#SFD14 – Dell-EMC VMAX All Flash Review

The first cab off the rank at Storage Field Day 14, where I was lucky enough to be invited as a delegate, was Dell-EMC with their flagship storage solution the VMAX All Flash. The last time I used Symmetrix with deadly intent, was the VMAX2 for running business critical banking applications, which was a success. Since then, I have always been a fan of the VMAX; great product, great support, great experience for a legacy 3-tier architecture.

The architectural foundation of the solution has not changed, still a maximum of 8 engines with 2 directors apiece. Obviously spinning disks are no longer available since the “All Flash” designation is fairly self-explanatory. It was clear that over 20 years of experience with the platform have only made it better. Our presenters, Vince Westin and Adnan Sahin, made it apparent that the VMAX engineering team have learned their lessons the hard way and have not forgotten what made them the premier storage platform for mission-critical and business-critical applications.

One interesting point that made sense, do not use VPLEX for the Metro Clustering of VMAX All-Flash, it cannot keep up and does not scale. Use the native VMAX All Flash Metro SRDF feature instead. As far as the 8 engine architecture goes, it does not make sense to scale beyond that because it increases the failure domain. So as soon as you reach the maximum, buy another VMAX All Flash and scale out.

If you are a customer requiring five 9s or more of availability from your legacy 3-tier storage platform and you run legacy, vertically scaled applications on x86 and non-x86 compute platforms, then the Dell-EMC VMAX All Flash is most likely for you. The VMAX All Flash platform comes with all of the advanced security, data protection and disaster recovery features that you would expect and will likely meet the most sophisticated use-cases that you have. Just make sure you bring a healthy budget to the negotiating table.

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Chief Enterprise Architect and Strategist, 4xVCDX#133, NPX#8, DECM-EA.

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