IT Central Station is now PeerSpot: Here's why
Buyer's Guide
All-Flash Storage Arrays
June 2022
Get our free report covering Dell Technologies, NetApp, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, and other competitors of Dell Unity XT. Updated: June 2022.
609,272 professionals have used our research since 2012.

Read reviews of Dell Unity XT alternatives and competitors

MohanReddy - PeerSpot reviewer
Sr. Technology Architect at a pharma/biotech company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 20
Its data management software has helped us run operations very quickly, saving us a lot of time
Pros and Cons
  • "Regarding features, SnapMirror is one we depend on right now. It helps us provide snapshots to the customers on request. There are many scenarios in which we might take snapshots in various daily use cases. We trigger the snapshots, which gives us a sense of security because we know we have this technology in place if something happens."
  • "NetApp should offer more training so everyone can learn about the products. Other vendors have a lot of training options. It would be great if NetApp would highlight how to use the features more so that every admin or person can gain more knowledge about this technology."

What is our primary use case?

We are using AFF for a few clients. It's a specific type of data we use for these arrays, not like a block kind of thing or regular data. A few clients have particular requirements about where we put all the data. We are primarily using FAS, and we have around four or five AFF boxes. We don't deal with AFF regularly. 

We're not currently using NetApp Cloud Backup, but we're planning on implementing it. I'm not sure because my architect is the one who manages the end-to-end services for NetApp. He makes all the decisions on the NetApp side whether we use AFF or FAS. AFF is a unified storage box, so we route certain data to AFF. 

How has it helped my organization?

AFF has simplified data management across SAN and NAS environments. As admins, we're always trying to reduce the complications on the technology end. We're looking at the product from a single perspective. It's more about how the team engages with it. If one person on a 10-person team isn't comfortable with the features, then that's where we have to improve our understanding and where the vendor can help us. With AFF, we haven't had this issue. The whole team is thrilled to work on the product.

NetApp's ONTAP data management software has also made tasks simpler for us. There's no question about that. It has helped us run operations very quickly, saving us a lot of time. Before ONTAP, we used to spend a long time doing regular operations, but with the latest version of the tool, our day-to-day operations are much quicker and easier.

If you asked me to rate AFF's effect on the flexibility of SAP and Oracle workloads, I would give it a seven out of 10. AFF is what we are using right now, but the team isn't fully utilizing it because our architect team is managing everything. We haven't had enough time to look into that. We were interested in that. It is easier to understand and manage. There isn't a need to dig into that. However, I'm on the backend side of things, and we are still looking for some relevant documents that can help us understand this aspect better.

What is most valuable?

AFF is user-friendly. A person who has no experience with NetApp can handle it comfortably. Regarding features, SnapMirror is one we depend on right now. It helps us provide snapshots to the customers on request. There are many scenarios in which we might take snapshots in various daily use cases. We trigger the snapshots, which gives us a sense of security because we know we have this technology in place if something happens.

What needs improvement?

NetApp should offer more training so everyone can learn about the products. Other vendors have a lot of training options. It would be great if NetApp would highlight how to use the features more so that every admin or person can gain more knowledge about this technology. 

For example, my team is unaware of any product unless my architect tells us about it. Then the team starts digging. It would be helpful if they made all the documentation and training readily accessible to everyone on their portal.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've been using NetApp since I joined the company six years back.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Stability-wise, AFF is fantastic. We haven't seen many complications, and before there is a possible outage, NetApp reaches out to us and lets us know what's going on. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

NetApp products in general are highly scalable. For scalability, I would rate AFF nine out of 10.

How are customer service and support?

NetApp provides excellent support. We get valid and crucial advice from NetApp every time we interact with them weekly or monthly. I would rate their support nine out of 10 because I work with various products from multiple vendors. Compared to other vendors, I feel more comfortable reaching out to the NetApp team. 

For example, I tried to reach the NetApp support team for one of the issues over the weekend. My call got disconnected due to a network glitch, and immediately I got an email in my inbox as well as a call back from NetApp on my given number. That's how NetApp reaches its customers.

How would you rate customer service and support?

Positive

How was the initial setup?

I do remote support, so I'm not working on the data center side. We have an on-site team that could better describe the installation and deployment. However, my impression is that deploying AFF is straightforward. 

The architect is the main person working with the NetApp products, and he does a deep dive before touching any product. Our team has minimal exposure to NetApp because our work involves a mix of vendors. We have people working on the NetApp side but not regularly. The architect spends a lot of time on NetApp in his day-to-day activities, and he makes the changes. He takes and gives recommendations about which product to use, whereas we provide remote support from a different region altogether. The implementation, changes, configuration, and decision-making are all done from the headquarters.

And once it is implemented, the remote team logs in and does the navigation part. We check the array and identify any problems. If we find anything, we immediately reach out to the architect. He's the one who engages with NetApp and relays information to the remote team. That's how we learn as an organization. We spend time on the products to gain knowledge and experience with vendors.

What was our ROI?

It's hard for me to speak to return on investment. We have a different team responsible for that. I support the technical side. A separate team procures new arrays. 

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

In addition to simplifying the management across a mix of solutions, AFF simplifies the cost. That was one of the main reasons we purchased AFF.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We are using two other vendor products as well. One is from Dell EMC, and the other is HP. I say the best competitor would be EMC. We get the same level of support from EMC as NetApp. But it's hard to compare the two. Each vendor has its own way of providing the service. AFF doesn't work the same way the other vendor's product does. They both are unique and work based on their own design. However, the navigation makes a lot of difference for the end-users, like admins.

It depends on if you prefer working with the CLI or the GUI. I'm more comfortable on the CLI in admin roles, but I like the GUI over the CLI if I compare the same thing with the other product. Each product meets the needs of the use case in its own way, but the navigation style is different. Depending on your preference, you might feel more comfortable with NetApp or other products.

What other advice do I have?

I'd rate NetApp AFF nine out of 10. To customers who are considering AFF, I would say they can go for it without hesitation. If it's a choice between AFF, FAS, or something else, customers can choose NetApp AFF without a second thought. We are happy with NetApp. Out of all the solutions we've looked at, AFF is the best fit for our business requirements so far.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud
Disclosure: PeerSpot contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
Flag as inappropriate
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.
Flag as inappropriate
Ahmed Zaki - PeerSpot reviewer
Infrastructure Architect Supervisor; Solution Delivery Supervisor at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Top 20
Simple licensing, good performance, and easy to use and administer
Pros and Cons
  • "Most of the features for the reduction in data compression are useful. It is also very easy to use and administer. Its performance is also good."
  • "They can include Amazon file system S3 protocol in the upcoming releases. It is a cloud file system. IBM FlashSystem doesn't have this feature in the box for high-end or mid-range. We have got requests for this from customers because we need to use S3 for EDI application storage. At the beginning of every year, IBM releases firmware. When I find any bugs in the firmware during the year, I am unable to find any information from IBM regarding the bug. I need to open a ticket, and the IBM engineering team makes a patch only for me. This patch is not public. By creating a customized patch for a client, they don't really solve the issue for everyone. If multiple users have the same bug, IBM should upload the patch on the official website so that we can download it. IBM FlashSystem has a monitoring tool in the box, but it is not advanced. I need a more advanced tool for more advanced equations and monitoring. All top three storage vendors, that is, EMC, IBM, and Pure Storage, don't have a powerful monitoring tool. To monitor our box to show the statistics for I/Os and latency, I need to pay for extra software. The built-in monitoring storage is not mature enough to handle all requests and generate all reports that I need. They can include the functionality to stretch a cluster natively without using any additional boxes. In addition, there are some features that EMC has integrated with the box. These features are not available in IBM FlashSystem."

What is most valuable?

Most of the features for the reduction in data compression are useful. 

It is also very easy to use and administer. Its performance is also good.

What needs improvement?

They can include Amazon file system S3 protocol in the upcoming releases. It is a cloud file system. IBM FlashSystem doesn't have this feature in the box for high-end or mid-range. We have got requests for this from customers because we need to use S3 for EDI application storage. 

At the beginning of every year, IBM releases firmware. When I find any bugs in the firmware during the year, I am unable to find any information from IBM regarding the bug. I need to open a ticket, and the IBM engineering team makes a patch only for me. This patch is not public. By creating a customized patch for a client, they don't really solve the issue for everyone. If multiple users have the same bug, IBM should upload the patch on the official website so that we can download it.

IBM FlashSystem has a monitoring tool in the box, but it is not advanced. I need a more advanced tool for more advanced equations and monitoring. All top three storage vendors, that is, EMC, IBM, and Pure Storage, don't have a powerful monitoring tool. To monitor our box to show the statistics for I/Os and latency, I need to pay for extra software. The built-in monitoring storage is not mature enough to handle all requests and generate all reports that I need.

They can include the functionality to stretch a cluster natively without using any additional boxes. In addition, there are some features that EMC has integrated with the box. These features are not available in IBM FlashSystem.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for six years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is stable. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is scalable. All projects in my company use the IBM FlashSystem. I am working on high-end storage, not mid-range. I can scale out or scale up. IBM has introduced FlashSystem 9200 to the market in which I can scale SAS disk, NVMe disk, and SSCM disk. I have three options on one box, which are not available with EMC or Pure Storage.

You can also scale out storage in EMC. In Pure Storage, there are issues in scaling. Pure Storage has different boxes like X70, X90, X50, and if I need to scale or upgrade the box, I need to change our controllers. Every Pure Storage box has limited capacity, whereas, for IBM storage, the capacity of the box is not limited.

How are customer service and technical support?

The response of technical support is good.

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

I have used NetApp storage and EMC storage. NetApp storage is very poor and bad. EMC is a good competitor of IBM in the market now, and in terms of the number of customers, EMC is number one. User Interface is the main big difference between IBM and EMC. IBM FlashSystem is very easy and friendly comparatively. EMC is very complicated. 

EMC is also closed, whereas IBM FlashSystem is very open. It provides a lot of communication over the internet for administrating and implementing the storage. I am working on a customer project that has EMC storage, and the customer daily complains regarding EMC Unity or XtremIO.

IBM is integrated with the different operating systems by a native operating system multipath. EMC works with PowerPath multipath. Until recently, EMC didn't have these features in the box, and you had to pay for a multipath license. In new technology and operating system versions of EMC, a separate multipath license is not required.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was very easy.

What about the implementation team?

I implemented it. I have experience of ten years in implementing IBM storage. It is very easy to implement. 

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

The integration is already included in the license cost of IBM FlashSystem. The integration is very easy. You get the IBM storage core with all software, firmware, and upgrades. EMC provides the features in the box, but they are not free for customers. There is a licensing cost for features.

We have yearly licensing, but IBM has also provided a new option where you pay as you go. They provide a big box, and I pay, for example, for 10 terabytes. If I exceed 10 terabytes, IBM will charge for the new storage after 10 terabytes. It is a good opportunity in the market for using the storage as a cloud and paying as you go. 

What other advice do I have?

I work only on high-end storage. Before recommending a solution, I need to know about the workload, that is, application workload, backup workload, and database workload. IBM provides a free workload script that can be applied to any environment, such as Windows, Unix, or Linux. I need to see the I/O performance, and after which, I can provide the best solution for a customer from Pure Storage, EMC, or IBM. 

I would rate IBM FlashSystem a nine 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
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.
Flag as inappropriate
Solutions Architect/ Consultant at IVT
Consultant
Top 20
Efficient, good performance for deduplication and compression, and it integrates well with VMware
Pros and Cons
  • "Overall, we're quite happy with the product because we can move the data that is stored on more than 10 of our current storage devices to a single PowerStore."
  • "There is no Synchronize replication feature on the storage."

What is our primary use case?

Most of our PowerStore units are used for VMware VMs and vSphere. We migrated the VMs from our Unity storage.

We have two sites; the data center site (DC) and the disaster recovery (DR) site. We only use the PowerStore on the DC site. The project was put on hold due to COVID but we plan to continue with it this year.

How has it helped my organization?

VMware integration with the product is good. We use vSphere, which is one of the main VMware functions. In addition, we use vSAN for storage, and we have to use the SIEM.

This solution has helped us to simplify our storage operations, although we have a lot of storage devices and too few administrators. Because of this, we're looking for a software solution to assist us with administration. This is something that we will be doing next year.

Overall, we're quite happy with the product because we can move the data that is stored on more than 10 of our current storage devices to a single PowerStore. In terms of efficiency, this solution is the best choice for us.

What is most valuable?

The deduplication and compression features are quite impressive because when we enable this feature on other products, such as HPE 3PAR, we have a lot of latency. With PowerStore, we don't have that issue.

This device is less CPU intensive than the EMC Unity and the HPE 3PAR.

PowerStore supports the iSCSI interface, which we find helpful. We use one for our fiber channel but another one for iSCSI.

What needs improvement?

There is no Synchronize replication feature on the storage.

PowerStore should include more NAS functionality.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using EMC products since 2003, although I began using Dell EMC PowerStore only last year.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Stability-wise, we have had no issues at all. In the past, all of our EMC products have been stable. We have not had the storage fail or had a faulty port. We have not even had to call support since putting it into production.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We plan to expand our usage in the future. One of our next goals is to purchase a PowerStore for our DR site because we need to have replication for our financial use case. We also plan to replace some of our other storage devices with PowerStore because we need to improve the overall efficiency.

How are customer service and support?

We have not opened a technical support case with Dell for PowerStore but because most of our products are from Dell, we have dealt with them in the past. We have purchased approximately 100 servers from Dell and we have always been quite happy with their support. We don't have any issues with them and I would rate them a ten out of ten.

Every time we have an issue, they work with us to resolve the problem. There has never been a need for a repeat call and we are quite happy with that.

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

We have many Dell EMC Unity storage devices, including the Unity 450 and Unity 650, but we wanted a new, smaller storage unit.  

The main reason that we moved to PowerStore was the compression and deduplication.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is easier than other products, such as Unity.

We were able to set up the storage and put it into production within one day. PowerStore is very quick to set up. By comparison, Unity will take at least two days to install.

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

We are happy with the pricing that we get from Dell.

What other advice do I have?

This solution enables us to add compute and capacity independently, although we have not had to change our configuration.

PowerStore uses machine learning and automation for optimizing resources but we are just starting with it, so I don't know much about these features.

I would rate this solution a 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.
Flag as inappropriate
Buyer's Guide
All-Flash Storage Arrays
June 2022
Get our free report covering Dell Technologies, NetApp, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, and other competitors of Dell Unity XT. Updated: June 2022.
609,272 professionals have used our research since 2012.