Dell EMC Unity XT Review

It has sped up our entire architecture

What is our primary use case?

We use the Unity to back-end our VMware virtual stack. We run VMware vSphere on it. It's a hypervisor, and that is what we are required to run all our VMs for both Horizon and our internal services.

How has it helped my organization?

We were having significant latency with our old storage arrays. With Unity's flexibility of block and file storage, we were able to start with file storage, then plan eventually moving to block storage. So, it has sped up our entire architecture.

What is most valuable?

Speed and ease of use of the interface are its most valuable features.

The Unity interface is much more advanced than some of the older ones that we had, or that I've experienced. It has made deployment, configuration, and maintenance a lot simpler.

For private cloud, it works very well.

What needs improvement?

There were a couple features that came out a little later than we originally believed, but they did come pretty much on time and met our schedule.

For how long have I used the solution?

We are still trying to get all our features deployment right now.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Like any other storage array, SAN, or NAS, it is very reliable. We haven't had any issues with it.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We know that we can add another whole tray or two of disks if we need to. We started with a high-density to begin with, but we knew we had significant space to expand when we needed it.

It has exceeded our performance expectations. We were expecting an improvement, but we were expecting to eventually in the short term come close to hitting capacity on it, and we haven't. Performance-wise, it's held up very well.

How are customer service and technical support?

The support that we get for Dell EMC storage has been fantastic.

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

We were previously using NetApp, and we were at the limit of our old equipment. We were running older file storage, which was causing us a bunch of latency issues, and the Unity solved most of those problems.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is not so straightforward if you don't have experience with storage arrays.

What about the implementation team?

We used a Dell EMC consultant for the deployment. The experience was good.

What was our ROI?

The return on the investment was simply speeding up our entire vSphere stack, which allowed our developers and engineers to get their workloads done faster and simpler. We were experiencing VM snapshot times of 45 minutes to two or three hours, and it shrunk it down to under five minutes.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Based on the cost and performance the we needed, Unity was the best price. NetApp was not being price competitive.

What other advice do I have?

If you're looking for a cost-effective, easy to use solution, which has scalability on a small-to-medium deployment, Unity is a very good solution for this.

We are planning to use replication very soon, and we do use snapshots.

We've been very happy.

**Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
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