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

As of February 2019, Dell EMC Unity is ranked 2nd in All-Flash Storage Arrays with 114 reviews vs NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS) which is ranked 3rd in All-Flash Storage Arrays with 84 reviews. The top reviewer of Dell EMC Unity writes "Hits a sweet spot for us between price point and the amount of storage and performance". The top reviewer of NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS) writes "Supported our overall business initiatives, they've done a great job with cybersecurity ". Dell EMC Unity is most compared with NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS), HPE 3PAR Flash Storage and Pure Storage FlashArray. NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS) is most compared with Dell EMC Unity, Pure Storage FlashArray and HPE 3PAR Flash Storage. See our Dell EMC Unity vs. NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS) report.
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Most Helpful Review
Find out what your peers are saying about Dell EMC Unity vs. NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS) and other solutions. Updated: January 2019.
317,758 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
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.It is easy to scale, maintain, and manage.They have a Unity REST API that I use to automate some of the storage stuff. I'm just getting started with it, but it seems pretty easy to use.It has saved us time when provisioning new storage, so we're trying to automate that process.Compared to our old platform, everything is more tightly integrated. I don't have to go to different sections to do something. A lot of it is wizard-driven, so it's an easy to use system.Integration; We use the product with VMware, and also use it with Syft for home directory and departmental shares.Purchasing; We worked with a sales rep to purchase our Unity.They've integrated NAS and SAN pretty well. It made replication very simple. Because one of our systems has a lot of LANs, for it to replicate we have Consistency Groups in there. That's something that is really helpful, making sure that everything is working not just for replication but for backups as well.

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Its efficiency and scalability are the most valuable features.The most valuable features for AFF are the speed, durability, back up, the time, the workloads that we are using currently are much faster than what they used to be. We're getting a lot of different things out of All Flash.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.Previously we had migrated from Dell EMC and we had a lot of difficulties moving data around. Now, if we need to move it to any slower storage, we can move it with just a vault move within the cluster. Even moving data between clusters is extremely simple using SnapMirror. The mobility options for data in All Flash FAS have been awesome.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.NetApp tech support is so good. Their tech support has always been so stable and the people are so good in case of any failure or any good feature that needs to be updated or features that supposedly can help with performance to improve some performance. NetApp support is one of the best that I deal with.Scalability is excellent. If we need more space, it's a no downtime solution. It's harder to get the funding than it is to get the solution itself.This solution makes everything a lot faster. The time to move data around, boot and migrate VMs is much faster.

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Cons
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.The support portal needs fixing. Accessing a service request on the support portal seems to be a bit difficult, as opposed to just calling the 800 number.Dell EMC Unity's competitor, NetApp, has a similar product. However, it has a clustering technology where you can group multiple systems together, then you can move data from one system to another seamlessly. I would like the Unity to do that.It would be nice to have been able to easily move off our old VNX system to this system. The process is very manual.The iSCSI and the VMware integation using vSphere could be less confusing.It needs deduplication. We'd like to have the dedupe capabilities in the Unity.There are a lot of things that can be done with it. It's got Cloud IQ, but I think it's not as mature as it could be, they could make it more effective. They could make it more comparable to some of the other products out there that have cloud analytics. The amount of insight that the Unity product is able to give, at this point, is okay, but not class-leading. Some of the other data-reduction technologies, like deduplication, are not to the level of other competitors and what their products provide.I don't know where the hybrid cloud might be going or what connectivity there is between what was recently released as far as AWS and being able to manage both of them. Maybe there is an on-prem and an AWS instance in the same window, like a single pane, but I would like to see something along those lines, where there wouldn't be two locations to manage storage.

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The scaling needs improvement. NetApp is limited for scaling options.The bad part about having scalability is the expense. It is currently extremely expensive, to be able to scale so fast on flash.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.As for AFF itself, I don't have any suggestions of what I would be excited about seeing. I think that adding the support for the rest of APIs to AFF would be super handy. I think it's something that we've been waiting for for a while which would be fantastic.The total cost of ownership has increased a little.I would like to see the ability to include more applications from applications to managed storage. If we can have more applications or more interface in more applications, that would be great.I come tech support with difficulty because I installed NetApp for many years I know what to expect when I call. When I don't get their support tech that I'm expecting and I'm trying to get to the right one, it can get very frustrating for me personally, trying to all-flash push my way into the right person. NetApp has the right people, it's just a matter of getting to them.I need faster Fibre Channel over Ethernet. They top out at 10GBs today and I would like that to go to 40 or 100.

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Pricing and Cost Advice
Go with the virtual appliance versus the hardware.Licensing is fine. We worked with a sales rep to purchase our Unity.The pricing is reasonable. We're using the Flex on Demand pricing. It's really good for us when we pay for what we use. It made it easy to get it inside since it's an OpEx and instead of CapEx expense.Currently, we buy directly from Dell EMC. We've tried going through resellers before, but we've found that if we go directly through Dell EMC, we get a good a price from being with the government.The pricing is competitive. We miss some of the feature functionality that we had with the XtremeIOs but it's certainly suitable for the purpose.In the SQL Server instances in our data warehouse, we immediately saw a great return on investment.Licensing is a little bit confusing. Going through everything with them, there are a lot of line items to go over. Every single thing is broken down into a line item, and it starts to get really confusing in terms of what we're actually purchasing when it comes to the product.The ROI is right where we need it to be. It's a reasonably priced array.

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With other options, you need to buy a couple of different products to achieve the same outcome.Our TCO has increased by 15 to 18 percent.Using NetApp, our total cost of ownership decreased by 17%.Our TCO decreased significantly because we were paying maintenance on nine different arrays throughout the country. We've condensed those down to three arrays, and our maintenance fees from the IBM product dropped by over a half million dollars a year, saving us $500,000 USD.The total cost, the pricing of it, has gone up quite a bit.Disk level encryption is already in the solution, but it is very costly. Its pricing should come down.From an application standpoint, we have seen a lot of return investment on the speeds and responsiveness of the actual storage.Our total cost of ownership (TCO) has decreased by 40 percent.

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Answers from the Community
Rhea Rapps
reviewer99798User

Full disclosure I represent both manufacturers.

In my opinion, it comes down to use case. Certainly, all flash is the way to go from a starting point.

If you are operating in a block storage environment I would suggest the Unity has some advantages.

If you are looking at more of a file world then I think NETAPP has the edge.

Both are well built and both will be aggressive price wise.

Both are well integrated to VMware if you are virtual in nature although I would probably give the edge to Unity on that front given VMware is part of Dell Technologies.

If you have more specifics about the use case ( data access type, capacity, performance, relocation and or DR etc ) I could probably narrow it down a little more for you.

13 June 18
reviewer429375Real User

In general, I lean to EMC Unity due to its flexibility, modularity and low cost. I would use NetApp if I already had this in my portfolio and you heavily used key features like file support.

13 June 18
Reviewer7839213Real User

Flash is more reliable with high performance but expensive. Users need to check out their requirements of storage.

Dell EMC Unity can have tiered storage based on user requirements whereas NetApp All-Flash FAS is built with all flash capability.

We can choose either all flash or other HDD types or both based on our budget requirement and application needs. If the storage is required for archival with minimum write then All Flash is not the solution.

In my opinion technically & feature wise both are equally qualifying.

13 June 18
reviewer70797User

Both the Unity and NetApp all-flash arrays are very good all flash solutions and work well. I would not be able to recommend one over the other but would suggest the customer look a little deeper into what requirements they have for the storage such as cloud tiering, setup, integration with other products, management and make the determination based needs.

12 June 18
Mohamad ChararaConsultant

Unfortunately, I can’t as I didn’t try both of them. However, I might buy the Dell EMC Unity soon.

13 June 18
Ranking
2nd
Views
37,995
Comparisons
25,108
Reviews
111
Followers
1,096
Avg. Rating
8.4
3rd
Views
44,819
Comparisons
16,774
Reviews
85
Followers
1,451
Avg. Rating
9.0
Top Comparisons
Also Known As
EMC UnityNetApp All Flash FAS, NetApp AFF, NetApp Flash FAS
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Dell EMC
NetApp
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
Learn more about NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS)
Sample Customers
Information Not Available
Acibadem Healthcare Group, AmTrust Financial Services, Citrix Systems, DWD, Mantra Group
Top Industries
REVIEWERS
Financial Services Firm21%
Healthcare Company14%
Manufacturing Company13%
Government6%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Insurance Company14%
Financial Services Firm12%
Government10%
Healthcare Company10%
REVIEWERS
Healthcare Company16%
Financial Services Firm12%
Retailer9%
Energy/Utilities Company8%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Financial Services Firm21%
Healthcare Company15%
Manufacturing Company9%
Government7%
Company Size
REVIEWERS
Small Business24%
Midsize Enterprise27%
Large Enterprise49%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Small Business31%
Midsize Enterprise17%
Large Enterprise52%
REVIEWERS
Small Business11%
Midsize Enterprise12%
Large Enterprise76%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Small Business24%
Midsize Enterprise14%
Large Enterprise62%
Find out what your peers are saying about Dell EMC Unity vs. NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS) and other solutions. Updated: January 2019.
317,758 professionals have used our research since 2012.
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.

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