Customer reviews for Dell Compellent Storage Center
Review 1 for Dell Compellent Storage Center
Duration of Product Use:Over 6 months
Level of Expertise:Expert
PostedFebruary 23, 2011
Yes, I would recommend this product
My company has been a Compellent customer for at least five years now. We bought our first Compellents back when tiered storage was still on the bleeding edge and EMC was warning customers that it was a dangerous technology that would ultimately lead to the destruction of our data. Five years later EMC is finally offering their own tiered storage technology at a significantly higher price, and we now own 8 Compellents that have all been rock solid, fast, ever evolving, and simply brilliant.
Our initial SANs are still fully supported and receiving new features with each update. The tiered storage has paid for itself over and over again. We started out with one cabinet of fiber disks and one cabinet of SATA. We have expanded our SATA cabinets over and over again, but have never purchased more expensive fiber disks. Tiered storage just makes it unnecessary for us to pay for that speed.
Compellent continues to bring best of class features to their product line years before their competition and at a fraction of the cost. Take a look at features like Live Volume, Portable Volume, Thin Provisioning, their brilliant VMWare VCenter plugins, etc... They talk about fluid data, and it is a good way of phrasing it. Your data moves to where it makes the most sense automatically. There are more great features coming up on their roadmaps that will keep their competition chasing them.
Lastly, no Compellent review would be complete without talking about their support team, Co-Pilot. I routinely hold them up as the gold standard for support. They are simply unbeatable. I honestly don't believe there is room for improvement with Co-Pilot support. They are staffed 24x7 by professional and knowledgeable techs that know their products and how they are used. Co-Pilot has this really great system where they assign a primary set of technicians to a customer. The result is that when you contact Co-Pilot or they contact you chances are you will get someone who you've talked to in the past and that is familiar with your world. For years I honestly thought that Co-Pilot just had a few techs because I always talked to the same guy. It wasn't until I visited their HQ and saw the Co-Pilot tech area that I realized how large and professional this staff was.
I originally purchased Compellent Storage Center in 2005 because I needed a high performance, enterprise reliable SAN that was cost effective and did not present technology locks (as we were constantly outgrowing/upgrading our two other SANs). Compellent Storage Center provides not only FC (4 and 8) and iSCSI (1 and 10GB) but also now provides FCoE as I evolve our data center with a new cisco UCS. Back in 2005, I completed over 18 months of due diligence on all the major SAN players, and found Compellent's SAN solution the most flexible, risk free, and enterprise ready of all. A feature that stood out, then and now, is Data Progression. On my other SANs, I was buying a lot of new fast drives for terabytes of old little infrequently accessed data. Compellent's automated tiered storage, working at the block level, lets me automatically apply storage policies and move old data, within a volume, down to RAID5 7.2K disks and continue to write data into the same volume using my performance tier of 15K R10. We met our performance SLAs, it's extremely easy to manage, and saves us a tremendous amount of money and time. As Manager of Infrastructure Services for Harris County's (Houston) Information Technology Center department, we support over 60 separate departments and agencies, over 12,000 Exchange mail boxes, and host a large virtual infrastructure (VMware vSphere). All of our systems have to be performance adaptive, highly reliable, cost effective,and with a limited staff, easy to administer. Just as importantly, it scales easily. We started with a small 12TB systems and now manage over 200TBs of storage. We've found the underlying block level architecture, that Compellent builds on, to provide key differentiators in every area from snapshots, replication, thin provisioning and overall management, and unlike the other SAN systems we host, there just aren't any 'gotchas' or forced trade-offs with Compellent. Replication on Compellent has been another huge stand out differentiator compared to other systems. Managing three Compellent SANs, that cross replicate, and purchasing a fourth we look forward tying in CML's Live Volume with our multi site VMware installation. For sure, Compellent Storage Center primary appeal is how flexible it has been to grow with and operate over the last 5+ years and having the industry's most mature, seamless and sought after feature, automated tiered storage, and easiest to manage system (from snapshot, replication to general storage management) has made it the biggest 'win' in the last decade with VMware a very close second.