Compare Dell EMC Unity XT vs. NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS)

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Most Helpful Review
Find out what your peers are saying about Dell EMC Unity XT vs. NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS) and other solutions. Updated: March 2021.
476,163 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Quotes From Members

We asked business professionals to review the solutions they use. Here are some excerpts of what they said:

Pros
"For me, the most valuable feature is the ease of management.""It is lightning fast, low on power and heat, and has a small footprint with great performance.""Unity's are more easily administrated, so we need fewer people to do the administration. We have less overhead because of that.""We have Dell EMC engineers helping us out and doing some over the shoulder training. They are working with our customer right now doing data migration over to Unities from the legacy Oracle stuff. While they're doing this, they're showing people how the Unities work and the ins and outs of the software interface.""It gives me the flexibility with its ability to replicate to itself and the ability to use the Dell EMC Cloud as an option. That's always sitting there and waiting if we need it.""It is pretty stable. I like the stability, because everything works like it should. We made it all redundant. So, we don't have anything to worry about.""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.""It has improved the utilization of our own internal resources and performance across our managed service platform, meeting our customers SLAs."

More Dell EMC Unity XT Pros »

"The features that I found most valuable are SnapMirror and SnapVault; these provide DR and backup for data redundancy.""The valuable features are the fabric pool. We are taking our cold data and pumping it straight into an estuary bucket. Also, efficiency. We're getting about two and a half times upwards of data efficiency through compaction, compression, deduplication, and it's size. When we refreshed from two or three racks of spinning discs down into 5U of rack space, it not only saved us a whole heap of costs in our data center environment but also it's nice to be green. The power savings alone equated to be about 50 tons of CO2 a year that we no longer emit. It's a big game changer.""Tech support has been absolutely amazing. I think on the technical aspects as well, my staff is able to get great support from the NetApp technical support resources that we have. What I love about NetApp is they have a health care division. At times, it's such an amazing thing because if we have a healthcare-related issue, there's no one better than having prior CIOs from health care organizations that NetApp has hired, and that are part of the health care team, to help out with any of those initiatives and support problems. Support has been absolutely phenomenal.""This solution has reduced our data center costs because when we went from the 8000 and 3200 series that took us from 20 racks of storage down to two.""The solution’s thin provisioning has allowed us to add new applications without having to purchase additional storage. We use thin provisioning for everything. We use the deduplication compression functionality for all of our NetApps. If we weren't using thin provisioning, we'd probably have two to times more storage on our floor right now than we do today.""The most valuable features of this solution are the deduplication and the ability to move data to different clouds.""The most valuable features of this solution are snapshotting and cloning.""The overall latency in our environment is very low because it's All Flash and we've got 10 Giga dedicated to the storage network"

More NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS) Pros »

Cons
"There's always room for improvement with the UI. That can be a little cumbersome at times.""As the solution continues to grow and gain more traction, things will come up that will just continue to deepen the integration between VMware, vCenter, and all those other components. Anything in the divisibility there and additional tools is always great.""We went to the PowerMax because of the needs that we have for the business. We're doing true enterprise-level storage. So we went from Unity to PowerMax to give us that tier that we were looking for.""What I'd like to see is a little more detail on the networking side. I can go into where it's showing me the replication, but when I go into the network it just gives me broad-based information. I don't know which replication job is actually feeding it. I have to go in and rely on other apps.""I would like to have secure mobile connectivity going forward. This would help me be more proactive.""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.""If you compare it with VMAX, where we communicate with the box through Solutions Enabler and there are a lot of commands and a lot of flexibility, the command line for Unity needs to enhanced.""I would like better monitoring capabilities: more historical data with more insight into the performance for the database. We now use a separate tool for it. Therefore, it would be nice if we could have that straight from the tool."

More Dell EMC Unity XT Cons »

"I would like to see an improvement in the high availability of the NFS and CIFS sharing during upgrade and patching; this would help to avoid downtime.""I would like for them to develop the ability to detach the fabric pool. Once you've added it to an aggregate it's there for life and it would be nice to disconnect it if we ever had to.""The total cost of ownership has increased a little.""We would like to have NVMe on FabricPool working because it broke our backups. We enabled FabricPool to do the tiering from our AFFs to our Webscale but it sort of broke our Cobalt backups.""Something I've talked to NetApp about in the past is going more to a node-based architecture, like the hyper-converged solutions that we are doing nowadays. Because the days of having to buy massive quantities of storage all at one time, have changed to being able to grow in smaller increments from a budgetary standpoint. This change would be great for our business. This is what my leadership would like to see in a lot of things that they purchase now. I would like to see that architecture continue to evolve in that clustered environment.""It would be very useful if we could do the NFS to CIFS file transfer, but it is not supported at this time.""The cost of this solution should be reduced.""It has not reduced our data center costs. NetApp charges a pretty penny for their stuff."

More NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS) Cons »

Pricing and Cost Advice
"Just from an overall power and heating usage, it costs substantially less than some of our existing solutions""We bought extended warranties out of the box because our customer has a bad habit of managing warranties.""While it has a good price to start, they could always make it cheaper.""It scales, but then you have to buy additional stuff.""With the large Unity that we bought, it has saved us about one and a half rack space. That's our return on investment on our flash array. We also need less Fibre Channel connectivity.""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.""Our costs are roughly $200,000 a year.""The solution is extremely functional for the price that we pay for it. It is worth the investment."

More Dell EMC Unity XT Pricing and Cost Advice »

"The pricing is good.""It consolidates a lot of our storage into one or two chassis, which makes money savings in our data center.""We have used the solution’s thin provisioning to add new applications without having to purchase additional storage. We use thin provisioning on all of our flash arrays at this point. It gives us the choice to be able to overprovision and take advantage of compression, compaction, and thin provisioning all at the same time. We can get more out of the purchases that we make.""I would like it to be a lot less expensive, but it's been a very good solution for us.""The price of the upgrading of the solution is high. I could buy a whole unit of All Flash FAS 300 with a shelf for around $285,000. Yet if I want to add one additional shelf, it'll cost me $275,000. So they want you to upgrade by replacing it. It's cheaper to buy a whole new unit than to just scale out. The upside is they last. AFF lasts us three or four years. So that's a good investment.""It definitely reduces costs because it simply takes less power to run these systems. While the SSDs don't take power, they are in general very big right now. So, the running cost has decreased for a lot of our customers.""We benefited from implementing all-flash by reducing our data center footprint. We took it from 30 racks to just over five. This is one of the biggest savings for us.""One of the reasons we like this solution is that all of the features are included with the one license."

More NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS) Pricing and Cost Advice »

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Answers from the Community
Asiri Dissanayake
author avatarAdminsys677 (Presales Engineer Information System and Security at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees)
Real User

I saw that you have doubts about what you chose. I have a lot of experience with the constructor, honestly I can recommend Dell EMC Unity XT All-flash which can guarantee you a ratio of 3:1 signed by Dell and you have to deploy all types of workload from block to file. You can also rely on the native cash and fast cache functionality for increasing application performance

author avatarRodrigo Carte
Real User

Well, Is one thing NetApp Storage has vs other brand is the mix of protocol CIFS with NFS booth working together in the same volume that features is difficult to find in other Storage but the flexibility that gives is a lot. Other is speed with SSDs because the latency is minimal and very helpful for higer concurrency in my case we have many concurrent connections and the metrics are very impressed with the behavior of NetApp AFF 300.

author avatarPayman Maher
Real User

This question is very dependent on your requirements. Both are among the best in the field. Of course, the intended cost is decisively based on the Gartner magic quadrant storage 2020 Net app company and Dell EMC are leaders. But we can say NetApp is First in Queue.


One of the superiority NetApp working on NVMeOF

author avatarHuseyin Yildirim
Real User

The answer depends on your needs and budget. If you want high performance (who doesn't) or let's say the latency matters more than IOPS for your needs, Netapp AFF is the right choice. You can approach the max. Performance by equipping Unity with SSDs but maybe this costs more. I would recommend Netapp AFF all the time if your budget is ok.

author avatarFrank Ruvolo
User

They’re both great solutions and I’ve used both.

EMC is being VERY aggressive on pricing which may be the undoing of NetApp.

Differences are in the user interface mostly, they both do what they are designed to do in different ways.

I say, compare apples to apples on models and get them fighting on price.

You win.

author avatarCornelCristea
Real User

First of all the decision should be taken looking at similar products in terms of capacity and performance.
I will show a few aspects helping the decision, comparing Unity Xt480f and AFF220 (both chosen by distributor to be in the price range for capacity):

1. Comparing 2 systems with the same capacity and performance: pricing is the first to look at:

1a. Cost per GB, war capacity and usable capacity (+Unity)

1b. Cost of adding capacity (+Unity)

1c. Cost of licensing per GB / per added capacity (+Unity all included)

1d. Cost of maintenance after initial contract (+Unity same for all life )

2. Comparison of CPU/MEM, we choose Unity XT because of better CPU cores/frequency and memory per controller

3. Percentage of space lost in various configurations. Our goal was to use Dynamic disk pools, available on Unity. Easier upgrades/downgrades.

4. If virtual volumes are considered, Unity has a VASA provider included in the controller, Netapp is using external VM.

5. Product lifecycle

6. Inline compression / deduplication, performance,

From the above 1=80%, 2=5%, 3=10%, 4+5=5%

We went to Unity XT480 where on the same budget we got 20% more usable flash capacity, while enough slots remain for future upgrades.

author avatarMohamed Y Ahmed
Reseller

My experience was with DELL EMC Unity Hybrid Storage and it was amazing cost-wise. Are you sure you need an All-flash solution?

author avatarMaro Gav
User

EMC definitely.

Questions from the Community
Top Answer: I saw that you have doubts about what you chose. I have a lot of experience with the constructor, honestly I can recommend Dell EMC Unity XT All-flash which can guarantee you a ratio of 3:1 signed by… more »
Top Answer: They’re both great solutions and I’ve used both. EMC is being VERY aggressive on pricing which may be the undoing of NetApp. Differences are in the user interface mostly, they both do what they… more »
Top Answer: First of all the decision should be taken looking at similar products in terms of capacity and performance. I will show a few aspects helping the decision, comparing Unity Xt480f and AFF220 (both… more »
Top Answer: Well, Is one thing NetApp Storage has vs other brand is the mix of protocol CIFS with NFS booth working together in the same volume that features is difficult to find in other Storage but the… more »
Top Answer: This question is very dependent on your requirements. Both are among the best in the field. Of course, the intended cost is decisively based on the Gartner magic quadrant storage 2020 Net app company… more »
Top Answer: The answer depends on your needs and budget. If you want high performance (who doesn't) or let's say the latency matters more than IOPS for your needs, Netapp AFF is the right choice. You can approach… more »
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Also Known As
EMC Unity, Dell EMC Unity
NetApp All Flash FAS, NetApp AFF, NetApp Flash FAS
Learn More
Overview

Dell EMC Unity, powered by Intel Xeon processors, delivers the ultimate in simplicity and value, enabling your organization to speed deployment, streamline management and seamlessly tier storage to the cloud.

Dell EMC Unity’s All-Flash and Hybrid Flash storage platforms optimize SSD performance and efficiency, with fully integrated SAN and NAS capabilities. Cloud-based storage analytics and proactive support keep you available and connected.

NetApp AFF8000 All Flash FAS systems combine all-flash performance with unified data management from flash to disk to cloud.  Leverage the Data Fabric to move data securely across your choice of clouds—enabled by Cloud ONTAP™ and NetApp Private Storage for Cloud. Plus, you get the industry’s most efficient and comprehensive integrated data protection suite, on premises or in the cloud.

Offer
Learn more about Dell EMC Unity XT
Learn more about NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS)
Sample Customers
Draper, Rio Grande Pacific, Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre
Acibadem Healthcare Group, AmTrust Financial Services, Citrix Systems, DWD, Mantra Group
Top Industries
REVIEWERS
Financial Services Firm20%
Healthcare Company17%
Manufacturing Company13%
Government7%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Computer Software Company34%
Comms Service Provider23%
Government5%
Manufacturing Company5%
REVIEWERS
Healthcare Company16%
Financial Services Firm12%
Energy/Utilities Company9%
Retailer8%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Computer Software Company27%
Comms Service Provider23%
Manufacturing Company11%
Financial Services Firm5%
Company Size
REVIEWERS
Small Business25%
Midsize Enterprise26%
Large Enterprise49%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Small Business5%
Midsize Enterprise46%
Large Enterprise48%
REVIEWERS
Small Business12%
Midsize Enterprise12%
Large Enterprise76%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Small Business10%
Midsize Enterprise14%
Large Enterprise76%
Find out what your peers are saying about Dell EMC Unity XT vs. NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS) and other solutions. Updated: March 2021.
476,163 professionals have used our research since 2012.

Dell EMC Unity XT is ranked 3rd in All-Flash Storage Arrays with 20 reviews while NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS) is ranked 2nd in All-Flash Storage Arrays with 40 reviews. Dell EMC Unity XT is rated 8.6, while NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS) is rated 8.8. The top reviewer of Dell EMC Unity XT writes "Gives me flexibility with its ability to replicate to itself". On the other hand, the top reviewer of NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS) writes "Good price to performance ratio, no latency, and simple to use". Dell EMC Unity XT is most compared with Dell EMC PowerStore, Pure Storage FlashArray, HPE Nimble Storage, IBM FlashSystem and HPE 3PAR StoreServ, whereas NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS) is most compared with Pure Storage FlashArray, Lenovo ThinkSystem DM Series, HPE Nimble Storage, HPE 3PAR StoreServ and Dell EMC PowerStore. See our Dell EMC Unity XT vs. NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS) report.

See our list of best All-Flash Storage Arrays vendors.

We monitor all All-Flash Storage Arrays reviews to prevent fraudulent reviews and keep review quality high. We do not post reviews by company employees or direct competitors. We validate each review for authenticity via cross-reference with LinkedIn, and personal follow-up with the reviewer when necessary.