Dell EMC Unity Review

Hybrid version is fast, has automated storage tiering; all-flash version provides higher performance, compression, data replication


What is our primary use case?

Primary use is mid-range storage. We have two variants, we have the hybrid version and the all-flash version. It's for general use. For high performance, we have different systems.

How has it helped my organization?

For the hybrid version, the benefit is that data is stored on relatively cheap storage. Hot data is on faster storage. On the all-flash version, lower energy costs help, if you want to pursue green IT.

What is most valuable?

In the hybrid version, I would say they are fast. They have fully automated storage tiering. In the all-flash version, higher performance, compression, data replication.

What needs improvement?

  • One-to-many replication.
  • Data deduplication.
  • Asynchronous Fibre Channel replication. It is asynchronous on iSCSI and I would like to have that on the Fibre Channel.
  • Unisphere-wise, I have to log in to each Unity as a unique environment. In VNX, I logged in to the domain and I was logged in to every VNX. So that's missing.
  • I miss storage groups. Now, if I have to add a LUN to a cluster, multiple host, I have to know which host is in that cluster. I have to write it down and that makes it hard. In VNX and earlier, I could simply put a LUN on a storage group and every host in the group had the LUN. This lack bothers me a lot because it takes a lot of time and mistakes are made. Sometimes, a Hyper-V host gets a VMware LUN and vice-versa. Not good.

For how long have I used the solution?

One to three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Stability could be better. I've had a few storage processor reboots; not as often as with VNX. And Clariion was a disaster. So, it has improved.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is less than with VNX. In the VNX, I could replicate out to more than one storage system. On Unity, it's one on one. If I could migrate one to many, that would be helpful, but that is missing now.

How are customer service and technical support?

I'm certified myself. We have certified colleagues. But we use technical support. The problem is that some of the time we are more knowledgeable than them.

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

VNX1/2

Tech-refresh

How was the initial setup?

The setup is straightforward.

What about the implementation team?

in-house

What was our ROI?

no clue

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

no clue. I'm technical, I don't do prices

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

No. We only use EMC

What other advice do I have?

The hardware is fine, a nine or a 10 out of 10. Manageability is a seven or eight out of 10, because of the storage group and the domain absence. Overall, if I put the two together, the solution is a nine out of 10.

My advice would be to stick with VNX. If the developers come up with a solution for single sign-on for multiple Unity's, and if they bring back the storage groups, I'm fine with it. It's a good solution.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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