Dell EMC Unity Review

Faster performance, smooth migration, good uptime, and easy management are the keys


What is our primary use case?

It's our primary storage array. We have a public cloud hosted internally, and it's our primary storage array for our customer virtual machines. It has performed very well. There have been no problems with it. We've had it for about nine months and it has performed well.

How has it helped my organization?

Obviously, our customers rely on us for uptime. We've had no problems with it so far. Migration to it went very smoothly, so in terms of value to us, it's been very good at keeping our workload and our uptime going.

Also, it has definitely provided much faster performance.

What is most valuable?

Storage Snapshots have been really nice. They allow us to do backups without impacting our production workload that much.

The scalability, the ability to add disks dynamically and adjust our workload as needed, has also been really helpful. That definitely makes my job easier.

The interface for managing Unity is very easy. The integrations between VMware Hypervisor and Dell EMC are top-notch, so it's been really easy to use and manage. We already had solutions in place, so it was more just a matter of buying the hardware and migrating workloads over to it. There was no cost other than the purchase of the hardware and software licenses.

What needs improvement?

We had a couple issues, but they were very minor, related to storage Snapshots and our backup product, which is Veeam. That turned out to be a Veeam issue.

My only complaint would be some of the CLI Help files could be a little more detailed, but that's very minor complaint. We were trying to run some commands just to see how the storage snaps were interacting with the storage array, and it was a little difficult to look up exactly what commands should be run. The Help files detailing what exactly the commands did wasn't as detailed as we would have wanted them to be. They were very limited in scope. They could have been more detailed.

More integration with VMware would always be helpful, plugins that go directly into the vSphere management. A single pane of glass is always beneficial.

For how long have I used the solution?

Less than one year.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It's been very good at scaling when we've needed it to. It's been a good solution so far.

How is customer service and technical support?

We have used technical support occasionally. There really have been no issues, we haven't had it that long. But just for implementation and licensing, we did contact support a couple of times. There were no issues with it. They were helpful.

Which solutions did we use previously?

We were using a VNX array, which was fine for the time when we had it, but we've expanded. The business is growing and we decided to invest in something a little more heavy-duty to handle the kind of IOPS that we're dealing with now. We are a Dell EMC partner. Obviously, that is who we wanted to go with.

The most important criterion when selecting a vendor is their relationship with us. In addition, easy use of the product and reliability are important. We rely on uptime, so we look for redundancy and reliability.

How was the initial setup?

I didn't install the hardware, but I definitely assisted in setting it up: migrating workloads to it, setting up data stores, etc. The process was pretty straightforward. It was stuff I've done a hundred times before, so it was what I expected. It was not more complicated than what I would have hoped for.

What was our ROI?

We don't have many numbers in terms of ROI because we've only had it about nine months, but we definitely see the performance value.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We looked at a couple. We looked at Rubrik a little bit and we looked at some HPE arrays, but we decided to go with Dell EMC to keep up our partnership with them.

What other advice do I have?

Ownership simplicity is there. Licensing was straightforward. We've always had good support from Dell EMC, we've never had a problem with them. Their solution engineers are always very helpful. So overall, no problems with ownership.

I give the Unity a nine out of ten. The Help files and a little more integration would be nice.

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