Dell EMC Unity Review

Consistency Groups and integration of SAN and NAS make replication simple for us

What is our primary use case?

We use it for SAN and NAS, pretty much all of our VMware and ERP systems; everything for storage. It' working out very well. We just moved into it

What is most valuable?

They've integrated NAS and SAN pretty well. It made replication very simple. Because one of our systems has a lot of LANs, for it to replicate we have Consistency Groups in there. That's something that is really helpful, making sure that everything is working, not just for replication but for backups as well. Pretty much everything we need is there.

What needs improvement?

We're probably going to be looking into vSAN just to minimize the footprint. We've already minimized the footprint going from VNX to the Unity, but as we're virtualizing more and more, once we're completely virtualized, we'd probably be looking into vSAN through either VxRail or VxRack, and go that way. The smaller the footprint at the data center, the less cost there is.

For how long have I used the solution?

Less than one year.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

So far, we've had no issues. We've been running the Unity for about half a year now; no issues with stability at all.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We've only had it for a short time so we haven't had to scale up. We got it scaled to our needs with a little bit of growth put on there.

How is customer service and technical support?

The team that we got to help us implement it were spot on. They really did do a great job. There were a few cases where we had to pull in some more experienced guys for the networking aspect of it, for the NAS, as there were some issues. But everything else was spot on.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was fairly simple because they were able to take all of our information from the VNX and size it appropriately, have all the LUNs set up. The only complex part about it was how we were going to do the SAN to SAN replication, which involved getting everybody on all of the equipment on the latest code, to make sure that we could actually go ahead and replicate. That took some extra work to get that done, but in the end, it was all taken care of and we got replication going.

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

The pricing is reasonable. We're using the Flex on Demand pricing. It's really good for us when we pay for what we use. It made it easy to get it inside since it's an OpEx and instead of CapEx expense.

I can't say enough about the Flex on Demand because it gives you the agility you need. You can get it in there so easily. You don't have to be fighting with the CFO about how much it costs. It's a lot easier.

What other advice do I have?

It's a really good buy.

We're about to replace a VNX with a Unity in our DR facility. We love that it's only taking about half a rack of space versus the rack-and-a-half that we have for the VNX. That's really good. We're going to be doing SAN to SAN replication. We currently have that going on between the Unity and the VNX using RecoverPoint Appliances, but then it's going to be Unity to Unity after we're done.

I'm very happy with the Unity right now.

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