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Dell EMC SC Series OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

Dell EMC SC Series is #1 ranked solution in top Frame-Based Disk Arrays and #10 ranked solution in best All-Flash Storage Arrays. IT Central Station users give Dell EMC SC Series an average rating of 8 out of 10. Dell EMC SC Series is most commonly compared to Dell EMC PowerStore: Dell EMC SC Series vs Dell EMC PowerStore. The top industry researching this solution is Computer Software Company, accounting for 29% of all views.
What is Dell EMC SC Series?

Dell EMC SC Series arrays provide a unified platform for the ultimate in performance, adaptability and machine-driven efficiency. SC Series software delivers modern features that help you meet aggressive workload demands using the fewest drives necessary. With an open, future-ready design, SC Series storage integrates seamlessly with applications and infrastructure, enabling you to scale on a single platform and add capabilities without forklift upgrades.

Dell EMC SC Series is also known as SC Series Storage, Compellent.

Dell EMC SC Series Buyer's Guide

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

Dell EMC SC Series Customers

TGen, Frost Science, Gerrie Electric

Dell EMC SC Series Video

Pricing Advice

What users are saying about Dell EMC SC Series pricing:
  • "Support typically depends on the array. It can range anywhere from $7,000 to a couple of hundred thousand dollars."
  • "Pricing depends on varying life cycles."
  • "The pricing of Dell EMC Compellent is competitive."

Dell EMC SC Series Reviews

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Whitney Gray
Storage Architect at a healthcare company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Automated architecture that proactively optimizes your database

Pros and Cons

  • "They have a feature called Live Migrate; it's been very, very useful."
  • "There's always room for improvement in the operating code."

What is our primary use case?

We use it for multiple databases. We use it for Oracle and for SQL. We also use it for file systems — Oracle, SQL, file system storage. Most of our use cases involve Oracle, SQL, VMware, and large file systems.

I am a storage architect. have a state administrator that works with me as well.

Internally, within our company, there are a few dozen employees using this solution. Externally, we literally have millions of people that hit that storage system every day.

As far as our database administrators, they're always looking at the storage performance. Some of them actually have read-only log-ins to the storage array itself. They can log in and look at directly what the storage performance is for their database.

Currently, we are not using this solution extensively because it's becoming a sunset solution. There's no option to increase usage. It's like saying you want to buy a '65 Mustang — no, you can't get one brand new, they don't make those anymore. There's no expansion being done because the product's no longer available. 

How has it helped my organization?

It's allowed us to have one hundred percent uptime over the last five years — maybe more. One hundred percent uptime on our storage as far as quantitative numbers go.

What is most valuable?

They have a feature called Live Migrate; it's been very, very useful. It allows us to move storage from one SC series array to another, with no downtime. That's a very useful feature. The other useful features are, of course, high availability architecture that's built into it. That's very useful.

What needs improvement?

There's always room for improvement in the operating code; minor improvements here and there. We haven't had any real requests for them lately. I can't really think of anything.

Support for Non-Volatile Memory Express (NVME). Most of the newer storage systems support it, but this one doesn't because of its age. Support for that was something we had looked at, but they said, "No, we're not offering that with this. It's going to be in the next product, not in this product because the architecture is just too old." 

I'd look for that — support for NVME. That's really the only supportable or new feature that I'd really be looking for.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Dell EMC SC Series for roughly 12 years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Dell EMC SC Series is very stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It's very scalable. That's one of the things we like about it — it's highly scalable.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support is very good.

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

We were using EMC Clariion.

How was the initial setup?

It's gotten better over the years. Initially, back in '08, it was very complex. Nowadays, it's a lot more simple and easier to deploy depending on which model you purchase, too. Some models are easier to deploy than others. I would say, for the most part, it's pretty simple.

What about the implementation team?

Deployment took roughly two to three days, using professional service from Dell. We purchased the help of a consultant to assist us with deployment. It was a good experience overall.

Only one person is needed for deployment. Two people are needed to provide maintenance.

What was our ROI?

Performance would be a good return on investment indicator — the performance of the array. High availability features are a good indicator of the ROI. Those are probably the top two, the performance and availability.

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

The support we pay annually. Support typically depends on the array. It can range anywhere from $7,000 to a couple of hundred thousand dollars. It just depends on the specific one you're talking about and how big it is. It's based on size. The larger the array, the larger the maintenance cost. It's hard to really give you a range because the range is so wide. I don't even know if it'd be useful because you're talking anywhere from $5,000 to $250,000, depending on which specific array you're talking about. 

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We looked at Kaminario as a storage vendor. We also looked at NetApp as well.

The reason why we didn't go with them was due to the price and the features that they had at the time. The feature set that the SC series had was better than the others.

What other advice do I have?

My advice would be to look at the succeeding product, the replacement product that replaces it.

On a scale from one to ten, I would give Dell EMC SC Series a rating of nine.

Just looking back at it over time, the initial setup was a little more difficult back in the 2008, 2009 timeframe. If that wasn't so difficult back then, I would give them a ten. As I said, that did get better. They got much better over time, but that's why I said 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.
Ben Jardine
Managing Director at Consult BenJ Ltd
Real User
Top 10
A straightforward setup with good performance and excellent redundancy in place

Pros and Cons

  • "The product offers good performance and is quite powerful."
  • "While there's always room for improvement in everything, I can't really think of a specific feature of the solution that requires immediate attention."

What is our primary use case?

The solution is used for shared storage for the ESX cluster, VMware, or Vcenter cluster. It's a virtual machine and it's hosting space for virtual service. The primary reason we use the solution is to host the core infrastructure, the virtual servers including file servers, domain controllers, application servers, sequel servers, etc. Basically, the servers that run the business.

What is most valuable?

The solution's most valuable feature is its performance redundancy. The solution works quite well for that. The redundancy is important to us for snapshot and recovery purposes.

The product offers good performance and is quite powerful. 

The implementation is straightforward. 

What needs improvement?

While there's always room for improvement in everything, I can't really think of a specific feature of the solution that requires immediate attention.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution on and off for over a decade. It's been about 12 years at this point. However, I should note that I don't use it every day. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability of the solution is good. There don't seem to be any issues with reliability. There aren't bugs or glitches. It works well.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution is targeted at small to medium businesses, I would say. It's usually something that you would put in and expand on, so, in that sense, yes, it is scalable to a degree. 

However, it is not infinitely scalable. That's not a criticism. You just need to buy the right product in the first place. I don't have any problems recommending it for companies of a certain size that may need to expand a bit.

How are customer service and technical support?

We contact technical support all the time, so we've been in touch on multiple occasions. They are very good. They're responsive and knowledgeable. They help us when we have issues. We're very satisfied with the level of service they provide.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is fairly straightforward. It's not complex by any means.

The time it takes to deploy the solution depends on how big it is. It's difficult to say exactly how long it will take as each company is different. At the most, it might take three days, however, it depends on where it is and what has to be set up. Right from out of the box users can start putting data on the storage. 

What about the implementation team?

We handle the implementation for our clients. On top of that, wherever we've been asked to either install or work with Compellent SAN, there's usually someone on site who is trained to do basic maintenance and tasks of that nature.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I don't really have experience across different vendors. 

What other advice do I have?

I'm a contractor and a Dell partner; I help implement the solution for clients, however, I'm not a reseller. I help fix and update the solution and occasionally maintain the product for clients. In my experience, the solution is usually deployed either on-premise within the office or the head office, or quite often in a co-located data center.

I would recommend the solution, however, only if it made sense for the individual company. It's not right for everyone and it would depend on the situation. A company considering implementing it should always check their requirements.

I'd rate the solution eight out of ten overall. Now and then, they do break and you do have to replace them. With any solution, something always goes wrong at some point. That's not a mark against this particular product. I don't believe any product is perfect.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
Learn what your peers think about Dell EMC SC Series. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: October 2021.
543,424 professionals have used our research since 2012.
KristianPalsmar
Director of Technology with 501-1,000 employees
Real User
Top 10
Reliable and dynamic storage system but I would like to have a broader view of both the network and the system

Pros and Cons

  • "The interface is easy to use which makes the product user-friendly."
  • "The connection should be better integrated with the network to offer a better view of the system."

What is our primary use case?

Dell Compellent storage just provides for our storage needs.

How has it helped my organization?

It has given us a reliable and dynamic storage system that we did not match before with our previous solution.

What is most valuable?

The feature I have found the most valuable is that the interface is easy to use which makes the product user-friendly.

What needs improvement?

I think it would be nice if the connection were better integrated with the network so I could get a broader view of both the network and the system. This would be good in order for us to be able to troubleshoot anything that is going wrong.

The product has improved so much over the years that it is hard to think of something else that it really needs to be improved now in comparison to where it was. It is actually kind of good the way it is. Nothing is really annoying me right now. It is really just working and you hardly have to know it is there.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Dell Compellent for five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The product is both stable and scalable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is a scalable product. We don't have any problem with that. Right now we have about 600 end-users on the system.

How are customer service and technical support?

I'm very satisfied with the company's technical support. It's very nice. We were using Dell's Copilot Support and it was really very good.

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

Five years ago we used to have some off-brand thing. It was not a very good solution. It was just a collection of hard drives. When we got to a point we realized it wasn't able to do the job we had to choose another solution. That was when we did a little research and switched to a virtual environment and went with Compellent.

How was the initial setup?

I think that overall the setup was pretty complex. It is not something you just set up in a heartbeat. You need to do some configuration so it takes a little bit longer than just push a button to install.

What other advice do I have?

I think that overall that the product is very good for us and what we need it to do. 

The advice I would give to other people considering Compellent depends on what they want to do and what they want to use it for. I'm going with a hybrid converged infrastructure now. If you looking for traditional storage then I would definitely recommend it.

On a scale from one to ten where one is the worst and ten is the best. I would rate Compellent overall as a seven.

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.
JC
Senior Consultant at a tech company with 11-50 employees
Consultant
Top 20
Easy to scale with fair pricing and very good storage capabilities

Pros and Cons

  • "The setup is straightforward."
  • "In some customer cases, customers experienced more performance or latency."

What is our primary use case?

The solution is mainly used for primary storage and in more than half of the cases, we use the Live Volume, the Synchronous Replication - this Automatic Failover. Its function is for primary storage on two sites.

What is most valuable?

The customers really appreciate that the storage is cost-effective and that has enterprise features. The Synchronous Replication and the Live Volume, for example, are excellent. The storage is flexible. If you want to upgrade the storage with more capacity you can add one or two drives. It is very easy to upgrade in the future if you need to. 

The setup is straightforward.

The solution has very good stability.

The scalability is excellent.

We find the pricing to be quite fair.

What needs improvement?

Dell will discontinue this storage. That's the main pain point for clients right now. They will focus on Power Store and the SC Series will be at end-of-life soon - possibly as soon as one or two months from now.

In some customer cases, customers experienced more performance or latency. The performance overall could be better.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been working with the solution for more than five years at this point. It's been a while.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is okay, however, the performance could be better, as there have been a few issues surrounding latency. In most cases, the customer feedback is positive. It's only in extreme situations where there have been problems. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is great. If a customer needs more storage, they can simply add more drives. It's very flexible and very easy to expand.

How are customer service and technical support?

I've gotten positive feedback in terms of technical support. My understanding is that they have been very helpful and responsive and customers have been happy with the service they receive. 

How was the initial setup?

There is no complexity in the setup. It's very straightforward. A company shouldn't have any issues with the setup process.

What about the implementation team?

We are integrators and can help a customer with the installation of the product.

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

All the models and especially the entry model, the SC30/20, have a competitive price that is fair and offers very good value for money. It's reasonably and competitively priced. 

What other advice do I have?

I'm an integrator. Our company is a company that is delivering solutions in IT for other customers. So, I'm not using some solution like this storage. I'm an architect, so I'm architecting these solutions for our customers. The solutions which we are using are mainly from Dell EMC.

I'd rate the solution at an eight out of ten.

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: Integrator
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JM
IT Director - Enterprise Storage and Data Protection at a manufacturing company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 10
Great features, good compression, and relatively inexpensive

Pros and Cons

  • "The solution has a wide variety of valuable features. The data progression works well. We use the snapshot functionality quite a bit and really like it."
  • "It would be helpful if the solution offered higher performance, at least on the back end."

What is our primary use case?

We use it for various type of data but mainly for virtual environments.

How has it helped my organization?

With the hybrid storage approach, we can balance between cheap space and good performance.

What is most valuable?

The solution has a wide variety of valuable features. The data progression works quite well. We use a lot the snapshots functionality.

We appreciate the solution offers deduplication and compression as well.

What needs improvement?

I would prefer to have NVME, at least on the back-end and inline deduplication. Anyhow as Dell EMC has announced the new product - Power Store these features will not be available for Compellent.

 

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for six years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is very stable.

We have about 60 ongoing operations. As you can imagine, we have had some challenges in the past, but not something that it's more concerning than what might happen when compared to the other storage vendors.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We didn't have a need to replace the controllers. These can be added, however, we didn't replace the controllers in any of the cages. As I understand it, that is something you can do. 

The only issue with scaling up is that the pricing gets pretty high. It's not easy to get a discount for a vendor if you want to extend the box. It might be about 1000 Euros for a few terabytes and goes up pretty quickly from there.

How are customer service and technical support?

The support works very well. We deal with support from different parts of the world including Europe, Asia, and America. There are local support centers in each region. It's easy to engage the support and usually they are very proactive. I have very good feedback for support. We have had some challenges sometimes in a very few amount of cases where the parts were not delivered on time.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is very straightforward. It's simple and lower models are customer installable. 

What about the implementation team?

We do the physical installation for our clients. We handle the initialization of the site. We get access and do the initial configuration where we configure the storage pool, the profile, and whatever is needed there. Then we do a series of tests. Functional tests, such as failover tests, are something we do for our clients during the implementation process.

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

The solution is not expensive. Initialization is strait forward, not complicated

They have a few features that can be licensed.

What other advice do I have?

THe solution works well for small to medium-sized environment. The storage isn't enterprise-level. 

I'd rate the solution eight 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.
MN
Director at a tech company with 11-50 employees
Real User
Top 10Leaderboard
Many features like a snapshot, replication, on-the-file RAID levels, and mix-and-match files

Pros and Cons

  • "It had many features, like a snapshot, replication, on-the-file RAID levels, mix-and-match files, those kinds of things."
  • "Dell could improve the upgrading process."

What is our primary use case?

We use this product for daily business and normal IT operations. We also use it for replication of one system to another system. We also use it for the hostings for HANA virtualization. Those kinds of replications and IT applications. We use a hybrid version.

What is most valuable?

It had a lot of integration and supported all the platforms, so I was happy with what they were offering. The biggest selling point was when the vendor upgraded it. Dell upgraded the software licenses sold with that. Whenever the hardware is end-of-life, we could upgrade the controller or add a new disk or whatever. There was no lifecycle of three years or five years. We could carry on just by upgrading. It had many features, like a snapshot, replication, on-the-file RAID levels, mix-and-match files, those kinds of things.

What needs improvement?

Dell could improve the upgrading process. It was the lifecycle that made it very short. You'd upgrade the disk, and in eight, nine months, it would be obsolete. They cancelled an enhancement that included an all-flash unit. This would have improved the product.

For how long have I used the solution?

We had worked with this product from Compellent's days before Dell bought them over, so I'll presume from 2006.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We never had a single crash with this product. It was just fine. 

How are customer service and technical support?

The support was excellent. We had this storage for a while and server monitoring from Compellent.

How was the initial setup?

Any IT company can do it. It's straightforward.

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

Pricing is market-related and is flexible for the solution. Pricing depends on varying life cycles.

What other advice do I have?

We're trying to move some people across to some other storage solutions because this product is at end-of-life. I would give this product 10 out of 10.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Hybrid Cloud

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Other
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
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DM
Senior Systems Consultant at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
Consultant
Top 20
Easy to manage with a good price-performance ratio, but the initial setup is somewhat complex

Pros and Cons

  • "Its leading feature is the price-performance ratio, which is very good."
  • "The initial setup is somewhat complex and should be made simpler to do."

What is our primary use case?

We are a solution provider and the Dell EMC SC Series is one of the products that we implement for our customers. Our clients often use this product in a virtualized server environment for mid-range database use.

How has it helped my organization?

Once it's put in place, it becomes a vital tool.

What is most valuable?

Its leading feature is the price-performance ratio, which is very good.

The management is pretty good.

It has good expandability options.

What needs improvement?

The initial setup is somewhat complex and should be made simpler to do.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have about five years' experience with this product.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I have not heard any feedback about bugs or glitches in the system. Once it's in place, it's solid.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It's fairly scalable, as long as you size it properly, to begin with. The expansion options are pretty good. Our clients for this product range in size from small to large businesses.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support for this product is excellent and I would rate them a ten out of ten.

When you have questions, you get them answered

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

We have deployed HPE storage in some cases where it was what the customer already had installed. Some of these customers switched to Dell because their technical staff was more familiar with it.

How was the initial setup?

My understanding from our engineers is that the initial setup is on the complex side. There are things that are not intuitive that make it a little more complex.

What other advice do I have?

This is a solution with good performance that I recommend, and for anybody who is considering it, I would tell them to give it a shot.

I would rate this solution a seven out of ten.

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
GaurangPatel
Technical Director at Allot Group
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Easy to use, efficient, and the replication is good, but the technical support response time needs to be minimized

Pros and Cons

  • "This solution is easy to use."
  • "Technical support should respond more quickly because the turnaround time is very high."

What is our primary use case?

We are a system integrator and this is one of the solutions that we provide for our clients. We have deployed it for more than seven customers

It is used for several purposes including server consolidation and business applications. 

What is most valuable?

The most valuable features are the efficiency and replication.

This solution is easy to use.

Dell offers a good warranty on this product.

What needs improvement?

Technical support should respond more quickly because the turnaround time is very high.

Although the pricing is competitive, it is a concern because competitors such as HP are also competitive.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using Compellent for two years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Compellent is a stable solution.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

This is a very scalable product.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support is reasonable but I feel that the turnaround time is very high and can be improved.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is straightforward. It is complex but straightforward. It takes approximately 45 minutes to configure.

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

The pricing of Dell EMC Compellent is competitive.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

The pricing for solutions by HP is also competitive.

What other advice do I have?

I definitely recommend Compellent to my customers because it is a very good product that is very scalable, it is easy to use, and Dell offers a good warranty. I find the features handy and it is a good match for my customers' requirements.

I would rate this solution a seven out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Private Cloud

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Microsoft Azure
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner