PowerStore is a relatively new data storage solution created by Dell Technologies. It’s only about a year and a half old (give or take a few months). That time has allowed us to study it so we can help you better understand some of the pros and cons this storage system comes with.
Let’s start with the pros. PowerStore comes in two configurations. One of them, the PowerStore X offers something of a unique approach and is a bit similar to a hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI). The PowerStore T offers both block and file storage, which can be great if you need that flexibility. Its Unified mode supports a variety of services and protocols too. Supported services and protocols include NFSv3, NFSv4, NFS4.1; SMB 1, SMB2, SMB 3, SMB 3.02, SMB 3.1.1; and FTP and SFTP. PowerStore uses active-active controllers, so you have more storage processing power available when everything’s working, while still having that fallback of everything being handled by a single controller if something goes wrong with one of them. It also comes with all-inclusive licensing.
Using active-active controllers can be great, though there is one drawback. The ideal load should be less than 50% on any one controller. Otherwise you can experience a degree of performance loss if one of them goes down. That’s not really something that can be controlled for. Then there’s the RAID set size. PowerStore is hard coded to RAID 5 instead of RAID 6. It’s a one-time configuration, so even if your needs grow, it’s not going to change. That said, RAID 5 still offers a decent balance between efficiency, performance, storage, usually at a lower price point, so you should still be fine. Scaling out is only available in the PowerStore T configuration, so you might need to think a little more carefully about which configuration to use. Also, a quick note for you DIYers out there, PowerStore does not have a customer self-installable solution.
When you’re looking for a data storage system, it’s always important to take a good look at your options to figure out which storage system makes the most sense for you to use. Sure, there’s always the price point, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Make sure you really understand what your data storage needs are and what the pros and cons of any given system are first so you can choose the one that will actually meet your needs.
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