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Buyer's Guide
NVMe All-Flash Storage Arrays
June 2022
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Alfadel Alharthy - PeerSpot reviewer
Infrastructure Services Manager at NAMA
Real User
Top 20
Effective provisioning, helpful support, and reliable
Pros and Cons
  • "The most valuable features of Pure Storage FlashArray are the management view of the solutions, ease of provision, and deprovision, it is fantastic."
  • "I would like a feature to integrate with external or cloud solutions. For example, if I want to use this storage for a backup from the cloud, I want to have integration with the cloud vendors, such as Microsoft, Oracles, or Amazon. It could be available as an API to allow seamless integration. Additionally, the solution could improve by having native integration with a cloud provider, such as VMware or Microsoft, this would reduce the need to use third-party solutions to complete the task."

What is our primary use case?

We use Pure Storage FlashArray because of the increased demand for high IOPs for some of our internal applications that were required to read and write in faster sway. 

How has it helped my organization?

This solution helped our organization a lot to increase the performance of reading and writing in the storage itself.

Our business is in the utility functionality where we are creating and maintaining IT service for our utility sector. We are an electricity and water company where we are consuming a large number of bandwidth regarding the bill cyclings, read and write from the meters in the fields. All of this data is stored in the same storage. Pure Storage FlashArray has helped us to improve the reporting and the billing cycle.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable features of Pure Storage FlashArray are the management view of the solutions, ease of provision, and deprovision, it is fantastic.

What needs improvement?

I would like a feature to integrate with external or cloud solutions. For example, if I want to use this storage for a backup from the cloud, I want to have integration with the cloud vendors, such as Microsoft, Oracles, or Amazon. It could be available as an API to allow seamless integration. Additionally, the solution could improve by having native integration with a cloud provider, such as VMware or Microsoft, this would reduce the need to use third-party solutions to complete the task.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Pure Storage FlashArray for approximately three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I have found Pure Storage FlashArray to be stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Pure Storage FlashArray is scalable. However, I think we are reaching the maximum for the current version of the storage. We are looking for the advanced version, which is the X2 model.

We are a large company and the total number of end-users that are using the solution is approximately 3,000.

We are using Pure Storage FlashArray extensively in our organization. We use it for everything, such as binaries and databases. We plan to increase usage in the future.

How are customer service and support?

When we set up the solution we did not require a lot of support from the teams. The good thing about the support is they can access and upgrade the framework and all other aspects. However, the account managers from Pure Storage are not communicating very well with us. We want to talk to them about what features should be used, use cases, best practices, and other technical discussions. Additionally, we would like to know about the new features, the introduction of new technology in the storage itself. 

It would be nice if they could communicate this information to us.

The support is very good. They always call us for technical upgrades and firmware. If we have any issues they log in and we open a session for them, and they help us. The only issue is the time zone difference between our time zone and their time zone.

I would rate the support from Pure Storage FlashArray a five out of five.

How was the initial setup?

Pure Storage FlashArray was straightforward and easy to set up. The full process took approximately two weeks.

I rate the initial setup of Pure Storage FlashArray a four out of five.

What about the implementation team?

We used a combination of implementation assistance. There was a remote team from Pure Storage and a local team from a general local partner that helped us.

There were three people who did the handling of the deployment. The management of the solution is completed by only one of our teams, only they can handle everything in the installation. There are engineers and architects that are part of the team.

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

The price of the solution can be a bit expensive. There is an additional fee for support.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We were looking for a FlashArray solution, and at that time we compared the other products in the market. I found that Pure Storage, is a company that focuses only on storage and they are very specialized in this area. I tested the solution, we did a BOC for six months. After we did all the tests for all the scenarios for six months, we were very happy to move to the Pure Storage FlashArray.

We evaluated HP, EMC, and Oracle solutions.

The feature that impressed us with Pure Storage FlashArray was its ease of use and simplicity.

What other advice do I have?

I would recommend this solution to others. It is very simple to use. Many people are looking for a solution from an engineering perspective, they want something very easy to use and that everybody can use it. They want a solution that does not require an expert engineer to operate it. A normal engineer can manage and handle it with ease. Reporting is very good in the storage it gives you an overview of everything, and it is very easy to provision, deprovision, especially when you have a cloud environment. It is easy to provision and deprovision when you have customers.

I rate Pure Storage FlashArray a nine out of ten.

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?

Microsoft Azure
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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Regional Sales Manager at New horizon
Real User
Top 20
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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Moahmed Nabil - PeerSpot reviewer
Infrastructure Solutions Architect at areebah
Real User
Top 20
Easy to use and configure
Pros and Cons
  • "One of the most valuable features is that it's very easy to use and configure. It used to be more difficult, but now it's almost flawless."
  • "The pricing could be improved, but I think it's getting better and better with each version. IBM needs to implement NAS storage again, as this is a big flaw. Dell EMC is very good at this and if you compared them based on NAS storage, Dell EMC would win right away. IBM's solution for NAS storage is very complicated. We don't have a storage box that provides file sharing from itself, we have to put software on it and go through a whole complicated process. It should be simplified."

What is our primary use case?

The general use cases depend on the size of a company. I work with the commercial sector, the FlashSystem 5000 and its different models. It suits the small to medium, or SME, companies. The FlashSystem 9200 goes mainly to big enterprises, like banking or governmental sectors. The 7200 plays sometimes in SME and sometimes in bigger enterprises. 

What is most valuable?

One of the most valuable features is that it's very easy to use and configure. It used to be more difficult, but now it's almost flawless. 

What needs improvement?

The pricing could be improved, but I think it's getting better and better with each version. 

IBM needs to implement NAS storage again, as this is a big flaw. Dell EMC is very good at this and if you compared them based on NAS storage, Dell EMC would win right away. IBM's solution for NAS storage is very complicated. We don't have a storage box that provides file sharing from itself, we have to put software on it and go through a whole complicated process. It should be simplified. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been working with IBM FlashSystem for around seven years. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's really stable, and many customers have experienced this as well. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It's easy to scale, but it depends on the model. The 5100 is obsolete, but the 5200 has line expansions, up to two controllers, and can scale out both ways. The 7000 and 9000 can scale to 20 expansions and four controllers. It's very scalable, both horizontal and vertical. 

How are customer service and support?

I believe the second line and third line are very responsive here. It depends on the customer's warranty level, if it's 9x5—it can't be like 24x7, which is immediately. 

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

IBM has some features that don't exist in other brands. External virtualization, for example—Dell EMC has the same feature, but it's applied differently. IBM's approach is to make it usable in many different scenarios so that the customer can work with multiple vendors under the IBM controller. Dell EMC can't do that. The external virtualization stacks with Dell EMC, and the features stack to every box. If I have a main box with high specs and I virtualize another box with minimum specs, that means I'm stuck with the minimum specs. With IBM, if I'm working with the virtualization engine with higher specs, I get the benefits from these higher specs, even if the virtualized box has minimum specs.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is very straightforward and user-friendly. The FlashSystem 5000 can be deployed in around 20 to 30 minutes, but it depends on the number of volumes and the tools we set up afterward. On average, it can be installed and initiated within an hour, including microcode updating. If you calculate from the time I begin unpacking to the time I start to configure volumes, it will not exceed around 45 minutes. 

What about the implementation team?

I implemented myself. 

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

The pricing may be a bit higher than other brands. If you compare the IBM FlashSystems in midrange with Dell EMC in midrange, IBM costs a bit more, but I prefer IBM because it has more specs that I can benefit from. 

Two years ago, we had all features installed in the midrange box without any need for extra licensing. However, lately we have features like Easy Tier and FlashCopy, which need extra licensing. We can purchase it with the box or afterward, and it's a smooth process. 

What other advice do I have?

In my experience, IBM doesn't need maintenance at all. Every year, there is a microcode update to get a new feature or fix a bug, but I know some customers who have had the box for more than five or six years without updating it and it still runs well. 

To anyone who's looking into implementing IBM FlashSystem, I would advise you to read the instructions on the box. If you follow the instructions, implementation will be very smooth and easy, even if you're not a professional. 

I would rate this product a ten 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
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Senior Systems Security Specialist at a government with 51-200 employees
Real User
Top 5
Quick and efficient storage capability
Pros and Cons
  • "It is a stable and scalable solution with quick and efficient storage capability."
  • "The reporting console can be improved with out of the box reports."

What is our primary use case?

We not only use HPE storage, we use their hardware as well. We use it for our incubated environment because we have some applications which are running on these journeys, applications, and APA . That storage actually helps us because there are multiple transactions and queries. Our applications are running and that's why we require fast storage.

How has it helped my organization?

HPE Primera is mostly integrated with our compute infrastructure and because of that, the particular storage is very much compatible with that compute. It's efficient.

What needs improvement?

Reporting can be improved.  The reporting console should be better and there should be some out of the box reports. That's the only thing.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using it for two and a half years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's very stable. We didn't face any issue with stability.  

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

As per HPE, they said that it's pretty easy to add more storage in HPE Primera. With the existing controllers, I think it's pretty easy to add more storage. Right now we are using around 600 TB, not more than that, but it can support up to four petabytes.

How are customer service and support?

Their support is fine although it can be slow. It's mostly regional so we can't comment on it, because for it to change regions, it'll take some time for them to know about our whole setup, and then get used to it. Eventually we'll have to get used to it. If they were to change regions and a new engineer is assigned, then we could face some issues. There could be some kind of delay, so that's the only thing. Other than a lack of communication, the support is not that bad. The engineers are capable enough.

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

We previously used Dell EMC PowerMax, which is a five to six year-old setup.  Primera is a two year-old setup. With Dell EMC, the discs crashed, which needed to be replaced. In the two years we've used Primera, we haven't faced this kind of issue. 

PowerMax has very powerful storage. The number of IOPS and the control stability are the things I liked very much, but it's more expensive than other solutions. They are top of the line, but on a higher price range. 

How was the initial setup?

Setup was a straightforward. We didn't face any hurdles in that because it was a new deployment during that time. It was a new setup when we were going for this new journeys and application service. The deployment was straightforward.

What about the implementation team?

Deployment was done by HPE's partner.  I would rate it a four out of five.

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

I you compare it with some other storage, then the HPE licenses are much cheaper.  If I had to rate it, I'd give it a 3 out of five in terms of pricing.

What other advice do I have?

I would rate this solution an eight out of ten.

Until now, I haven't given any thought to Primera and how it's going to work for us because we are moving towards cloud transformation. In a year, we may not require any on-premise solution, since our whole idea is to take all the workers to the cloud.

For advice, it all depends on what the requirements are. There are other solutions to consider. In all-flash, there are many other vendors, so it all depends on what kind of solution is being deployed and what kind of compute infrastructure they have which can work with that storage. If you're using HPE, then I would recommend HPE Primera because its performance is very good.

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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Storage and Backup Architect at Convergys Corporation
Real User
Top 20
Works well, is easy to implement, and has upgrade analysis capabilities
Pros and Cons
  • "The solution is very straightforward to set up."
  • "We would like to see more visibility into garbage collection and CPU performance in the GUI."

What is our primary use case?

Currently, it's our tier-one storage. We use it mostly for our Oracle databases.

How has it helped my organization?

It has drastically improved the performance of our high-end Oracle databases and allows us the ability to replication to a DR location with ease.

What is most valuable?

We love the product. Pure Storage works really well. 

The CAT tool and also the ability to upgrade the unit's place grades are great. It allows for in-place control or upgrades.

It's a very simple implementation.

They have a good tool to analyze upgrades.

The stability is good.

Technical support has been excellent. 

What needs improvement?

I cannot recall coming across areas in need of improvement. 

We would like to see more visibility into garbage collection and CPU performance in the GUI.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've used the solution for three years. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The product is very stable. We've had no issues that are related to the array.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We haven't done much scaling. We're ordering an upgrade this week and therefore we will know soon enough how easy it is to expand. We're upgrading the controllers and the disks this month. Scalability so far seems good.

The users are 90% Oracle admins and then 10% SQL admins.

It's used pretty extensively. It is our top-tiered storage for the entire company in our major data centers. We have two of them and we are upgrading them this month.

How are customer service and support?

Technical support has been very helpful and responsive. 

How would you rate customer service and support?

Positive

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

We used to use a Dell EMC VMAX. We upgraded from that product due to high costs, and little flexibility. This solution also offers specialized Oracle tools.

How was the initial setup?

The solution is very straightforward to set up. It's easy. It's not difficult. 

Deployment of an array took an hour. Implementation of the product did take a while, due to our complexity, however, it works right now. 

I have one staff member for managing the array and then the database team is about four people and it's a global database.

What about the implementation team?

We handled the initial setup ourselves in-house We did not need outside assistance from consultants or integrators. 

What was our ROI?

We noted a net ROI in about 11 months.

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

We only pay the support costs. The support cost per array is about $20,000 a year for 24/7 support. There are no additional costs. 

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We did evaluate Dell PowerMax and NetApp AFF.

The reason why we picked Pure was that it was reasonably priced and had better upgrade capacity, as well as better scale-out capacity. It also had better Oracle tools, especially the CAT tool.

What other advice do I have?

We're customers and end-users.

We really like the product and their other tools are all great.

I would advise new users to look into it for your higher-end Oracle and SQL needs. It does really well with the database products and with low latency requirements with a lot of transactional data.

I'd rate the solution a nine out of ten. It handles all our needs. The only reason why it didn't get a ten is the fact that the tracking of high CPU and garbage collection is still needed. That's kind of important to us.

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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Buyer's Guide
NVMe All-Flash Storage Arrays
June 2022
Get our free report covering Dell Technologies, Dell Technologies, Pure Storage, and other competitors of Dell PowerMax NVMe. Updated: June 2022.
609,272 professionals have used our research since 2012.