Dell PowerMax NVMe vs IBM FlashSystem 9100 NVMe comparison

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Executive Summary

We performed a comparison between Dell PowerMax NVMe and IBM FlashSystem 9100 NVMe based on real PeerSpot user reviews.

Find out in this report how the two All-Flash Storage Arrays solutions compare in terms of features, pricing, service and support, easy of deployment, and ROI.
To learn more, read our detailed Dell PowerMax NVMe vs. IBM FlashSystem 9100 NVMe Report (Updated: November 2022).
654,658 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Featured Review
Quotes From Members
We asked business professionals to review the solutions they use.
Here are some excerpts of what they said:
Pros
"The performance is very good. Our predominant workloads are all less than 5 milliseconds and it's most common to have a sub-1-millisecond response time for our applications. In terms of efficiency, we've turned on compression and we're able to get as high as two-to-one compression on our workloads, on average.""You can use PowerMax for all workloads and consolidation. We have used it to scale thousands of VMs.""The UI is very easy to use. We can add volumes and manage them easily.""Technical support has been excellent.""PowerMax NVMe has made it a lot easier to understand how much we are able to provision. It has made it a lot faster to provision new things. 90% of my time for provisioning has been reduced. Also, it has made it very easy to understand and see everything behind it versus the older heritage, where Dell EMC was very convoluted and hard to get working. Things that used to take an hour, probably now take five to 10 minutes.""The solution's snapshot capabilities and replication are very good features. Snapshots are allowing us to quickly build analytical models directly from production data. This gives us amazing insights into market trends and allows us to build more effective trading algorithms. Replication offers us unparalleled levels of resilience.""The SRDF site-to-site replication for the volumes is the most important feature for us. That enables us to do site recovery and replication for our VMware infrastructure.""Based on our experience with VMAX, there isn't any hardware failure or something like that in PowerMax. Performance-wise also, everything is fine. We haven't faced any performance issues or any hardware failure. Its performance is great as compared to VMAX. Its I/O per second rate is higher than the old model."

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"A key feature is that compared to storage systems that we've been familiar with over decades, IBM simply does not fail. The reason is that IBM is the only manufacturer that engineers its own flash module, and there is a key architectural difference from everything else that we have seen in the market. The difference is that the flash module has the computational capability, which allows reliability and capacity enhancements to be uploaded from the main controllers and run in each module. So, each of the flash drives becomes its own little storage system, and that is extremely effective architecture. In this field, with this type of system, IBM has made a statement. They've never had one of these modules cause an outage. So, the failure rates on these things are just in a whole different universe from what we were accustomed to.""Good performance with a user-friendly UI."

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Cons
"Firmware updates are a bit painful because you have to involve their support, as opposed to having the ability to do it yourself.""We would like more documentation, a guide to the features of the PowerMax.""If the solution had more power-saving capabilities, it would be quite nice.""PowerMax Storage needs improvement in the area of monitoring tools. It should have more functions and more complicated analysis options inside the monitoring tools.""I would like to see more development in the cloud environment. It would be good if it comes in the cloud kind of setup.""I think management is where PowerMax is weakest. We're still managing it like we managed EMC arrays in the early 2000s. There's a slicker, fancier GUI that does more things, but at the end of the day, you still have to dig into the command line and issue a lot of the same commands that we still were using almost 20 years ago.""There is also room for improvement in the PowerMax architecture and hardware itself. They should design the PowerMax on the basis of PCIe 4.0. I would like to see the possibility of an NVMe drive that operates on PCIe 4.0 and not PCIe 3.0.""They can make the GUI better, especially for the ones that come out of the box. We did encounter a bit of difficulty in setting up the storage. We had to deploy Solutions Enabler on a Linux machine to be able to fully interact with the storage. They need to upgrade the web interface for the management of the storage that comes out of the box. The management interface for NFS is also a bit old and not very intuitive."

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"Deduplication and compression should be improved.""I'd like to be able to connect to tape drives behind the storage device to back up the tape if need be. We have all of our storage running in all-flash, and we make a copy on tape. Currently, when we want to hook up tape drives, we have to add some extra equipment, which is a little bit complex. We want IBM to add a feature where we could install a tape into the storage so that we can connect it through a single pane of glass. We'd like to have a feature in the IBM flash storage system so that we can connect backup tape drives through the IBM storage system and we can manage the backup tape from the storage system."

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Pricing and Cost Advice
  • "Negotiate hard and consider the commercial advantages/benefits to Dell EMC for onboarding your product."
  • "One area for improvement, one that everybody always comes to, is price... it's still quite expensive to purchase these big arrays... For us, the pricing doesn't make Dell EMC uncompetitive."
  • "The labor savings and support have been significant. If we're talking 100 hours of labor every three months, that is 100 hours of a database engineer costs. There are performance latency numbers as well as costs associated with recovering data that gets lost, and this system doesn't lose data. You can look at numbers that go around the cost of downtime, if data is not available. This system doesn't go down. Everyone's ROI is going to be unique, but the dependability and performance of the system combined with its ease of operation will definitely save businesses of all sizes money."
  • "Its price is competitive, but they need to have a different price for West Africa. They can do better with the price point to allow us to scale even more. We wanted to migrate our entire storage infrastructure to PowerMax, which would require us to buy more capacity, and from the price point, it didn't attract us."
  • "The PowerMax appliance pricing was reasonable. Dell EMC quoted us a substantial discount."
  • "Support pricing is very high. Our support contract is about to expire and Dell EMC provided us with an extremely high renewal quote. It was four times more than the support contract for our previous EMC VNX solution."
  • "It is high-end storage and it is a bit expensive, but it is doing what it is meant for: running business-critical applications or latency-sensitive applications..."
  • "The pricing for this solution is good compared to other products in the market."
  • More Dell PowerMax NVMe Pricing and Cost Advice →

  • "It's a lot less costly than cloud storage. People get surprised by the cost of cloud storage, which is extremely expensive and four or five times the cost of storage on-premises. People don't realize what they're spending on storage until they start getting bills from Amazon, Microsoft, and others. This is a good way to reduce your cloud storage expenses."
  • More IBM FlashSystem 9100 NVMe Pricing and Cost Advice →

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    Questions from the Community
    Top Answer:Dell PowerStore is an all-solid-state midrange storage system. It has many internal elements taken from other Dell offerings and integrated into the PowerStoreOS. The installation and setup have a… more »
    Top Answer:The price could be lower, and we are unhappy with the price. The licensing cost is included in the hardware price, so I am unsure if there are other licensing costs.
    Top Answer:It's easy to use, has good stability, and many features.
    Top Answer:There are pricing options from the mid-rand to the high-range, of which the suitability depends upon the requirements.
    Top Answer:The prices are high. Except for this, there is nothing I don't like in FlashSystem. Before IBM Flash, I was using NetApp 2020. You can't easily do what you want to do with NetApp. It takes more time… more »
    Ranking
    6th
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    Average Words per Review
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    Rating
    8.8
    20th
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    Rating
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    Comparisons
    Also Known As
    Dell EMC PowerMax, PowerMax
    IBM FlashSystem 9100, FlashSystem 9100
    Learn More
    Overview

    Dell EMC PowerMax is the world’s fastest storage array. With end-to-end non-volatile memory express (NVMe), real-time machine learning, seamless cloud mobility, and up to 350GB per second bandwidth, PowerMax features high-speed smarts to power your most critical workloads. PowerMax is true modern scale-up and scale-out storageת designed for mission-critical applications of today and tomorrow – including databases and transaction processing applications as well as real-time analytics workloads that demand uncompromising uptime and extremely low latency.

    PowerMax consists of two models, PowerMax 2000 and 8000. The PowerMax 8000 delivers industry-leading performance density with up to 7.5 million IOPS5 per rack and 187,000 IOPS6 per U (rack unit). PowerMax supports mixed open systems, mainframe, IBM i, block, and file environments. The PowerMax 2000 is the entry point into mission-critical storage, high availability, and delivering robust data services in a safe, secure compact package.

    PowerMax systems incorporate the most current and robust end-to-end NVMe technology with industry-standard NVMe flash drives, NVMe storage class memory drives, and FC-NVMe host connectivity via NVMe over Fabrics. PowerMax SCM, powered by dual-port Intel® Optane™ technology, offers rapid-fire fast performance and secure low latency ideal for electronic trading, real-time analytics, high-performance databases, and big data workloads.

    Features of Dell EMC PowerMax NVMe

    Robust architecture with amazing performance combines demanding mixed workloads.

    • Built-in machine learning automates data placement for maximum performance with no additional management cost.
    • Very secure end-to-end dynamic encryption safeguards digital assets with 3.5:1 data reduction, guaranteed by Dell Technologies.
    • Seamless cloud mobility pushes data from PowerMax to AWS, Azure, Dell EMC ECS, and PowerScale for long-term retention on lower-cost object storage.

    Benefits of Dell EMC PowerMax NVMe

    Powerful Architecture

    • Designed for speed – robust multi-controller scale-up, scale-out architecture with built-in end-to-end NVMe.
    • Performance optimized – up to 350GB/s sustained bandwidth2, under 100µs read latency3.
    • Efficiency without compromise – global inline data reduction with guaranteed 3.5:1 average DRR4.

    Simple Operations

    • Intuitive storage management – provision storage in less than 30 seconds.
    • Workload consolidation – outstanding consolidation of block, file, mainframe, IBM i storage on a single array.
    • DevOps automation and containers – workflow automation and streamlined IT processes (vRA, vRO, CSI, CSM, Kubernetes).
    • Non-disruptive data migration – initiate data migrations from older arrays to PowerMax in three simple steps.

    Trusted Innovation

    • Mission-critical availability – proven six nines availability and the best replication for business continuance, disaster recovery (BC/DR).
    • Deep VMware integration – mission-critical availability and the most efficient scalability for VMware Virtual Volumes deployments (64,000 vVols).
    • Flexible consumption – several options, predictability, and investment protection with pay-per-use solutions and Future-Proof guarantees.

    PowerMax sets the standard for data storage today. It is uniquely, intuitively designed with a multi-controller, active/active scale-out architecture, an industry-standard, end-to-end NVMe. Inline, global dedupe and compression add outstanding efficiency to your data center, even while scaling. Additionally, PowerMax offers you the best in remote replication, proven six nines of availability, and end-to-end efficient encryption so that your data is always secure and your resources are fully optimized.

    Reviews from Real Users

    Ahmed K., a senior storage systems engineer at a pharma/biotech company, says Dell EMC PowerMax NVMe has “secure, fast performance, and good reporting capabilities.”

    Nikolay M. a lead system administrator at Central Hospital of Civil Aviation shares that with PowerMax, “we have not yet hit the ceiling in its efficiency, performance, and scalability… Now, with PowerMax, everything runs smoothly.”

    “We don't have to manage much at all. It really is like a set it and forget it solution. My storage engineers love the system. It is a lot less work than our previous systems… We are saving dozens of hours per month for our storage team, and that is a real cost in our business," adds Paul C., a Senior Solution Architect at Rackspace.

    IBM FlashSystem 9100 combines the performance of flash and Non-Volatile Memory Express (NVMe) end-to-end with the reliability and innovation of IBM FlashCore technology and the rich features of IBM Spectrum Virtualize - all in a powerful 2U enterprise-class storage system. Providing intensive data driven multicloud storage capacity, FlashSystem 9100 is deeply integrated with the software defined capabilities of IBM Spectrum Storage allowing you to easily add in the multicloud solutions that best support your business.

    Offer
    Learn more about Dell PowerMax NVMe
    Learn more about IBM FlashSystem 9100 NVMe
    Sample Customers
    Rackspace, Open Line
    Information Not Available
    Top Industries
    REVIEWERS
    Healthcare Company27%
    Financial Services Firm24%
    Retailer10%
    Manufacturing Company7%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Computer Software Company22%
    Comms Service Provider13%
    Financial Services Firm11%
    Government6%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Computer Software Company22%
    Financial Services Firm21%
    Comms Service Provider15%
    Media Company5%
    Company Size
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business6%
    Midsize Enterprise21%
    Large Enterprise73%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business21%
    Midsize Enterprise17%
    Large Enterprise62%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business25%
    Midsize Enterprise20%
    Large Enterprise56%
    Buyer's Guide
    Dell PowerMax NVMe vs. IBM FlashSystem 9100 NVMe
    November 2022
    Find out what your peers are saying about Dell PowerMax NVMe vs. IBM FlashSystem 9100 NVMe and other solutions. Updated: November 2022.
    654,658 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    Dell PowerMax NVMe is ranked 6th in All-Flash Storage Arrays with 20 reviews while IBM FlashSystem 9100 NVMe is ranked 20th in All-Flash Storage Arrays with 2 reviews. Dell PowerMax NVMe is rated 8.8, while IBM FlashSystem 9100 NVMe is rated 9.0. The top reviewer of Dell PowerMax NVMe writes "CloudIQ ensures that all our arrays are properly communicating so we can see performance and storage capacities". On the other hand, the top reviewer of IBM FlashSystem 9100 NVMe writes "A game-changer product that doesn't fail, and as compared to the prior generation products, takes about 20% of space and uses about 85% less energy". Dell PowerMax NVMe is most compared with Dell PowerStore, Dell Unity XT, Pure Storage FlashArray, IBM FlashSystem and Nutanix Cloud Infrastructure (NCI), whereas IBM FlashSystem 9100 NVMe is most compared with Dell PowerStore, HPE Primera, IBM FlashSystem, Pure Storage FlashArray and HPE Nimble Storage. See our Dell PowerMax NVMe vs. IBM FlashSystem 9100 NVMe report.

    See our list of best All-Flash Storage Arrays vendors, best All-Flash Storage Arrays vendors, and best NVMe All-Flash Storage Arrays vendors.

    We monitor all All-Flash Storage Arrays reviews to prevent fraudulent reviews and keep review quality high. We do not post reviews by company employees or direct competitors. We validate each review for authenticity via cross-reference with LinkedIn, and personal follow-up with the reviewer when necessary.