Dell PowerScale (Isilon) vs NetApp FAS Series comparison

You must select at least 2 products to compare!
Dell Technologies Logo
9,958 views|4,650 comparisons
97% willing to recommend
NetApp Logo
5,161 views|3,384 comparisons
96% willing to recommend
Comparison Buyer's Guide
Executive Summary
Updated on Mar 6, 2024

We compared NetApp FAS Series and Dell PowerScale (Isilon) based on our user's reviews in several parameters.

In summary, the NetApp FAS Series is praised for its advanced data management and storage capabilities, seamless integration, exceptional customer service, positive ROI, but may need enhancements in performance and user interface. On the other hand, Dell PowerScale (Isilon) is lauded for its scalability, efficient storage management, exceptional customer service, positive ROI, but could benefit from improvements in interface, performance speed, scalability, compatibility, and technical support.

Features: NetApp FAS Series stands out for its efficient data management and storage, seamless integration with third-party software, advanced data protection and backup capabilities, as well as its high performance and reliability. In contrast, Dell PowerScale (Isilon) is praised for its exceptional data scalability, efficient storage management, and reliable performance.

Pricing and ROI: The setup cost for NetApp FAS Series is considered reasonable and affordable according to user feedback. Users appreciate the transparency and ease of understanding in terms of pricing, setup, and licensing. On the other hand, Dell PowerScale (Isilon) also offers a straightforward setup cost without any hidden charges or complexities. The pricing of Dell PowerScale (Isilon) is seen as competitive in the market, and the licensing process is described as seamless and efficient., The NetApp FAS Series product has been highly praised for its cost-effectiveness, efficiency, performance, reliability, and seamless integration capabilities. Users have experienced increased productivity and reduced downtime. On the other hand, Dell PowerScale (Isilon) has been commended for its performance, scalability, efficiency, and ability to handle large data workloads. Users have also reported cost savings and improved productivity. Overall, both products have delivered significant value and proved to be worthwhile investments.

Room for Improvement: The differences between NetApp FAS Series and Dell PowerScale (Isilon) products lie in various areas. NetApp FAS Series would benefit from improvements in performance, networking capabilities, and user interface. On the other hand, Dell PowerScale (Isilon) requires enhancements in its interface, performance speed, scalability, compatibility with other systems, and technical support.

Deployment and customer support: The reviews comparing NetApp FAS Series and Dell PowerScale (Isilon) suggest that users reported varying timeframes for establishing the tech solutions. Some users mentioned spending three months on deployment for NetApp FAS Series, while others reported a week for setup for Dell PowerScale. It is important to consider these differences when evaluating the overall duration of implementation., The customer service for NetApp FAS Series is highly praised for its reliability, responsiveness, and efficiency. Users appreciate the prompt resolution of queries and professionalism exhibited by the support staff. On the other hand, Dell PowerScale (Isilon) is commended for its exceptional customer service, particularly in terms of promptness, effectiveness, and willingness to address issues. Users are impressed with the level of expertise and professionalism demonstrated by Dell's support team.

The summary above is based on 44 interviews we conducted recently with NetApp FAS Series and Dell PowerScale (Isilon) users. To access the review's full transcripts, download our report.

To learn more, read our detailed Dell PowerScale (Isilon) vs. NetApp FAS Series Report (Updated: May 2024).
771,740 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Q&A Highlights
Question: What is the biggest difference between EMC Isilon and NetApp FAS Series?
Answer: My recommendation is to take a close look at our CS Concerto Scale-Out Cluster system.
Featured Review
Quotes From Members
We asked business professionals to review the solutions they use.
Here are some excerpts of what they said:
"The tool comes with cheap disks and works fast for video content.""The stability of the solution is good.""I don't have to rebuild the cluster to add a node.""The solution is stable.""The most valuable feature we started using, beyond the initial scope for the solution, is the multi-protocol system that allows you to access the same set of files using different network protocols like NFS or SMB. PowerScale’s Unified Permission Model ensures that data security and access permissions are honoured regardless of whether the client is a Windows desktop or a Linux server""PowerScale has made it extremely easy to scale file data across our organization. We have two implementations of Isilon. One is a replica of the other. When scaling, we add nodes to each location and expand the cluster. The process is straightforward.""The flexibility and the user-friendly interface are the most valuable features.""It assists with eliminating storage silos because it provides SMB and NFS protocols. PowerScale has also helped free up our employee's time to focus on other business priorities."

More Dell PowerScale (Isilon) Pros →

"Flexible and reliable storage solution with multiple features such as cloning, replication, and deduplication. Data migration can be done without any performance implications on the production systems.""It is good to have a unified storage where you can have block and file level protocols.""It is very easy to expand disks and manage CIFS.""Most valuable features are its ease of use, robust Snapshot functionality, and that you can use it in two datacenters with SnapMirror-ing.""It's an easy product to use that is stable and has good performance.""Other products lose performance over time, but NetApp OS is speed-optimized.""It offers data compression and people management.""The tool's most valuable features are ease of use, ease of access, expandability, availability, and performance. NVMe drives have improved their performance."

More NetApp FAS Series Pros →

"Dell PowerScale needs to reduce its price.""The product’s expansion capacity, pricing clarity, and ease of use need improvement.""Its configuration needs to be more straightforward.""The price of the solution could be reduced.""The replication could lend itself to some improvement around encryption in transit and managing the racing of large volumes of data. The process of file over and file back can be tedious. Hopefully, you never end up going into a DR. If you do go into a DR, you know the data is there on the remote site. However, in terms of the process of setting up the replicates and filing them back, that is just very tedious and could definitely do with some improvement.""We lost our technical sales reps about two years ago. We haven't gotten one assigned to us and we'd love to have one.""The cost of Dell PowerScale is currently high and there is room for improvement.""The solution's rate structure or rate redundancy needs to be improved."

More Dell PowerScale (Isilon) Cons →

"Replication should ideally be part of the ONTAP base bundle.""The WAFL is slow.""Cluster mode needs to be more ubiquitous.""NetApp needs to put its OS on a microchip rather than on disks.""The AutoSupport could be improved to be more proactive in certain cases.""The solution's configuration is not flexible.""Dedicated storage efficiency accelerators could improve the overall performance of the system.""I think this kind of infrastructure is mostly obsolete. To keep up with developments in this space, you need to move all these features to an All-Flash solution."

More NetApp FAS Series Cons →

Pricing and Cost Advice
  • "The solution is expensive; it is not the cheapest solution out there. If you look at it from a total cost of ownership perspective, then it is a very compelling solution. However, if you're looking at just dollar per terabyte and not looking at the big picture, then you could be distracted by the price. It is not an amazing price, but it's pretty good. It is also very good when you consider the total cost of ownership and ease of management."
  • "The pricing is expensive, but I think it's a fair value because it does manage itself. It definitely is much simpler than any of the other scale-out storage platforms that we've looked at in the past."
  • "The platform is not cheap. However, on the software side, you can choose what you want license. So, you can start your licensing with the features that you need, then after buying the platform add some other features."
  • "The only drawback for us is that it's a large upfront investment. This was a huge decision for a startup company to make. It took a bit for us to get over the line on it, but we have not regretted it."
  • "We paid an additional fee to have Dell's ProDeploy Plus team implement it."
  • "Price was also a significant factor in our decision to go with PowerScale. The team at EMC, now Dell EMC, came through with a highly competitive offer that tipped the scales towards their solution. There was only one other solution around the same price point, but it could not match PowerScale on features. That other solution is no longer on the market."
  • "Pricing for this solution is reasonable."
  • "This solution is priced slightly higher than others on the market but does offer good quality. With this solution's data reduction and compression, we were able to purchase less. Costs have dropped because of the data rate of compression and deduplication."
  • More Dell PowerScale (Isilon) Pricing and Cost Advice →

  • "It’s difficult for us to get money, so make sure you get everything in order, because there’s no going back and saying “oh, I missed this or that”, so make sure you plan well and well in advance."
  • "it’s not an inexpensive solution and it may not be for the cost-sensitive customer."
  • "The process for going to cluster mode is expensive."
  • "Most storage vendors also have software, or licensing bundles, which may offer the required licenses considerably cheaper, but do also maybe offer licenses, which are not needed."
  • "There are products available in market with comparatively lower costs."
  • "Cost effective storage for all performance levels (including all-flash)."
  • "The only area that could be improved is to lower prices for their All Flash FAS."
  • "The price it not low, but comparing features to other vendors, the price can be balanced."
  • More NetApp FAS Series Pricing and Cost Advice →

    Use our free recommendation engine to learn which NAS solutions are best for your needs.
    771,740 professionals have used our research since 2012.
    Answers from the Community
    Anil Vasudeva
    Shawn Kim - PeerSpot reviewerShawn Kim

    Isilon is Scale-out storage, while NetApp is Active-Standby storage.

    Regarding the performance issue based on the field engineer’s experience, Isilon is better than NetApp in case of a huge amount of io, while NetApp is better than Isilon in case of a medium amount of IO.

    it_user1243737 - PeerSpot reviewerit_user1243737 (Ingeniero de preventa at a tech company with 10,001+ employees)
    Real User

    I think you need rewiew more than only performance or capacity, I have installed both machines, Netapp FASS have many options Hibrid or only objects, in Netapp Objects is StorageGrid where can obtain 720 TB in SG5760 but you can select SG6060 or SG5712 and Isilon is similar you have many options where could be ALL FLASH or SATA but Isilon is only NAS, and Isilon have many reference too, 8 reference F810 have 924 TB and up 250.000 I/Ops.

    Actually I recommend one arquitecture where no focus only in one purpose, Scale up or Scale out all vendors have different alternatives and deppend the machine offer more I/O or Capacity, Midrange and High end, I don´t like Isilon because is only for NAS I dont like Hibrid or Unified Machines as FAS or VNX, I need to know which is the prupose for have a NAS because actually I can have a Storage for all protocols no only to CIFS and NFS and with prices cheaper than NAS, in conclusion I don´t like one Storage for NAS other for SAN other for Virtualization... Is better only one Storage where I can do it all, It reduce TCO.

    Questions from the Community
    Top Answer:The solution provides massive performance, scalability, efficiency, and ease of management.
    Top Answer:It is a really expensive solution. I would rate the pricing a nine out of ten, with one being low price and ten being high price.
    Top Answer:Dell PowerScale (Isilon) is a bit expensive compared to other products.
    Top Answer:Have you considered a NetApp FAS Storage for your NAS needs? I am sure it fits very well.
    Top Answer:I would rate the pricing a seven out of ten, with ten being expensive. We have a contract and pay a one-time purchase price. We're currently evaluating the AFF A150... that's approximately… more »
    out of 27 in NAS
    Average Words per Review
    out of 27 in NAS
    Average Words per Review
    Also Known As
    PowerScale, Dell EMC Isilon
    Learn More

    Dell EMC PowerScale (Isilon) storage solutions are designed to help manage data for enterprises of all types. Dell PowerScale systems are simple to install, manage, and scale to virtually any size and include a choice of all-flash, hybrid, or archive nodes. Dell PowerScale solutions stay flexible and reliable no matter how much storage capacity is added, how much performance is required, or how business needs change in the future.

    With Dell PowerScale, your data lake always stays simple to manage, simple to grow, simple to protect, and simple enough to handle the most demanding current and future workloads.

    Ideal for companies of any size, from small enterprises to multi-national ones, Dell PowerScale storage provides secure collaboration, modular scalability, flexible consumption models, and easy cloud integrations, all with management tools spanning multiple platforms.

    Key Benefits of Dell EMC PowerScale Storage

    • Centralized management: Manage your storage infrastructure from a single unified platform.

    • Data protection: Dell PowerScale offers security, data protection and replication tools. Back up and protect your data from cyber-attacks with an integrated ransomware defense system.

    • Artificial intelligence: PowerScale is the foundation for building an integrated and optimized IT infrastructure for AI projects, from concept to production.

    • Cloud support: Store and manage your data on the cloud and move data between your data center and the cloud. Dell PowerScale runs data-intensive cloud workloads with no outbound traffic costs.

    • Long-term storage: Dell PowerScale offers highly efficient and resilient active archive storage or long-term data retention for large-scale data archives. With the proven scalability architecture of PowerScale, you can meet your growing archiving demands. Dell PowerScale has a wide variety of enterprise-grade data protection and security options to keep your archived data safe.

    Reviews from Real Users

    Dell EMC PowerScale storage stands out among its competitors for a number of reasons. Two major ones are its scalability capabilities and its user-friendly centralized management system.

    Rachel B., a chief operations officer & acting CFO at Like a Photon, writes, "PowerScale allows us to manage storage without managing RAID groups or migrating volumes between controllers. It has really simplified things. We're not having to worry about the underlying infrastructure. That takes care of itself. We just worry about the data. It's really easy for deploying and managing storage at the petabyte scale."

    Keith B., the director of IT at NatureFresh Farms, writes, "The single pane of glass for both IT and for the end-user is a valuable feature. On the IT side, I can actually control where things are stored, whether something is stored on solid-state drives or spinning drives... The single pane of glass makes it very easy to use and very easy to understand. We started at 100 terabytes, and we moved to 250 and it still feels like the exact same system and we're able to move data as needed."

    NetApp FAS series is an enterprise-level storage system that provides a wide variety of data management services, including data protection, block and file storage, and data management.

    NetApp FAS is designed to be highly scalable, allowing your organization to grow storage capacity on demand. NetApp FAS also supports multiple protocols, including NFS, SMB, iSCSI, and Fibre Channel, as well as various storage architectures, including SAN (Storage Area Network) and NAS (Network-Attached Storage).

    The FAS series has multiple data protection and data management features, including snapshots, cloning, replication, and deduplication, to help secure your data and manage it more efficiently. The system integrates with other NetApp products and solutions, to create a unified data management platform. The system can be deployed on-premise, on multi-cloud environments, or hybrid.

    NetApp FAS Series Benefits and Features

    NetApp FAS series provides its users with several key benefits and features, including:

    • Scalability: NetApp FAS series is easy to scale, allowing organizations to rapidly grow their storage capacity according to demand.
    • Security: Protect and manage your data with various data protection and data management tools, including snapshots, cloning, replication, and deduplication.
    • Seamless integration: Integrate with other NetApp products and solutions to ensure a unified data management platform across on-premise, hybrid, and multi-cloud environments.
    • Reduced costs: Consolidation of multiple storage boxes greatly reduces the data center footprint. From a management point of view, with NetApp FAS you manage a single storage box instead of multiple storage boxes.

    • Compatibility: Forward and backward compatibility ensures that you don’t have to trade in existing controllers. New controllers can always integrate with previously released controllers.
    • Multi-protocol support: Support for multiple protocols, including NFS, SMB, iSCSI, and Fibre Channel.
    • High performance and availability: The solution has high input and output per second performance and ensures that critical data remains accessible in the event of a hardware failure.

    • Intuitive interface: The FAS series has a user-friendly interface and management dashboard, making it easy to manage your storage systems. With unified management, you can quickly run a single protocol on your entire system

    • Data cloning and replication: Easily clone databases of any size. Clones occupy a very, very small footprint on the storage until they are severed from the main database. Replications carried out by the system are fast and require very little bandwidth.

    Reviews from Real Users

    NetApp FAS Series stands out among its competitors for a number of reasons. Several major ones are its speed, reliability, and a wide variety of features.

    Adriano S., IT project and infrastructure service manager, writes, “The replication feature is noteworthy because it's faster than most and it uses little bandwidth. Then there's the friendly interface that the equipment offers. With this interface, it is very easy to manage.”

    Temitope O., a NetApp product manager at Hiperdist Ltd, says, “I like the unified management feature because sometimes you end up running a single protocol on the entire system. You rather have a system for a particular protocol and another system for other protocols, especially in a big environment like mine.”

    Sample Customers
    OMRF, University of Utah, Translational Genetics Research Institute, Arcis, Geofizyka Torumn, Cyprus E&P Corporation, Colburn School, Columbia Sportswear, Harvard Medical School, University of Michigan, National Library of France,
    Children's Hospital Central California, Plex Systems, PDF PNI Digital Media, Denver Broncos, PDF KSM Legal, Clayton Companies, Virginia Community College
    Top Industries
    Educational Organization14%
    Media Company11%
    Comms Service Provider9%
    Educational Organization23%
    Computer Software Company11%
    Financial Services Firm8%
    Manufacturing Company8%
    Financial Services Firm18%
    Healthcare Company11%
    Computer Software Company9%
    Comms Service Provider7%
    Educational Organization59%
    Computer Software Company7%
    Manufacturing Company6%
    Financial Services Firm4%
    Company Size
    Small Business29%
    Midsize Enterprise27%
    Large Enterprise43%
    Small Business18%
    Midsize Enterprise29%
    Large Enterprise53%
    Small Business25%
    Midsize Enterprise32%
    Large Enterprise42%
    Small Business10%
    Midsize Enterprise64%
    Large Enterprise27%
    Buyer's Guide
    Dell PowerScale (Isilon) vs. NetApp FAS Series
    May 2024
    Find out what your peers are saying about Dell PowerScale (Isilon) vs. NetApp FAS Series and other solutions. Updated: May 2024.
    771,740 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    Dell PowerScale (Isilon) is ranked 1st in NAS with 39 reviews while NetApp FAS Series is ranked 2nd in NAS with 98 reviews. Dell PowerScale (Isilon) is rated 9.0, while NetApp FAS Series is rated 8.8. The top reviewer of Dell PowerScale (Isilon) writes "We can easily deploy, manage, and maintain systems without needing a huge amount of expertise to facilitate them". On the other hand, the top reviewer of NetApp FAS Series writes "Offers good performance and ". Dell PowerScale (Isilon) is most compared with Dell ECS, Pure Storage FlashBlade, Qumulo, HPE StoreEasy and Red Hat Ceph Storage, whereas NetApp FAS Series is most compared with NetApp AFF, HPE StorageWorks MSA, Dell PowerProtect DD (Data Domain), IBM FlashSystem and HPE StoreEasy. See our Dell PowerScale (Isilon) vs. NetApp FAS Series report.

    See our list of best NAS vendors.

    We monitor all NAS 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.