Dell EMC PowerScale (Isilon) and HPE 3PAR StoreServ: Which Network Attached Storage (NAS) solution is better?

IT Central Station users review two of the highest reviewed solutions in the NAS market – Dell EMC PowerScale (Isilon) and HPE 3PAR StoreServ.


Storage has becoming increasingly important to businesses as they learn to deal with ever-larger volumes of data. To overcome the challenges of traditional storage infrastructure, many businesses are now considering network attached storage (NAS) and the benefits it can offer. However, choosing the right solution isn’t easy – every business is different, and there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution.

Over 388,000 professionals have used IT Central Station research to inform their purchasing decisions. Its latest paper looks at Dell EMC PowerScale (Isilon) and HPE 3PAR StoreServ two of the highest reviewed solutions in the NAS market.

Below is a brief summary of the report, highlighting what real IT Central Station users think of each solution – from their most valuable features, to how they’ve improved individual businesses, as well as what each solution could do better.

Dell EMC PowerScale (Isilon)

Isilon solutions stay simple no matter how much storage capacity is added, how much performance is required, or how business needs change in the future.

With an average rating of 9.3 from 6 reviews, Dell’s offering is clearly viewed positively by its users. These users come from a range of backgrounds, with educational organisations, energy/utilities companies, and comms service providers all making use of the solution in their efforts to improve their storage capabilities. It also sees use at companies of all sizes, with larger organisations making up 60% of reviewers, and smaller and midsize businesses split equally between the remaining 40%.

The solution’s plaudits are quick to praise its many benefits, as it provides the necessary scalability and affordability required to meet today’s evolving storage needs. Users also appreciate the stability of PowerScale (Isilon), how it helps to maximise storage utilisation, and that it allows them to drive more consistent quality controls. Yet for all its benefits, there are a few areas where critics suggest there is room for improvement. Some users would like to see improvements made to the product’s NFS support, whilst others believe its complexity needs to be streamlined to improve ease of use.

HPE 3PAR StoreServ

Accelerates business agility by boosting application performance whilst delivering the enterprise-class, Tier-1 features, and functionality expected of a top storage platform.

Achieving an average rating of 8.7 from 37 reviews, HPE’s offering is one of the most frequently reviewed products in the market and its customers can be found in numerous industries, from financial services, to healthcare, and manufacturing. Like Dell EMC PowerScale (Isilon), HPE’s solution is also popular at organisations of all sizes, 59% of reviewers hail from large organisations with over 1000 employees, whilst small and midsize businesses share the remaining percentage at 18% and 23% respectively.

A recurring theme amongst reviewers is their faith in the solution’s stability, with many believing it to be the most valuable feature on offer. This stability, coupled with an easy initial setup, has helped HPE 3PAR StoreServ to regularly meet and exceed its users’ expectations. However, whilst these features often impress users, there are some which require a little more focus. Critics of the solution would like to see the implementation of an automatic re-balancing system or functionality for adaptive optimisation, whilst others would like to see the complexity of its replicating software reduced.  

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