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Dell EMC SC Series Competitors and Alternatives

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Read reviews of Dell EMC SC Series competitors and alternatives

Sisir Ghosh
Deputy Manager at CESC Ventures
Real User
Top 5
Great reliability, stability, scalability, and user interface

Pros and Cons

  • "Its stability is the most valuable. It has soft alerts. When an alert is raised, we get a call from HP saying that there is this type of alert, and they need to do a remote session to check things. Similarly, for firmware updates, they get in touch to say that a firmware upgrade is required on your storage. They schedule a time and take control remotely to upgrade the firmware. In all such cases, there is no downtime. Everything is done when a full-fledged operation is going on. Its user interface is also quite good. We are quite accustomed to this user interface. We can easily take a look at the current usage or the amount of storage. It is quite easily understandable, and I can present those things to my seniors or other people who are not that tech-savvy, and they can easily understand what we are trying to tell them. We can easily show them that we are using around 87% of the storage, so we need to plan for another tree and things like that."
  • "Its price is a bit high for adding another tree."

What is our primary use case?

We use it only for storage.

What is most valuable?

Its stability is the most valuable. It has soft alerts. When an alert is raised, we get a call from HP saying that there is this type of alert, and they need to do a remote session to check things. Similarly, for firmware updates, they get in touch to say that a firmware upgrade is required on your storage. They schedule a time and take control remotely to upgrade the firmware. In all such cases, there is no downtime. Everything is done when a full-fledged operation is going on.

Its user interface is also quite good. We are quite accustomed to this user interface. We can easily take a look at the current usage or the amount of storage. It is quite easily understandable, and I can present those things to my seniors or other people who are not that tech-savvy, and they can easily understand what we are trying to tell them. We can easily show them that we are using around 87% of the storage, so we need to plan for another tree and things like that.

What needs improvement?

Its price is a bit high for adding another tree.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for four years. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is very reliable. In these four years, we have not had any big failure or faced any issue.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is not an issue. If someone has 3PAR and within one or two years, they find that they need to add more storage, it would not be an issue. It will scale perfectly fine. 

We have already consumed around 87% of the storage. We may have to add another tree. We had a discussion with HPE, and it was quite good. The only reason for not going forward with it was that the amount of money that we will be spending in just upgrading the storage has a life of only two and a half years now. We are now evaluating whether we should invest this much money for two and a half years, or we should invest more and buy a completely new storage. We can then use this storage for other backups and all those less important steps.

From the application side, we have 50 users. There are also a lot of other users who are connecting to the applications and the storage because their data resides on the storage. For its maintenance, we don't require any engineers.

How are customer service and technical support?

We haven't raised a single ticket with HPE regarding 3PAR, but they always call us if there is any soft alert or any firmware upgrade. The only thing that we have to do is to schedule a remote session during which they will perform the update activities.

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

Before HPE 3PAR, we were using Dell EMC. We have used three storages from EMC. The first one was very reliable. It was 300 series that we were using in 2003 or 2004. After that, we replaced it with the 400 series EMC storage, but it was not that reliable. Every three to four months, one of the disks would fail invariably, and we had to raise a ticket. After some time, they will review the ticket. They didn't ask any questions, and they would just replace it and take the faulty one. After that, we moved from the Dell EMC storage to HPE 3PAR, which has been very reliable. We haven't faced any issues in all these years.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is really smooth. 

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

Its price is a bit high for adding another tree, but when we purchased it, it was okay with us. We had compared it with EMC and other solutions, and it was okay at that point in time. 

Our storage has a lifespan of seven to eight years. When you purchase it, you need to keep a headroom of around 40% to 50%. After three to four years, you generally plan for an upgrade. The price is not so bad today for two years or so, and within a year, I might find that I have to upgrade or increase the storage. This usually happens when there is a radical change or a new application has come that is consuming a lot of data, but generally, there is a plan for the amount of data that we generate and the storage upgrade. 

What other advice do I have?

3PAR is very much reliable. In these four years, I've not raised a single ticket with HPE regarding 3PAR. 

I would rate HPE 3PAR StoreServ a nine out of ten. It has good support, good UI, and good reliability.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
KM
Solution Architect; Senior Manager Mainframe Technical Service at a computer software company with 1,001-5,000 employees
MSP
Top 10
Great Global Copy and Global Mirror features with an easy initial setup

Pros and Cons

  • "The Global Copy and Global Mirror features are the solution's most valuable aspects."
  • "The solution should embedded replication switches into the hardware instead of using them externally."

What is our primary use case?

We offer it as a Cloud solution to our shared clients and we share these devices between multiple clients. That's how we primarily use the solution.

I use it for storing mainframe data. It's used throughout the mainframe applications and the flash copies for DR, as well as replication utilities, to move data from one facility to another. We use just about all the features on it.

What is most valuable?

The Global Copy and Global Mirror features are the solution's most valuable aspects.

IBM's been making strides, improving, allowing you to do safeguard copies for banking industries, which is another version of a DR copy. However, it's not accessible from any host and not immune. It's just more difficult for hackers or malicious attempts within it. They're not accessible to the normal user. It's a nice new feature that they've come up with.

The initial setup is easy.

What needs improvement?

The pricing of the solution is difficult to deal with. Lower pricing would be preferred. 

The solution should embedded replication switches into the hardware instead of using them externally.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is very stable. There aren't any problems there at all. It doesn't have bugs or glitches and doesn't crash or freeze. We've found it to be very reliable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

While the solution scales and can grow, it's just the pricing for the capacity that grows with it. Organizations need to be aware that the costs will go up as they expand the solution out. The bigger you go, the more you pay.

Currently, we have about 200 users on the solution right now. They just handle setup and management.

The solution is always growing and we're always expanding it.

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

I've used HDS in the past. I've used EMC Storage Tech, which was bought by Dell at one point. I've used Dell, EMC, Hitachi, etc. All the major players have been used.

How was the initial setup?

We've handled implementation multiple times at this point and we've yet to find the setup complex. It's quite straightforward.

From the receipt of the equipment, the deployment takes probably about three weeks to a month. It doesn't take too long. After that, everything is ready to go.

We have multiple employees that are on the solution handling maintenance.

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

Right now, the solution bases the pricing on capacity. It can get expensive.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We always look at the competition and do pricing before we ultimately choose which solution we use. That was the case with this product as well. We always look at all the major players in the space.

What other advice do I have?

We're just a customer. We don't have a business relationship with the company.

I'm an outsourcing service provider and I've had a lot of experience using the solution. 

We have everything from DS8100 disc storage, all the way up to 8990s.

I'd advise new users to read the implementation installation guide. Most of the questions are answered in there. People just tend to skim over it and don't get into the details. However, it's important in making everything run smoothly and understanding the solution. That's probably the best advice I've actually heard from anybody. At the end of the day, don't be someone who skips the instructions, and all of a sudden you have a pile of parts.

I'd rate the solution nine out of ten.

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.
PR
Senior Systems Engineer at Indra
Real User
Top 20
Easy to use solution but lacks federation and segmentation of data

Pros and Cons

  • "Rapid deployment, easy integration management and cloning of areas."
  • "Their problems are on the software and the controlling of the storage where they lack segmentation and federation."

What is our primary use case?

I normally work with customers. I'm a senior consultant so I'm responsible for giving information to customers and I make assessments for them about what technology is the best for them to use.

What is most valuable?

In terms of which features I've found most valuable, this includes rapid deployment, easy integration management and cloning of areas - their cloning tools.

Also, the deployment is very quick and very simple.

What needs improvement?

There is a lot of room for improvement. What I don't like is that they do not create barriers in the areas. The data management is based on the software and they do not use segmentation on the storage. That is the main problem - there is no segmentation. You cannot segment the data on the database. You put the data there but you don't know where the data goes on each disk. The information will be there but there is no segmentation. There needs to be improvement in data segmentation.

In future releases, I'd like to see federation and segmentation. Those are the big problems with NetApp at the moment. Compared to HP, Dell and HPE 3PAR, they cannot do the federation which is very important. We have to do remote replication and work with two or more storage sites in different locations. If I have a site and I have a second or third site - they require working federation and NetApp cannot do this right now.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using NetApp Series All-Flash for about four years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Until now we have not had issues on the four databases, the four storage units we are using.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

In terms of scalability, it's okay. 

But they do have one problem with scalability - they cannot do federation of storage.

How are customer service and technical support?

I have not contacted support directly. The customer has specific teams for that.

But I work directly with the support on tests for crash recovery. More than a year ago we made these tests before the customer bought the solution. But at the moment, I know that the support in Portugal is very limited because they don't have people working in the office. I think they only have one person working in the Portugal office.

How was the initial setup?

As I mentioned, the deployment is very quick and very simple to use.

I have customers with four storage sites, and we have all the virtual environments and the production cloning for disaster recovery tests on NetApp.

What other advice do I have?

On a scale of 1 - 10, I'd give NetApp EF-Series All Flash a 5. It's a low rating because as I mentioned, they have to improve their software. NetApp is an array that is made on the software. Their problems are on the software and the controlling of the storage where they lack segmentation and federation. Fragmentation, in particular, is a problem that could be improved for big customers since big data is so important for them.

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
Marcio_Okubo
Product Manager at Storageone
Reseller
Top 10
A resilient solution with good stability, reliability, performance, and security

Pros and Cons

  • "Its resilience is the most valuable."
  • "Hitachi should launch some small machines in Brazil. The smallest machine here in Brazil is VSP 350, which can be quite big for some of the customers. In China, Hitachi has small models of this equipment, but those models are not available in our region. Its pricing is a big issue for us. We are resellers, and we face some competition from other vendors. Hitachi doesn't always have a good position in terms of the price. Its user interface is also not as good as some of the other competitors, and it can be improved."

What is our primary use case?

I am not an end user. I present the solution to customers. I study a customer's infrastructure and suggest a product based on the customer's needs, such as latency or IOPS performance. I usually work with VSP F700 and F900 models.

What is most valuable?

Its resilience is the most valuable.

What needs improvement?

Hitachi should launch some small machines in Brazil. The smallest machine here in Brazil is VSP 350, which can be quite big for some of the customers. In China, Hitachi has small models of this equipment, but those models are not available in our region. 

Its pricing is a big issue for us. We are resellers, and we face some competition from other vendors. Hitachi doesn't always have a good position in terms of the price. Its user interface is also not as good as some of the other competitors, and it can be improved.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been working with Hitachi VSP Platform for three or four years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is stable. I didn't have any issues with its stability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It depends on the series of the machine. When we are sizing a machine for our customers, we should consider how big the machine should be for three to five years. Our clients are medium to large organizations.

How are customer service and technical support?

It used to be very good, but nowadays, it is not so good because Hitachi doesn't provide support for fixes. Another company is now doing fixes for Hitachi.

How was the initial setup?

I don't take care of this area.

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

It is expensive as compared to other vendors, but its price is good if you are looking for stability, reliability, performance, and security.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Our clients evaluate all competitors, such as EMC, Huawei, and Pure Storage. Price is one of the big issues concerning the competition between these brands. Hitachi is the most expensive, followed by Pure Storage and EMC. Huawei is the cheapest.

Hitachi is one of the traditional brands for storage. People had Hitachi at a certain point in time in the past, but they couldn't continue with Hitachi because of the price. Last December, we sold a solution to a customer who didn't buy Hitachi for maybe seven or eight years. We were able to put a good proposal, and they acquired another Hitachi solution.

What other advice do I have?

I would rate Hitachi Virtual Storage Platform F Series an eight out of ten.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Reseller
Angel Barra Madrigal
Consultor and Co-founder at OS4IT
Reseller
Top 20
A great product with good support, stability, and features such as cloning and snapshots

Pros and Cons

  • "The cloning and snapshot features are the most valuable. With snapshot backup, we can clone a big database in minutes. We take a lot of snapshots for clients in different environments."
  • "The admin tools and the integration with other products and clouds can be improved. It should also be easier to identify and troubleshoot problems in this solution. It takes a long time, and it should be improved."

What is our primary use case?

We use it for different machines, Oracle Database, super server database, and a few BDI projects.

What is most valuable?

The cloning and snapshot features are the most valuable. With snapshot backup, we can clone a big database in minutes. We take a lot of snapshots for clients in different environments.

What needs improvement?

The admin tools and the integration with other products and clouds can be improved. 

It should also be easier to identify and troubleshoot problems in this solution. It takes a long time, and it should be improved.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution since 2012.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Its stability is very good.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is scalable. There is scalability for processing. We have small and large organizations as clients.

How are customer service and technical support?

Their technical support is very good, and the documentation is also complete and useful for us.

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

Our clients were using other solutions, such as Hitachi, and they switched because of its scalability, functionality, and support.

How was the initial setup?

The cloud setup is easier to implement. The on-premises setup is a little more complex.

We deployed it a few weeks ago. It took one to two weeks for planning and two weeks for final implementation, but it can take longer if there is any kind of migration or change of product.

What about the implementation team?

We deployed it ourselves. We worked for NetApp from 2012 to 2015. We did a lot of implementations in Chile, Argentina, Columbia, and Peru. It is very familiar to us.

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

All features are included in the license, whereas with an EMC solution, you have to pay separately for extra terabytes. 

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We evaluated HP and EMC. The main differences were the support, functionality, and cost of NetApp. 

What other advice do I have?

Last year, NetApp started to move away from Chile and the Latin American region. They are not selling the solutions directly. They have an agreement with Lenovo to sell NetApp products worldwide with the Lenovo brand.

I would advise others to take the help of a good implementor and get proper certifications. It is also very important to understand what do you want from the solution.

I would rate NetApp AFF a ten out of ten. It is a great product with great support.

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: Reseller
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