Most Helpful Review
Researched Dell EMC Unity XT but chose NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS): Improved performance of backup and restore, with good data protection features
We asked business professionals to review the solutions they use. Here are some excerpts of what they said:
"Its efficiency and scalability are the most valuable features."
"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."
"We like the way it integrates with our environment. These features help us use multiple soft applications. The new features of going off the grid and replicating really help us. They give us an advantage versus traditional storage resources."
"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."
"The most valuable feature is the ability to continue our business needs and have higher visibility. It has definitely increased our business productivity levels."
"As a function of our core business, it's a sought after tool that helps us provide analytical support across a wide spectrum of client needs. It's allowed us to test out in our connected restaurant - "TheWorks" - a fully-functional restaurant experience center that allows our clients to discover the value of our connected solutions firsthand. We deploy vSAN in this customer-like environment within a hyperconvergent infrastruction (HCI) to give our clients a better understanding and help optimize data and the end-users' experience."
"The newer versions of this solution are much more stable and easier to manage."
"VMware vSAN has greatly reduced refresh spending."
"It is more stable now than it was before. It's not like it was in the first year. Now it is stable, and we trust it more."
"We can also create test cases. We can even throttle down performance or release more performance. So, we can run more precise test scenarios."
"When we do to do more scaled load testing, we can run more dense workloads and still have the same results across all specific nodes"
"It is very easy to set up and very easy to use. It is very useful."
"The scaling needs improvement. NetApp is limited for scaling options."
"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."
"We would like an AI feature that would protect the backup and minimize the consumed space so we can maintain the quality of the backup. This would help us minimize our IT cost in terms of the backup procedures."
"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 love for this product to be cheaper and easier to configure."
"I would like to see the availability of more template based VMware systems. Combined with the ability to check and measure multiple and converging data segments. Another issue I've seen is that the tool seems to be slow when first starting up."
"This solution would benefit from better collaboration with Cisco for driver updates."
"This solution is not great for large file shares/object/rich media repository."
"Disaster recovery needs to be improved, when there is a crisis, there is a problem with what is the quickest way to get out of it."
"When we talk about improvements for vSAN, there is some way to go from a at least stability perspective. Adding all these new features is nice, but we are now at the level that most of the features you need in production are there."
"Upgradability could be a bit easier sometimes. We are now where vSAN can be updated without ESXi, but there is still enough dependency. So that would be good if that actually would uncoupled even more."
"If one node out of your ten nodes fails, it takes a lot of time to replicate and rebalance VMware vSAN. This time can be reduced. When a node fails and the data is not accessible, vSAN has to be rebalanced to make the redundancy level of two again. However, if it is taking a lot of time and any other hardware fails during that time, then we have a problem. Two disk failures mean that all data will be lost, and we may have to recover it from the backup. So, the number of threads that run to do the rebalancing could be more so that the time taken to make it fully redundant again is not so much."
Pricing and Cost Advice
"With other options, you need to buy a couple of different products to achieve the same outcome."
"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."
"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."
"I'd love for this product to be cheaper."
"ROI from an administrative perspective is clearly much better because I only have to deal with one user interface."
"If they could reduce the cost, it would be better. Licensing costs are something that they could take care of. If you are a smaller and strong IT team, then VMware vSAN is a very good product. If you want to expand in the service provider space, then you will have to go for an open-source solution like OpenStack. We are now looking at OpenStack because we sell licensing costs. We are a service provider, so the IT component data is a substantial component in our overall costing. We feel that OpenStack might help us to cut down the licensing cost. Therefore, we are looking at SAS storage instead of vSAN. SAS is open source, but it is not wise to have open source without having the backend support. We are using RedHat SAS, and it is an open-source solution. You can also have a free version, but we are using it with support from RedHat so that we have somebody to back us up in case we have a problem. If you do normal business, then IT expense is 1% or 2% of the total turnover. The higher licensing costs sometimes don't make difference to the big companies who are not service providers and are using it only for their internal use. For them, the IT cost is 1% or 2%, but for an IT service provider, the IT costs will go up to 15% to 16% of the total cost of the operations. This is where the licensing costs become irrelevant. For example, the licensing cost of using VMware, VC, and vSAN is 8% of my monthly revenue. Every month, I pay about $35,000, and, with the revised plan, it will be something like $50,000 or revenue of 600k per month, which means almost 8% of the revenue is going into VMware licensing. In a very competitive world, 8% as a cost element is huge. So, if I can bring it down to 2%, I save 6% in revenue expenditure. In terms of profit, 6% of 30% is something like another 25% increase in my profit. My profit can be almost 25%. It would be 20% to 25% in case I am able to handle the licensing costs and bring them to a very low level. Because these IT costs are substantial for us, that is why we are going with OpenStack. OpenStack has a limitation that it requires more hardware. There will be some increase in the hardware cost, but overall we will save 5% to 6% of our licensing cost by using OpenStack."
"It is fairly cost-effective for entry to mid-level performance based on the underlying hardware components."
"The price is expensive."
"It is an expensive solution. There should be more flexible with licensing to allow small businesses the essentials of the solution's features."
Questions from the Community
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… more »
Top Answer: This question is very dependent on your requirements. Both are among the best in the field. Of course, the intended cost… 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 »
Top Answer: I saw that you have doubts about what you chose. I have a lot of experience with the constructor, honestly I can… 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… more »
Top Answer: First of all the decision should be taken looking at similar products in terms of capacity and performance. I will show… more »
Top Answer: very helpful post
Top Answer: Nutanix is intelligent hyper-convergent
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Also Known As
|NetApp All Flash FAS, NetApp AFF, NetApp Flash FAS||EMC Unity, Dell EMC Unity||vSAN|
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.
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.
VMware vSAN is the industry-leading software powering Hyper-Converged Infrastructure solutions.
What vSAN Does
Learn more about NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS)
Learn more about Dell EMC Unity XT
Learn more about VMware vSAN
|Acibadem Healthcare Group, AmTrust Financial Services, Citrix Systems, DWD, Mantra Group||Draper, Rio Grande Pacific, Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre||Read Some Case Studies At Home Cloud CaribCINgroupDiscovery Check out the Rest of our Customer Stories Here|
Financial Services Firm12%
Computer Software Company31%
Comms Service Provider22%
Financial Services Firm5%
Financial Services Firm20%
Computer Software Company38%
Comms Service Provider22%
Financial Services Firm9%
Computer Software Company35%
Comms Service Provider20%
Dell EMC Unity XT is ranked 3rd in All-Flash Storage Arrays with 22 reviews while VMware vSAN is ranked 3rd in Hyper-Converged (HCI) with 17 reviews. Dell EMC Unity XT is rated 8.6, while VMware vSAN is rated 8.4. 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 VMware vSAN writes "Gives us a lot of advantages when we need to expand resources". Dell EMC Unity XT is most compared with Pure Storage FlashArray, HPE Nimble Storage, Dell EMC PowerStore, HPE 3PAR StoreServ and Dell EMC XtremIO, whereas VMware vSAN is most compared with Nutanix Acropolis AOS, VxRail, Red Hat Ceph Storage, HPE SimpliVity and IBM Spectrum Scale.
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