Dell EMC Unity XT Review

Easy to use and the All-Flash is helping our virtual machines perform better

What is our primary use case?

We have two all-flash Unity's and their primary use case is for VMware. We have two VMware's and the Unity's are the data storage back-end for them. We also have some 20 servers that boot from SAN, Fibre Channel. We also provide storage disks for the servers.

How has it helped my organization?

It helps because the all-flash feature is really boosting up the VMware. It is helping our virtual machines to perform better.

What is most valuable?

It's very simple to use. I really love the new Unisphere.

What needs improvement?

In a Fiber Channel world, things aren't really evolving, they're pretty stable. The VVols will be something that we'll look into later on. Now, we use very traditional LUNs that are attached to VMware as data storage, so we're not yet using VASA or VVol stuff. But maybe that will be something that, in the near future, when we update VMware to the next operating system version, we'll look into.

There is an ESRS problem that we're facing where, for some reason, the other Unity has not been able to register to EMC. The support information is not upgrading and nobody can tell me what is wrong with it. It's a minor issue, the ESRS is still working, but it is something that is very confusing and nobody seems to know what to do about it.

For how long have I used the solution?

One to three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I think it is really stable. We have had one Unity for two years and the second one was bought this year. I have roughly two years' experience and we have had no problems at all. Then again, we are only using Fibre Channels, so I don't know if the file side or the iSCSI side has issues. But the FC side is working very, very well.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is really good now that they have the Dynamic Pools. We don't always have the money to buy complete write sets when we have to expand the storage, so now with the Dynamic Pools we can add disks on the go. It's an easier process to order them and to get more storage when we need.

How is customer service and technical support?

We only used technical support during the installation. When we installed it, we had to fix some things with support. But after that, we have not needed to use it. DELL EMC support works really well with EMC storage systems.

How was the initial setup?

Setup was very straightforward but, then again, I have a lot of experience with Fibre Channel. I've been working with two VNX machines, and with one Clariion before that. I've been doing this job for seven or eight years, so I knew exactly what I wanted. Our technical guy came and installed it and it was very, very simple.

What other advice do I have?

When selecting a vendor, I really just want the product to work and the support to work. Every computer fails at some point. Every computer breaks down occasionally, and when that happens I need the support to act quickly and be as useful as possible.

I would give Unity a definite nine out of 10 at the moment. I really like the storage system. It's really good.

If you are using a fully virtual environment, I would suggest you check into an HC, a hyper-converged environment instead. But if you do need traditional storage and a SAN network, I would really recommend Unity as your back-end, if you're not too big to use Unity systems. They are mid-range storage. If you have a mid-range environment and you need to use Fibre Channel, I would really recommend a Unity All-Flash system.

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