Dell EMC Unity XT Review

It has reduced the complexity and improved productivity tenfold compared to what it used to be


What is our primary use case?

We are using the All-Flash storage for block and file use cases. All of our corporate file shares and all of our VMware infrastructure items for manager service platforms are running off of Unity.

We are running a hosted collaboration: video, voice, and all types of online collaboration solutions for our customers. We have been doing it for years and just needed to migrate to the next level. 

How has it helped my organization?

It has improved the utilization of our own internal resources and performance across our managed service platform, meeting our customers SLAs.

Unity has reduced the complexity and improved productivity tenfold compared to what it used to be. 

What is most valuable?

Our tech team is small and very busy, so it is about ease of use. The Unity came in, and its very easy to use and expand. We can expand one drive at a time, which has been a cost effective for us along with ease of performance. 

A lot of the Unisphere interfaces are greatly improved in terms of monitoring capabilities, alerting, and ease of use. Setting up the storage and the file system are all just a few clicks away.

There are a lot of cloud options. We make use CloudIQ, which is a nice dashboard for our managed service side of the company to easily review what is going on with the health of things. There are a number of other cloud features, but we don't make use of them today.

What needs improvement?

The dedupe and compression ratios on the Unity are not quite where we want them. We are getting better data efficiencies on the VNX than we are on the new Unity. We found this a bit interesting. We would like to see improvement there. 

We noticed in the last release of code that there were some inefficiencies around getting our data efficiency up in terms of dedupe and compression.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I don't hear from any of my tech team. We put it in, and it has been stable. We have been through three patch cycles. Junior resources are taking care of it with no issues. Once we show them how it works, very little training is needed to get them up to speed.

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

We were running it on VNX previously, so it was easy to migrate over to Unity. We went from a hybrid solution to All-Flash.

What was our ROI?

We were able to downsize the storage utilization and dedupe with compression, then go with a smaller array, increase our performance, and ease of use.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We worked with pretty much all of the major array manufacturers, and I can put my junior resources on it and not worry about them provisioning extra storage, scaling it, and adding to it. I don't hear from them anymore with, "How do I do this?", "Is this correct?", or "I broke it."

What other advice do I have?

I would rate the product an eight out of ten, which is higher than I would rate other arrays in the mid-range space.

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