Enterprise Storage Reviews
Enterprise disk, hybrid and all flash array (AFA) reviews that cater to midmarket enterprises and up.
by Tom Fenton

Formulus Black Deep Dive

In the datacenter, there is a never-ending race between processors and storage. Over the past decade, processors have increased the number of cores they contain from one or two to 8, 16, 32 or even 64. Storage technologies over this time have dramatically decreased their latency and increased data throughput. However, the reality is that far too many CPU cycles are being wasted waiting for data residing on PCIe devices or on network storage. We are reaching an inflection point with the emergence of a new type of storage hardware: Storage Class Memory (SCM). SCM resides on the memory channel, which is not hampered by latency and data bandwidth limitations of peripheral storage. Being on the memory channel places SCM far closer to the CPU, meaning it has more concurrent "swim lanes" for shuttling data to modern CPUs. This significantly increases the speed at which data can be accessed by the processor.

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by StorageReview Enterprise Lab

NetApp AFF A800 NVMeOF Review

Those in the market for a high-performance all-flash storage array, would be well met with the NetApp AFF A800. The end-to-end NVMe array delivers massive performance and comes from NetApp’s strong line of AFF arrays. We have previously reviewed the A800 over Fibre Channel and found it to be a beast of a performer netting our Editor’s Choice award. For this review we are testing the same array only this time leveraging NVMe over Fabrics (NVMeOF). 

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by StorageReview Enterprise Lab

NetApp AFA EF600 Review

Last month NetApp announced its latest midrange all-flash array with the EF600. While the EF600 is aimed at the same market as the EF570, it is not a replacement. While the EF570 does support NVMe, the EF600 is end-to-end NVMe, which brings new levels of flexibility and performance not previously seen in the midrange. Aside from the performance and price to performance ratio, the EF600 offers a level of future proofing that will be able to hit the demands of tomorrow without the need for forklift upgrades. 

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by StorageReview Enterprise Lab

Dell EMC PowerVault ME4 Series Review

The Dell EMC PowerVault ME4 Series is a family of storage arrays designed to meet the needs of the entry storage market, which is generally thought of in the sub-$25K price band. However, the PowerVault ME4 Series is exceedingly flexible. The system can be deployed in an HDD configuration to meet the needs of the entry market or edge with starting pricing below $10K, or it can be configured in hybrid or as all-flash to meet more demanding needs of a growing business. Regardless of how it's deployed, the PowerVault ME4 provides organizations with an easy-to-deploy and manage storage solution that offers a depth of features that are common in enterprise storage products.

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by StorageReview Enterprise Lab

NetApp AFF A800 Review

The AFF A800 is the top-of-the-line ONTAP all-flash storage array from NetApp, which at launch offered an industry-first, end-to-end NVMe/FC over 32Gb FC, as well as 100GbE connectivity. To date, we have been working our way through the all-flash AFF lineup, starting with the potent A200 (having since been replaced by the A220) as well as the A300. Both of the units we previously reviewed won Editor’s Choice awards. Today we will be looking at the NVMe-based A800 powerhouse that offers the same ONTAP benefits of the previously reviewed models, as well as exponentially faster performance and lower latency. While this initial review focuses on system performance over Fibre Channel, subsequent articles will dive into the A800's end-to-end NVMe over Fabrics (NVMeoF) support. 

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by StorageReview Enterprise Lab

Dell EMC SC5020 Storage Array Review

The Dell EMC SC5020 fits with Dell EMC's midrange storage portfolio and is available in a range of configurations including HDD, SSD and hybrid. Billed as a flexible workhorse for SMBs, the SC5020 doesn't drop features/functionality to be price competitive. In fact, in terms of capabilities, the SC5020 is on par with the all-flash SC9000 we reviewed last year. The differences are mostly around top-end performance specifications, as the SC9000 has more RAM and CPU in the controllers and thus will have a much higher performance threshold. For its part, the SC5020 uses a 3U chassis with two hot-swappable controllers in an active/active configuration and 30 2.5" drive bays. The system can be expanded with additional drive shelfs to support an additional 192 drives, topping the SC5020 out at over 2PB of maximum raw capacity. 

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by Kevin OBrien

NetApp AFF A300 Review

In August of 2017, we posted our review of the NetApp A200 all flash array. We really enjoyed the performance and feature set; ultimately it earned one of only five Editor's Choice Awards we gave out in 2017. It was with much excitement then that we obtained the next system from NetApp for review. The A300 was launched in the fall of 2016, and firmly targets the midrange storage customer. This isn't entirely different than the A200's target; the A300 just adds more performance and scalability oomph over its smaller cousin. The A300 of course runs the latest version of ONTAP and supports SSDs up to 30TB and is just as easy as the A200 to set up.

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by Adam Armstrong

Crucial DDR4 LRDIMM Server Memory Review

With all of the storage technology and new CPUs driving higher and higher performance, one piece of the puzzle that has been delivering on performance for a while is memory (DRAM/RAM). Typically speaking, if more performance is desired, simply throw in more RAM. This can get expensive fast. While Crucial is unable to do much about costs (as component parts are expensive, however the price is slowly softening) they have rolled out higher performing and high capacity RAM modules. That is what the company has done with its DDR4 LRDIMM Sever Memory modules.

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by Adam Armstrong

NetApp EF570 All-Flash Array Review

Around this time last year, NetApp introduced several new offerings into its Big Data analytics portfolio. Among the offerings announced was the company's latest all-flash array (AFA), the NetApp EF570. The EF570 is a midrange AFA that is designed for high performance, high availability, simplicity, and a strong price-to-performance ratio for a 2U system. 

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by Brian Beeler

Amazon EC2 i3.metal Review

There's little doubt that Amazon is the leader when it comes to a variety of cloud services offered through their EC2 (Elastic Compute Cloud) web service. With a relatively simple provisioning process and the ability to easily scale instances and storage needs up or down, EC2 aims to deliver all the promise of the cloud at cost-effective price points. For some, though, the cloud isn't just about flexibility and ease of deployment; it's about performance. The business benefits of being able to spin powerful environments up or down for critical applications like analytics can often vastly outweigh the expense of doing so through OPEX instead of the long-term investment of CAPEX. To that end, in May Amazon GA'd the i3 bare metal instance family that provides direct access to CPU and memory resources of the underlying server. 

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