Any advice re Dell PowerMax? We are looking at Unity and PowerMax, and also HPE.

We are looking at various vendors including HPE and Dell, looking at both the Unity and the PowerMax options.

What can you share with me about PowerMax and how it compares with Unity and/or HPE?

I am a Storage Architect at a global financial services company with tens of thousands of employees worldwide.

Thank you,


Storage Architect at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees
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7 Answers
Senior Presales Engineer with 11-50 employees
May 23, 2019

The PowerMax NVMe is the high-end storage fromDellEMC it can provide up to 10M IOPS, however, if you need less, you can go with the new Unity XT which is going to have NVMe as well.

The new Unity XT is going to be ready for order in June 2019.

Product comparison that may be of interest to you
it_user991506 - PeerSpot reviewer
Engineer / Architect at CenturyLink
May 22, 2019

I have used all, EMC, and HPE 3Par, VNX, Unity, etc. All are OK. But for long term Flash Storage, I would take a look at Hitachi F Series. Best reliability hands down and they provide non-disruptive migrations, no server downtime, no scheduling with users, etc. NDM makes Hitachi a no brainer.

Senior Consultant at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
Real User
Top 5
May 5, 2020

Many insightful answers already provided.

I would just add the following based on my experience. With so many employees an located in different places, its important for you to list the issues being encountered with the present setup, in addition of the need to upgrade, of course :

- Latency -if being experienced generally or specifically to a location as this may indicate a network issue and this is better solved before the upgrade to new storage in order not to disappoint users

-Type of need : analytics/ Big data, classical operational transactions, archiving - in this case you may go for Tiering ( that is have NVMe as the top Tier and SSD as Tier 2). Users are normally demanding but given the costs in a time of budgetary cuts, better offer them different Tiers with front end ones data residing on the better Tier

- Finally, also make sure you have some well structured storage network as you don't want some big fat slow Database VMs located in one of your data centers impacting on the performance of your leaner VMs provisioned on NVMe.

ValereFEUGWANG - PeerSpot reviewer
Information System Consultant at CFAO Technologies
Real User
Top 10
May 4, 2020

Hello Robert,
What you need to know is in the world of storage infrastructure all the constructor offers a portfolio group by categories like Entry Level Storage, Midrange Storage, Enterprise storage
PowerMax is an enterprise storage on the DELL EMC portfolio
Enterprise storage is usually used for Mission critical Application where the availability required is 99,9999%. With enterprise storage you can manage approximatively 15Millions of IOPS which are very important when you want to take decision to consolidation storage.
Personally, if you cannot expect to reach Millions of IOPS I recommend to go to DELL EMC Unity XT, otherwise move forward to Power Max
PowerMax offer many features like SLO for categories of Application (Diamond, Gold, Silver)
 Diamond latency < 1ms
 Gold Latency >1ms
 Silver Latency >10ms, <20ms
You have also FastVP to move Hot Data to the fastest TIER storage
Physically PowerMax use a Virtual matrix to interconnect all the Engine which can reach 8 depending of the model
Midrange storage use only two controller and provide you and availability of 99,999%
Unity XT is better than HPE MSA or 3PAR
If you want other informations you can contact me

Master Accredited Solutions Expert at Hewlett Packard Enterprise
Real User
Sep 11, 2019

Thank you for posting your question. I would definitely take a look at HPR Primera which is designed from the ground up for NVMe and SCM. HPE Primera is the follow-on from HPE 3PAR although advancements in it's design architecture and capabilities make it actually a new product with HPE 3PAR DNA. With a 100% Availability Guarantee and InfoSight and the Primera Architecture, you'll have the capacity, performance and availability you need moving forward. You'll also have deep insight into what is happening with your storage, what will or might happen with your storage and what could have happened with your storage with InfoSight. InfoSight takes telemetry data from across the entire stack to predict, detect and resolve issues before they affect your storage. https://www.hpe.com/us/en/storage/hpe-primera.html?chatsrc=ot-en&jumpid=ps_6bzx8wvt7c_aid-510455007&gclid=CjwKCAjwtuLrBRAlEiwAPVcZBiwzjNSc9sGU2vMnpnKApnAWoIgvY_RMkGRlewgB0T3p59aBhiLHuRoCWy8QAvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds

reviewer1107468 - PeerSpot reviewer
Senior Consultant at EMC Corporation
May 30, 2019

On the NDM front, Dell EMC has provided simplified non-disruptive migrations to PowerMax and VMAX for some time. Customers have migrated over 100PB of capacity from older arrays at this point.

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it_user1117725 - PeerSpot reviewer
User at a tech services company with 201-500 employees
Jun 19, 2019

Does PowerMax have storage virtualization for external storage as part of the package?

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CEO at vmind
Sep 20, 2023
Dear Colleague,  I am the CEO of a small tech services company. I need a comparison between Unity 400 and PowerStore 1200. Which solution do you prefer and why?Thanks
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Cloud Engineer at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Sep 19, 2023
The Unity 400 is a rather old, a much less powerfull solution and at its best holds ssd flashdrives if at all. Currently you have the Unity 8xx model, which has more CPU punch and therefore maxes out less fast on CPU utilisation. What this means is that you can add more shelves and disks and workloads to it before you hit the roof.   The powerstore 1200 is an nvme storage, is 60% more powerfull (compared to FC/SCSI-SSD on Unity) in our case, and has higher datareduction rates. If the unity reaches out to a datareduction rate of 1.5 or 2, the Powerstore T1200 is capable of 3 to 3.5 datareduction, probably due to half its blocksize. The price of the device is pretty much dependant on the price of its media, and therefore the Powerstore T1200 is the absolute winner. . Another aspect is that the Powerstore can be used to build a cluster of arrays compared to the sync/asynch replication only feature of the Unity series, rendering the mirrored volumes unuseable unless one fails over to it, like in a disaster recovery scenario. . The Powerstore also allows true A/A volumes on both sides . What this means is that one can build stretched vSphere clusters and the loss of your array in one site will still allow writing to the alternate protected disk, transparently ! You can have site local writes to your volumes and remain in sync without a need to cross site write. . There is not much of a reason to settle for the Unity anymore, though some still prefer the Unity for NAS compared to Powerstore, but honestly speaking I won't recommend to use any of both for that purpose unless for limitted useage. Unity allocates RAM ressources dynamically when used for FC/SCSI AND NAS , whereas the Powerstore is initialized in a kind of split off of RAM ressources between NAS/FC SCSI at installation time. The ressource allocation is fixed and can't be altered lateron.  Thats a hard call. So I'd favour the Unity only if you use it for low/moderate NAS needs in combination with FC/SCSI or block data and you don't have the budget nor the size to use a NAS optimised array on top.
Md. ImranulHoque - PeerSpot reviewer
Enterprise post-sales manager. at Smart technologies (BD) Ltd
Sep 20, 2023
Hello Yasin,  The best solution depends upon your host environment. In general, PowerStore is more powerful than Unity but Unity is also a very good Storage solution.
Content Manager at PeerSpot (formerly IT Central Station)
Dec 17, 2021
Which is better and why?
See 2 answers
Janet Staver - PeerSpot reviewer
Tech Blogger
Dec 15, 2021
HPE Primera has many great features but one of the best is that it is very easy to deploy. From an overall perspective, it is reliable, easy to set up, stable, and offers quality block storage. All of the capabilities of the hardware (including snapshot, replication, and other specific features) come with it, so there is no need for an additional license. In addition, the AI advantages and analytics with InfoSight are definitely powerful. With HPE Primera you are guaranteed great performance with excellent low latency. The AI driven interface is for hybrid cloud, and it also provides insights into any virtualized infrastructure such as proactive recommendations, performance issues, etc. Whatsmore, the dashboards are also great and user-friendly. And the customization capabilities HPE Primera gives you are excellent. From my experience using HPE Primera, there isn’t any real aspect of the solution that needs to be improved other than its high price point. HPE 3par Storeserv is also easy to use and set up. The solution is robust and makes data performance much faster. The data replication feature of HPE 3par does a good job of replicating data cleanly over to a second site. HPE 3par Storeserv also makes it easy to make changes without it affecting your environment. In addition, it comes with a lot of screens with adjustable settings, which makes management easier. Moreover, it is easy to scale, it is very stable, has a very good interface, is reliable, and also allows you to have tiered storage. However, HPE 3par has limitations when it comes to the number of IOPS the system can do and has limited flexibility in regards to building replication solutions. Conclusion: Ultimately, I chose HPE Primera because 3par Storeserv does not have integration with cloud services, which is something I need.
Manager at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
Dec 17, 2021
@Janet Staver great summary, couldn't have said it better.  However, please note that HPE 3PAR has file support while Primera doesn't.  So, weigh that with your use case and requirements.
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