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Dell PowerScale

Dell PowerScale
Formerly EMC Isilon


What is Dell PowerScale?

Dell Technologies presents Dell PowerScale (replacing EMC Isilon) as a scale-out NAS solution and server technology that provides the flexibility of a software-defined architecture with accelerated hardware innovations to harness the value of data. Isilon Systems was acquired by EMC in…

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Product Details

What is Dell PowerScale?

Dell PowerScale Technical Details

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Reviews and Ratings



(1-5 of 5)
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Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
We used Dell EMC PowerScale in the product called SRM. Basically, it is a storage product that can be used by storage admins and IT. We have few PowerScale/Isilon devices discovered in our labs. It is basically used as scale-out NAS Array. It did help us to get information about capacity and performance-related data. In the product SRM, one can easily discover Isilon/PowerScale devices and can monitor the reports.
  • NAS Storage
  • Capacity and Performance details of the array
  • Alert and Operations details
  • UI could have been made better
  • No information related to IP addresses
  • Performance data mismatch
It is well suited for scale out NAS storage. One can use Rest API calls to get relevant data. It can be used in the product SRM, where one can discover arrays from Isilon/PowerScale and can monitor the reports. One can monitor Capacity and Performance reports of the array.
  • NAS Storage
  • Scale out Architecture
  • Rest API calls
  • Helped us to monitor storage environment
  • Helped in monitoring capacity and performance data
  • Helped in improving business growth
Vishal Ranjan Srivastav | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Isilon clusters are the most widely used storage solution in our environment. Isilon is used to store mostly media content. Isilon provides a highly scalable and power packed solution. It is being used company-wide and in some other departments as well. We use Isilon to create home directories of hundreds of users as it is very easily accessible and provides very high throughput.
  • The installation of the cluster is very quick and simple.
  • The cluster provides very high performance and throughput.
  • Isilon is very scalable and works on scale-out architecture. So when we add a new node, it not only increases the capacity but, also increases the performance linearly as well.
  • Management of the array is very easy.
  • GUI is very user-friendly and so does the CLI which is very smart.
  • In my experience, I have seen a lot of bugs in the oneFS and for remedying it, we need to install patches which requires a node reboot.
  • In old isilon OneFS versions, the nodes need to be rebooted every 250 days which is quite less compared to other storage devices.
  • The operational cost of Isilon is a bit on the higher side.
Isilon is best suited for organizations where a huge amount of unstructured data needs to be stored and also requires a very high performance as well. Isilon is also very suited for businesses where capacity requirement along with the need for more performance will be increasing as time passes. An organization where storage needs to be locally [accessed] and capacity requirements are not high, can go for other products.
  • Isilon provides very high value for money
  • Matches the performance and storage requirements of the arrays
  • EMC provides very skillful and high response team in case of any issues in isilon
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
We are using Isilon Scale-Out NAS across all departments within our organization. We use it for storing everything from administrative data (Excel and word documents) to research and multimedia projects. Isilon allows us to grow seamlessly (our environment has been growing at a very rapid rate) and to provide our users with the space and protection their data needs.
  • Snapshots of folders/files which integrate with Microsoft VSS (previous versions). This allows for quick recovery of lost or deleted files.
  • Replication of data to a secondary location. We do not need to try to backup such a large environment since we are replicating off site.
  • Integration with with our Identity management. We can allow users to access files using Active Directory authentication and SMB or NFS protocols.
  • Job engine. The larger the cluster becomes, the longer some of the jobs can run (AutoBalance, DeDupe). Some jobs can not run at the same time, meaning you have to wait for 1 to finish.
  • Support - Support has been less than spectacular over the last 2 years or so.
  • Meta Data analysis. You need to use third party tools to catalog and search meta data.
EMC Isilon Scale-Out NAS is well suited for larger files (greater the 128 Kb) and where you need to have everything in one common name space. Where it is less appropriate is for many small files (millions of files less than 128 Kb in size) - this causes the protection level to becoming mirroring, which will cost more space.
  • We were able to consolidate multiple Windows Files servers into our 1 Isilon and users can easily navigate to find their files.
  • With snapshots and replication we are able to protect data both locally and off site without having to worry about backup windows.
  • We are able to quickly and easily add capacity as needed. No fork lift upgrades.
Isilon is immensely more scalable than Celerra and gave us better control over snapshots and replication. The addition of global deduplication provides a huge space savings benefit as well.
March 23, 2018

Isilon Scale-Out NAS

Kevin Blackburn | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
We use Isilon NAS accross our entire organization. It houses multiple data types, from user file share and home directories to PACS images and archives.
  • Isilon NAS scales up well and node replacement is easy. You can replace a node by simply adding a new node and evacuating the node that you want to retire.
  • If the file system layout is designed and executed properly it is an excellent SMB platform with the flexibility to adjust to different share structures. Make sure to take the time to fully understand the AD integration and best practices for share and NTFS permissions management.
  • Node redundancy allows for most upgrades to be installed and applied with rolling node reboots allowing the file systems to stay available throughout the process of applying updates.
  • Native replication is excellent. Jobs complete quickly and we rarely have any replication issues with our Isilon to Isilon replication.
  • Some upgrades require the entire cluster to be rebooted simultaneously. In this day and age, that should not be necessary. This is my biggest disappointment with Isilon to date.
  • When using multiple storage pools you have to be very careful with your capacity management. Filling up one pool can cause an overflow of data to a pool that is less performance driven. Do not underestimate your capacities or you will find yourself in a tight spot.
  • Block size is almost always an issue with Isilon. It does not handle all types of data well. In many cases PACS and VNA data is best to be stored on a different storage platform that will utilize the capacity more efficiently that Isilon is capable of.
  • Deduplication seems to be less efficient on Isilon than on other platforms for similar types of data.
EMC Isilon is well suited for user data and data analytics. It's not very well suited for medical images on certain VNAs. Isilon native blocksize is very inefficient for storing this type of data and can cause an inefficient use of your capacity.
  • We are currently researching other vendors for our Medical imaging archives due to issues with space utilization efficiency on Isilon.
We are currently evaluating these against our Isilon. No decision made yet.
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Our company implemented an Isilon cluster to manage millions of black and white tif image files that our software manipulates and makes searchable for end users. We also have solved other business obstacles including a secure FTP on the Isilon cluster.
  • Auto data balancing between nodes while still maintaining great performance
  • Directory snapshots
  • Universal namespace
  • Network load balancing across nodes
  • OneFS block size is somewhere around 128kb stripe unit while most of our tif image files are around 50kb so our logical vs. physical storage is far apart. This caused extra capacity to be needed. I'd like to see the minimum block size to be smaller or initially adjustable depending on user data type.
  • This may just be a training issue, but it's confusing looking at "free" space available when I have a file share mapped to Windows vs. what OneFS states for available free space as they do not match.
  • We noticed that after adding a new node to an existing cluster in production that we had to adjust the networking config in OneFS to allow for another dhcp address so the new node could get an IP address. Normally this wouldn't matter, but it did have a nasty side effect where the SMB service failed after changing the network config which caused a system wide outage since we mostly use SMB protocol. Once the SMB service was restarted via ssh, we were back in business and it was working again.
Any unstructured data requiring a global namespace or files share will work GREAT on an Isilon cluster. The only thing I'd recommend is have a Mitrends file assessment done of your data before purchasing to determine if your data is larger than 124kb for your files, if not, you'll end up needing more space.
  • The global namespace feature has reduced complexity significantly and made projects turn around faster.
  • Conversion of data is 10 times faster and less complex.
  • Initial customer installations are significantly faster.
  • Management of data is significantly easier.
  • overland, SnapServer and SnapScale
Raw disk space vs. logical disk space ratio was significantly better on the Isilon. Fast cache using SSD drives for faster searching is available on the Isilon but not available on the Overland solution. Isilon solution included faster backend switching between nodes.
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