EMC VNX versus VNX2 - What Do I Really NeedWe’ve been getting more questions lately about VNX2 versus VNX, so we thought it’d be helpful to put together an article on a couple of scenarios we’ve faced recently. These are coming from customers wondering if they need to upgrade to the VNX2.

Most everyone is aware of the MCx re-write that was remarkable from an engineering perspective. On the other hand, most end-users aren’t necessarily concerned with the internal architecture and code changes to a product. They are simply more interested in things like usability, total cost of ownership (TCO), overcoming resource constraints and stretching their IT budget.

A lot of our customers fall into what we call “mid-market”, or medium-size enterprises. So, things like budgets and time constraints are problems that impact them day in and day out. These customers need storage to be “invisible” – in other words, easy to manage and working like it’s supposed to. Oftentimes, these customers might need a single storage array that is good at consolidating multiple workloads such as VMware, Oracle/SQL databases and file services, all while doing a great job at performance and capacity. In other words, we’re not dealing with the extreme ends of the data storage spectrum; i.e. those with tremendous performance requirements, nor are we dealing with customers who have little to no performance requirements. Who we are working with is IT directors and admins who are interested in ease of management, better storage efficiencies, and lower cost per IOPS and TBs.

If that’s you, you’re in luck because there are tremendous storage arrays available that won’t break the bank. So, let’s answer the question, “Do you need to upgrade to VNX2?”

“We don’t have extreme performance or capacity requirements. We just need to it to perform well, handle multiple workloads while not requiring too much management.”

If that is your situation, then VNX2 devices are probably not for you. The “1 million IOPS” test and other extreme performance metrics publicized by the VNX2 marketing folks don’t really apply to you. It applies to those that need that kind of performance. In your case, an EMC VNX or even a CLARiiON model could go more than meet your requirements, and at a much lower price-point. Pre-owned storage arrays also offer many advantages to those interested in high-performance and lower costs.

“My IT staff is already maxed out, and I’m concerned about more manual workloads. Will the VNX2 solve those issues outright?”

The answer is yes and no. Again, if you’re on the extreme end of capacity and performance needs, the VNX2 will benefit you. But if you’re not, there are plenty of other easy to manage devices. On the one hand, VNX2 has reduced storage admin overhead in setting up the cache, which will help reduce your workload. On the other hand, the traditional method of hot sparing has been up-ended with the introduction of VNX2. There are differing opinions at this point on how this will impact storage admins, but it may require manual monitoring, which will certainly add to the administrators workload. For more information on this, read our article EMC VNX2 and Hot Sparing : What You Need to Know.

This is just an introductory discussion on VNX and VNX2 models. There is much more to be said. In closing, however, the VNX/VNX2 line is moving in the right direction by offering a robust storage platform that is gradually improving. However, we haven’t yet seen anything groundbreaking in what VNX2 is offering. Have you found that to be true? Comment below.

Are you considering an upgrade or environment refresh? It’s going to be critical to assess your specific needs and not spend money on storage that won’t solve your performance or capacity issues. Contact Reliant Technology and let us offer you a complimentary assessment of your environment.