Dell EMC Unity vs. NetApp All Flash FAS

Dell EMC Unity is ranked 3rd in All-Flash Storage Arrays with 113 reviews vs NetApp All Flash FAS which is ranked 2nd in All-Flash Storage Arrays with 94 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 All Flash FAS writes "Integrates seamlessly with what we're used to for FAS while getting the raw performance of flash". Dell EMC Unity is most compared with HPE 3PAR Flash Storage, NetApp All Flash FAS and Pure Storage FlashArray. NetApp All Flash FAS is most compared with Pure Storage FlashArray, HPE 3PAR Flash Storage and Dell EMC Unity. See our Dell EMC Unity vs. NetApp All Flash FAS report.
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Quotes From Members Comparing Dell EMC Unity vs. NetApp All Flash FAS

We asked business professionals to review the solutions they use. Here are some excerpts of what they said:
Pros
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.The solution is so easy to manage that I forget it is there.

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This solution makes everything a lot faster. The time to move data around, boot and migrate VMs is much faster.When we move to all-flash, our response times were reduced to microseconds.It has improved performance for our enterprise applications, data analytics, and VMs. These improvements are a result of all-flash, throughput, reliability, compression, etc.There are many reports accessing the applications. We receive them very quickly. We used to wait a long time for them. Now, you just need to wait a moment.If you need a replacement part, they will provide it.My favorite part is all-flash solid drives. All of my applications are running on an all-flash array. Before, we used to get too many severity tickets on performance, but as soon as we migrated everything to an all-flash array, our critical applications are at top performance.NetApp AFF is based on Unix, which makes it secure.The file-based protocol supports NFS and CIFS.

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Cons
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.We've got an ongoing issue with a Unity where some power supply fans spin up. We've had a whole bunch of hardware changed as a result but I still have an open SR which has been a struggle. It doesn't seem to affect performance, but it's something that we're hoping the engineers can resolve. Also, we had some issues with an upgrade where we can't manage a device, after the upgrade. So we had to have a ticket in for that.

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I need faster Fibre Channel over Ethernet. They top out at 10GBs today and I would like that to go to 40 or 100.One of the features that I am looking for, which is already in the works, is to be able to take my code and automatically move it to the cloud.We would like to have more behavioral reporting.To be more competitive in the industry, they can develop deduplication, compression, and smarter features in the same array instead of all-flash.There are some bugs with the solution which need to be fixed.Technical support is a little lackluster. Some of the issues that we've had were opening up tickets. They seem to be routed in the wrong direction or it takes one or two days to get a call back for simple tasks.Going forward, I would like improvement in the response latencies, capacity size, cache, and controller size.On the roadmap, NetApp is improving the solution's storage efficiency, compression algorithms to achieve more space savings, and the management interfaces. We are looking forward to these feature additions in the next release.

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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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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.I am able to store two times more data than what I'm purchasing, which affects the way funds are being utilized.

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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
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Compared 29% of the time.
Also Known As
EMC UnityNetApp AFF, NetApp Flash FAS
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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.

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Acibadem Healthcare Group, AmTrust Financial Services, Citrix Systems, DWD, Mantra Group
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REVIEWERS
Financial Services Firm
21%
Healthcare Company
15%
Manufacturing Company
11%
Energy/Utilities Company
6%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Government
13%
Financial Services Firm
11%
Marketing Services Firm
10%
Healthcare Company
9%
REVIEWERS
Healthcare Company
16%
Financial Services Firm
12%
Retailer
9%
Energy/Utilities Company
8%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Financial Services Firm
17%
Healthcare Company
8%
Energy/Utilities Company
7%
Manufacturing Company
7%
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REVIEWERS
Small Business
24%
Midsize Enterprise
28%
Large Enterprise
49%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Small Business
29%
Midsize Enterprise
18%
Large Enterprise
53%
REVIEWERS
Small Business
10%
Midsize Enterprise
12%
Large Enterprise
78%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Small Business
14%
Midsize Enterprise
21%
Large Enterprise
65%
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