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Dell PowerMax NVMe Room for Improvement

Paul Croteau - PeerSpot reviewer
Senior Solution Architect at Rackspace

The improvements made to the product line over the generations has made PowerMax a gem. Nothing being perfect, the improvements that come to mind would not be specific to the physical product, but instead on the support and management side.

Support of the product can be slow and an administrative challenge: planning, scheduling, and overseeing data center access for a Dell EMC rep. One improvement could be to enable a self-maintenance option. The requirements that we go through to get Dell EMC onsite to replace failed drives, power supplies, and other small redundant parts can be unnecessarily complex. If simplified, they could send us the parts, then we could replace them much faster, more easily, and truly within the SLA parameters.

We have had performance/availability issues in the past with the management server/application, Unisphere. Upgrades to the platform could also be difficult and even fail. However, the most recent version released last month had been the first in a long time that was successful. Therefore, we are hopeful those past software issues have been addressed.

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Oluwatosin Obatoyinbo - PeerSpot reviewer
Enterprise Architect at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees

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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Abdul-Salam - PeerSpot reviewer
Sr. Manager - System Analyst (Datacenter Infrastructure) at Sohar International

Although they call it unified storage where you have SAN and NAS, with a NAS implementation on top of a SAN, the NAS implementation is a little complicated and clumsy. As SAN, as block storage, it is very powerful. However, even though NAS is provided as a feature, I don't think many customers will be using a PowerMax as a NAS because NAS is normally meant for file servers or some kind of archival storage. If they could provide a very good NAS implementation, it would be better, so that customers don't have to look for other simple solutions for NAS.

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Buyer's Guide
Dell PowerMax NVMe
October 2022
Learn what your peers think about Dell PowerMax NVMe. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: October 2022.
635,987 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Vince Vitro - PeerSpot reviewer
Sr Solutions Architect at a healthcare company with 1,001-5,000 employees

The dedupe and compression features have been the biggest disappointment. It's not as efficient as we were expecting or had hoped. It's not terrible, but not as good as we were led to believe it was going to be. They need to improve their reduplication algorithm or the compression algorithms. It comes with a guarantee that you'll get 3-to-1 dedupe and compression, meaning that if you have 3 terabytes of data, it should only take 1 terabyte of space because we reduce its size. We're only getting 2-to-1. It's not a big deal because we have more storage than we'll need, but it's disappointing.

There's also a qualifier in that I'm told that if we filled the array up more, some deeper algorithms would kick in and help that reduction number go up a little. Also, if you have deeper algorithms that you're going to use, only if I put more data on it, is that going to slow things down? Why not just use them now? That also left a lot to be desired. I attempted to use that and was having some performance issues, and the fix was, "Don't use that." So it was a little lacking.

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, 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. So the ease of use factor is low. One of the reasons I wanted Pure Storage was because I felt like I could teach a coworker how to fill in for me if I ever went on vacation for a couple of weeks. If anything bad happens and I'm out of the office, they're going to have to bother me. This is not intuitive. There are a lot of CLI commands that you still have to use. It's just not as user-friendly as it should be.

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Haseeb Sheikh - PeerSpot reviewer
Assistant Manager IT Infrastructure at ufone

The CloudIQ features still need to be improved because CloudIQdoes not support PowerProtect DD capacity, although it is working well overall.

Their mobile app also still needs improvement. 

In addition, the web GUI is good and shows all the related reports, but I would like to see more granularity in the reports, and reporting on CloudIQ should be done in the web GUI interface.

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. The design could be very much better if they did some R&D and introduced a version based on PCIe 4.0.

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VP Global Markets, Global Head of Storage at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees

It's a relatively new product, but for the next release I would like to see higher bandwidth on the front-end adapters. This would allow even greater scalability for critical workloads and consolidation for non-critical workloads. The hosts may not require that level of I/O performance today. However, it allows us to scale physical non-cloud environments without large investment. 

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Jeff Dao - PeerSpot reviewer
Infrastructure Lead at Umbra Ltd.

The visibility within the storage resource tools or understanding the utilization of the SCM memory have been pain points. We know they are being used, but it is hard to actually see them within the actual GUI.

Firmware updates are a bit painful because you have to involve their support, as opposed to having the ability to do it yourself. This is probably for the best because you don't want something to go sideways while being the only person working on this and not having external support for it.

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Solution Architect at Sybyl

We brought up this question to the implementation engineer. We were comparing use cases where a customer is using RecoverPoint, then goes to PowerMax. In our previous setup with XtremIO, we were using RecpverPoint and keeping snapshots for 30 days, every few seconds. With PowerMax, I requested this for every 15 minutes, keeping it for a week. The engineer's answer was, "There will be too many snapshots. It might slow down the system." This is specifically for the use cases where there is RecoverPoint. While PowerMax works with RecoverPoint, and you can use it, there should be some way where you can have even more snapshots and not to worry about performance and system cache.

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Nikolay Muravev - PeerSpot reviewer
Lead System Administrator at Central Hospital of Civil Aviation

I would like a more informative CloudIQ for iOS. What you can see via the web UI significantly differs from what you can see via the web application.

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Ahmed Kamel - PeerSpot reviewer
Sr. Storage Systems Engineer at a pharma/biotech company with 5,001-10,000 employees

We have faced problems integrating IBM servers and adding volumes. The capacity on the IBM servers was not the same and we needed to perform a reclamation process on the DR site to fill the same capacity on the storage site.

The SRDF software has an issue when it's used in conjunction with VMware. In the past, we were using SRDF for VMware but in swapping from VM to DR site, VMs take a very long time. In some cases, where the data on the main size was many terabytes in size, it took a very long time to replicate to the DR site. Some VMs power on automatically, without entering any schedule. We had to migrate to RecoverPoint, which is another solution from Dell, but we still use SRDF for things that are not stored on VMware disks. When we enabled hardware compression, things improved.

PowerMax Storage needs improvement in the area of monitoring tools. It should have more functions and more complicated analysis options inside the monitoring tools. For example, if I need the tool to analyze monitoring logs from one month ago, it can't be done because it retains data only for the past two weeks.

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Product Manager at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees

I would like to see more development in the cloud environment. It would be good if it comes in the cloud kind of setup. 

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Senior BDM at a tech services company with 51-200 employees

The product would be better served if there was a slight reduction in price at the moment due to the marketplace. People haven't got as much money. If they could offer more of a discount, it would help their customer base out quite a bit. Even if it was just in the short term, it would make a big difference.

If the solution had more power-saving capabilities, it would be quite nice.

The solution could benefit from even more speed and increased redundancy and flexibility.

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Senior Solutions Architect at a healthcare company with 1,001-5,000 employees

Simpler management would probably be my biggest ask. Some of the management features could be simplified and that's probably the main thing they need to address.

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Pisey NAP - PeerSpot reviewer
Senior System Administrator at PRASAC Microfinance Institution Limited

We would like more documentation, a guide to the features of the PowerMax. We needed to use the option to reclaim storage and we had to chat with the Dell EMC team.

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Osman Sercan SADIKOGLU - PeerSpot reviewer
Storage and Backup System Architect at Turkiye Finans Participation Bank

The GUI interface is very complicated and could be improved by streamlining the number of steps in the process, as the new storage UIs have done.

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Buyer's Guide
Dell PowerMax NVMe
October 2022
Learn what your peers think about Dell PowerMax NVMe. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: October 2022.
635,987 professionals have used our research since 2012.