can gain more knowledge about this technology. 

For example, my team is unaware of any product unless my architect tells us about it. Then the team starts digging. It would be helpful if they made all the documentation and training readily accessible to everyone on their portal.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've been using NetApp since I joined the company six years back.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Stability-wise, AFF is fantastic. We haven't seen many complications, and before there is a possible outage, NetApp reaches out to us and lets us know what's going on. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

NetApp products in general are highly scalable. For scalability, I would rate AFF nine out of 10.

How are customer service and support?

NetApp provides excellent support. We get valid and crucial advice from NetApp every time we interact with them weekly or monthly. I would rate their support nine out of 10 because I work with various products from multiple vendors. Compared to other vendors, I feel more comfortable reaching out to the NetApp team. 

For example, I tried to reach the NetApp support team for one of the issues over the weekend. My call got disconnected due to a network glitch, and immediately I got an email in my inbox as well as a call back from NetApp on my given number. That's how NetApp reaches its customers.

How would you rate customer service and support?

Positive

How was the initial setup?

I do remote support, so I'm not working on the data center side. We have an on-site team that could better describe the installation and deployment. However, my impression is that deploying AFF is straightforward. 

The architect is the main person working with the NetApp products, and he does a deep dive before touching any product. Our team has minimal exposure to NetApp because our work involves a mix of vendors. We have people working on the NetApp side but not regularly. The architect spends a lot of time on NetApp in his day-to-day activities, and he makes the changes. He takes and gives recommendations about which product to use, whereas we provide remote support from a different region altogether. The implementation, changes, configuration, and decision-making are all done from the headquarters.

And once it is implemented, the remote team logs in and does the navigation part. We check the array and identify any problems. If we find anything, we immediately reach out to the architect. He's the one who engages with NetApp and relays information to the remote team. That's how we learn as an organization. We spend time on the products to gain knowledge and experience with vendors.

What was our ROI?

It's hard for me to speak to return on investment. We have a different team responsible for that. I support the technical side. A separate team procures new arrays. 

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

In addition to simplifying the management across a mix of solutions, AFF simplifies the cost. That was one of the main reasons we purchased AFF.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We are using two other vendor products as well. One is from Dell EMC, and the other is HP. I say the best competitor would be EMC. We get the same level of support from EMC as NetApp. But it's hard to compare the two. Each vendor has its own way of providing the service. AFF doesn't work the same way the other vendor's product does. They both are unique and work based on their own design. However, the navigation makes a lot of difference for the end-users, like admins.

It depends on if you prefer working with the CLI or the GUI. I'm more comfortable on the CLI in admin roles, but I like the GUI over the CLI if I compare the same thing with the other product. Each product meets the needs of the use case in its own way, but the navigation style is different. Depending on your preference, you might feel more comfortable with NetApp or other products.

What other advice do I have?

I'd rate NetApp AFF nine out of 10. To customers who are considering AFF, I would say they can go for it without hesitation. If it's a choice between AFF, FAS, or something else, customers can choose NetApp AFF without a second thought. We are happy with NetApp. Out of all the solutions we've looked at, AFF is the best fit for our business requirements so far.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud
Disclosure: PeerSpot contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
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Solutions Architect at a wholesaler/distributor with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Provides protection against ransomware threats with immutable snapshots, and it is well known for its scalability, ease of use, and non-disruptive upgrades
Pros and Cons
  • "One of the features that my customers are really interested in is immutable snapshots. There are immutable snapshots to which your applications can be reverted back if you are hit by some kind of ransomware threat or malicious attack. That's kind of a key deal, and it is one of the selling points I use to point out to my customers the value and the features that Pure Storage brings to the table."
  • "I like what they're doing, but some of my customers complain that they do not have all the bells and whistles and knobs to fine-tune workloads that some of the competitors have. In my opinion, that's good. All customers don't have dedicated storage gurus, and they can get themselves into trouble if they fine-tune too many of those high-performance knobs, but they do get knocked down. Pure Storage takes a hit in the minds and opinions of some of the customers because they cannot customize things as much as compared to a legacy storage provider's appliance such as NetApp, Dell EMC, or even HPE. I personally think 95% of my customers are better off letting the system fine-tune itself. That was something that you needed to do 12 or 15 years ago, but now with all-flash, the technology can handle what it needs to handle. Customers just end up shooting themselves in the foot if they are tweaking too many default settings."

What is our primary use case?

I'm a pre-sales architect. I architect, and I sell them as a partner with Pure Storage on the VAR side. Our customers use it for storage, mainly block-based storage and virtualization storage. Some solutions have both block and file storage, and some solutions only have file storage from Pure. 

How has it helped my organization?

It provides additional protection against ransomware threats. If you are hit by some kind of ransomware threat or some kind of malicious attack, you can revert your data back in time to a previous version or snapshot.

What is most valuable?

One of the features that my customers are really interested in is immutable snapshots. There are immutable snapshots to which your applications can be reverted back if you are hit by some kind of ransomware threat or malicious attack. That's kind of a key deal, and it is one of the selling points I use to point out to my customers the value and the features that Pure Storage brings to the table.

Scalability, ease of use, and non-disruptive upgrades are also valuable. They're not using flash just for your tier one storage needs. They're recommending flash for data protection and archive backup, which is the way to go.

If you get the gold support, which is what I sell and recommend for my customers, Pure's support personnel will take care of both software and hardware upgrades, which is another feather in Pure's cap. They make several claims that once you move to Pure Storage, you can take your team of five dedicated storage admins and trim it down to just one person. Their mantra is getting customers out of the game of managing storage and letting the vendor manage the storage. They want to see their customers just consume storage. They have non-disruptive upgrades. You just set up the software and hardware and just consume the storage. They're continuously looking at the dial-homes, the logs that are automatically sent, and fingerprinting potential issues before they're even a problem. That cuts down on a lot of support tickets the customers have to open up. They'll proactively open up tickets when they see something in their analytics on a particular customer's array and recognize that one of their hosts might have a certain HBA with a fault or a bug. They reach out and open a ticket. So, you get your system upgrade, patched, or whatever is needed to resolve the potential problem.

What needs improvement?

I like what they're doing, but some of my customers complain that they do not have all the bells and whistles and knobs to fine-tune workloads that some of the competitors have. In my opinion, that's good. All customers don't have dedicated storage gurus, and they can get themselves into trouble if they fine-tune too many of those high-performance knobs, but they do get knocked down. Pure Storage takes a hit in the minds and opinions of some of the customers because they cannot customize things as much as compared to a legacy storage provider's appliance such as NetApp, Dell EMC, or even HPE. I personally think 95% of my customers are better off letting the system fine-tune itself. That was something that you needed to do 12 or 15 years ago, but now with all-flash, the technology can handle what it needs to handle. Customers just end up shooting themselves in the foot if they are tweaking too many default settings.

Pure is typically more expensive than everyone else. They can work on the price to make it more competitive.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Its stability is very good. I have not heard any of my customers having issues with FlashArray. It is very solid. They claim 99.9999% availability. I haven't had any problems with outages with my customers. 

They have another product called FlashBlade, which is a different type of storage appliance that Pure does for unstructured files. FlashBlade doesn't rank as high in reliability as their flagship FlashArray product does. The FlashBlade product is a notch below. It is a newer product or code, and I have heard of some issues with it.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Its scalability is very good. It scales up instead of out, which is typical for a block-based appliance. It is very easy to add expansion shelves or disks. You don't need to worry about shuffling drives around and creating RAID groups. This is all legacy stuff. Most vendors are now the same, but I really think that Pure led the effort for non-disruptive upgrades. They coined the term, and other vendors have since followed suit. They're the leader in the industry for that.

How are customer service and technical support?

Their regular support is good. With gold support, Pure's support personnel takes care of both software and hardware upgrades. The only difference between free support and gold support is that you don't get free hardware upgrades with free support. If I understand the offering correctly, software upgrades are still included. 

How was the initial setup?

If we're just talking about Pure Storage, it is straightforward and simple. You can get it up in minutes as opposed to hours that some of the other solutions take. Compared to its competitive solutions, Pure is very well known for its simplicity and ease of use, especially during setup and initialization.

A single 2U appliance from Pure Storage for block-based workloads, including rack stack and initialization, is ready to be provisioned to your servers in an hour or an hour and a half to the max. It is definitely straightforward.

If you get the gold support, Pure's support personnel will take care of both software and hardware upgrades. So, you don't have to manage storage. Pure takes care of that.

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

Pure is typically more expensive than everyone else. You get what you pay for, but I have lost deals to similar solutions because of pricing.

They include everything, and that's another positive about Pure Storage. They aren't trying to nickel and dime their customers for different features. It is all included in one price. The license is by capacity, and the price depends on the capacity and the discount we're getting from the vendor. You get the SKU of the physical appliance, support, and maintenance, and that's it. You're licensed for whatever feature they offer. It is all rolled up into the price of the appliance.

What other advice do I have?

I would advise others to chose well. Prepare to have extra time on your hands to focus on your business's core needs and outcomes and not having to worry about the day-to-day maintenance of your storage appliance.

All my customers are pretty happy with most Pure Storage solutions. They might ask for customization level, but I think Pure is doing the right thing by its set-it-and-forget-it approach. Most customers don't need to fine-tune and customize their all-flash storage appliances anymore. It is not a legacy spinning disk appliance.

I would rate Pure Storage FlashArray a nine out of 10. Its pricing sometimes plays a big part where customers might go in a different direction, and that's the only reason why I'm not giving it a 10.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
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Infrastructure Business Lead
Real User
The performance was staggering and more than what we paid for
Pros and Cons
  • "One of the most valuable features is the capability to switch between all-flash to hybrid, which have have actually done for one of our arrays. We started with the hybrid, with the limited if I'm not mistaken, and then over a period of time, we swapped all the hybrids with the SSDs. This was one of the big features because it gave us the capability to not stick with just one kind of media. Secondly, since it has sorted clustering, we were able to bring in the newer boxes and have it all clustered together. These were the two main features that we really looked into, which benefited our use case from an expansion/growth perspective. Another valuable feature is the ease of management."
  • "What I understand is that this is a 13 year old architecture, so it has lived its life and they're phasing it out. Honestly, we were initially struggling with the integration with VMware (but it was fixed with the VMware 6.5) and, then, it was around a 10GB network. At that time, it had the longevity to go to 100GB as well. It got us thinking about, when we go into the containerized architecture, what do we need to do to fix the infrastructure?"

What is our primary use case?

Regarding our use cases of Dell EMC SC Series, from a core perspective, we are going to phase out Oracle and move to SAP HANA. Oracle was part of our SAP legacy architecture, so we are migrating it to HANA. From a business perspective, we have a couple of Microsoft SQL-based applications that are using the SQL database and which we have for on-the-go users. Our core business is running on SAP and then, from a legacy structure, we have a bit of Microsoft SQL and the rest is on Microsoft. 

The technology was declared end of sale last year, so we switched to the newer PowerStore, but we still have the SC Series working and functioning in test and dev. If I'm not mistaken, we got the updated code as well. Our agreement is extended, but we don't plan to continue with it because we've already shifted the workload onto PowerStore

This solution is deployed on-prem. 

What is most valuable?

One of the most valuable features is the capability to switch between all-flash to hybrid, which have have actually done for one of our arrays. We started with the hybrid, with the limited if I'm not mistaken, and then over a period of time, we swapped all the hybrids with the SSDs. This was one of the big features because it gave us the capability to not stick with just one kind of media. 

Secondly, since it has sorted clustering, we were able to bring in the newer boxes and have it all clustered together. These were the two main features that we really looked into, which benefited our use case from an expansion/growth perspective. Another valuable feature is the ease of management. 

What needs improvement?

What I understand is that this is a 13 year old architecture, so it has lived its life and they're phasing it out. Honestly, we were initially struggling with the integration with VMware (but it was fixed with the VMware 6.5) and, then, it was around a 10GB network. At that time, it had the longevity to go to 100GB as well. It got us thinking about, when we go into the containerized architecture, what do we need to do to fix the infrastructure? 

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution since 2013. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The performance was staggering and it was more than what we paid for. We were able to bring a lot of juice out from the SC Series. It took us some time, but we were able to get a higher performance once we understood the technology. 

The SC Series was very low maintenance, which was one thing that we liked. We had Phone Home enabled, so we were getting all the patches from Dell. They were also able to help us from a drive failure perspective. Nothing went wrong with it—it was a good experience, which is why we are still sticking with Dell. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability was one of our main purchasing decision data points. We wanted the architecture, which is highly clustered, and which gave us the scale up and scale out altogether. It was good. We never intended to go beyond 500 to 600 terabytes, but from a scalability perspective, it really proved its worth. 

How are customer service and support?

We are happy with Dell's technical support, which is one of the reasons why we stuck with Dell when the SC Series was coming to end of life. We explored other vendors as well, but we are comfortable with Dell. 

On a scale from one to five, I would rate them a five. When we were in the midst of rolling out our containerized app for our mobile users, we had an issue. It was our own application issue and had nothing to do with them, but they came forward with a lot of APIs. From a data perspective, they even got one of their engineers to work and to support our application team. From a hardware perspective, they were able to come in and help us on our application, which is why I rate them a five. 

How was the initial setup?

From an acquisition perspective, it was very straightforward. From an implementation perspective, we had a little difficulty because it was a newer technology. From our admin perspective, it was not something that they were equipped with, so initially we had hiccups. However, I believe that this is fair for every new technology. 

The automation part wasn't there, so we had hoped that we could automate it back in when we were acquiring it. We felt that this would've made our life easier, but we only came to realize this when we migrated our workloads from SC to the newer generation of PowerStore—it provided all the automation and everything that was missing on day one from an SC Series. 

If I were to rate the initial setup on a scale from one to five, I'd put it at a four, from a technology perspective. From an internal perspective, I would rate us a three, but the shortcomings were on our end, in terms of internal skill building. The DSM, Dell Storage Manager, really came in handy, but we didn't know how to best leverage it. 

What about the implementation team?

For the deployment, we actually got the partner to come in and work with our team. We also leveraged Dell, but it was mainly from a documentation perspective. We didn't have any issues where we had to go and seek support or help, but it was our internal staff which slowed us down, not the platform or the product itself. 

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

The SC Series was priced fairly. I wouldn't call it either expensive or cheap because we had a very tight budget, so if they were able to fit in that type of budget, they met our expectations. 

What other advice do I have?

I rate the SC Series a 10 out of 10 because it was a lifesaver. One of the use cases that we had, where we found it really gave us an edge, was back in 2015. There was a compliance requirement where we had to roll out a lot of old logs and data. We had it sitting on the old 2TB SATA drive, the slowest drive possible. We always worried about how we were going to get the data since we were using all-flash and archiving on the slowest 2TB drives, but when the stacking came, it really gave us all the data without any purchase—the tiering feature really shone at that time. So, that is one of the reasons why we trust and love this product. 

If the SC Series was still in use, I would honestly recommend it to others, at any given time. When we moved out from business critical workloads, away from SC Series, we did a lot of crazy testing. It gave us the capability to get a lot of performance out and it was very flexible. If it was still there, we would still be buying more of it. 

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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Senior Technical Specialist at a healthcare company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Reliable, easy to set up and maintain, good support
Pros and Cons
  • "This solution is easy to work with and easy to maintain."
  • "It could be a little easier to attach it to a network file system."

What is our primary use case?

We currently have three Dell EMC Unity XT units, all used for different applications.

The primary use case is general, all-around storage. We use it for both unstructured file and unstructured block storage and a lot of it is attached through a few systems to VMware.

The applications are databases and other similar products.

One of the units is used for diagnostic imaging, and another is used for file services such as the Hospital Management System (HMS).

How has it helped my organization?

I don't have metrics but this product benefits us because of its reliability. It's like a black box that sits in the background and just runs. It works great and does everything that's asked of it.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is reliability. At the end of the day, it just runs.

This solution is easy to work with and easy to maintain.

What needs improvement?

It could be a little easier to attach it to a network file system.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been working with Dell EMC Unity XT for approximately four years. It has been at the company for five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We have not had any issues with stability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We haven't really had to scale it too much. Whatever we've had to do, it's been able to accommodate what we need. We know that it can grow more but we just don't need it to. Also, we're shifting away from it because it's being replaced.

How are customer service and support?

Dell's technical support is great for 99% of things.

There have been a few problems but I understand because the product was not mainstream. The unit was an FS8600 and there were only about 12 people in all of North America who knew it well. That's why we got rid of it.

Overall, I would rate their technical support a nine out of ten. I don't give anybody a ten because there is always room for improvement.

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

The organization did not have a previous solution. The original two devices were brought in specifically for the tasks that they perform. The third one is dedicated to the new HSM software.

We have other storage, on-premises. We have different storage for different things. For example, we have two Dell Compellent units, as well as Isilon. We run the gamut of everything.

We are retiring two of our Unity XT units because we bought a Dell EMC PowerStore. We're updating everything as part of our refresh cycle. We will be keeping the last Unity XT for at least two more years because it's a fairly new system. It will probably be replaced by a PowerStore as well.

How was the initial setup?

I was not with the company when it was initially set up but I have set up other ones. This product is straightforward and easy to set up. It is almost set-and-forget, where you get it on the floor and away you go.

It took me less than a day to deploy, from unboxing to putting it on the raised floor to powering it on and having my first system attached to it.

What about the implementation team?

I deployed it myself. I have been working with storage products for more than 20 years.

It is myself and two others that are responsible for the maintenance. All of us are backup and storage engineers. I am the primary and the other two are my backups. We all take different approaches and handle different things.

For purchases, we have always dealt with Dell through a third party because until recently, Dell did not do direct sales. The company we used was Techni-Core and they're okay. We've had some issues with them including some improperly configured Isilons and other systems that were not done correctly. Back when I first joined, I had to go in and spend four months debugging a system that was set up wrong.

I think that they had a couple of people that were poor at doing installs but I'm pretty sure they are now gone because I don't see their names anywhere.

What was our ROI?

We see a return on investment because this product just runs. We don't have to spend hours maintaining it. It needs less intervention from us which means that we can spend time on other things.

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

This solution is a good price for what you get.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We are a Dell customer so we did not evaluate options from other vendors.

Everything that we have is Dell unless it is something that is vendor-issued or vendor-specific.

What other advice do I have?

We only touch the edge of what this product can do. It can do more than we use it for, such as file replication between two units.

There is not much needed in terms of improvement. It is a rock-solid product.

My advice for anybody who is considering the Dell Unity XT is to just enjoy it. It's a great system that is easy to maintain. Right out of the box, it's a good system. It's not the best that I've ever used but it's pretty close.

I would rate this solution a nine out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: PeerSpot contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
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Regional Sales Manager at New horizon
Real User
Highly expandable, plenty of features, and good support
Pros and Cons
  • "The most valuable features are the five chips architecture and the purpose-built NVMe hard disk drive. Additionally, the IOPS feature is good."
  • "The data compression and deduplication ratio of Huawei OceanStor Dorado is not as good as other solutions, such as EMC and Pure Storage. It is important when looking at capacity effectiveness."

What is our primary use case?

Huawei OceanStor Dorado is used for system backups.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable features are the five chips architecture and the purpose-built NVMe hard disk drive. Additionally, the IOPS feature is good.

What needs improvement?

The data compression and deduplication ratio of Huawei OceanStor Dorado is not as good as other solutions, such as EMC and Pure Storage. It is important when looking at capacity effectiveness.

The solution should be properly sized because if it is not there could be flexibility issues. The system should be sized properly and once it is delivered to the customer, they should ensure everything was done correctly.

When the US and China political issues come into play they have issues in qualifying the US applications with their new storage models. Many issues can arise. For example, customers might want to use Oracle hardware with their Huawei hardware to solve some of their use cases but the companies will not coordinate with each other. The political situation makes Huawei OceanStor Dorado not integrate well.

In an upcoming release, it would be a benefit to have better algorithms on data reduction, data compression, and data deduplication.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Huawei OceanStor Dorado for approximately two years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Huawei claims if you choose their enterprise controller, such as the 8000, when you have a cluster of eight controllers, up to seven controllers can be down, and you can still be in operation. However, with their feature Metro Cluster that can be achieved by having 70 kilometers across two-site, you can have seven, nine.

The solution is stable enough as long as you do not do mistakes during implementation.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Huawei OceanStor Dorado has amazing scalability. As long as the specifications are correct in relation to the datasheets, there are no other storages that can provide a high level of scalability for scale-up and scale-out. 

It has the capacity of adding up to 16 or even 32 controllers. Both the EMC and IBM cannot add expansion boxes with their controllers but Huawei OceanStor Dorado has it in their architecture. You can have hard drives without adding the controllers.

How are customer service and support?

The technical support is good. They have has shifted the support to their Dubai region. They now have proper infrastructure. They're Egypt's support and all the support agents are good in communication. Previously Huawei was having communication issues. The engineers were in China and they were having issues, but they have become much more professionals and they are ready to do RCA without any additional cost.

IBM does root cause analysis and I have seen Huawei support do root cause analysis which is a plus point.

How was the initial setup?

In our implementation there are complications. I am not a technician but I have heard it requires eight hard drives to set up. For example, if customers are looking for NAS and SAN and want to have a small cluster of hard disk drives to enable both of these features. You can't do it because you need eight hard disk drives for a separate pool. For NAS, you will again need eight hard disk drives. You will need a total of 16 hard drives to make it a NAS and SAN storage system functional.

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

Huawei has very good pricing. They have some promotions that can be taken advantage of at certain times of the year, such as the end of December. They are providing aggressive pricing. In the Pakistan market, they are ready to beat any vendor in Pakistan because they want to grab the market.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I have evaluated products from many vendors, such as IBM, HPE, EMC, and Pure Storage.

What other advice do I have?

I'm not sure exactly what features, attract customers, but Huawei is very popular in Pakistan. Huawei is taking share away from EMC and IBM and their hard disk drive, the NVMe, is not just a hard drive, but they have engineered it for the solution.

Some customers who don't like Huawei, say they're not coming up with Intel processors but only coming out with Kunpeng. This is not a negative point but some competition tries to create negativity for Huawei products.

All these storage solutions are only commodity hardware. Everybody is focusing on the cost per terabyte. A CTO should look at the capacity, cost per terabyte, SLA offered, and type of IT equipment offered. The performance key milestones, such as IOPS, the bandwidth of the storage, and which product is providing minimal latency. If these are the milestones a CTO wants to achieve. I think Huawei is one of the best products that can achieve all of these aspects other than pricing. I would recommend organizations to consider Huawei OceanStor Dorado.

I rate Huawei OceanStor Dorado a nine out of ten.

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