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Dell EMC VNXe – Product Brief

Last updated August 31st, 2019 for updates to EvaluScale table. Concise and unbiased 7-page overview of the features and functionality of Dell EMC VNXe. Download the free Product Brief now!

Overview

The EMC VNXe series of storage systems are a family of systems that provides block storage and with some models file storage.  The systems provide a wide set of connectivity options for block access and for file access as a NAS system.  The VNXe has two models: one targeted as an entry-level enterprise storage system and the other as a small to midsize business (SMB) or Remote Office/Branch Office (ROBO) system.  The VNXe series run the VNXe Operating Environment – MCx.  The VNXe systems can simultaneously support block and file storage on the same storage processors that are installed in the system in the case of the VNXe3200.  The VNXe1600 is block mode only.

The VNXe series models consist of the following modular components:

  • Two storage processors in a Disk Processor Enclosures (DPE). The VNXe DPE contains up to 12 3.5” or 25 2.5” drives.
  • Optional Disk Array Enclosures (DAE). The DAE can contain up to 12 3.5” or 25 2.5” drives.  The VNXe3200 supports SSDs for higher performance requirements and an all SSD version is available.
  • All components can be housed in the EMC 40U rack or any standard 19-inch rack

The operating environment of the VNXe3200 is the same as VNX – MCx, supporting multiple cores and multiple threads.  Caching using SSDs (SLC) is part of the FAST Cache (MCF) implementation with both read and write caching.

Usage

The EMC VNXe system is targeted for usage in the small enterprise and small to mid-size business space or remote offices that need either a SAN block storage solution, a NAS system or both.  Even with the low entry price, the EMC system includes many advanced features and capabilities inherited from the earlier midrange VNX system.

  • Characteristics
    • Performance – As an entry-level storage system, the VNXe should have good performance based on the higher end system heritage. No performance data has been made available yet.
    • Availability – With two storage processor nodes configured, the VNXe has the high availability characteristic including the failover and failback required of a mid-tier system even though this is an entry-level system.
    • Replication for BC/DR – For the VNXe3200, both asynchronous (file and block) and synchronous block remote replication are available with the RecoverPoint software and VNXe Replicator. The VNXe1600 supports asynchronous replication.
    • Notable – Unisphere is a high-value administrative tool with advanced capabilities. Unisphere Central can manage multiple systems over multiple sites.
  • Applications
    • The EMC VNXe3200 is targeted at applications that use block I/O, file I/O, or both in a combined system. The VNXe1600 is targeted at block I/O.
    • The features of snapshot and remote replication give customers high-end system capabilities in a product targeted at the entry level with the sophisticated implementation offered by EMC. The performance and features allow applications to be deployed in a high availability environment.
  • System environments
    • The EMC VNXe is a block storage system accessed using iSCSI or Fibre Channel on host systems and the VNXe3200 also supports NAS access with NFS and CIFS/SMB support.
    • The VNXe1600 and VNXe3200 have NEBS compliance with a DC voltage option.
  • Deployment and Administration
    • The VNXe has been targeted for installation and management by the IT generalist. EMC has included wizards and quick start configurations to allow for simple deployments.
    • The management is through Unisphere with an additional MMC plug-in for NAS usage.
    • EMC has released vSphere plug-ins in addition to other VMware support. VAAI and VASA are also supported.

Evaluator Group EvaluScale™: Dell EMC VNXe – SAN Storage

Evaluator Group product review methodology “EvaluScale” assesses each product within a specific technology area.  The definitions of the criteria and explanations of how products are reviewed can be found in the  Evaluator Series Evaluation Guide. Download the product brief now to view the Evaluscale for this product.

Evaluator Group Opinion: Differentiating elements for Dell EMC VNXe

Dell EMC VNXe is a unified SAN and NAS system where the file serving function is integral to the system.  As an entry-level system, it is more likely to be used for both SAN and NAS and this capability will be useful.  Running as a true unified system allows for a lower hardware price and usually a better, integrated management experience.  The maturity of the NAS implementation includes a full spectrum of file protocols.

VNXe is not a scale-out system, which means for increasing performance in parallel with capacity, a new controller pair (another model) must be installed.  Evaluator Group believes the long heritage of the VNXe system evolved from EMC VNX and Clariion before that, means it is a low-risk, high functional value storage solution.  The lack of scale-out is one limitation that must be managed by the customer when choosing the correct model and planning for replacements on pace with coupled capacity and performance demands.


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