Dell EMC VNX 7500 - NAS server is rated 3.6 out of 5 by 12.
Rated 3 out of 5 by RESC from The VNX 5700 provides a large number of features including the ability to work for both file and block as a unified array.Valuable FeaturesThe VNX ( /products/emc-vnx ) 5700 provides a large number of features including the ability to work for both file and block as a unified array. The ability to run a unified array is a great advantage when the company economics would not allow you to have separate arrays for your servers and another one for your file systems and use the unit as NAS ( /categories/nas ). Through a single interface called UNISPHERE™, we manage the array. It allows you to administer both the block and file in a single pane. The process of extending the size of either an LUN or a file system is very intuitive. It also provides a command line interface that you can use to connect using Putty.exe but some of the commands that you can execute through the GUI are not available in CLI, or at least that is what EMC support has told me.Another great feature is the checkpoints for file systems. We use the checkpoints as backups for our file system instead of having them in a separate product. It is a risk to put the backups and production data in the same array, but we understood it and went with it. We have limited times when our checkpoints become corrupted for some reason (reaching a maximum size of a file system 16TB) or another but the majority of the time works according to plan. For the block, you can use LUN cloning and have the ability to present a copy of the same LUN used for production to your test environment and test applications, programs, OS, or any others without affecting your production environment.The replication feature provides another functionality to protect your data. In our scenario, we only use it for disaster recovery. Since we have a global presence and we are tasked to protect data from around the globe, we have enabled replication between locations. The replication works well between VNX ( /products/emc-vnx ) and Celerra ( /products/emc-celerra ) NS480s, NS40s, NS20s or NX4s. You can also set replication between VNXe (1st generation, like VNXe3300, VNX3150, or others) where your VNXe is the source. However, you can not set up a file system replication when the VNXe is the target of your replication job. Also, there are limitations with VNXe replication (second generation, like VNXe3200) since it would not allow you to establish replication partners.UNISPHERE™ Analyzer allows you to see the hot spots on the block side. When you enable the Analyzer, it collects performance data and then with EMC support you can see the areas of problem in the array. It allows you to justify adding more space or moving your servers around to other LUNs with less saturation. Once the user becomes familiar with how the Analyzer works, he/she could run it without engaging support and identify areas of concern. It is very helpful to show the application teams if the storage is causing the slowness of a particular application hosted in the specific LUN or not.Improvements to My OrganizationOur company saved money in maintaining the unified platform in most of our locations and has the ability to perform backups and replication of the unit with similar arrays.Room for ImprovementOnce you establish a replication job, when the file system is synchronizing its data to the target file system, it tends to create a balloon effect where it creates a file system that grows as the new data is synchronizing. It would be very helpful if the replication job could incorporate a self-cleaning job after the synchronization job completes to reduce the size of the file system in the target automatically. Very often, we have to run a script called “SavVolReclaim” to clean up space consumed while the replication is in progress. If the replication job hits its maximum capacity of 16TB while synchronizing, it stops the replication job. By adding this reclaim process natively, it would eliminate additional unnecessary work for the storage administrators.It would be very helpful to get an automated report that shows you the size of the checkpoints and get warnings when a checkpoint is reaching either maximum capacity per a file system or hitting the ceiling on the SavVol pool consumption.Use of SolutionWe installed this array in 2012. I have been working directly in managing and increasing capacity to all our storage arrays around the globe for our domestic and international operations.Deployment IssuesThe deployment was straight forward.Stability IssuesA few years back, we ran into a problem where datamover hosting our file systems panicked due to an incompatibility with a Mac OS, and in another case with WAN Accelerator SMB protocols. The VNX5700 is very stable, and it has a lot of redundancy built in.Scalability IssuesIn this version of the VNX, the maximum size of a file system is 16TB. The maximum number of read-only checkpoints per file system is 96 and 16 writeable checkpoints. The maximum number of physical drives in the VNX5700 is 500. However, you can work with EMC and ask them for RFQ to go beyond the number of physical drives to add a few more.Customer Service and Technical SupportEMC technical support is great when you get the right resource. Like any other support center, they have levels of support. Level 1 is an entry level person that is learning more about the product and sometimes is new to the company. The Level 1s are great for simple questions or issues. When you face more complex issues, try to ask them to escalate the case to the next level. They need to justify the reason to escalate the case, so the more information that you can provide the better. Level 2 and Level 3 are more skilled and have more experience with the product. Level 4s are the subject matter experts, they know the product well and understand issues and interoperability with other products.A great added benefit is that you can add your VNX to the ESRS gateways. When a problem arises, EMC could connect to the array directly and start troubleshooting the issue before you get in to see what is causing the problem. This activity would generate a support request, and the EMC Technical Support Engineer could contact the person included in the system by either email or phone and let him/her know of the issue that the array is facing. They would not make any changes without your written authorization.Previous SolutionsWe have the Celerra ( /products/emc-celerra ) NS480s, NS40s, NS20. We switched because the arrays were at the end of life by EMC support.Initial SetupWe migrated from Celerras to VNX. The migration process was very complex. We needed to make sure that the CIFS servers had all the data and the replication of data would not start over from zero and saturate our network traffic with data that we already replicated once.Implementation TeamWe used EMC professional services to assist with the implementation.Pricing, Setup Cost and LicensingEMC is a good company with which to negotiate pricing, especially if you are a new customer for them. In our experience, it is better to ask for End of Life (EOL) of a particular product before you purchase it. I would suggest buying five-year support contracts so EMC can provide you with a better discount. The trend in the industry is coming to flat support contract year after year, but EMC is not there yet. EMC Support year to year could become cost prohibitive. Only buy the licenses for what you would need. The sales team may try to sell you everything. If needed, engage a consultant to review your configuration and pricing.Other Solutions ConsideredWe did not evaluate other products in proof of concept, but we looked at EMC Isilon ( /products/emc-isilon ), NetApp ( /products/netapp-all-flash-fas ), and Hitachi.Other AdviceThe VNX is a good platform, but like any other storage unit, it has some limitations. If you are doing a migration from your current environment, make sure that you purchase professional services that include physical or remote presence during the migration or cutover. Write all your requirements and make sure that the EMC sales team validates with the professional team all your requirements. Although EMC would assist you in most of the process, I prefer to get everything in writing and not just in words. Take the time to thoroughly define all your requirements and identify the items that you would perform versus the vendor to avoid surprises when you are in the middle of the migration or cutover.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2017-11-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by Hamid Afzal from One of the best supports you will ever get with top notch tech support and live chatValuable Features:* Its reliability and ease of use.* Single console for managing block and file (CIFS/NFS)* Data replication to DR site for both block and file* Auto tiering - Data movement in-between the pool* Fast cache - Global cache for low end arrays* EMC ViPR - A complete insight into the storage performance* Deduplication and compressionImprovements to My Organization:With more than 145 applications including SAP for different businesses running in our environment, our requirement was always to have a storage with a very good response time and performance.Room for Improvement:So far we haven't had many issues with the VNX. However, the Data Mover (that manages CIFS/NFS) part needs some improvements. EMC's new storage (Unity) has no DM's as the NAS functionality is all virtual.Use of Solution:I have used EMC products for nine years and VNX products for six years.Stability Issues:No, we have never had issues with stability apart from one instance where we were hit by a bug in the VNX code. After an upgrade, it was resolved permanently.Scalability Issues:No issues with scalability.Technical Support:One thing I would like to explicitly mention here is the EMC support. It is by far one of the best supports you will ever get in comparison with any vendor. The Live chat option gives it an extra edge and the technical support is always top notch.Previous Solutions:Yes, we were using HPE Storage, which was not a bad solution, but EMC wins hands down when it comes to the Enterprise storage. We were having stability/performance issues with HPE Storage.Initial Setup:Initial setup is very straightforward and easy as long as you know what goes where.Pricing, Setup Cost and Licensing:Yes, when it comes to pricing, EMC might be a little on the higher side, but you can't buy the performance of a Ferrari in a Toyota. Hence, you get what you pay for.Other Solutions Considered:Since we were using HPE Storage, we had a look at IBM Storage as well. After a features comparison and our requirements, EMC was the right choice.Other Advice:EMC VNX is a mid-range enterprise storage. Make sure to choose the right system and do have a look at their EMC Unity series that has hybrid as well as All-Flash arrays. Before doing any implementation, make sure to do right-sizing and you will be good for the next five years.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2017-10-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by Asher Suhail from It can scale to meet the needs of the growing business without compromising performanceValuable Features:* Auto Tiering: Ability to automatically move data from fast SSD drives to low cost disk drives and vise versa.* Performance: Increase performance with FAST Cache (SSD), QoS and Auto Tiering.* Unified storage: Provides capabilities for both block and file storage.Improvements to My Organization:* Improved Performance: Since implementing VNX, we achieved a 10 times increase in the performance for its end users.* Increased Scalability: As we continue to grow, VNX can scale to meet the needs of the growing business without compromising performance.* Simplified Management: VNX's ease of use and Unisphere management software allow us to provision new storage in just minutes and instantly view its performance.* Data Protection: VNX's replication solutions deliver comprehensive data protection and disaster recovery.Room for Improvement:I think one area where we would like to see improvement is better deduplication and compression. Some other vendors offer better deduplication and compression ratios and performance.Use of Solution:Five years.Stability Issues:No, I think VNX is one of the stable storage products available in the market.Scalability Issues:No. Very easy to scale, both capacity and performance-wise.Technical Support:A nine out of 10.Previous Solutions:We had EMC Celerra (file storage) and Clariion (block storage). When EMC introduced VNX, it provided both file and block storage capabilities. It was a no brainer for us to replace our existing storage with VNX. VNX made storage management simple as well as the cost of maintenance went down from two storage arrays to one.Initial Setup:EMC did the initial setup. Though VNX management is pretty straightforward. Utilizing Unisphere, we can provision storage in matter of minutes.Pricing, Setup Cost and Licensing:From a licensing perspective, my advice to others would be to take a look at VNX Total Efficiency Pack. This unlocks all the features of VNX.Other Solutions Considered:We did not.Other Advice:My advice would be to do research on VNX application performance.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2017-10-10
Rated 2 out of 5 by SysAdmin574 from It Was Ill-Equipped To Handle Our Environment Though Tiering Does Allow Dynamic Data Allocation Among Disk TypesValuable Features:Tiering, because it allows your data to dynamically move among different disk types based on demand in the last 24 hours. This removes the manual work to keep data in certain disk types.Improvements to My Organization:We actually stopped using the VNX as it was ill-equipped to handle our environment with the way EMC spec’d it out. I do not recommend the Gen 1 VNX to anyone in this day and age. It’s outdated technology and a newer far less expensive array can more than adequately handle 99% of the tasks better than the VNX architecture.Room for Improvement:EMC could have made the effort to spec the device appropriately. Instead, they low-balled the config in 2011 to make the price tag look alluring. Then, less than 12 months in, we needed to spend 35% of the cost of the entire array to put enough disks in the array to make it both perform and contain enough capacity, which only lasted until mid-2013. The device had multiple issues from 2013 – 2016 and numerous support calls to no avail, until I told them they would lose our business if they couldn’t identify the issue.They finally spilled the beans, years after all of the issues, that the device was not spec’d appropriately for our environment. If they would have been honest about it, instead of cheaping out the config to make the solution appear appealing, this could have been avoided.The competitor’s product was more expensive but would have destroyed the VNX’s capabilities. All they cared about was the sale.Use of Solution:Six years.Stability Issues:Yes, there were many performance issues due to the storage pool latency being averaging more than 7ms, causing user-side impacts; spikes all the way to 256ms, array-wide. All issues surround the original EMC config, and poor architecture in their attempt to add disks to fix their own issue. It caused us three years of production-level issues including downtime to key servers.Scalability Issues:Yes, this solution is sensitive to scalability in the sense that you require certain proportions of all three tiers of disk if you enable Auto-Tiering. This resulted in performance issues with the mid-tier having insufficient capacity. The array was thrashing to attempt to use 7200 RPM SATA disks in the lowest tier since they had the capacity. This was disastrous and EMC would not even acknowledge the issue until they forced us to prove it.Technical Support:Two out of 10 for overall technical support. Simple hardware issues like failed drives were promptly dealt with, but performance issues were treated like mysteries even by tier 2 support and engineers. This went on for over three years. We had to use our own team to prove to them, with their own tools, what the issue was in the NAR files.Previous Solutions:HPE EVA. End-of-life standard lifecycle replacement.Initial Setup:EMC made it overly complex, and miswired the B fabric on our fibre channel. We fixed it a year later, after it caused an outage. To be clear, this was a paid-for EMC install engineer. Mistakes happen, but costing a company in downtime is not acceptable.Pricing, Setup Cost and Licensing:Ask thrice, not once, not twice… Ensure it is spec’d for your needs for performance and capacity. Ensure you have the appropriate suites purchased up front, and always buy the warranty for all years up front, or EMC will gouge you on years four and five. The $75,000 in support we would have pain in year four for a maxed out VNX 5300, let us simply pay for a chunk of a next-gen, all flash array and solve all issues for latency and performance as well as capacity.Other Solutions Considered:Yes, first-gen HPE 3PAR and IBM.Other Advice:Stay away, it’s old technology now. Look at newer arrays and features.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2017-09-25
Rated 3 out of 5 by VMwareAn9382 from I value deduplication and compression to save space. The CLI could be better documented.Valuable Features:I really value deduplication and compression to save space.Improvements to My Organization:It is our Tier-2 storage which is easy to provision from and has decent performance.Room for Improvement:The CLI could be better documented, like with VMAX.Use of Solution:I have used this product for five years.Stability Issues:We actually had data loss from too many simultaneous drive failures on the 7500.Scalability Issues:We have not yet encountered any scalability issues in our environment.Technical Support:Technical support was on a par with typical EMC. In other words, not the best and not the worst.Previous Solutions:We were moving to IBM v7000 for price. However, it doesn't support NASInitial Setup:The initial setup was straightforward.Cost and Licensing Advice:Look at other newer options. Unisphere is slow and Java based. This is not the easiest array to manage.Other Solutions Considered:It was already installed when I was hired.Other Advice:To me, the mid-tier storage arrays are getting displaced by lesser expensive All-flash options.EMC has been selling XIO at a very affordable price.Hitachi has a lot of cool features out-of-the-box that EMC does not have.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2017-05-25
Rated 4 out of 5 by Larry Manno from The auto-tiering helps in the speed of data access.Valuable Features:The most valuable feature is the auto-tiering, which helps in the speed of data access. We have a big VMware storage pool in each of our three arrays and we have never had users complain about response of any VM in our environment.Improvements to My Organization:It is very easy to create new storage for a new requirement. Adding more storage to an existing storage pool is very quick and easy.Room for Improvement:There is no easy way to defrag a RAID group. It would be nice to be able to reduce the size of a storage pool if the storage is not needed anymore.Use of Solution:I have used it for three years.Deployment Issues:The deployment was easy; we had EMC professional services help in the deployment.Stability Issues:No issues in stability.Scalability Issues:No issues in scaling up, but there is no way to reduce the size of a storage pool.Customer Service:EMC's customer service is excellent.Technical Support:Their technical support is great. They have been able to quickly help when I have encountered any issue with this platform.Previous Solutions:We were previously using the CX3 arrays. We switched because the CX3 was end of life and we needed a platform that could support more disk space growth.Initial Setup:The initial setup was straightforward. But, we did have professional services help with the installation.Implementation Team:We used a vendor team.Cost and Licensing Advice:Make sure you understand how the licensing works and that you are getting the right set of licenses if you need array-to-array replication.Other Solutions Considered:We also looked at the HPE 3PAR. I liked the array, but we stayed with the EMC product because we already knew how to manage it.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2017-04-04
Rated 3 out of 5 by Newton Yang from Customer service responds on time. The management software could be easier to use.Room for Improvement:* Ease of use of the management softwareUse of Solution:I have used it for five years.Deployment Issues:We have not encountered any deployment issues.Stability Issues:We have not encountered any stability issues.Scalability Issues:We don't have any case where we need to add more storage on this product.Customer Service:Customer service does respond on time.Technical Support:Technical support is good.Previous Solutions:I did not previously use a different solution. When I came in to my company, they were already using this product.Initial Setup:Initial setup is not as straightforward as other new storage that is available now; there are many things to do to create pool, LUN.Implementation Team:We implemented it through the vendor team; they have the knowledge on how to implement the product.Cost and Licensing Advice:You need a lot of licenses in order to use this product, which makes the product expensive; the maintenance contract price also increases significantly every year.Other Solutions Considered:I did not evaluate other options, as they already implemented the product before I started working at the company.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2017-04-04
Rated 4 out of 5 by Brad Eley from Can combine drives of different types into a virtual Storage Pool.Valuable Features:One of the best features of the VNX is the ability to combine drives of different types into a virtual Storage Pool. By combining small but fast flash drives, SAS drives, and high-capacity but slower NL-SAS drives, the VNX can intelligently move data to the different tiers of storage based on usage. This maximizes performance and investment by making sure commonly accessed data is stored in flash, while rarely-accessed data can be sent to the NL-SAS drives.Improvements to My Organization:By utilizing the Storage Pools feature of the VNX, our organization can provide the required performance without having to over-invest in storage for data that doesn't require expensive drives.Room for Improvement:The management software used for the VNX is Unicenter. While it is an improvement over Navicenter, used in older EMC SANs, it still feels outdated in comparison to other SAN management software. Reporting is clunky and requires data collection to files, which then have to be retrieved and uploaded to a third-party site for processing before finally downloading the report.Use of Solution:I have used the VNX SAN for six years, upgrading from the previous SAN.Deployment Issues:Deployment was very easy with the help of EMC technical services. Migration of data to the VNX was minimally disruptive thanks to the SAN copy feature.Stability Issues:There were never any stability problems thanks to fully redundant storage processors, power supplies, and hot spare drives.Scalability Issues:We did purchase additional shelves of drives a few years after the initial purchase. Again, with the support of EMC technical services, the hardware was added to the VNX without downtime or disruption. The Storage Pools allow for dynamic addition of new drives.Customer Service:Customer service is top-notch with a dedicated sales and technical resource who are familiar with your environment and spend a lot of time understanding your business needs.Technical Support:EMC technical support is top notch when utilizing the ESRS appliance which sends critical alerts directly to EMC. Failed drives were replaced without any input on my end, sometimes before I became aware of the failure. Support can also remote in and perform code upgrades.Previous Solutions:Previous to the VNX, we were using an EMC CX-80 SAN. The reason for switching was to stay on a supported platform.Initial Setup:The initial setup involves completing a pre-install survey, which the installer needs to properly configure the settings (IP addresses, DNS, NTP, etc.). The questions are easy to understand.Implementation Team:The initial hardware setup and configuration was completed by on-site technicians from EMC. They were fully trained and certified on the VNX and had completed dozens of similar installations.ROI:We calculated our ROI to three years and the planned life of the VNX is six years. We are currently in the process of migrating to a new EMC XtremIO SAN, which will have an even shorter ROI.Cost and Licensing Advice:While EMC tends to be on the expensive side, the stability and support of their products are top-notch and I feel are worth the cost.Other Solutions Considered:When we evaluated SANs, we also looked at solutions by IBM. Our familiarity and relationship with EMC weighed heavily with our choice.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.