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Dell SC Series OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

Dell SC Series is #1 ranked solution in top Frame-Based Disk Arrays and #11 ranked solution in best All-Flash Storage Arrays. PeerSpot users give Dell SC Series an average rating of 8.0 out of 10. Dell SC Series is most commonly compared to Dell PowerStore: Dell SC Series vs Dell PowerStore. Dell SC Series is popular among the large enterprise segment, accounting for 55% of users researching this solution on PeerSpot. The top industry researching this solution are professionals from a computer software company, accounting for 21% of all views.
Dell SC Series Buyer's Guide

Download the Dell SC Series Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: October 2022

What is Dell SC Series?

Dell EMC SC Series arrays provide a unified platform for the ultimate in performance, adaptability and machine-driven efficiency. SC Series software delivers modern features that help you meet aggressive workload demands using the fewest drives necessary. With an open, future-ready design, SC Series storage integrates seamlessly with applications and infrastructure, enabling you to scale on a single platform and add capabilities without forklift upgrades.

Dell SC Series was previously known as SC Series Storage, Compellent.

Dell SC Series Customers

TGen, Frost Science, Gerrie Electric

Dell SC Series Video

Dell SC Series Pricing Advice

What users are saying about Dell SC Series pricing:
  • "The SC Series was priced fairly. I wouldn't call it either expensive or cheap because we had a very tight budget, so if they were able to fit in that type of budget, they met our expectations."
  • "Support typically depends on the array. It can range anywhere from $7,000 to a couple of hundred thousand dollars."
  • "Pricing depends on varying life cycles."
  • "This product is too expensive compared to others, and I don't see any value in using it."
  • Dell SC Series Reviews

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    Infrastructure Business Lead
    Real User
    Top 20
    The performance was staggering and more than what we paid for
    Pros and Cons
    • "One of the most valuable features is the capability to switch between all-flash to hybrid, which have have actually done for one of our arrays. We started with the hybrid, with the limited if I'm not mistaken, and then over a period of time, we swapped all the hybrids with the SSDs. This was one of the big features because it gave us the capability to not stick with just one kind of media. Secondly, since it has sorted clustering, we were able to bring in the newer boxes and have it all clustered together. These were the two main features that we really looked into, which benefited our use case from an expansion/growth perspective. Another valuable feature is the ease of management."
    • "What I understand is that this is a 13 year old architecture, so it has lived its life and they're phasing it out. Honestly, we were initially struggling with the integration with VMware (but it was fixed with the VMware 6.5) and, then, it was around a 10GB network. At that time, it had the longevity to go to 100GB as well. It got us thinking about, when we go into the containerized architecture, what do we need to do to fix the infrastructure?"

    What is our primary use case?

    Regarding our use cases of Dell EMC SC Series, from a core perspective, we are going to phase out Oracle and move to SAP HANA. Oracle was part of our SAP legacy architecture, so we are migrating it to HANA. From a business perspective, we have a couple of Microsoft SQL-based applications that are using the SQL database and which we have for on-the-go users. Our core business is running on SAP and then, from a legacy structure, we have a bit of Microsoft SQL and the rest is on Microsoft. 

    The technology was declared end of sale last year, so we switched to the newer PowerStore, but we still have the SC Series working and functioning in test and dev. If I'm not mistaken, we got the updated code as well. Our agreement is extended, but we don't plan to continue with it because we've already shifted the workload onto PowerStore

    This solution is deployed on-prem. 

    What is most valuable?

    One of the most valuable features is the capability to switch between all-flash to hybrid, which have have actually done for one of our arrays. We started with the hybrid, with the limited if I'm not mistaken, and then over a period of time, we swapped all the hybrids with the SSDs. This was one of the big features because it gave us the capability to not stick with just one kind of media. 

    Secondly, since it has sorted clustering, we were able to bring in the newer boxes and have it all clustered together. These were the two main features that we really looked into, which benefited our use case from an expansion/growth perspective. Another valuable feature is the ease of management. 

    What needs improvement?

    What I understand is that this is a 13 year old architecture, so it has lived its life and they're phasing it out. Honestly, we were initially struggling with the integration with VMware (but it was fixed with the VMware 6.5) and, then, it was around a 10GB network. At that time, it had the longevity to go to 100GB as well. It got us thinking about, when we go into the containerized architecture, what do we need to do to fix the infrastructure? 

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have been using this solution since 2013. 

    Buyer's Guide
    Dell SC Series
    October 2022
    Learn what your peers think about Dell SC Series. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: October 2022.
    634,550 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    The performance was staggering and it was more than what we paid for. We were able to bring a lot of juice out from the SC Series. It took us some time, but we were able to get a higher performance once we understood the technology. 

    The SC Series was very low maintenance, which was one thing that we liked. We had Phone Home enabled, so we were getting all the patches from Dell. They were also able to help us from a drive failure perspective. Nothing went wrong with it—it was a good experience, which is why we are still sticking with Dell. 

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    The scalability was one of our main purchasing decision data points. We wanted the architecture, which is highly clustered, and which gave us the scale up and scale out altogether. It was good. We never intended to go beyond 500 to 600 terabytes, but from a scalability perspective, it really proved its worth. 

    How are customer service and support?

    We are happy with Dell's technical support, which is one of the reasons why we stuck with Dell when the SC Series was coming to end of life. We explored other vendors as well, but we are comfortable with Dell. 

    On a scale from one to five, I would rate them a five. When we were in the midst of rolling out our containerized app for our mobile users, we had an issue. It was our own application issue and had nothing to do with them, but they came forward with a lot of APIs. From a data perspective, they even got one of their engineers to work and to support our application team. From a hardware perspective, they were able to come in and help us on our application, which is why I rate them a five. 

    How was the initial setup?

    From an acquisition perspective, it was very straightforward. From an implementation perspective, we had a little difficulty because it was a newer technology. From our admin perspective, it was not something that they were equipped with, so initially we had hiccups. However, I believe that this is fair for every new technology. 

    The automation part wasn't there, so we had hoped that we could automate it back in when we were acquiring it. We felt that this would've made our life easier, but we only came to realize this when we migrated our workloads from SC to the newer generation of PowerStore—it provided all the automation and everything that was missing on day one from an SC Series. 

    If I were to rate the initial setup on a scale from one to five, I'd put it at a four, from a technology perspective. From an internal perspective, I would rate us a three, but the shortcomings were on our end, in terms of internal skill building. The DSM, Dell Storage Manager, really came in handy, but we didn't know how to best leverage it. 

    What about the implementation team?

    For the deployment, we actually got the partner to come in and work with our team. We also leveraged Dell, but it was mainly from a documentation perspective. We didn't have any issues where we had to go and seek support or help, but it was our internal staff which slowed us down, not the platform or the product itself. 

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

    The SC Series was priced fairly. I wouldn't call it either expensive or cheap because we had a very tight budget, so if they were able to fit in that type of budget, they met our expectations. 

    What other advice do I have?

    I rate the SC Series a 10 out of 10 because it was a lifesaver. One of the use cases that we had, where we found it really gave us an edge, was back in 2015. There was a compliance requirement where we had to roll out a lot of old logs and data. We had it sitting on the old 2TB SATA drive, the slowest drive possible. We always worried about how we were going to get the data since we were using all-flash and archiving on the slowest 2TB drives, but when the stacking came, it really gave us all the data without any purchase—the tiering feature really shone at that time. So, that is one of the reasons why we trust and love this product. 

    If the SC Series was still in use, I would honestly recommend it to others, at any given time. When we moved out from business critical workloads, away from SC Series, we did a lot of crazy testing. It gave us the capability to get a lot of performance out and it was very flexible. If it was still there, we would still be buying more of it. 

    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.
    Flag as inappropriate
    PeerSpot user
    Whitney Gray - PeerSpot reviewer
    Storage Architect at a healthcare company with 10,001+ employees
    Real User
    Top 5Leaderboard
    Automated architecture that proactively optimizes your database
    Pros and Cons
    • "They have a feature called Live Migrate; it's been very, very useful."
    • "There's always room for improvement in the operating code."

    What is our primary use case?

    We use it for multiple databases. We use it for Oracle and for SQL. We also use it for file systems — Oracle, SQL, file system storage. Most of our use cases involve Oracle, SQL, VMware, and large file systems.

    I am a storage architect. have a state administrator that works with me as well.

    Internally, within our company, there are a few dozen employees using this solution. Externally, we literally have millions of people that hit that storage system every day.

    As far as our database administrators, they're always looking at the storage performance. Some of them actually have read-only log-ins to the storage array itself. They can log in and look at directly what the storage performance is for their database.

    Currently, we are not using this solution extensively because it's becoming a sunset solution. There's no option to increase usage. It's like saying you want to buy a '65 Mustang — no, you can't get one brand new, they don't make those anymore. There's no expansion being done because the product's no longer available. 

    How has it helped my organization?

    It's allowed us to have one hundred percent uptime over the last five years — maybe more. One hundred percent uptime on our storage as far as quantitative numbers go.

    What is most valuable?

    They have a feature called Live Migrate; it's been very, very useful. It allows us to move storage from one SC series array to another, with no downtime. That's a very useful feature. The other useful features are, of course, high availability architecture that's built into it. That's very useful.

    What needs improvement?

    There's always room for improvement in the operating code; minor improvements here and there. We haven't had any real requests for them lately. I can't really think of anything.

    Support for Non-Volatile Memory Express (NVME). Most of the newer storage systems support it, but this one doesn't because of its age. Support for that was something we had looked at, but they said, "No, we're not offering that with this. It's going to be in the next product, not in this product because the architecture is just too old." 

    I'd look for that — support for NVME. That's really the only supportable or new feature that I'd really be looking for.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have been using Dell EMC SC Series for roughly 12 years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    Dell EMC SC Series is very stable.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    It's very scalable. That's one of the things we like about it — it's highly scalable.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    The technical support is very good.

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

    We were using EMC Clariion.

    How was the initial setup?

    It's gotten better over the years. Initially, back in '08, it was very complex. Nowadays, it's a lot more simple and easier to deploy depending on which model you purchase, too. Some models are easier to deploy than others. I would say, for the most part, it's pretty simple.

    What about the implementation team?

    Deployment took roughly two to three days, using professional service from Dell. We purchased the help of a consultant to assist us with deployment. It was a good experience overall.

    Only one person is needed for deployment. Two people are needed to provide maintenance.

    What was our ROI?

    Performance would be a good return on investment indicator — the performance of the array. High availability features are a good indicator of the ROI. Those are probably the top two, the performance and availability.

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

    The support we pay annually. Support typically depends on the array. It can range anywhere from $7,000 to a couple of hundred thousand dollars. It just depends on the specific one you're talking about and how big it is. It's based on size. The larger the array, the larger the maintenance cost. It's hard to really give you a range because the range is so wide. I don't even know if it'd be useful because you're talking anywhere from $5,000 to $250,000, depending on which specific array you're talking about. 

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We looked at Kaminario as a storage vendor. We also looked at NetApp as well.

    The reason why we didn't go with them was due to the price and the features that they had at the time. The feature set that the SC series had was better than the others.

    What other advice do I have?

    My advice would be to look at the succeeding product, the replacement product that replaces it.

    On a scale from one to ten, I would give Dell EMC SC Series a rating of nine.

    Just looking back at it over time, the initial setup was a little more difficult back in the 2008, 2009 timeframe. If that wasn't so difficult back then, I would give them a ten. As I said, that did get better. They got much better over time, but that's why I said nine out of ten.

    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.
    PeerSpot user
    Buyer's Guide
    Dell SC Series
    October 2022
    Learn what your peers think about Dell SC Series. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: October 2022.
    634,550 professionals have used our research since 2012.
    Senior Consultant at a tech company with 11-50 employees
    Consultant
    Top 20
    Easy to scale with fair pricing and very good storage capabilities
    Pros and Cons
    • "The setup is straightforward."
    • "In some customer cases, customers experienced more performance or latency."

    What is our primary use case?

    The solution is mainly used for primary storage and in more than half of the cases, we use the Live Volume, the Synchronous Replication - this Automatic Failover. Its function is for primary storage on two sites.

    What is most valuable?

    The customers really appreciate that the storage is cost-effective and that has enterprise features. The Synchronous Replication and the Live Volume, for example, are excellent. The storage is flexible. If you want to upgrade the storage with more capacity you can add one or two drives. It is very easy to upgrade in the future if you need to. 

    The setup is straightforward.

    The solution has very good stability.

    The scalability is excellent.

    We find the pricing to be quite fair.

    What needs improvement?

    Dell will discontinue this storage. That's the main pain point for clients right now. They will focus on Power Store and the SC Series will be at end-of-life soon - possibly as soon as one or two months from now.

    In some customer cases, customers experienced more performance or latency. The performance overall could be better.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I've been working with the solution for more than five years at this point. It's been a while.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    The stability is okay, however, the performance could be better, as there have been a few issues surrounding latency. In most cases, the customer feedback is positive. It's only in extreme situations where there have been problems. 

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    The scalability is great. If a customer needs more storage, they can simply add more drives. It's very flexible and very easy to expand.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    I've gotten positive feedback in terms of technical support. My understanding is that they have been very helpful and responsive and customers have been happy with the service they receive. 

    How was the initial setup?

    There is no complexity in the setup. It's very straightforward. A company shouldn't have any issues with the setup process.

    What about the implementation team?

    We are integrators and can help a customer with the installation of the product.

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

    All the models and especially the entry model, the SC30/20, have a competitive price that is fair and offers very good value for money. It's reasonably and competitively priced. 

    What other advice do I have?

    I'm an integrator. Our company is a company that is delivering solutions in IT for other customers. So, I'm not using some solution like this storage. I'm an architect, so I'm architecting these solutions for our customers. The solutions which we are using are mainly from Dell EMC.

    I'd rate the solution at an eight 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: Integrator
    PeerSpot user
    Director at a tech company with 11-50 employees
    Real User
    Top 10
    Many features like a snapshot, replication, on-the-file RAID levels, and mix-and-match files
    Pros and Cons
    • "It had many features, like a snapshot, replication, on-the-file RAID levels, mix-and-match files, those kinds of things."
    • "Dell could improve the upgrading process."

    What is our primary use case?

    We use this product for daily business and normal IT operations. We also use it for replication of one system to another system. We also use it for the hostings for HANA virtualization. Those kinds of replications and IT applications. We use a hybrid version.

    What is most valuable?

    It had a lot of integration and supported all the platforms, so I was happy with what they were offering. The biggest selling point was when the vendor upgraded it. Dell upgraded the software licenses sold with that. Whenever the hardware is end-of-life, we could upgrade the controller or add a new disk or whatever. There was no lifecycle of three years or five years. We could carry on just by upgrading. It had many features, like a snapshot, replication, on-the-file RAID levels, mix-and-match files, those kinds of things.

    What needs improvement?

    Dell could improve the upgrading process. It was the lifecycle that made it very short. You'd upgrade the disk, and in eight, nine months, it would be obsolete. They cancelled an enhancement that included an all-flash unit. This would have improved the product.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    We had worked with this product from Compellent's days before Dell bought them over, so I'll presume from 2006.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    We never had a single crash with this product. It was just fine. 

    How are customer service and technical support?

    The support was excellent. We had this storage for a while and server monitoring from Compellent.

    How was the initial setup?

    Any IT company can do it. It's straightforward.

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

    Pricing is market-related and is flexible for the solution. Pricing depends on varying life cycles.

    What other advice do I have?

    We're trying to move some people across to some other storage solutions because this product is at end-of-life. I would give this product 10 out of 10.

    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?

    Other
    Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
    PeerSpot user
    Infrastructure architect at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
    Real User
    Reliable with great support
    Pros and Cons
    • "What is most valuable about the Dell EMC SC Series system was its reliability."
    • "The lack of reporting would be the main issue."

    What is our primary use case?

    It is a global storage solution for all our servers.

    What is most valuable?

    What is most valuable about the Dell EMC SC Series system was its reliability. It did serve us well. Overall it was a good product for us.

    What needs improvement?

    In terms of what could be improved, I would say the lack of reporting would be the main issue.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have been using Dell EMC SC Series for at least 10 - 12 years.

    We keep it up to date, so it is the latest version. The hardware is not the latest, but the firmware and the controllers are the latest.

    We use Compellent and we're looking at other products at this point. The Compellent is going to be phased out in a year or so or maybe two years. I don't know, but it has to be replaced sooner than later which is why I was looking for another product.

    How are customer service and support?

    Component support was great. On a scale of one to ten they were a ten, they were always helpful.

    What other advice do I have?

    It does the work for us. If you're on SSD, it is going to do the the work. Obviously working with tiering at tier 1, 2, 3 was a pain when we got it, because the data is always moving around but since we're using only one tier SSD, there's no management to do with it and we are just checking to see if everything is working well on that. Otherwise, outside of the reporting, I would not complain about that system. If we could extend the support another five years we would have done so because the support is perfect. When you call them, there is always someone.

    Because this product is going to be phased out I wouldn't recommend anyone to start with it. But I'm looking at the PowerStore to see if it is a fit for us. I would assume that PowerStore is going to be the next step after the Compellent.

    On a scale of one to ten, I would give Dell EMC SC Series an eight.

    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.
    PeerSpot user
    Senior Systems Consultant at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
    Consultant
    Top 10
    Easy to manage with a good price-performance ratio, but the initial setup is somewhat complex
    Pros and Cons
    • "Its leading feature is the price-performance ratio, which is very good."
    • "The initial setup is somewhat complex and should be made simpler to do."

    What is our primary use case?

    We are a solution provider and the Dell EMC SC Series is one of the products that we implement for our customers. Our clients often use this product in a virtualized server environment for mid-range database use.

    How has it helped my organization?

    Once it's put in place, it becomes a vital tool.

    What is most valuable?

    Its leading feature is the price-performance ratio, which is very good.

    The management is pretty good.

    It has good expandability options.

    What needs improvement?

    The initial setup is somewhat complex and should be made simpler to do.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have about five years' experience with this product.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    I have not heard any feedback about bugs or glitches in the system. Once it's in place, it's solid.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    It's fairly scalable, as long as you size it properly, to begin with. The expansion options are pretty good. Our clients for this product range in size from small to large businesses.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Technical support for this product is excellent and I would rate them a ten out of ten.

    When you have questions, you get them answered

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

    We have deployed HPE storage in some cases where it was what the customer already had installed. Some of these customers switched to Dell because their technical staff was more familiar with it.

    How was the initial setup?

    My understanding from our engineers is that the initial setup is on the complex side. There are things that are not intuitive that make it a little more complex.

    What other advice do I have?

    This is a solution with good performance that I recommend, and for anybody who is considering it, I would tell them to give it a shot.

    I would rate this solution a seven 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
    PeerSpot user
    System Architect at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
    Reseller
    Offers good technical support, has strong usability and is reliable
    Pros and Cons
    • "I've found the stability to be very good."
    • "From a performance point of view, it's getting a bit old."

    What is most valuable?

    The useability is the most valuable aspect of the solution. 

    I've found the stability to be very good. 

    The solution is scalable. 

    We have found the solution's technical support to be helpful.

    What needs improvement?

    The model of the device is quite old. They need to update it a bit. 

    From a performance point of view, it's getting a bit old. Although I know that the storage that we are using is a bit old as well. Beyond that, I don't see any other features that I'm exactly missing.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I've been using the solution for about two years or so, give or take. It hasn't been that long. 

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    The solution is quite stable and the performance is good even though it is getting old. There are no bugs or glitches. It doesn't crash or freeze. We find it reliable. 

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    The solution can scale well.

    We have about ten people using the solution in our organization. 

    How are customer service and support?

    Technical support has been quite good. We are very satisfied with the level of support we receive. 

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

    We've worked with a few similar solutions, including HPE Nimble Storage. If you compared it to this solution, I'd say that both have good value and both have their place in environments that are a bit different. I wouldn't compare them directly.

    How was the initial setup?

    I haven't been involved in the usage or installation of the device.

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

    The solution is coming to the end of life. They don't really sell them as new products.

    What other advice do I have?

    I'm a user, consultant, and reseller. 

    I can't remember the exact version number of the solution, however, the model of the series is 5020.

    I'd rate the solution at an eight out of ten.

    Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer:
    Flag as inappropriate
    PeerSpot user
    Information Technology Operations Manager at Weber Metals
    Consultant
    Top 5Leaderboard
    An expensive product that should be more user-friendly, but they have good support that is proactive
    Pros and Cons
    • "One time, we had a drive fail and we were notified before we even saw it on the device."
    • "This product should be a lot more user-friendly."

    What is our primary use case?

    This is our SAN product for use with a traditional VMware setup, using VMware clusters. We have the 150 terabyte enclosure.

    What needs improvement?

    This product should be a lot more user-friendly.

    A central management system should be put in place to make it easier to configure.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have been using this solution for two years.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    The technical support is great. We have 24/7 support with a four-hour response. They are responsive and they stay to help until the problem is resolved.

    One time, we had a drive fail and we were notified before we even saw it on the device. Then, the new hardware was shipped to us the next day.

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

    I also use HPE Nimble and I find that it is a lot easier to use and offers us more features.

    How was the initial setup?

    I inherited this solution when I joined the company. In terms of setting it up, we add this SAN into a VMware cluster. The initial setup is unnecessarily complex, and much more so than a solution like HPE Nimble.

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

    This product is too expensive compared to others, and I don't see any value in using it.

    What other advice do I have?

    In summary, it's a nice product but it's too expensive and too complicated to set up.

    If I were rating this product solely on the management or administrative side, I would rate it a one out of ten because it's just ridiculous. Performance-wise, I can rate it a four or five out of ten.

    Overall, I would rate this solution a four out of ten.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    PeerSpot user