Dell EMC Unity XT Review

Solid platform, and the performance allows us to do more with less

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use case is for our product, Oracle Database, and it's performing very well.

How has it helped my organization?

The benefit of the solution is that it allows us to maintain an Oracle Database for our product, for our customers. Given the performance of the Unity array, we've been able to do more with less.

What is most valuable?

It's just a solid platform.

What needs improvement?

I would like to see better compression, better dedupe. It's not nearly as good as what is built into the XtremIO. I understand why that is the case, but if they can take some of that technology and leverage that a little bit better in the Unity array, that would be great. That would be the first improvement.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's rock solid. All of the EMC arrays are rock solid. I wouldn't expect anything less.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is phenomenal.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is typically very good. The only issue is, where our products are located. it's hard to get technical support in there. Only certain individuals can go in there, so finding that right, cleared person is sometimes a challenge.

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

This is just the next generation. We started with the CX models, we went to the Celerra, and now we're only blocks. We've used the 5300, the 5400s. We've used them all for years and years.

When selecting a vendor what's important are 

  • price
  • the name
  • the product itself 
  • most importantly, stability. 

I need to know that I've got a device that's running and it's not going to go down; that has rock-solid stability. That's the issue.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is different from the VNX arrays and the CX arrays, which we have played with and used for years. The interface is just different.

Previously, we manually did all of our RAID groups. We didn't use the pools in the VNX2, we just went down to RAID groups because that would give us the best performance. We could maintain that performance, we could control that. With Unity, that went away, so that was a little bit of a learning curve. We had to understand and learn to trust that it was going to do what it needed to do.

What other advice do I have?

Compared to XtremeIO, the unity is a two out of 10. Compared to other products, like Compellent, which is a Dell product, I think it's better than the Compellent. I think it's better than the 3PAR, I think it's better than the Netapp. The whole VNX/Unity line has been the industry leader, as far as I'm concerned. if I were to rank the Unity against all of its equivalent competitors, I would say it's probably a nine out of 10.

I would give a colleague the advice that he needs to look at what his product does, or what the use case is for that device. The Unity array is, by design, block, with unified on top of it. NetApp is, by default, file, with a block added on, which is kind of a hybrid; it's not really block at all. It depends on what you're doing. If you're looking for a filer, NetApp is the way to go. But if you're looking for block storage, by far EMC Unity is the way to go. That is its design.

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