Dell EMC Unity XT Review

Integrates easily into our current environment and NAS is extremely simple to set up

What is our primary use case?

We use it for enterprise SAN. We have multiple units. We just started getting them in and the performance has been good. It back-ends our enterprise Oracle, which is for our financials. We have some Mission-Support applications that it supports as well. We have both structured and unstructured data.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is the ease of integrating it into our current environment. It works within our enterprise management application. The NAS is also extremely easy to set up.

What needs improvement?

On the data domains - for the Unity product, but specifically for data domains - I would like a much easier interface for managing, for actually going in and having one place where I could get all of the different parts of the overall unit. And I would also like to be able to identify individual disks a lot more easily.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

In terms of stability, so far everything has been fine.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability has been pretty easy too, as opposed to some other vendors that we've had in the past.

How are customer service and technical support?

We have only used tech support to replace drives that have gone bad. But our experience has not been so good. The biggest problem has been having the right equipment in the right category that our support people can have access to. We have multiple accounts, and unfortunately, equipment is across them. So we'll call it in and they'll say, "Well, that's not under your account," so they can't actually go in online and put an SR against it. We're working on fixing that, but that's been extremely frustrating. Once we get past it, and if they understand that, yes, we do own it, and where the site is, etc., getting the part is easy.

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

We are replacing our VNX2s with the Unity storage. The VNXs were end-of-life and it was our normal tech refresh. We also had new requirements come in for larger storage so we bought the Unity.

How was the initial setup?

The initial set up was more difficult than the original VNX2s. My Storage Admin said that it was just different.

What was our ROI?

Three years is probably the best that we get for the return on our investment. It takes three years to actually get it back.

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

Regarding the licensing, that was easy. As far as recurring costs go, all that is understood, what we need to keep in place. If we grow and scale, we also understand a license comes with that, too. In terms of integrating it with our existing apps, there was no additional cost, nothing we didn't expect.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Primarily we're Dell EMC. We do have NetApp and they're pretty big, they're petabyte systems and they're primarily for a business-level project, not for enterprise storage. After using them, we definitely wanted to stick with Dell EMC.

What other advice do I have?

It's a good product and you should definitely evaluate it. We're concerned about standardization, so even if a product has something that's better - one item, one capability that's better - we probably wouldn't go with it and would rather standardize across, for support and everything else. That's important to us.

For the purchasing process, we'll go to the vendor, we'll give them our requirements, and we'll work out the final design. They'll give us a quote and then we'll get two more quotes from two other vendors. We're required to get three quotes. I then put that in through my finance and then it goes through contracting. Contracting goes out and they get the true quote. And then, once the equipment is purchased, it comes directly to me onsite.

I rate the solution an eight out of ten. Improving the interface for managing it would help make it a ten.

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