How Qumulo Compares

Learn why Qumulo is a superior alternative to Dell EMC Isilon/PowerScale
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Problems with Isilon in Today’s Data Environment

The size, complexity, and business-critical nature of unstructured data has grown dramatically since the introduction of Isilon’s scale-out NAS architectures. New architectures are required to meet today’s business needs.

File system tree walks are necessary to recover drives, rebuild the file system at the block level, and upgrade.

File system analytics are not real-time, and often can never realistically be put into production. Tree walks are required, which can take hours or days, and sometimes never complete as one request piles on top of another. During this time, the system is exposed, performance is slowed and access to information about the cluster is unavailable.

Implementing data protection is resource-expensive.

Protection policies reduce storage efficiency as multiple copies of data in addition to the original content are retained as protection blocks.

No support for running the OneFS file system in the public cloud.

Having a different file system in the cloud than the one you have on-prem is sub-optimal. Having a file system that runs with a managed service provider (MSP) and links to the major cloud vendors and works on proprietary hardware does not solve this problem either.

Dell EMC has taken different approaches depending on the cloud vendor, but in general you can think of Isilon as being “adjacent” to the cloud, not running in the cloud. Dell EMC calls this model “cloud-attached.”

Only 90 percent of the file system capacity is useable.

Absorbing this additional capacity for backend work makes Isilon’s systems less price competitive.

EMC customer support is old school, time consuming and frustrating.

Qumulo’s goal is to delight our customers. With Qumulo, you can speak directly to a dedicated team via Slack, offering instant communication with experts who not only know our product inside and out.

See what the industry experts say

DCIG Lead Analyst Ken Clipperton compares the features of Qumulo’s file system to Isilon

The Qumulo Difference

Modern data environments need a modern approach. Qumulo makes managing unstructured data radically simple.

Data-aware intelligence

Only Qumulo can provide real-time insight into what’s driving the growth of your storage footprint. Don’t guess which client is dominating usage of your storage performance or capacity. Let Qumulo analytics tell you IOPS by IP address, identify data hotspots and visualize usage. Results in seconds regardless of data set size!

Machine learning, predictive, read-ahead cache gives the performance benefits on read, in addition to write, of SSD with the cost benefits of HDD.

Programmable API interface not only allows common tasks to be automated but also enables chargeback.


Qumulo’s pricing strategy is simple. A single annual subscription covers everything. Move your license to newer generations of hardware, or to the cloud without undergoing a entire system purchasing process.

Qumulo’s software is hardware independent; it runs both on commodity hardware and in the cloud. This enables Qumulo to enable future-proofed, lower-cost, adoption of modern storage technology, with the ability to run workloads in the cloud or in the data center.

Leverage the cloud for all your active unstructured file data.


Qumulo offers dramatic improvements in small file performance, re-build times, and file contention, compared with legacy scale-out architectures.
Block-based protection system increases performance in mixed-file environments.

Our hybrid architecture is significantly faster because every write goes to flash first before content is stored on disk.


Qumulo’s file data platform is designed to fill a cluster to 100 percent of useable capacity. Get what you pay for with no performance degradation.

Qumulo is optimized for mixed IO environments. Small files are as efficient as large ones.

Re-protect times are consistent, predictable and measured in hours with no over-provisioning.

Qumulo does not require tree walks when recovering failed drives; all rebuilds happen underneath the file system at the block level.

The best customer success experience in the world

Qumulo’s Customer Success managers are storage experts – former system administrators with decades of experience supporting petabyte-level storage.

You’ll have access to a team dedicated solely to working with customers, and who use cloud monitoring to watch the health of your clusters.

All this helps explain why customer support is the #1 reason customers renew their Qumulo subscriptions.

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