Dell EMC Unity Review

Flexible, simple to set up, and performs well as mid-range storage

What is our primary use case?

Primary use case is mid-range to low-end storage, and it performs very well for that type of operation.

How has it helped my organization?

We just recently put together a large customer deal. They're going to use Unity's for applications at remote sites, so it's essentially a robo operation. Its main advantage over vSAN was the rebuild, the intelligence of the restoration in the event of a hardware drive failure and, of course, the all-flash solution.

What is most valuable?

The flexibility of the paradigm and, obviously, its price point.

What needs improvement?

I'd like to see more of the NVMe back-end for the flash. And the big deal with the PowerMax is that they've used all U2 drives so that they can avoid having to take it down. I see using M.2 and modular sections as being a real nice alternative that could be implemented in Unity at a fairly low cost.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Obviously, we haven't had it in the field for years, but we haven't had any problems with it and we've deployed close to 150 of them.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It's not really scalable. Up to mid-range requirements, it's just fine. But scalability takes you to the enterprise-class, and that's more high-end VNX or low-end Symmetrix.

How is customer service and technical support?

We've used technical support but it wasn't Unity's fault, it was the customer's. The tech support is very good.

How was the initial setup?

Setup is simple.

What other advice do I have?

For our applications, we'd rate Unity at eight out of 10. It would be a 10 if it had a lower cost. That's really the issue. The value point is, once you get into the Unity spectrum, you're looking at a lot of competitive offerings, and they're appealing to a limited class requirement, so the demands are not as stringent.

In terms of advice, find out what your storage group's expertise level is and their background, and then see if they don't already have experience with Unity or one of the others in the family. It seems to be a natural fit that way.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
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