Buyer's Guide
All-Flash Storage Arrays
November 2022
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Solutions Architect at a wholesaler/distributor with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Provides protection against ransomware threats with immutable snapshots, and it is well known for its scalability, ease of use, and non-disruptive upgrades
Pros and Cons
  • "One of the features that my customers are really interested in is immutable snapshots. There are immutable snapshots to which your applications can be reverted back if you are hit by some kind of ransomware threat or malicious attack. That's kind of a key deal, and it is one of the selling points I use to point out to my customers the value and the features that Pure Storage brings to the table."
  • "I like what they're doing, but some of my customers complain that they do not have all the bells and whistles and knobs to fine-tune workloads that some of the competitors have. In my opinion, that's good. All customers don't have dedicated storage gurus, and they can get themselves into trouble if they fine-tune too many of those high-performance knobs, but they do get knocked down. Pure Storage takes a hit in the minds and opinions of some of the customers because they cannot customize things as much as compared to a legacy storage provider's appliance such as NetApp, Dell EMC, or even HPE. I personally think 95% of my customers are better off letting the system fine-tune itself. That was something that you needed to do 12 or 15 years ago, but now with all-flash, the technology can handle what it needs to handle. Customers just end up shooting themselves in the foot if they are tweaking too many default settings."

What is our primary use case?

I'm a pre-sales architect. I architect, and I sell them as a partner with Pure Storage on the VAR side. Our customers use it for storage, mainly block-based storage and virtualization storage. Some solutions have both block and file storage, and some solutions only have file storage from Pure. 

How has it helped my organization?

It provides additional protection against ransomware threats. If you are hit by some kind of ransomware threat or some kind of malicious attack, you can revert your data back in time to a previous version or snapshot.

What is most valuable?

One of the features that my customers are really interested in is immutable snapshots. There are immutable snapshots to which your applications can be reverted back if you are hit by some kind of ransomware threat or malicious attack. That's kind of a key deal, and it is one of the selling points I use to point out to my customers the value and the features that Pure Storage brings to the table.

Scalability, ease of use, and non-disruptive upgrades are also valuable. They're not using flash just for your tier one storage needs. They're recommending flash for data protection and archive backup, which is the way to go.

If you get the gold support, which is what I sell and recommend for my customers, Pure's support personnel will take care of both software and hardware upgrades, which is another feather in Pure's cap. They make several claims that once you move to Pure Storage, you can take your team of five dedicated storage admins and trim it down to just one person. Their mantra is getting customers out of the game of managing storage and letting the vendor manage the storage. They want to see their customers just consume storage. They have non-disruptive upgrades. You just set up the software and hardware and just consume the storage. They're continuously looking at the dial-homes, the logs that are automatically sent, and fingerprinting potential issues before they're even a problem. That cuts down on a lot of support tickets the customers have to open up. They'll proactively open up tickets when they see something in their analytics on a particular customer's array and recognize that one of their hosts might have a certain HBA with a fault or a bug. They reach out and open a ticket. So, you get your system upgrade, patched, or whatever is needed to resolve the potential problem.

What needs improvement?

I like what they're doing, but some of my customers complain that they do not have all the bells and whistles and knobs to fine-tune workloads that some of the competitors have. In my opinion, that's good. All customers don't have dedicated storage gurus, and they can get themselves into trouble if they fine-tune too many of those high-performance knobs, but they do get knocked down. Pure Storage takes a hit in the minds and opinions of some of the customers because they cannot customize things as much as compared to a legacy storage provider's appliance such as NetApp, Dell EMC, or even HPE. I personally think 95% of my customers are better off letting the system fine-tune itself. That was something that you needed to do 12 or 15 years ago, but now with all-flash, the technology can handle what it needs to handle. Customers just end up shooting themselves in the foot if they are tweaking too many default settings.

Pure is typically more expensive than everyone else. They can work on the price to make it more competitive.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Its stability is very good. I have not heard any of my customers having issues with FlashArray. It is very solid. They claim 99.9999% availability. I haven't had any problems with outages with my customers. 

They have another product called FlashBlade, which is a different type of storage appliance that Pure does for unstructured files. FlashBlade doesn't rank as high in reliability as their flagship FlashArray product does. The FlashBlade product is a notch below. It is a newer product or code, and I have heard of some issues with it.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Its scalability is very good. It scales up instead of out, which is typical for a block-based appliance. It is very easy to add expansion shelves or disks. You don't need to worry about shuffling drives around and creating RAID groups. This is all legacy stuff. Most vendors are now the same, but I really think that Pure led the effort for non-disruptive upgrades. They coined the term, and other vendors have since followed suit. They're the leader in the industry for that.

How are customer service and technical support?

Their regular support is good. With gold support, Pure's support personnel takes care of both software and hardware upgrades. The only difference between free support and gold support is that you don't get free hardware upgrades with free support. If I understand the offering correctly, software upgrades are still included. 

How was the initial setup?

If we're just talking about Pure Storage, it is straightforward and simple. You can get it up in minutes as opposed to hours that some of the other solutions take. Compared to its competitive solutions, Pure is very well known for its simplicity and ease of use, especially during setup and initialization.

A single 2U appliance from Pure Storage for block-based workloads, including rack stack and initialization, is ready to be provisioned to your servers in an hour or an hour and a half to the max. It is definitely straightforward.

If you get the gold support, Pure's support personnel will take care of both software and hardware upgrades. So, you don't have to manage storage. Pure takes care of that.

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

Pure is typically more expensive than everyone else. You get what you pay for, but I have lost deals to similar solutions because of pricing.

They include everything, and that's another positive about Pure Storage. They aren't trying to nickel and dime their customers for different features. It is all included in one price. The license is by capacity, and the price depends on the capacity and the discount we're getting from the vendor. You get the SKU of the physical appliance, support, and maintenance, and that's it. You're licensed for whatever feature they offer. It is all rolled up into the price of the appliance.

What other advice do I have?

I would advise others to chose well. Prepare to have extra time on your hands to focus on your business's core needs and outcomes and not having to worry about the day-to-day maintenance of your storage appliance.

All my customers are pretty happy with most Pure Storage solutions. They might ask for customization level, but I think Pure is doing the right thing by its set-it-and-forget-it approach. Most customers don't need to fine-tune and customize their all-flash storage appliances anymore. It is not a legacy spinning disk appliance.

I would rate Pure Storage FlashArray a nine out of 10. Its pricing sometimes plays a big part where customers might go in a different direction, and that's the only reason why I'm not giving it a 10.

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
Storage Manager at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 20
User-friendly graphical user interface and simplifies reporting for easy management
Pros and Cons
  • "There are a lot of screens for easy management where you can change some settings. But after a few years, the important settings were better after an upgrade, and all the vendors have other ways to upgrade their systems."
  • "HPE 3PAR StoreServ has limited flexibility in building replication solutions. There are limitations to the number of IOPS the system can do. It's not bad as it is doing its job. However, for the application, if you need a toolbox, you can build everything concerning periodic replication modes of synchronous or asynchronous three-site, four-site, with supported cascading which requires you to buy an IBM product. It also takes a few hours to one day to upgrade the system and sometimes; it takes more time because, in some HPE 3PAR StoreServ 20000 Storage, you have an eight-node system. If you do an upgrade, you do it node by node and every node might take more than an hour."

What is our primary use case?

We use HPE 3PAR StoreServ for data storage. Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) had something in the contract because if you can compress data very well, you don't need that much capacity in your systems. If it was not possible to compress to a certain degree, they put some extra capacity in the systems. We bought that borrowed capacity but they separated the one-piece storage boxes added to our environment to get along with that bigger growth in capacity. Despite that, it is a wonderful system with an excellent graphical user interface. Still, new functions are being rolled out.

How has it helped my organization?

I've seen a lot of data storage systems. It's the only storage system you can watch over the application time and it keeps measuring it. We have some thresholds on our end on it, a very good graphical user interface and reporting. 

What is most valuable?

There are a lot of screens for easy management where you can change some settings. But after a few years, the important settings were better after an upgrade, and all the vendors have other ways to upgrade their systems.

What needs improvement?

HPE 3PAR StoreServ has limited flexibility in building replication solutions. There are limitations to the number of IOPS the system can do. It's not bad as it is doing its job. However, for the application, if you need a toolbox, you can build everything concerning periodic replication modes of synchronous or asynchronous three-site, four-site, with supported cascading which requires you to buy an IBM product. 

It also takes a few hours to one day to upgrade the system and sometimes; it takes more time because, in some HPE 3PAR StoreServ 20000 Storage, you have an eight-node system. If you do an upgrade, you do it node by node and every node might take more than an hour.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using HPE 3PAR StoreServ for the past seven years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Last year after summer, HPE had to locate replication groups getting stopped and took a lot of time to find out what's happening, and yet we still don't know what's happening over there. It feels like the message is quite clear after replicating from A to B, and it states that B is not responding very well.

There is a timeout, and it stops the replication group because there is no stability or consistency and is not good at that moment. So that might be negative, but when was the last time? I think in November of last year.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

At one point, some remote copy groups stopped working, and we used a disaster recovery plan because, in production, we replicate everything from A to B and then split up into some remote copy groups, gathering together some data source and clusters. If one of those remote copy groups stops, you don't have DFP anymore and you have to restart them. And last year after starting one of those replication groups; we had some performance issues because they're trying to get in sync as soon as possible using all the resources, so we had to plan very well outside the business hours.

How are customer service and technical support?

We have proactive datacenter care; I call it a storage advocate, and we can send every question to them and we get quick answers. They also help to find out if new releases are available and other services. For now, they have more insights on that. They have better sources sometimes, and I have better sources than them sometimes, but they do a great job and they also assisted us concerning the compression issue we had at the beginning.

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

It is quite difficult to decide on the cost. At one point, I was the project lead to cover with some people, but the price was important and we had its compression calculated. At that moment, it was fair because that was one of the things moving their product due to the cost of HPE 3PAR StoreServ as they were competing with Hitachi and IBM A9000, which I'm not sure if is still available. 

We have done total cost of ownership calculations over the past five years, and we also ask for some cost prices for the sixth and seventh year so that we can get some insights into what happens after those five years. We have some systems that are five years old and we keep them because it's flash data storage. It's still almost a three terabyte solid-state drive, and the support cost is not that high. We'll have a look after that. I see other things happening on the Hitachi boxes with all those license defeats. This is also positive for HPE 3PAR StoreServ, everything is on the license. When we bought the systems, it was the case and then I've been reading something about it. You can buy the rest of the licenses. If you buy a system, that will not be replicated to another system, then you get a license without replication software.

What other advice do I have?

The job of direct channel support to HPE 3PAR StoreServ is not an end of life or end of support but HPE Primera has now replaced it and I hope they get all the functionality in there like the HPE 3PAR. I remember it seems like HPE 3PAR and HPE Primera have support for volume plugins and that will be a big game if they can implement volumes on their system because that kind of release is much better than the datastore level.

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.
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.
Francisco Gimo - PeerSpot reviewer
Management Information System Officer at a mining and metals company with 501-1,000 employees
Real User
Beneficial data duplication, high availability, and proactive support
Pros and Cons
  • "The most valuable feature of Dell Unity XT is data duplication. Additionally, the management interface is simple, and is not a hassle using it. You don't need too much to learn or to be familiarized with it."
  • "Dell Unity XT could add a unit-to-unit replication. We haven't seen that because we don't have an additional one to test. However, it is not an improvement, but something that we would like to have visibility on how it's done or how it works."

What is our primary use case?

Dell Unity XT is used for data storage at a data center.

How has it helped my organization?

Dell Unity XT has improved our organization's performance. We have seen reduced management times.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature of Dell Unity XT is data duplication. Additionally, the management interface is simple, and is not a hassle using it. You don't need too much to learn or to be familiarized with it.

What needs improvement?

Dell Unity XT could add a unit-to-unit replication. We haven't seen that because we don't have an additional one to test. However, it is not an improvement, but something that we would like to have visibility on how it's done or how it works.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Dell Unity XT for approximately two years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Dell Unity XT is a very stable and reliable solution. We can leave the solution alone for a month without needing to check on how the unit is operating, or if there are problems. We realized the benefit of using the solution in approximately one year of use.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability of Dell Unity XT is good because during the period of one year we noticed we had the need to add more and more systems, and more components to it and we were able to do it with no hassle. We do not plan to increase our usage.

We have approximately 500 endpoints using this solution.

How are customer service and support?

The support from Dell Unity XT is good. They actively monitor the units. They have called us up when they have lost connection to one of the units to then take action. We have not had any issues to have needed to contact the support directly.

I rate the support of Dell Unity XT a nine out of ten.

How would you rate customer service and support?

Positive

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

I was previously using HP High-Performance Unit Storages. There was a need to purchase a new unit because we were struggling with the resources, performance, support, and other aspects. The best solution that was on offer that came to us was Dell Unity XT. The company decided to move to it and buy the full flash version to support all the applications that we have on-site.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup of Dell Unity XT was straightforward because we had Dell representatives involved with our team. 

We had to do a migration because we wanted to ensure that there was no downtime during the migration process from the old solution to the Dell Unity XT.  To complete everything live without the business noticing that something is going on in the background. 

You cannot have two groups of equipment that are deployed at the same time. For example, the host, storage, and switches. We had to ensure that everything is deployed, updated, and then do the connections between the two solutions and start with the migrations.

What about the implementation team?

We use Dell representatives for the implementation of the solution. We ended up doing the configurations ourselves without needing the support. 80 percent of the deployment we did ourselves. We had two people involved in the deployment and the solution has not required any maintenance so far.

We deployed not only the one Dell Unity XT but a bunch of them. It took us approximately one week for everything to be finished. Additionally, we deployed some hosts, switches, and other systems.

What was our ROI?

We have received a return on investment using Dell Unity XT.

We were able to solve the performance issues we were having. Our core communications and infrastructure is dependent on these units. The fact that all of the systems that we have improved significantly in terms of performance. The organization has benefited or is happy with the investment they've done at this point.

We have received a full return on investment from using the solution for three to four years.

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

The price of Dell Unity XT is reasonable. However, if you are buying a custom solution, it can come at a considerable price. 

If you want to scale or add additional components, this is where the price starts to spike or become very complicated and expensive. If you purchase the components separately they can cost a lot.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We did not evaluate other solutions before choosing Dell Unity XT.

What other advice do I have?

My advice to others would be for them to purchase the solution urgently if they need a backup solution.

I rate Dell Unity XT a ten 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.
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Abdullah Mahmood - PeerSpot reviewer
Network and System Administrator at TWD Technologies Ltd.
Real User
Top 5
User-friendly with good documentation and the capability to scale
Pros and Cons
  • "We've found the solution to be very stable so far."
  • "The design is a little old-fashioned and could be updated. The rack is very primitive and designed in an older style."

What is our primary use case?

The solution is primarily a file infrastructure. It contains all the virtual machines for our company.

What is most valuable?

The solution is still new to us and needs to be explored more.

The documentation is excellent so far. 

The solution uses all flash. The connection to the server is a fiber connection. It's very fast. 

The possibility of expanding is very good. It offers very good flexibility.

The price point is pretty decent. 

The product is user-friendly. The setup process is easy.

We've found the solution to be very stable so far.

What needs improvement?

We need to spend more time with the solution in order to detect any shortcomings. So far, we haven't really seen any.

The design is a little old-fashioned and could be updated. The rack is very primitive and designed in an older style. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I've only been using the solution for two months. It hasn't been that long just yet. It could be maybe less than that, as we just recently installed it and we decided to go for it about three months back. About one and a half months ago the implementation was completed and we started using it.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability of the solution is very good. We haven't detected any bugs or glitches. it doesn't crash or freeze. It's reliable. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution has the potential to scale quite well. If a company needs to expand it, it can.

However, it is a hardware, and you do need to take scaling into account early on. We can grow with the hardware we have and put on new drives, et cetera.

We have approximately 200 employees, and anyone that's connected to the network, those files are stored on this particular solution. Therefore, even if they aren't aware they are using the product, they, in fact, are.

How are customer service and technical support?

Personally, I haven't directly dealt with technical support. That said, apparently, it looks like it is quite good. The support is proactive. My system is already connected to IBM tech centers. They can highlight predictive failures, for example. My assumption is that they are quite good, although I can't yet peak from personal experience.

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

We previously used Dell EqualLogic. We switched, as we had used it for close to six years and it needed to be replaced. Initially, we thought to replace it with another Dell EqualLogic product, however, after comparing different brands, we landed on this.  

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is definitely not complex. It's not difficult. They make it straightforward and user-friendly. A company should have no problems implementing it.

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

The price is quite good. We find it to be rather reasonable overall. When you compare it to other brands especially, the price is quite good.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We did look at other solutions, including and updated Dell EqualLogic and HPE.

What other advice do I have?

We are just a customer and an end-user.

We are using the latest version of the solution at this point.

I'd recommend the solution. Everything is fiber from start to finish. I don't need to use a fiber switch. It's an expensive component. However, IBM says I don't need it and I can do I direct line from my own source. It's a supported solution. It's very good.

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

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.
Buyer's Guide
All-Flash Storage Arrays
November 2022
Get our free report covering Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Dell Technologies, and other competitors of HPE Primera. Updated: November 2022.
657,849 professionals have used our research since 2012.