Has anyone tried Dell EMC PowerStore? What do you think of it and how was migration?

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1 Answer

Nov 29, 2021

We compared PowerStore T 2.0 to Pure FlashArray and found them to be similar. 

Pure FlashArray has offered NVMe-oF connectivity for quite some time now via RoCE I believe, whereas the PowerStore has only offered it since 2.0 firmware which came out in June 2021 (using NVMe-FC)… so Pure is a bit ahead of Dell/EMC in that regard.

The flash drives in the Pure array are proprietary, which could be looked at as a positive (proprietary high-performance / high-reliability design), or a negative (proprietary low volume manufactured vs. mainstream high volume manufactured).

We liked that the PowerStore T allows you to store data persistently on SCM drives, which the Pure array did not support (although Pure does allow you to use SCM only as a DirectMemory cache tier, which you can also do on PowerStore 2.0 if you opt for an all-NVMe configuration).

Down-side to the PowerStore if you have big capacity needs, the base enclosure has a max usable capacity of around 1.5PB. If you need more than 1.5PB you’re either stuck adding an expansion enclosure and living with basic SAS SSDs in it or buying a whole additional PowerStore since NVMe and SCM drives are only supported in the base enclosure.

Ultimately, I think the Pure array probably is the superior product given its long track record of excellence which is consistent with Gartner's findings. However, the PowerStore is SIGNIFICANTLY less expensive. It’s not at all uncommon to see identical PowerStore configurations at less than half of the equivalent Pure cost (this is from my first-hand experience). They’ll argue that their TCO over 6 years is superior, but that was untrue in my personal experience.

On the All-NVMe PowerStore, we see around 0.27ms of overall latency, and on the All-SCM PowerStore, we see around 0.17ms of overall latency which is outstanding compared to our legacy arrays. In terms of bandwidth, we regularly sustain >6GB/s on PowerStore during backups and/or high levels of administrative activity such as database index rebuilds or table reorgs.

If you’re a VMware shop running VMFS file systems, migration is a non-event since you can set a compatible EVC baseline on your target compute cluster connected to whatever array you want (Pure, PowerStore, NetApp, etc.), then vMotion across with zero downtime, even on giant databases with thousands of connected users in the middle of a business day if desired.

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