Dell EMC Unity Review

Speed and deduplication need improvement, tech support is difficult to work with


What is our primary use case?

Storage.

What is most valuable?

I didn't choose this solution. My boss picked the solution. I actually suggested something else from a different vendor. Personally, my opinion of it is there aren't a lot of great features with it.

What needs improvement?

There are plenty of areas for improvement. 

They can improve on the speed. 

They can improve on the dedupe features, because right now, if you're using certain functionalities, certain criteria, it doesn't dedupe. It's very limited in one sense, while other vendors dedupe on primary, on critical tier-1 data.

You get support, but sometimes you have to sit there and try to fight through tier-1 just to get to tier-2, to get the correct support, to get particular items corrected. Sometimes it's a battle just to fight through support to get the right people. Most of the time, their first-level support is not very technical, so they tend to give you a page number out of their administration guide, which they call their instruction booklet, and they have you read it. I already have the admin guide. I don't need to read it. I need someone to help me because my system is down. I have a production environment that's very critical.

For how long have I used the solution?

16 months.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is stable. I give it that. I have had no issues such as where it just decides to take a vacation or drop dead. I've never had that happen. It's pretty stable. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is limited to a certain amount of terabytes. We haven't reached that threshold yet. 

How is customer service and technical support?

As I said above, when you call, their support is a little light on the "tech. Sometimes you get the correct people. Sometimes you don't. I'd give tech support a four out of 10.

Which solutions did we use previously?

Basically, we used the same company's storage. They kind of revamped the same model and gave it a different name. They rebranded it because they supposedly restructured the whole code, redesigned the code. But basically, it's the same model, but rebranded.

How was the initial setup?

I think they advertise that configuring this model takes less than an hour. But we had an integration firm that came in to do the install. It took some four to five hours just to rack it and configure it. I wouldn't say it was too complicated, and I wouldn't say it was extremely quick compared to what they advertise, that, "You can get the box running within an hour."

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I personally had other options that I would have liked to explore, but my boss chose this, so I had no choice.

What other advice do I have?

It's basically the same unit as a VNX, as the predecessor, so it was not that much of a change besides a redesign in code. 

My advice would be do your due diligence in research. Ask a lot of questions. If you can go to the vendor - they have these offices where they have lab environments - go there. Check it out. Test it. Look at it. Do everything before you make the purchase, because once you buy it you're stuck with it. There's no money-back guarantee. Once you buy it, you're stuck with it for the next three to five years. You're spending a quarter million dollars all the way to maybe $5 -$6 million. It's not like you go into a retail store, "The shirt doesn't fit. Can I get my money back, or something else?" You can't do that.

They're slow to implement new innovation with their product. They look at other vendors, I'm guessing, use other vendors as a "guinea pig." If another vendor came out with something new and innovative in their product, they would probably sit there, wait three years to see how the market reacts to that special design, the functionality that they implemented. EMC doesn't really innovate. They just sit there and wait for other people to innovate, and then they just copy.

Their product is stable. That's why people just buy it. Their company is big, and that's why they buy it, because they know EMC has been around for ages. It's one of the very first SAN vendors, since the 1970s. It's that old. It's an ancient company, so people buy for stability.

Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
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