I am the Assistant Vice President of Digital Sales at a small computer software company.
I am currently researching all-flash storage arrays.
Which solution do you prefer: Huawei OceanStor 5300 or Dell PowerStore 500T? What are the pros and cons of each solution? What are the differences and similarities between the two solutions?
Thank you for your help.
Dell PowerStore is an all-solid-state midrange storage system. It has many internal elements taken from other Dell offerings and integrated into the PowerStoreOS. The installation and setup have a learning curve and the configuration can be complex.
PowerStore gives flexibility and ease of use. The compression capabilities are also great. One of the advantages of PowerStore is that it can be installed in a VMware environment.
The administration is also easy. You can manage all your PowerStores as a single solution, cluster, or federate multiple appliances. It is also scalable. The system needs to improve by adding more enterprise features such as replication to other sites, though.
Dell Powermax is a better solution. It is an end-to-end NVME with storage-class memory (SCM) for persistent storage and real-time machine learning. You can have up to 350GB per second for critical workloads. Powermax provides a very high-performance workload.
It is also a great storage solution for virtualized workloads. Migration is relatively simple, as is deployment. The ease of use and management makes PowerMax a great alternative. Compared to other SAN alternatives, it is also much faster.
While the best feature, in our opinion, is easy management and administration, it also makes provisioning a breeze. PowerMax’s snapshot and replication capabilities are very good. It also provides operational resilience with features like cache optimization and persistent memory.
There are downsides to PowerMax, though. It is difficult to upgrade. Finally, the high price ticket is another downside. The power-saving capabilities are not the best either. We tried the support but it is very slow and cumbersome, without the option of self-maintenance.
While PowerStore is very popular, we found PowerMax to be a more powerful solution. It is faster and offers better performance, with strong virtualization, replication, and resilience.
Dell EMC PowerStore is a unified storage platform that has the added benefit of being scalable. The automated management of resources feature provides a more simple administration.
I found the flexibility, performance, and ease of use very helpful. We were looking for a solution that has good compression and we found it in PowerStore. Also, the load balancing is automated so you can cluster more appliances without worrying about the load balance.
It has a central interface, which makes it very user-friendly. The machine learning capabilities even give you recommendations to optimize administration, so for me, it is a winner.
That being said, there is a learning curve involved for setup, and the process is quite long. It would also be nice to have more enterprise features such as replication on other sites. For organizations using VMWare, it is difficult to integrate with PowerStore.
Dell EMC Unity XT is an All-Flash storage array solution that optimizes SSD performance. The goal of the solution is to streamline resource management from and to the cloud.
With this product, small businesses that cannot afford other enterprise flash storage offerings can have enterprise-level flash storage that is cost-effective. It makes it easy to manage storage and scale up by provisioning new workloads. I like it is easy to integrate with other products.
Still, Dell EMC Unity XT lacks some useful features like flexible raid volumes. It is also difficult to integrate it with enterprise backup solutions. We would like to use it, but the SNMP protocol is not supported. Tech support needs to improve their response time, too.
Overall, the Dell EMC PowerStore is a more complete solution if you are looking for automation and scalability. While the EMC Unity is easier to integrate, the PowerStore’s machine learning and central interface are better advantages.
I agree with Leah... There are a bit more features/options with PowerStore, but the networking setup much more complex (too much if you ask me).
Currently, there's no support for replicated NAS, so that's a big issue within our environment.
The scale-out feature is nice, but there's a lot of limitations, i.e. data isn't spread across all of the available 'appliances' in a big pool. Volumes are isolated to a single 'appliance' and can be migrated to another appliance if one becomes full or to balance the system out.
All in all, the product is still a bit too new and DELL needs some time to bake the product before I can fully endorse it.
For those reasons, we recently deployed Unity. It's much simpler to deploy & support (especially with NAS).
If you remove NAS from the equation, then it's fine for Tier2 workloads, but to be honest, PowerStore has a ways to go before it gets my vote.
Unity XT was released in April 2019, so it's about 2.5 years old at this point, and as you can imagine, mid-tier storage technology has changed significantly in the past 2.5 years.
PowerStore 2.0 supports end-to-end NVMe-FC protocol which is super-important if you're running an all-NVMe or all-SCM configuration on any array (not just Dell / EMC). Unity XT only supports legacy FC or iSCSI transport, both of which use legacy SCSI logic which was released back in the 1980's and was never intended for use with NVMe or SCM drives which use massive parallelism.
Also, there are no persistent NVMe or SCM drive options for Unity XT... only old-school 12Gb SAS SSDs and classic spinning disks.
Also, fiber transport speed on Unity XT is capped at 16Gb/s where PowerStore uses 32Gb/s currently.
PowerStore also has tons more compute and memory, which is necessary to run >1M IOPS. For example, the biggest Unity XT array (880) uses only 64 cores and 768GB of memory, where the biggest PowerStore (9000) uses 112 cores and 2560GB of memory.
Since the cost per TB is nearly identical between Unity XT and PowerStore, I believe the business cases to choose Unity XT over PowerStore are pretty limited at this point.
The common denominator is that both are storages but so far Unity is hybrid storage while PowerStore is only NVMe with excellent performance and response time.
Unity is a monolithic system, while PowerStore is a container-based design for faster innovation.
Unity has a classic RAID configuration while the PowerStore uses the unique DRE technology with coverage up to dual parity.
Unity operates on its own while the PowerStore can operate on a cluster with up to 8 active-active nodes and the unique feature of the global cache in the cluster.
Logical protection within the PowerStore as well as for the asynchronous replication is based on snaps that are immutable and cannot be modified or manipulated, it is the perfect tool for recovering instantly from ransomware scenarios! The synchronous replication of PowerStore is based on Metro Node, an active-active HW solution based on VPLEX, is independent, does not burden the PowerStore and offers 0 RPO 0 RTO and 0 DTO providing virtual volumes of up to 64TB!
The integration with VMware is unique, the PowerStore model X can natively support VMs and applications in a 2U appliance, loads could be transferred to the VMware ecosystem with a simple vmotion. This game-changing capability, known as AppsON, is ideal for data-intensive workloads in core or edge locations where infrastructure simplicity and density is required, as well as for “infrastructure applications” such as anti-virus or monitoring software.
Notable are the automation for load balancing in the cluster, the ability of programming with Ansible and the ability to connect with the hosts with NVMe over FC fabric or TCP using even the existing infrastructure if compatible.
PowerStore is a new and innovative product with features that make it stand out.
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