Dell EMC Unity Review

We are able to put more DBs on flash, reducing latency and improving productivity


What is our primary use case?

Storage for high I/O databases.

How has it helped my organization?

Most of our systems had their respective performance bound to how fast the DBs were responding. After migration to Unity 300F, we were able to put more DBs on flash, reducing latency. The results were visible in the front-end systems, and all users noticed the improvement. The change impacted not only end-user satisfaction but also productivity, as users were able to perform more in the same amount of time.

What is most valuable?

  • Performance
  • Low Latency
  • Integration with VMware

These features are important for us for two reasons. The first two features - performance and low latency - are customer-facing and have direct impact on the user experience. This way, our work is more visible and we are able to improve not only user perception but business processes overall as well. VMware integration makes the life of our engineers easier, as we are almost 100% virtualized and this feature is used on a daily basis.

What needs improvement?

I have three suggestions: 

Improve the administrative user interface so it is easier to work with. Currently, a simple task, such as removing a host from 100 LUNS, takes a lot of time. If they could improve LUN to host model to be more like the EMC VPLEX, for example, it would be great.

Additionally we had one incident with a memory leak that led to controller reboot. Although it had no impact, when such things happens the storage should be more aware of it, send alerts, and propose corrective actions. 

Last (and I understand that it has a low chance of being implemented) the copy services currently are redirect on write. It would be great if the administrator could choose between redirect on write and copy on write, when configuring copy job.

For how long have I used the solution?

Less than one year.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No issues with stability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No issues with scalability.

How are customer service and technical support?

Good.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We were using EMC VNX, and it was a natural upgrade from tiered to all-flash storage.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was very straightforward. Migration was smooth and configuration of the storage was quick and simple. The time needed to put it into production was less than expected, and data migration itself went without a glitch.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

We always do a business case, so I recommend that to others too. If the business case sums well, go forward.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We evaluated options from other vendors and, although there were some other very good propositions, we chose DELL/EMC as we have the knowledge and we trust the partner.

What other advice do I have?

All-flash is a game changer. If you need performance, simple operations, and you plan to use it with VMware, it is a good choice.

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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