IT Central Station is now PeerSpot: Here's why

Dell PowerScale (Isilon) Primary Use Case

System Team Leader at Deakin University
  • Research data
  • Departmental file shares
  • Data centre storage: NFS

We have two data centres in our university. We have Cisco UCS, Pure Storage, and are heavily virtualised with VMware. PowerScale is our unstructured data storage platform. It provides scaled-out storage and our high-level NFS across applications. It also provides all the storage for our researchers and business areas, as well as students, on the network.

With the exception of block workloads, which is primarily VMware, Oracle Databases, etc., everything else it is on PowerScale. It definitely has allowed us to consolidate the ease of management.

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Network Manager at a government with 1,001-5,000 employees

We are using it for storage of video files, with casual access to them. We needed as much storage as we could get for the best price. If you are looking for a hybrid type of situation, when you want low latency for transactional things, and higher-latency storage for archival things, you can get the hybrid nodes.

Each of our two clusters has the same disk sizes, etc. We did that for interchangeability, in case we wanted to move shelves between the clusters. They act independently, but they replicate between the two. We love the system. That's why we continue to upgrade and buy it.

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Eric Burgueño - PeerSpot reviewer
High-Performance Computing Services Manager at The New Zealand Institute for Plant and Food Research Limited

PowerScale (formerly Isilon) is effectively a giant NAS. We have two clusters, one for production workloads and one for Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity purposes. These clusters are installed in separate data-centers, physically located in two different places in the country. Both clusters were deployed at the same time when we first adopted the solution, and we have been growing them at an almost equal rate ever since.

Our production cluster is attached to our High-Performance Computing (HPC) environment, and this was the primary use case in the beginning: to provide scale-out storage for the Bioinformatics team, who do omics analysis on plant and seafood organisms that we do scientific research on. As time went on, we expanded our use of the platform for other user groups in the organization.

Eventually, PowerScale became the de-facto solution for anything related to unstructured data or file-based storage. Today, we also use the platform to host users’ home directories, large media files, and really any kind of data that doesn't really fit anywhere else, such as in a SharePoint library or a structured database. Nowadays, almost everyone in the organisation is a direct or indirect user of the platform. The bulk of the storage, however, continues to be consumed by our HPC environment, and Bioinformaticians continue to be our largest users. But we also have data scientists, system modellers, chemists, and machine-learning engineers, to name a few. 

Our company has multiple sites throughout the country and overseas, with the two primary data-centers supporting our Head Office and most of the smaller sites. Some of these sites, however, have a need for local storage, so our DR/BCP PowerScale cluster receives replicated data from both our production cluster as well as these other file servers.

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Buyer's Guide
Dell PowerScale (Isilon)
July 2022
Learn what your peers think about Dell PowerScale (Isilon). Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: July 2022.
611,060 professionals have used our research since 2012.
James Lowey - PeerSpot reviewer
CIO at a pharma/biotech company with 201-500 employees

We are a nonprofit biomedical research institute. Our focus is primarily on genomics, translating discoveries in the field of genomics into treatments for patients.

It is central to our data storage of scientific data. We sequence the human genomes of folks with different diseases, primarily cancer but also other disorders, e.g., rare childhood disorders and people with mitochondrial diseases as well as neurological diseases. When you do this, it generates a lot of data. Each time that you run a whole genome sequence, you generate anywhere from four to eight terabytes of data per RAM. For example, if you are looking at 1,000 patients, that is anywhere from four to eight petabytes. Currently, we have about seven petabytes of storage being used for storing these genomes, which is a fair amount.

It is an on-prem, scale-out storage. Their nodes are linked together through a back-end interconnect. 

We are running current versions of software on the node. It has versions now. The nomenclature is sometimes not the easiest to follow, because they still like to rebrand things. 

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Jace Gregg - PeerSpot reviewer
Information Systems Manager at a energy/utilities company with 1,001-5,000 employees

We use it for storage in a scale-out data processing system.

It is a physical storage platform. We have several different nodes that all act as one large storage cluster.

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Keith Bradley - PeerSpot reviewer
Director of IT at NatureFresh™ Farms

We used it originally for archiving our video storage, and then we expanded it to include user shares. All of our unstructured data has been moved to PowerScale.

We have now expanded the OneFS to start to use Local S3 Buckets, that use the same API setup as Amazon, but lets us host the data onsite.

In addition we added Power Protect Data Manager that is allowed to backup the Shares and stores, allowing us to have a backup of everything on another location.

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Rachel Bauer - PeerSpot reviewer
Chief Operations Officer & Acting CFO at Like a Photon

Our motivation for investing in PowerScale was to provide scalable, redundant, and reliable storage for our film production pipelines. We're an animation film studio and our live data sits on it. Firstly, we were up to our capacity. We're a growing startup and we need to be able to scale into the future. The second reason we went with it is that we've got a relatively small IT team, so we needed equipment that's reliable and easy to manage. 

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Maurizio Davini - PeerSpot reviewer
CTO at Universita' degli Studi di Pisa

We are using Dell EMC PowerScale as a central storage for our virtual HPC infrastructure based on VMware.

We have several silos today, as our HPC infrastructure is typically divided between bare-metal and virtual configurations. The storage that we use on various infrastructures is different, as we are typically using a storage style that is different from any production facility. Until now the request from our internal users was to keep the data separated in different storage silos, and converging in central storage facility while on the virtual HPC is the new request. Therefore, we are experimenting how it works.

We have five nodes of F200s. 

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Technical Project Manager at a tech services company with 201-500 employees

It was a good fit for the system that we put in, as far as the amount of secondary data that was going to be generated on our system. Not only did it have the capacity for everything, but it also had the scale-up and scale-out features. We needed expansion without having to reimage the system. The larger we scaled it out, the better IOP and the bandwidth. It checked all of the boxes in terms of what we really wanted to hit for a tier-two storage system.

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Bill Sharp - PeerSpot reviewer
Senior Vice President, Product Development & Strategy at EarthCam, Inc.

We’re the world-leaders in webcam technology, content, and services. We do high-resolution imaging from cameras. We have millions of camera images a month coming into our network from our systems in the field. We store all of that image data, and then we edit those images into time-lapse movies.

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Geo-computing Manager at a energy/utilities company with 201-500 employees

Our primary use case is unstructured file storage. It is pretty simplistic and architected in a very simple way.

The product centralizes all of our subsurface digital data. It also includes normal PDFs and Word documentation that we have. 

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Lead Infrastructure Architect at a transportation company with 10,001+ employees

The solution provides file-based access for everyone. It's a simplified platform for user-based access to files. It's also very simple to do data center replication for disaster recovery with Isilon.

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Mitch Leigh - PeerSpot reviewer
Senior System Engineer at Cincinnati children's hospital

We use this solution to facilitate sharing data access across multiple platforms. We are a children's hospital and have a lot of PHI data that is critical to keep secure. 

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Sr. Storage Engineer at a legal firm with 201-500 employees

We have massive unstructured data. It's only used to keep up with our data growth.

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Senior Systems Administrator at a insurance company with 501-1,000 employees

The product allows us to handle NFS file systems with SMB shares. It's object-oriented as well.

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Manager at a healthcare company with 10,001+ employees

We use this solution to manage large data sets. It makes it easy for us to consolidate data storage and multiple applications into a single platform for easier manageability. This means we only need to manage a minimal number of clusters. 

The solution is very flexible in supporting various data workloads while keeping them protected. It scales well with different performance node types. In terms of data protection, it replicates easily with the replication features of SyncIQ. 

We have multiple clusters across two data centers and have two main teams; our enterprise storage services team, and our HPC team who recently purchased a bunch of capacity from Iceland.

When it comes to PowerScale Cybersecurity and ransomware protection, we use a third-party solution called Superna. It is still important to us that PowerScale helps secure our data from cyber attacks. An attack can happen very quickly and be very damaging. Large data sets are difficult to protect, replicate and recover.  

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User at Government of Nova Scotia

We use this solution for the primary file storage for our organization for both the government and health department of Nova Scotia. We use the data domain for backup along with Isilon for our file storage.

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Manager Infrastructure at a manufacturing company with 10,001+ employees

We connected our mainframe system to Isilon. The NFS is being provisioned from Isilon and hosts millions of files. It is our primary storage solution. 

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We use this solution for high concurrency connection and data capacity.

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Project Manager at a government with 10,001+ employees

We have to deal with a lot of data, be able to get it across to and from different locations, and be able to store it. We use this solution for these purposes.

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DavidColeman - PeerSpot reviewer
Sales Engineer at a government with 11-50 employees

We are an integrator. The main challenge our customers have had with this solution is the unstructured data they have coming in. 

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Buyer's Guide
Dell PowerScale (Isilon)
July 2022
Learn what your peers think about Dell PowerScale (Isilon). Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: July 2022.
611,060 professionals have used our research since 2012.