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Dell EMC Unity XT OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

Dell EMC Unity XT is the #6 ranked solution in our list of best All-Flash Storage Arrays. It is most often compared to Dell EMC PowerStore: Dell EMC Unity XT vs Dell EMC PowerStore

What is Dell EMC Unity XT?

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.

Dell EMC Unity XT is also known as EMC Unity, Dell EMC Unity.

Buyer's Guide

Download the All-Flash Storage Arrays Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: October 2021

Dell EMC Unity XT Customers

Draper, Rio Grande Pacific, Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre

Dell EMC Unity XT Video

Archived Dell EMC Unity XT Reviews (more than two years old)

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JohnBowling
IT Manager - Storage & Backup at a healthcare company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Easy to use and provides storage with high IOPS and low latency

Pros and Cons

  • "The All-Flash models are pretty fast for the vast majority of our remote workloads."
  • "We would like to see the concept of Storage Groups brought back to this product line."

What is our primary use case?

We use this solution for remote sites with greater than 20TB & less than 100TB in block storage requirements. We utilize Dell EMC Unity 350f for ESX hosts and some CIFS & NFS NAS needs. We also use these arrays for DR needs to help control cost for primary block storage needs.

How has it helped my organization?

The Unity Arrays are easy to deploy and maintain. The All-Flash models are intuitive and easy to work with, in addition to providing high IOPS with low latency to support Business Critical applications. Because of the newer features and performance, it's easy to maintain and support remotely.

What is most valuable?

The All-Flash models are pretty fast for the vast majority of our remote workloads.
Encryption (data at rest - DAR) is easy to implement and has very little performance overhead.

CloudIQ SaaS is also a nice touch and is available for free. You can remotely monitor the health and performance of the arrays online or via a mobile app.

What needs improvement?

We would like to see the concept of Storage Groups brought back to this product line. Manually assigning new LUNs & removing LUNs at sites with a few ESX hosts in a cluster is fairly easy and straightforward, but when you have large clusters with twenty to thirty hosts, this becomes a burden.  Because of this, we have limited the use of Unity systems in our larger data centers.

For how long have I used the solution?

Between two and three years.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
NH
Enterprise IT Architect at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Real User
We use replication for disaster recovery, making our disaster recovery process much easier

Pros and Cons

  • "We use replication for disaster recovery (DR), making our DR process much easier."
  • "I haven't seen the roadmap for this solution."

What is our primary use case?

It is for a customer who does virtualization.

How has it helped my organization?

We use replication for disaster recovery (DR), making our DR process much easier.

What is most valuable?

Price and performance are its most valuable features.

It streamlines processes.

What needs improvement?

I haven't seen the roadmap for this solution.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It has met our overall performance expectations. The solution runs as we need it to, without any issues. It hasn't failed.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We haven't tried scaling yet.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support is good.

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

We had performance issues with our previous product, which is why we started to search for a new solution when we did a reorganization. We decided on this solution because of the performance that we receive from the solution.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is straightforward: Just connect, plug in everything, then do the configuration wizard.

What about the implementation team?

We are integrators.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Our CAPEX was close to $42,000 and operating costs are below $1000.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We also evaluated HPE and Lenovo.

What other advice do I have?

The product has met all our expectations.

Take a closer look at the price per gigabyte and the performance that you are getting with the solution.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
Find out what your peers are saying about Dell EMC, NetApp, Hewlett Packard Enterprise and others in All-Flash Storage Arrays. Updated: October 2021.
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LM
Solution Architect at a tech services company with 201-500 employees
Reseller
The initial setup has straightforward and complex pieces

What is our primary use case?

The primary use case is storage.

How has it helped my organization?

The solution helps us be more competitive in the market against our competitors.

What is most valuable?

We use replication. It has reduced complexity.

What needs improvement?

It is missing some features, like deduplication.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is pretty stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It can scale.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support is good.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup has straightforward and complex pieces, such as, the integration. 

What was our ROI?

We have seen ROI

What other advice do I have?

We don't use the cloud options.

What is our primary use case?

The primary use case is storage.

How has it helped my organization?

The solution helps us be more competitive in the market against our competitors.

What is most valuable?

We use replication.

It has reduced complexity.

What needs improvement?

It is missing some features, like deduplication.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is pretty stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It can scale.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support is good.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup has straightforward and complex pieces, such as, the integration. 

What was our ROI?

We have seen ROI

What other advice do I have?

We don't use the cloud options.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
CD
Network Engineer at a tech services company with 201-500 employees
Real User
It sped up our environment and reduced our footprint

Pros and Cons

  • "We have resolved IT challenges with this solution. It sped up our environment. We went from spinning disk to all-flash, which reduced our footprint."
  • "Because we can do synchronous replication between the two sites, this made the setup challenging for this piece. They did not know how to set this up initially. We ended up having to do bidirectional synchronous replication."

What is our primary use case?

This was for our SAN storage. Pretty much everything runs on this: databases, servers, etc.

How has it helped my organization?

We have resolved IT challenges with this solution. It sped up our environment. We went from spinning disk to all-flash, which reduced our footprint.

The software is very easy to use.

What is most valuable?

  • Space
  • Ease of use
  • Snapshots
  • Replication between sites
  • It is very seamless.

What needs improvement?

We would like to see the synchronous replication process included in the next release. Not having this downgraded our performance by 65 percent. This really needs to be improved.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is very stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is very scalable.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support is really good. I can open up a chat support session with them, then they can either resolve it or turn it into a ticket.

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

We previously had the VNX5700, which was seven years old. It was at end-of-life, and we had maxed out its capacity.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was straightforward for the most part. Because we can do synchronous replication between the two sites, this made the setup challenging for this piece. They did not know how to set this up initially. We ended up having to do bidirectional synchronous replication. 

What about the implementation team?

We used Data Blue (previously LPS), as our integrator, to do the installation for our deployment. They worked with our onsite Dell EMC representatives.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Our costs are roughly $200,000 a year.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We narrowed it down to Hitachi and Dell EMC. We put it out to bid and Dell EMC won.

What other advice do I have?

Overall, it is good product.

If you are doing asynchronous replication, this is a great solution. If you are looking for a synchronous replication solution, I would recommend PowerMax.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
AL
Administrador Almacenamiento-Respaldos at Exito
Real User
The initial setup and migration were straightforward, but the application's administration needs improvement

What is our primary use case?

The primary use case is NAS.

How has it helped my organization?

We use it for its quality and NAS.

What is most valuable?

It has good performance. The solution is extremely functional for the price that we pay for it. It is worth the investment.

What needs improvement?

The application's administration needs improvement and become better. It previously was better.

For how long have I used the solution?

We use the product in development, not in production.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is not stable enough.

How are customer service and technical support?

Dell EMC has good technical support. We haven't had to use it for this product, but we have use it for other products and not had any problems.

How was the

What is our primary use case?

The primary use case is NAS.

How has it helped my organization?

We use it for its quality and NAS.

What is most valuable?

It has good performance.

The solution is extremely functional for the price that we pay for it. It is worth the investment.

What needs improvement?

The application's administration needs improvement and become better. It previously was better.

For how long have I used the solution?

We use the product in development, not in production.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is not stable enough.

How are customer service and technical support?

Dell EMC has good technical support. We haven't had to use it for this product, but we have use it for other products and not had any problems.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup and migration were straightforward.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The cost of it is good for us.

We purchased a five-year warranty.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We picked Unity, as it is a mature, established solution.

What other advice do I have?

Research the other products that Dell EMC offers, as there is a wide variety.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
MT
Engineer of IT Operations at a consultancy with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Its compression is making a difference towards the amount of hardware that we need to purchase

Pros and Cons

  • "We can get almost real-time response times."
  • "I would like them to continue to build on the solution and expand on the functionality, like replication."

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use case is for our data center and hypervisor cluster.

How has it helped my organization?

We can get almost real-time response times.

We are just getting ready to leverage Cloud Tier.

What is most valuable?

Deduplication is the biggest thing for our company.

It is easy to use.

Compression is making a difference towards the amount of hardware that we need to purchase.

We love our snapshots and the CloudIQ function is great.

What needs improvement?

I don't think we are really pushing our Unity, which we have discussed with Dell EMC.

I would like them to continue to build on the solution and expand on the functionality, like replication.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been with the company for a little over the year maintaining the product.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Our hypervisor cluster has 13 nodes. We have some file level and front-end services.

We leverage the iSCSI and Fibre Channel functionalities for scalability.

How are customer service and technical support?

Dell EMC technical support is pretty quick.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
QB
Engineering Manager at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees
MSP
Remote locations on a converged platform avoids the need for multiple storage systems

Pros and Cons

  • "The most valuable thing for our use case is the flexibility to have multiple-protocol support."
  • "We'd like to see a cheaper version of an all-flash array in that footprint."

What is our primary use case?

We use it for both file and block in a converged system, supporting a VMware environment and virtualization. VMware is the primary use case.

How has it helped my organization?

We have deployed it at remote locations; in a converged platform it really helps. We don't have to have two different storage system which helps to minimize the footprint.

It is a platform that we have standardized on for remote sites which enables us to have engineers and admins who are trained on and knowledgeable about the platform across the board. That enables them to support those sites, which is super-beneficial for us because we can do more with less.

The ability to mix and match SSDs with flash, and spinning disk in there as well, really allows us to meet our performance requirements.

What is most valuable?

Overall, the most valuable thing for our use case is the flexibility to have multiple-protocol support.

What needs improvement?

We'd like to see a cheaper version of an all-flash array in that footprint.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's very stable. We haven't had any major issues with downtime.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It scales very well. It's built into the model line which allows you to scale as necessary. You can choose the model you need to scale with your needs.

How are customer service and technical support?

Dell EMC's tech support is awesome. We've used both onsite help and remote phone support and I have nothing but great things to say about them.

How was the initial setup?

The setup was really straightforward. We have a long history of using the Dell EMC product line so we are very familiar with the platforms and how they work. This was just the next evolution.

What other advice do I have?

I give the solution an eight out of ten because it meets our use case very well. But it's an eight because nothing is perfect. There is always room for improvement, whether that be in the UI or something else.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
Gopal Venkatraman
Senior Infrastructure Architect at a leisure / travel company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
It is easy to deploy, but I would like secure mobile connectivity going forward

Pros and Cons

  • "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."
  • "I would like to have secure mobile connectivity going forward. This would help me be more proactive."

What is our primary use case?

We are using it mostly for VMware and Wintel. It is also for applications, like SQL, which need to be used on multiple different operating system, such as Windows, Linux, and sometimes Citrix. We use it with virtualized infrastructure.

We use QoS and snapshots features, which I like.

How has it helped my organization?

Unity provides a complete storage solution for VMware on a Wintel Windows box for various applications, such as SQL or Patron Databases. It is seamless, and it sits there providing all the storage and connectivity, so we can forget about it. Unity takes care of itself, solving all the basic needs of a robust infrastructure.

What is most valuable?

It is easy to deploy. That is the best feature that I like, because I used to fly into locations to install a Unity. We used to have an expense of $5,000 on the product. Now, I just send whomever is onsite over there locally with the initialization information in a text file. Then, they can put it in a USB drive, come back, and it's deployed. Afterwards, I can remotely access it, saving us $5,000 every time. It is not very expensive, so the value added is you get big bang for your buck.

What needs improvement?

If I can connect to my Unity through my iPad or my cellphone to check everything is okay and view the information via a dashboard. 

I would like to have secure mobile connectivity going forward. This would help me be more proactive.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

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.

We are so virtual that we have two of us managing the whole infrastructure. Everything is taken care of and highly available. Nothing is vulnerable at all. Everything is good. There have been no issues at all, so far.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have 30 to 40 Unities out there in the field. We don't even scratch the full capabilities of the Unity. We are at about 20 to 30 percent utilization. It is just provisioned so well that we are sitting at 90 percent performance level. We have it well-provisioned so we don't need to worry about performance for the next five years.

It is quite scalable. If you want to add on, you can add on easily. We have a 25-slot enclosure and are probably at 15 right now. If we purchase a big company, need to scale up, we can easily scale up. 

How are customer service and technical support?

If there's any issues with a hard drive or any other hardware components, Dell EMC is contacted, then they will call us back to schedule to get into the data center to replace something. This is all virtual. Support is not a problem, because it's automatically taken care of. Only thing we have to do is to give them access to the data center to go do what they need to do to fix it proactively.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

The local account team and system engineer are the best part of working with Dell EMC.

What other advice do I have?

Everything is becoming virtual. Then, cloud transformation is being considered right now. Everybody is going over there. We want to evaluate everything, and if the cloud solution is good for us, we'll go there. Everything will be in the cloud.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
MM
Storage Support Manager at Alinma Bank
Real User
Enables us to share files in a heterogeneous Unix/Windows environment

Pros and Cons

  • "The valuable features of Unity include that it's flexible, has a friendly user-interface, and provides good performance."
  • "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."

What is our primary use case?

We have different models of VNX and we have Unity. We use them for file sharing and for block serving in non-production systems.

We don't have a dedicated application running on Unity, but we are using it and file sharing to run multiple systems, but it is not the core. It's used by a lot of applications, but we use it to share files between different applications on different platforms.

How has it helped my organization?

We have multiple systems, a heterogeneous environment with Unix and Windows. It's not easy to share multiple files through different platforms. Unity solves this issue.

Also, replication gives us high-availability, and thus quick recovery, and snapshots give us faster recovery within the box, in case there are problems within the box itself.

What is most valuable?

The valuable features of Unity include:

  • it's flexible
  • friendly user-interface
  • good performance.

It's not complicated. Any beginner can work with this environment.

It is not an enterprise-level solution, it's for mid-range companies, but it includes a lot of features like compression and encryption.

What needs improvement?

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.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We cannot compare the stability with VMAX or PowerMax, but so far, so good.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is okay, it's fine. It's not powerful though. We have another product that is more scalable than Unity. It needs to be able to scale out, like the Isilon system and other systems.

How are customer service and technical support?

Dell EMC has one of the best support organizations, worldwide. We have multiple vendors, but Dell EMC is one of the best. Regardless of whether it's Unity, VMAX, etc., it's fine. We have had very special support from Dell EMC.

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

We have a good relationship with multiple vendors, but especially with Dell EMC, which is one of the big players. Our main storage is Dell EMC for many reasons. We got Unity because we are happy with the support and with products like VMAX and Isilon. We didn't want to change the technology we are going with.

How was the initial setup?

I was involved in the initial setup with my engineers. It was straightforward. Most products from Dell EMC are straightforward to set up.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
AW
Lead Manager at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Real User
It has sped up our entire architecture

Pros and Cons

  • "It has made deployment, configuration, and maintenance a lot simpler."
  • "The initial setup is not so straightforward if you don't have experience with storage arrays."

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.
Mike McCurdy
Solution Architect - Data Center at a tech services company with 201-500 employees
MSP
It has reduced the complexity and improved productivity tenfold compared to what it used to be

Pros and Cons

  • "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."
  • "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."

What is our primary use case?

We are using the All-Flash storage for block and file use cases. All of our corporate file shares and all of our VMware infrastructure items for manager service platforms are running off of Unity.

We are running a hosted collaboration: video, voice, and all types of online collaboration solutions for our customers. We have been doing it for years and just needed to migrate to the next level. 

How has it helped my organization?

It has improved the utilization of our own internal resources and performance across our managed service platform, meeting our customers SLAs.

Unity has reduced the complexity and improved productivity tenfold compared to what it used to be. 

What is most valuable?

Our tech team is small and very busy, so it is about ease of use. The Unity came in, and its very easy to use and expand. We can expand one drive at a time, which has been a cost effective for us along with ease of performance. 

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.

There are a lot of cloud options. We make use CloudIQ, which is a nice dashboard for our managed service side of the company to easily review what is going on with the health of things. There are a number of other cloud features, but we don't make use of them today.

What needs improvement?

The dedupe and compression ratios on the Unity are not quite where we want them. We are getting better data efficiencies on the VNX than we are on the new Unity. We found this a bit interesting. We would like to see improvement there. 

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.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I don't hear from any of my tech team. We put it in, and it has been stable. We have been through three patch cycles. Junior resources are taking care of it with no issues. Once we show them how it works, very little training is needed to get them up to speed.

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

We were running it on VNX previously, so it was easy to migrate over to Unity. We went from a hybrid solution to All-Flash.

What was our ROI?

We were able to downsize the storage utilization and dedupe with compression, then go with a smaller array, increase our performance, and ease of use.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We worked with pretty much all of the major array manufacturers, and I can put my junior resources on it and not worry about them provisioning extra storage, scaling it, and adding to it. I don't hear from them anymore with, "How do I do this?", "Is this correct?", or "I broke it."

What other advice do I have?

I would rate the product an eight out of ten, which is higher than I would rate other arrays in the mid-range space.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
RC
IT Engineer at a healthcare company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
It's easy to provision, and It's stable

Pros and Cons

  • "It is ease to use. It performs. It's easy to provision, and It's stable."
  • "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."

What is our primary use case?

It's our primary storage. It is just for VMWare with a lot of Fail Over clusters.

For our mission critical applications, we run SQL, Oracle, Fail Over server clusters, VMWare, and databases. We use it for our primary VMWare environments, with a VPLEX, just for failover and performance. We use it for Windows Plus! because you need shared storage. In addition, we use it for healthcare systems.

We only use it for block storage. We don't use any other features. We have a VPLEX for applications.

How has it helped my organization?

Unity is supporting the organization, but it's not improving it. It's just hosting the applications.

What is most valuable?

Simplicity: It is ease to use. It performs. It's easy to provision, and It's stable.

What needs improvement?

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.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been a Dell EMC for a long time.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is good. We are very happy with the Unity.

It does what it says it does. It performs, so you never have performance problems with it.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It scales, but then you have to buy additional stuff. So, if we need it, we can scale it. That is not the issue. However, we don't need it to scale further, because when I scaled it down, there are multiple platforms that we will move off the Unity to a hyper-converged or Isilon solution. Scalability isn't that important.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support is good.

How was the initial setup?

It's quite straightforward. It's deciding some IP addresses and building a storage pool, then you're off.

What about the implementation team?

We always buy it with implementation services. However, we did the implementation ourselves.

What was our ROI?

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.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We had VPLEX, and it's a good merge with Unity. So, we didn't look very much further.

We also looked at HPE and Hitachi. We went with Dell EMC since we are a Dell EMC house.

What other advice do I have?

It does what it needs to do that is the reason why we bought it.

We are not interested in the cloud option.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
MW
Director of Technology at a financial services firm with 201-500 employees
Real User
Gives me flexibility with its ability to replicate to itself

Pros and Cons

  • "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."
  • "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."

What is our primary use case?

We use it for our primary storage platform. All of our primary VMs run off of it.

How has it helped my organization?

We went from two boxes that were 8U down to a 2U box. Dell EMC Unity XT reduced the electricity we were using just by making that one change.

On a performance level, with SQL querying, it would take 60 seconds. That doesn't sound like a long time, but when people are staring at a spinning icon they can get outraged. This solution has cut it down to about 22 seconds for a query, so it's a lot faster. The difference was astronomical. We were using an EqualLogic, a hybrid array which had spinning disk and SSD, and the Unity just blew it out of the water.

When it comes to provisioning and management, when you compare Unity to EqualLogic, it's night and day. The EqualLogic wasn't nearly as flexible as Unity is. Once we saw what the Unity was capable of, there was no going back to the EqualLogic at all.

What is most valuable?

It gives me 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.

I like the fact that it comes with a cloud option out-of-the-box. Just purchasing it gave us an unlimited amount of storage. It allows us to dip our toes in without a major commitment. With AWS or Azure, you're locked in and you're using up the contract and you're always worried that you'll spend a lot more. The use case for us would be disaster recovery or cold storage.

We use our VMware Site Recovery Manager and we use the device to replicate all of those hot VMs over to our DR site. We've actually tested it and it takes 19 seconds for us to get a virtual machine up and running, in the event of a disaster, because of the replication between the two systems.

What needs improvement?

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. But I'm thinking, "It's on there. It should be able to tell me this is the one that's eating up the bandwidth."

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We've had no issues with the Unity. We haven't had a failed drive yet.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We haven't had to scale it out. We're going to scale it out next year.

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

We went from a spinning drive array because we needed something faster. We moved our analytic server over to it and the Unity was able to overcome the bottleneck that the previous storage had caused.

Also, EqualLogic went end-of-life, they weren't going to support it anymore. That was our initial driver. But we found we could fix some other issues with the move to Unity.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was pretty straightforward, or at least we thought it would be. We have some complex stuff that we do on our network which caused some issues with it. That didn't make it a standard, out-of-the-box setup. Had we had a less complex network, it would have been a lot simpler to put it in.

What about the implementation team?

We used a reseller and our experience was fine. It was not the first time we had actually worked with that reseller. We ended up having to engage with the Dell EMC people to get everything set up right. It wasn't the smoothest of introductions.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We looked at all-in-one, hyperconverged storage. We decided not to go that route simply because we've made such a huge investment on the networking side. If we had gone the hyperconverged route we would pretty much have had to rip all that out.

Then we looked at Pure. In the end, we'd been partners with Dell EMC for so long that it didn't make sense to venture out into some unknown when we were talking about the main platform which we were going to build all our VMs off of.

What other advice do I have?

Find out your needs before you look at your options. Everyone's going to tell you theirs is the best but you need to know what you need going in, and what kind of performance level you need. If they're not willing to do a PoC then don't do it. If they're not willing to put their product out there and compare it with another product, then don't even consider them.

I would give it an eight out of ten. It has some deduplication to try to reduce some of the overlap that VMs, by nature, have. But I feel that could be better to try to save on storage. Also, better reclaimed-space management on it would be nice. Reclaimed space on virtual systems can be a pain to manage sometimes.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
MH
Senior Director at a manufacturing company with 10,001+ employees
Vendor
It is lightning fast, low on power and heat, and has a small footprint with great performance

Pros and Cons

  • "It is lightning fast, low on power and heat, and has a small footprint with great performance."
  • "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."

What is our primary use case?

We use it for our converged infrastructure in our VxBlock.

We put all our applications on it since it is our back-end storage. We have just one storage area that we dump everything on and scrape for all of our mixed workload use.

How has it helped my organization?

It is a streamlined single giant storage area. It is all fast, so we can throw all of our mixed workloads at it. It just simplifies the deployment of things because we don't have to sit there and think about where we want to put stuff or what needs what.

What is most valuable?

Speed and flexibility are the most valuable features.

It has great mixed work load use, which is nice because we keep growing things for our VxBlock. 

It's great on power consumption, as there is no spinning disk. 

It's super-fast, and you can't go wrong with that. It's helped us across the board to standardize on something very simple.

We use all the data service features and click all the options.

What needs improvement?

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.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is super stable. I haven't had any issues with it.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is great. We haven't hit any issues with scaling at this point.

How are customer service and technical support?

Thankfully, we haven't had to deal with technical support yet.

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

We were standing up a new data center, so it was easier to standardized on one storage subsystem. We had been using VNXe and XtremIO with a mix of other Dell EMC products. It was just nice for this mixed workload use to have a single solution in Unity.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was super straightforward. I pointed it where I wanted it to go, and they put it there.

What about the implementation team?

We used VCE for the deployment, and they were great.

What was our ROI?

It is a brand new data center, so we haven't quite seen the ROI yet. Just from an overall power and heating usage, it costs substantially less than some of our existing solutions.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We only had EMC on our shortlist.

What other advice do I have?

It is lightning fast, low on power and heat, and has a small footprint with great performance.

If you don't know your mixed use case, or what you're going to do with it, it's a nice mixed use storage subsystem. It easily integrates with great visibility. It is very easy to maintain and operate. It is just a nice platform, especially if you're setting yourself in a new direction and you don't quite know what you're doing.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
DT
Senior System Engineer at a healthcare company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
The ease of the UI means it's not a very complicated system to manage

Pros and Cons

  • "For me, the most valuable feature is the ease of management."
  • "There's always room for improvement with the UI. That can be a little cumbersome at times."

What is our primary use case?

Right now, Unity is a backup target.

The IT challenge we resolved with this solution was having a backup target. With Unity we've got DDVE, or Data Domain Virtual Edition loaded. It was an array that was not being used for anything in particular and we had a need for the data domain capacity, so we're using it as a backup target under DDVE.

How has it helped my organization?

The Unity platform is really easy to use. When it comes to provisioning and management, it has reduced complexity and improved productivity. The ease of the UI means it's not a very complicated system to manage.

What is most valuable?

For me, the most valuable feature is the ease of management. It's a fairly easy system to manage compared to PowerMax or VMAX.

In other use cases for which we used that particular Unity box, before it landed up being what it is now, the data service feature we used most was snapshots. Snapshots made it easy to roll back to a point in time.

What needs improvement?

We plan to buy Unity again in the next 12 months and we'll have to see what the next generation of Unity brings to us. But so far, there are no additional features needed.

There's always room for improvement with the UI. That can be a little cumbersome at times.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is good.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is also good.

How are customer service and technical support?

We haven't had to call technical support. It has been a pretty solid product.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was straightforward. It's an easy piece of equipment to manage.

What about the implementation team?

We are enterprise-level and buy directly from Dell EMC.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Our shortlist had IBM XIV Gen2. We landed on Unity because we had familiarity with the product. Unity has its roots in VNX and we had a number of VNX arrays.

What other advice do I have?

Unity is solid and there is not anything to be afraid of in purchasing it. I would recommend it.

Ours is not a very complicated use case and the performance has been adequate for what we've tasked it to do.

I give the Unity a ten out of ten for two reasons:

  • reliability
  • ease of use.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
JD
Senior Engineer at a manufacturing company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Easy administration reduces our admin needs, resulting in less overhead

Pros and Cons

  • "Unity's are more easily administrated, so we need fewer people to do the administration. We have less overhead because of that."
  • "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 is our primary use case?

We use it for data storage, for file.

How has it helped my organization?

When it comes to provisioning and management, the solution has reduced complexity because we combined several systems down into one. We're utilizing that technology to see what we have available for file, instead of multiple technologies, and trying to converge all of that together to understand what our capacity management meets are.

Also, Unity's are more easily administrated, so we need fewer people to do the administration. We have less overhead because of that.

What is most valuable?

We do replication and snapshotting. We're using that as a backup technology to leverage snapshotting.

What needs improvement?

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 do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's stable. It works well.

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

We had a lot of different solutions. They were all piecemeal'ed. We have manufacturing sites in 80 countries and every site did their own thing until corporate brought it back in. That's when we started to go with Unity. And now we're making the transition to PowerMax.

We use Dell EMC because they're the premier player.

What about the implementation team?

We used one of our premier partners to implement it. 

What other advice do I have?

My advice is to take this solution. It does what it tells you it's going to do.

Instead of using multiple types of backup or file storage, we were trying to combine all of that into Unity. Now we're trying to refresh that again and go with the newer technology, the enterprise-level storage. Unity met our overall performance expectations for what it is, and then we obviously needed the enterprise level, so we're going with the PowerMax now.

I would rate Unity at eight out of ten. Any application or product has room for improvement. I don't see anything out there that's a ten. Unity is functional for what it needs to be.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PG
Analytics and Sustainment Engineer at a aerospace/defense firm with 201-500 employees
Real User
Our users don't have any technical needs because it's up and running

Pros and Cons

  • "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."

    What is our primary use case?

    We use it for replacing legacy storage. It's just a one-for-one.

    This is primarily for storage and the data aspect of it.

    How has it helped my organization?

    Dell EMC Unity XT keeps us up and running. That is the big thing.

    What is most valuable?

    • Affordability
    • Scalability
    • Simplicity of use

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    I don't have any complaints from the customers or end users, who are using this solution. It's up and running with no worries.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    We are very fond of the scalability. We are using the Unity 300, which has a limitation. However, if we needed more, we could go to the Unity 400, 500 or 600. We could go down the series until we get the one that meets the size that we need. It has very impressive scalability.

    We're not cloud ready yet, but we like the option for the expandability.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    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's been a really beneficial relationship. We work a lot with Dell EMC, because they are very accommodating. Our Dell EMC representative does what our team doesn't have the capability of doing yet, because they don't have exposure to the product. I look forward to seeing how it works out. 

    Our experience recently, with newer products, has been that once they're installed, we haven't had to worry about them. If there has been an issue, like we pulled something out of a box, it's replaced within a matter of days. It's really quick. 

    We really push Dell EMC with our customers because of the customer support. It's been very flexible. We always need a lot of data on the stuff that's purchased because we have people buying it on behalf of the customer. They are very good on the customer support acquisition side to provide that data. Also, the technical support that we get is fabulous.

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

    We replaced our legacy storage, which was Oracle. We couldn't afford the maintenance agreement for it any longer. We saved millions of dollars by not going back with Oracle.

    This solution has meet our overall performance expectations. We were going for form fit function. We had to meet certain guidelines. We couldn't put anything in bigger. Physically, we couldn't put in any additional capabilities. We had to meet the existing network connectivity without modifying the other systems. The versatility of the product, with the optional PCI inputs allowed us to get that. We are able to scale it up or down, for actual storage, to meet the capacity that we need. We're using it in two cases where we're doing a form fit function. One for replacement, then another for overall modernization of the same systems. We're able to take the same product and scale it up to almost three times its size with very little effort.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup was fairly straightforward. We had a technician helping with migration because of the legacy aspect of the servers, and what they were connecting to. Once the the over the shoulder training is done, the process is fairly straightforward.

    What about the implementation team?

    We used a reseller and had a consultant. The consultant had worked for Dell EMC and went to work for a consulting company. He is now back to work at Dell EMC. He actually recommended the product based on his knowledge of our program. He flushed the whole system out, as far as the build. Regarding the flexibility of the product, we have other programs within our larger branch which are starting to take on and use the Unities for storage.

    What was our ROI?

    The benefit that we have seen is in uptime.

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    While it has a good price to start, they could always make it cheaper.

    We bought extended warranties out of the box because our customer has a bad habit of managing warranties. The service for the small things that we have had are always handled very quickly. 

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We were on old Oracle storage and are still on some old Oracle storage. 

    There are lots of options for storage solutions, but our technical and customer support team's experience with Dell EMC makes it a no-brainer for us. 

    I hate to speak bad of folks, but we can't even get HPE to return our phone calls, in most cases.

    What other advice do I have?

    Do the due diligence and look at the details: the specs of the product and scalability. There are multiple series of products in the Unity line, which are very simple to use.

    It's met all of our expectations. Our users don't have any technical needs because it's up and running. Overall, we are very excited about the product.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    Albie Bokingkito Jr.
    Storage and System Engineer at Thales Services SAS
    MSP
    Has CloudIQ integration, but storage groups are no longer available

    What is our primary use case?

    We bought a couple of 450F and 650F to replace our ageing VNX family. The primary use case is for block storage, and VMware for our tier-2 applications.

    How has it helped my organization?

    Moving away from Java-based Unisphere to the HTML5 version of Unity is a huge improvement for our day-to-day management. We are still in the process of getting things in place, but at this stage, I can say the configuration is pretty straightforward and doesn't require additional training to learn the product.

    Moving also from a hybrid to an all-flash array helped us to minimize footprints in our data centers. It's like two racks of VNX 8000 down to a quarter rack of Unity 650F.

    What is most valuable?

    • New HTML5 GUI: It's really fast and works well on your favorite browsers.
    • Data reduction: We haven't seen the actual benefits, but with this feature, we are expecting to gain maximum efficiency.
    • CloudIQ integration: This provides really useful data and analysis.

    What needs improvement?

    • Storage groups are no longer available in Unity so you will have some challenges if you managed quite a huge environment in provisioning perspective.
    • Domain management is also gone in Unity. This is not an issue if you are managing less than two of this, but in our case, we have a number of this array around the globe.
    • All models are limited up to two I/O modules per SP giving you fewer front-end ports compare to higher VNX models.
    • Unisphere Central is not so useful as we expect. This will provide a centralized management of our arrays, but it ends up giving you only some numbers and figures for you to report to your management.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    Less than one year.
    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user793173
    IT Infrastructure Manager at a manufacturing company with 10,001+ employees
    Real User
    Gives us an advantage over traditional storage resources

    Pros and Cons

    • "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."
    • "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."

    What is our primary use case?

    We use this solution for our databases. We also use some of the applications provided. 

    How has it helped my organization?

    It is a hassle-free storage environment that helps us manage our hardware. The upgrades are helpful and it makes our organization a more productive environment. 

    What is most valuable?

    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. 

    What needs improvement?

    We would like an AI feature that would protect the backup and minimize the consumed space so that we can maintain the quality of the backup. This would help us minimize our IT cost in terms of backup procedures. 

    In addition, we would like to see the solution integrate easier with any cloud provider. There is a rising demand for moving to the hybrid cloud environment and Dell EMC needs to integrate to these needs. 

    For how long have I used the solution?

    One to three years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    It is stable. 

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    It can easily scale up to meet our requirements. 

    How is customer service and technical support?

    We have had good experiences with tech support. 

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We used VNX previously and although it was fast, the performance was poor. 

    Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Reseller.
    BB
    Systems Engineer at a financial services firm with 501-1,000 employees
    Real User
    It is easy to scale, maintain, and manage. However, the support portal needs fixing.

    What is our primary use case?

    It is used for deduplication and encryption.

    How has it helped my organization?

    Easy to scale Easy to maintain

    What is most valuable?

    Easy to use management. I like that it is wizard-driven. In past iterations, it has made it easier to cross-train the team.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    It is very stable.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    The scalability definitely meets our businesses requirements. It is highly scalable.

    How is customer service and technical support?

    The technical support is good. However, 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. I do think it has improved over…

    What is our primary use case?

    It is used for deduplication and encryption.

    How has it helped my organization?

    • Easy to scale
    • Easy to maintain

    What is most valuable?

    Easy to use management.

    I like that it is wizard-driven. In past iterations, it has made it easier to cross-train the team.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    It is very stable.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    The scalability definitely meets our businesses requirements. It is highly scalable.

    How is customer service and technical support?

    The technical support is good. However, 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. I do think it has improved over time.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup is straightforward.

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    Go with the virtual appliance versus the hardware.

    What other advice do I have?

    We integrate the solution with VMware. There have been some cost involved with this.

    Most important criteria when selecting a vendor: the relationship.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    AP
    Storage Solutions Architect at a healthcare company with 10,001+ employees
    Real User
    Saves us time when provisioning new storage

    Pros and Cons

    • "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."
    • "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."

    What is our primary use case?

    We use it for mass and block storage. 

    We have not had issues nor performance problems with it.

    How has it helped my organization?

    It has saved us time when provisioning new storage, so we're trying to automate that process.

    What is most valuable?

    It's pretty easy to use compared to the older version of the product, which was called VNX. This product is way easier to use.

    It performs well. 

    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.

    What needs improvement?

    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.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    The stability is fine.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    We haven't really upgraded yet, but I know we can scale to about 500 drives with the system that we have. We are about halfway full. The scalability seems fine.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Technical support has been good and responsive. They know how to fix an issue.

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

    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.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup is straightforward and easy.

    What about the implementation team?

    Deployment was pretty easy. We had a guy come in who did all the work.

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    Licensing is fine. We worked with a sales rep to purchase our Unity.

    What other advice do I have?

    It's a good product.

    We use the product with VMware, and also use it with Syft for home directory and departmental shares.

    Most important criteria when selecting a vendor:

    • Support.
    • How long the company has existed.
    • Is it an established company and product?
    • Performance.
    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    DC
    IT Manager at a energy/utilities company with 10,001+ employees
    Real User
    Consistency Groups and integration of SAN and NAS make replication simple for us

    Pros and Cons

    • "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."

      What is our primary use case?

      We use it for SAN and NAS, pretty much all of our VMware and ERP systems; everything for storage. It' working out very well. We just moved into it

      What is most valuable?

      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. Pretty much everything we need is there.

      What needs improvement?

      We're probably going to be looking into vSAN just to minimize the footprint. We've already minimized the footprint going from VNX to the Unity, but as we're virtualizing more and more, once we're completely virtualized, we'd probably be looking into vSAN through either VxRail or VxRack, and go that way. The smaller the footprint at the data center, the less cost there is.

      For how long have I used the solution?

      Less than one year.

      What do I think about the stability of the solution?

      So far, we've had no issues. We've been running the Unity for about half a year now; no issues with stability at all.

      What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

      We've only had it for a short time so we haven't had to scale up. We got it scaled to our needs with a little bit of growth put on there.

      How is customer service and technical support?

      The team that we got to help us implement it were spot on. They really did do a great job. There were a few cases where we had to pull in some more experienced guys for the networking aspect of it, for the NAS, as there were some issues. But everything else was spot on.

      How was the initial setup?

      The initial setup was fairly simple because they were able to take all of our information from the VNX and size it appropriately, have all the LUNs set up. The only complex part about it was how we were going to do the SAN to SAN replication, which involved getting everybody on all of the equipment on the latest code, to make sure that we could actually go ahead and replicate. That took some extra work to get that done, but in the end, it was all taken care of and we got replication going.

      What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

      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.

      I can't say enough about the Flex on Demand because it gives you the agility you need. You can get it in there so easily. You don't have to be fighting with the CFO about how much it costs. It's a lot easier.

      What other advice do I have?

      It's a really good buy.

      We're about to replace a VNX with a Unity in our DR facility. We love that it's only taking about half a rack of space versus the rack-and-a-half that we have for the VNX. That's really good. We're going to be doing SAN to SAN replication. We currently have that going on between the Unity and the VNX using RecoverPoint Appliances, but then it's going to be Unity to Unity after we're done.

      I'm very happy with the Unity right now.

      Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
      JB
      Network Administrator at a government with 11-50 employees
      Real User
      The solution is so easy to manage that I forget it is there

      Pros and Cons

      • "The solution is so easy to manage that I forget it is there."
      • "The iSCSI and the VMware integation using vSphere could be less confusing."

      What is our primary use case?

      We use it for post to all our data stores or virtual environment.

      We have had no performance issues. 

      How has it helped my organization?

      As far as benefits, Dell EMC Unity XT gives us fast access orders for everybody in accounting, and it's working. It is all-flash and is in extreme hyper-performance mode. 

      When there have been critical updates, we will get phone calls from Dell EMC saying, "We need to update this, and because our contract support level is here, we can do this for you." They will bug you to death until you have updated it, which is good because we are overwhelmed.

      What is most valuable?

      It's all-flash.

      The solution is so easy to manage that I forget it is there.

      Their support is now a lot better, so that is good. They are very helpful when we called in and say, "This is the project that we want to do. Which box should we go about buying? They will send us the information and go through it with us."

      What needs improvement?

      We have had issues with the capacity and some misunderstandings on how much compression that we should be able to see out-of-the-box. When we were originally sold the box, it was before the merger. The salesman promised us at least a 50 percent compression on the box, so we ordered it with 2TBs of storage. That was a mistake, because now we are locked into smaller drivess. When it comes down to it, we are running out of space. 

      We realized that were barley getting a 12 percent compression offset, not the 50 percent, and this came about the time of the merger. All of this was happening and a lot of people in the company did not return emails at the time. I guess it's because they were no longer with the company or they knew they wouldn't be, that's just speculation. However, it took us several months and almost ruined the our reputation during that time period. They did make right on it and sent us several drives to double the storage on our devises for free, so they made it right towards the end, but it took a while.

      The iSCSI and the VMware integation using vSphere could be less confusing. 

      For how long have I used the solution?

      Three to five years.

      What do I think about the stability of the solution?

      The box has been on 24/7/365 with the exception of one day when we had to change out the batteries in our battery backup. We realized our network cord was not working in it. 

      When I left to come the conference, I looked, and uptime on the battery said "527 days".

      What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

      You only have so many days in the storage. When you buy storage, buy more than you think you'll need, because it will come back and bite you. Because now, if we expand anymore, we will have to buy a box to piggyback on this storage. Hindsight is 20/20, but all-flash is expensive.

      How are customer service and technical support?

      Technical support is much better now. They are  responsive, and it is easy to get to the right person. They will blow up your inbox and voicemail if you have a critical update that needs to be applied to either the drives or the box itself, which is great.

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

      Previously, all our servers were running one instance of Windows, and running as a particular application. Email servers were on a server unto themselves. We had a mess. We had so much hardware. 

      Because of Dell EMC Unity, I was able to turn off the server that I had been managing for ten years for email. This makes the server room a little quieter now!

      What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

      We bought the box of all the licensing that we needed and not run into anything where we would need any additional licenses from Dell EMC Unity.

      VMware is a different story, but as far as Unity goes, it's not been an issue.

      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. So, we are lucky there. We have that working relationship with the folks at Dell EMC, and sometimes I even get to run into the rep or specialist at events, which is great. I don't get that with a reseller.

      Which other solutions did I evaluate?

      We also looked at iXsystems. We just purchased one of their boxes for storage. I've known iXsystems for a number of years, and they gave us a great price on an absolutely insane amount of storage because all we needed was a box set in a bunker for local backups. The Unity was just outrageously expensive for our needs, so we went with iXsystems. I've managed an iX box in the past. Those guys will bend over backwards to help you as well. So, that's why I chose to go with them.

      What other advice do I have?

      Spec it out with bigger drives than you think you will need, because when you do expand, you're going to wish you had done that. If you buy bigger drives than what you currently have in a RAID, now you have to have a separate data storage. You can't have one continuous data store. For some people, that might be okay, but we really didn't want that but we were forced into having that.

      We do integrate with vSphere. We tried Hyper-V and immediately regretted that decision and went back to vSphere. Right now, that is the only utilization and there are costs involved with the VMware integraton.

      Most important criteria when selecting a vendor:

      • Reliability
      • The willingness to make it right when something goes wrong.
      Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
      KY
      Systems Administrator at a energy/utilities company with 1,001-5,000 employees
      Real User
      Easy to set up, easy to monitor, and the reliability is excellent

      What is our primary use case?

      All of our servers are Dell EMC servers. We have it integrated with SharePoint and all of our applications.

      How has it helped my organization?

      It's been a great infrastructure to build upon.

      What is most valuable?

      For me, the best thing is the reliability. Even some of ours that are somewhat old or out of warranty have a very solid, excellent reliability.

      I love the systems management of the servers. It's easy to set up, easy to monitor.

      What do I think about the stability of the solution?

      Excellent stability. A lot of ours are older, even past what would be considered end-of-life, but they still have a very low failure rate.

      What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

      Scalability is good. We use some Dell EMC blade servers, so it's easy to add another blade server without a lot of cabling or setup.

      How is customer service and technical support?

      Good tech support. We can usually get a parts dispatch without too much fuss.

      How was the initial setup?

      The initial setup was easy.

      What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

      The pricing is right in line with competitors.

      What other advice do I have?

      I always recommend Dell EMC servers in general, as far as their reliability goes and the management software built in.

      I rate it at nine out of ten. Overall, we're very happy with the product. It's not perfect, there are little bits of improvement that could be made to things that we use such as Dell EMC OpenManage Essentials, minor things. It's good, just not perfect.

      Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
      RV
      Systems Administrator at a government with 1,001-5,000 employees
      Real User
      Good interoperability with the other components of the system, stable solution

      What is our primary use case?

      We use it for virtualization. We have integrated it with Exchange and VMware vSphere.

      This is actually part of a delivered solution. We have a VCV block, into which the Unity is embedded. The Unity is one of three components. We've got compute and networking in there. The overall product, with Unity being a component, is fine. And individual Vblocks are fine, but the stretched vCenter that we have was complex. Their product is called VPLEX and it was expensive.

      How has it helped my organization?

      It performs as expected.

      What is most valuable?

      • Stability
      • Interoperability with the other components of the system

      What needs improvement?

      I would like to see better automation of upgrades, more seemless upgrades.

      For how long have I used the solution?

      One to three years.

      What do I think about the stability of the solution?

      It's very stable.

      What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

      It's fairly scalable. We went through a scale-up and it performed as expected.

      How was the initial setup?

      The initial setup was moderately complex.

      Which other solutions did I evaluate?

      Hitachi.

      What other advice do I have?

      If it's a value for your company then I'd recommend it. For us, it was expensive, but it was of value to us.

      However, I wouldn't go through that again. We are targeting hyperconverged now, as opposed to converged. It was a bit overwhelming. From the VCE perspective, the individual Vblocks were very well executed, but they didn't seem to know the VPLEX product very well, and that was nail-biting.

      Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
      BS
      VP IT at a manufacturing company with 1,001-5,000 employees
      Real User
      Good performance for the price point, easier to administer than some of the alternatives

      Pros and Cons

      • "The most valuable feature is the performance. It's still an all-flash array at a good price point."
      • "It needs deduplication. We'd like to have the dedupe capabilities in the Unity."

      What is our primary use case?

      We were looking for an option for an all-flash array with a lower cost than the XTremIO.

      How has it helped my organization?

      It's easier to administer than some of the alternatives that we had. The teams find it easy to manage. We're a big EMC shop anyway, so for us it was just a lower-tier alternative at a good performance point for the price.

      We are leveraging its integration with other applications and there were no significant costs to do so.

      What is most valuable?

      The most valuable feature is the performance. It's still an all-flash array at a good price point.

      What needs improvement?

      It needs deduplication. We'd like to have the dedupe capabilities in the Unity.

      For how long have I used the solution?

      One to three years.

      What do I think about the stability of the solution?

      It's very stable. No issues with it.

      What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

      It's been acceptable in terms of scalability as well. We've found that it's easy to expand and not too expensive.

      How is customer service and technical support?

      Dell EMC, generally, is good from a technical support perspective. We really never have issues.

      What was our ROI?

      It's hard to say what our ROI is. We don't do a lot of hard ROI.

      What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

      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.

      What other advice do I have?

      Weigh your options. The landscape has changed a lot since we bought it, it's been a couple of years. It's a good product but you will certainly want to survey the landscape.

      The most important criteria when choosing a vendor include the longevity of the product, certainly ongoing support as well. I've got a good relationship with Dell EMC, we like the product. If I'm not mistaken it was based on the VNX platform; it's basically an all-flash version. We had some familiarity with it and the all-flash piece was very compelling.

      I would rate it at eight out of ten. There are just a few features that we'd like to see at that price point. But generally, it has been pretty stable.

      Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
      LL
      Solutions Architect at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
      Reseller
      Just works, and is relatively feature-rich, but cloud analytics could be better

      Pros and Cons

        • "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."

        What is our primary use case?

        Our primary use case is virtualization.

        What is most valuable?

        It's a great product if you want something that just works, and works fairly well. It's a product that's tested, tried, and true, where a multitude of customers have depended on the product for the overall requirements of their companies' data. Typically, a company's data is the lifeline of the company. So, if you want something that's tried, tested, and true, that is relatively feature-rich, and that just works, go for it, right. It's a fantastic product.

        What needs improvement?

        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'm nitpicking here and there. Overall, it's a solid product.

        What do I think about the stability of the solution?

        It's a stable product. You look at something like Unity, which is based on several generations of product, it's built on products such as the Clariions and the VNX, etc., so it's pretty stable. It's a tried and true product.

        What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

        If you build it out correctly and it's intended for the workloads that you anticipate, then it's absolutely scalable. If you start to do more with it, and it wasn't built for that particular use case, then it's not as scalable. At the same, with Unity now, you've got the ability to do data-in-place upgrades. From that aspect, it can be relatively more scalable.

        How is customer service and technical support?

        I have not used the technical support myself because I'm the architect building out the solution.

        How was the initial setup?

        The initial setup is pretty straightforward. Most arrays these days, they've made them pretty easy to set up. There's typically a management setup, and so on, that you have to follow through. But it's not overly difficult.

        What other advice do I have?

        It's going to be hard for Dell EMC to really rebuild Unity because Unity, in my opinion, is still a more traditional array. Although they've improved the code, there's only so much they can do, because it's based on technology that's over ten years old. So, for them to make it more next-generation would be difficult. You're getting a tried and true product and you're slapping feature sets on top of it, which is good, but it's not going to be a true next-generation product. And that's okay, it's intended for a certain use case and it works well.

        It's better than an average product but it's not a "godsend" product.

        Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Reseller.
        Marc Mooney
        Operations Supervisor at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
        Real User
        Easy to use and configure, and significantly reduced our data center footprint

        What is our primary use case?

        We have Dell EMC Unity XT in one of our branch office data centers, and we use it for a small number of users. It's a first step into the flash storage system for us. It has worked very well for us. We're very happy with how it works.

        We're a VMware house, so we've integrated it into ESX and we use it as our target environment for vRA. It's worked really well.

        We've had it just about over two years now, and it's performing very well. It has fulfilled all our needs. We've had none of the I/O issues that we had seen on our previous SAN. It's worked really well.

        How has it helped my organization?

        In terms of service and deployment, it was done easily. It was a big SAN beforehand, so being flash, it was configured quickly. The footprint that it left in the data center was small, so it has definitely consolidated everything that we've put in there. Across-the-board, our first step into flash went really well.

        What is most valuable?

        Ease of use would really be the best feature. We were easily able to get the correct performance details from it. And the configuration was great, it was relatively easy as well; that was brilliant.

        In terms of managing it, the performance metrics that it gives, generic stuff, it does everything that we need it to do. We didn't have to create any custom reporting. It all went well.

        What needs improvement?

        It has ticked all the boxes for us so far. A fourth year of maintenance at a good price would be good.

        For how long have I used the solution?

        One to three years.

        What do I think about the stability of the solution?

        From the beginning, we've had no issues. Since it's been turned on, it's worked flawlessly.

        What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

        We probably overcompensated with the numbers that we put into it in the beginning, so we've not had to upscale anything yet. We're still using it two-and-a-half years later, which is proof that it works.

        How are customer service and technical support?

        We have the Call Home feature, which is a kind of preemptive alert for us. So Dell EMC has been telling us when there have been issues. There really haven't been any big ones; minor things, maybe firmware needed to be upgraded. But other than that, it's been fine.

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

        We were using something different. We were coming from the typical fiber background. We needed to get something new, so we looked at a few different options at the time. We went with Dell EMC Unity because we were seeing a higher I/O through the data center, and we thought flash would be the one for us. That's why we went with the Unity box. Also, we went from a 20U footprint down to an 8U footprint. At the time, it was a massive consolidation, space-wise. It did everything else to fill all the proper metrics that we were looking at.

        The other criterion we had for vendor selection was ease of use, that was a big thing for us. We've used Dell EMC everywhere else, so we thought it would be a good model to fit in with everything that we have. Going that way was the right step for us.

        How was the initial setup?

        From the beginning, I worked with Dell EMC on getting it set up the way we wanted it, carved out the way we needed it. It was easy. They got it done in a few hours and it's worked really well since.

        What was our ROI?

        The ROI comes down to the level of effort that we've had to put in to make it work, which has been relatively small. That's a massive return on investment for any team.

        Which other solutions did I evaluate?

        NetApp was one that we had, they were in contention. We had an IBM solution that they were going to put in place. EqualLogic was also on the shortlist. But we thought Dell EMC Unity would be a good choice for us.

        What other advice do I have?

        If you're looking at a flash-based system, one that you want to work and not to have to play around with it - to be sure it's working all the time - Unity is definitely a step in the right direction for any company, going forward.

        In terms of the purchasing process, we came from the EMC side. It was our first branch into flash after using EMC for so long. It's worked flawlessly, so we have no issues there.

        I rate this solution at eight out of ten. Nothing's perfect. It's very hard to make something perfect. Being an eight, it's a really good model for any company to choose. It's a realistic metric to put against something, rather than saying it's perfect.

        Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
        Jimmy Bortzfield
        Virtualization engineer at a manufacturing company with 501-1,000 employees
        Real User
        It can quickly integrate with VMware and has the ability to stand up a data store in one place

        Pros and Cons

        • "Its quick integration with VMware. The ability to stand up a data store in one place, where you don't have to go and rescan for the data store through the vCenter Client, as well as SMB shares. This ended up being a big selling point for us."
        • "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."

        What is our primary use case?

        The speed and performance that we get through the SSD hard drives. That's a big factor for us.

        How has it helped my organization?

        We have a date warehouse server. Prior to being on Unity, we could get about one or two data warehouse refreshes a day. After standing that up in VMware and using Dell EMC Unity, we are able to get four data warehouse refreshes, which gives our finance and accounting group more information to react to throughout the day for inventory and purchasing.

        I'm able to manage it very simply. The interface is a lot easier than the couple of VNX2s that we have. At least to me, Dell EMC Unity has a quicker responsive web GUI for management.

        What is most valuable?

        The quick integration with VMware. The ability to stand up a data store in one place, where you don't have to go and rescan for the data store through the vCenter Client, as well as SMB shares. This ended up being a big selling point for us.

        What needs improvement?

        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.

        For how long have I used the solution?

        One to three years.

        What do I think about the stability of the solution?

        Stability has been 100%. We have had zero failures.

        What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

        We have added one additional shelf to one of the two Unities. As far as I can tell, it went really well. It was not something I was involved with, but we may have had Dell EMC assist us with that.

        What was our ROI?

        In the SQL Server instances in our data warehouse, we immediately saw a great return on investment.

        What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

        We purchased our Unity in September 2017. It was a simple process. We budgeted for it in the prior year. Then, we had the funds to take care of what we wanted to purchase.

        Which other solutions did I evaluate?

        I did bring up other vendors that I have worked with: NetApp and HPE SAN. Comparing them to my previous work and working with Unity now, I find Unity a lot easier to work with. For example, the NetApp seems to be more complex in just the ease of setting it up.

        What other advice do I have?

        Do a little research into how you will create your storage groups. Ensure they have all lined out prior to going in and making one single storage group take up all the hard drives which we've seen some individuals do before and have to break it back down and start over. Definitely manage out what you want to place on the SSDs or on that Unity for your quickest response time. We've made sure that all of our high availability productions devices are on the Unity.

        We have Hyper-V and VMware running on the Unity. We have moved Exchange off into Exchange Online onto the cloud. We did most of the integrations in-house. The big thing that we have done on it is running SQL Server. We have quite a few different SQL Server instances running on the SSDs.

        Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
        AH
        SAN Administrator at a energy/utilities company with 10,001+ employees
        Real User
        Dynamic Pools allow us to pop in one or two drives when needed, instead of adding a whole RAID set

        Pros and Cons

        • "I don't think I've ever seen latencies above 10 milliseconds unless it was something that wasn't the array that was messing up. The thing is rock-solid."
        • "The UI itself is fantastic, and the ease of administration is far better than Unisphere or Navisphere ever were. It's very easy to manage. The fact that it has built-in APIs means our automation people can help us automate a lot of tasks, and that has been helpful. And, of course, it's really fast. Obviously, that doesn't hurt anything at all."
        • "We just recently started using the Dynamic Pools, so while it's scalable, we actually find it valuable that we can just pop in one or two drives when we need to, instead of having to add a whole RAID set. That has actually been very handy for us."

          What is our primary use case?

          Our primary use case for Unity - we use the All-Flash, we don't use the Hybrid array - is as our go-to source for all of our virtualized Oracle Databases. We've moved about 95 percent of our Oracle Databases to Unity. There are a few extremely high-profile databases that nobody wants to move. Nobody wants to touch them. But pretty much everything else is on Unity. We're starting to branch out and put just regular, general purpose load on there. And we also recently put all of our Exchange environment on there as well.

          We started going down the path of doing the vCenter integration, but we just ran out of time for testing it. That's on our bucket-list of things to do, because that'll make it even easier. But we haven't hit that yet.

          As far as how Dell EMC Unity XT has performed, I don't think I've ever seen latencies above 10 milliseconds, unless it was something that wasn't the array that was messing up. The thing is rock-solid.

          How has it helped my organization?

          We've recently gone from a five-man team down to two, not because of the Unity solely, but we haven't necessarily had to replace everyone. We've been able to consolidate a lot of VNXs into just a couple of Unity's. We have less to manage and we need fewer people.

          As far as the simplicity goes, adding hosts is easier. Everything is just about automatic. We're used to those old VNX1s, which are running Windows CE. Using the CLI on those is a little clunky, while logging into the CLI on the Unisphere is easy. It just makes sense, especially if you're used to Unix, because it's a Unix-based system. It's all-around easier to use.

          What is most valuable?

          • Being that we are heavily invested in VNX1s, the UI itself is fantastic, and the ease of administration is far better than Unisphere or Navisphere ever were. It's very easy to manage.
          • The fact that it has built-in APIs means our automation people can help us automate a lot of tasks, and that has been helpful.
          • And, of course, it's really fast. Obviously, that doesn't hurt anything at all.

          For how long have I used the solution?

          One to three years.

          What do I think about the stability of the solution?

          At this point, we've only had one major issue, and we've had two of the systems in-house for a year and a half. The issue was fixed within a matter of hours by support. In that same year and a half, we've had a lot of other pieces of equipment that have had a lot of other issues, so the stability is great, at least for us.

          What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

          We just recently started using the Dynamic Pools, so while it's scalable, we actually find it valuable that we can just pop in one or two drives when we need to, instead of having to add a whole RAID set. That has actually been very handy for us. A lot of the time, as a government organization, we don't always get all the money we ask for. Sometimes, the money that gets slated to us gets pulled out, last-minute, so we're trying to buy drives and hoard them. We always put drives in last-minute, and that's been extremely helpful.

          I know that's not exactly the question in terms of scalability, but that has been more helpful to us than being able to add a zillion disks at a time. Being able to add onesies, twosies to a pool is really helpful.

          How was the initial setup?

          The initial setup was very easy. I don't really remember any "gotchas."

          Which other solutions did I evaluate?

          We're a Dell EMC shop, we don't have any other storage vendors, so we don't really do a good job of looking into the storage vendors either. We have a good relationship with Dell EMC, we have a good sales guy and a good technical account manager. We trust them. When we told them that we had a lot of people asking for all-flash, that was the choice. We don't use enterprise-level stuff, we don't use VMAX. So we went with Unity.

          When selecting a vendor, the relationship with the technical support is pretty important. We've been a Dell EMC shop for a long time, so there are some guys in the tech support whose emails I have. I don't necessarily have to open up an SR. If I just have a question I can just email them and I'll usually get a response in a day or two. That keeps me from having to do some of that paperwork. The other thing, when selecting a vendor, if I were the number-crunching guy: Obviously a vendor who's willing to work on price is always going to be helpful.

          What other advice do I have?

          A piece of advice when it comes to research is to try to find another company that's using what you're considering. After you talk to the salespeople, after you get the dog and pony show, have them connect you with somebody who's using it, who they trust - maybe even someone you know or have some contact with - and get their thoughts about it. You usually get a lot more truth from those kinds of conversations.

          Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
          RM
          Cloud Engineer/System Administrator at a aerospace/defense firm with 10,001+ employees
          Real User
          Simpler to use than our previous solution, we're able to manage our users more easily

          What is our primary use case?

          Our primary usage is for our users on our civilian side. We deal with both military and civilian, but it's mainly for our civilian users. We recently started using it, six months ago. Our customers like it a lot. It's an improvement from what we were using. We use it for our Outlook and Exchange but we haven't implemented with our VMware yet.

          How has it helped my organization?

          It gives us an easier way to manage our users. We have a lot of users, so it's better on that side of things. Compared to the HPE product we were using beforehand, it's definitely simpler. The interface is smoother too compared to the HPE product. The team that we have now prefers it, so far.

          What is most valuable?

          The interface is pretty easy and it didn't take too long to get trained on it.

          For how long have I used the solution?

          Less than one year.

          What do I think about the stability of the solution?

          We haven't had any issues with it, any outages. We have a lot of users and it's been able to handle our high usage rate.

          What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

          We haven't increased in size much. Given the user rate we're at now, we think it will probably scale pretty easily without having any issues.

          How are customer service and technical support?

          We have not had to use technical support.

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

          We were using HPE before. It wasn't that we needed to switch, but we switched because we were having a few issues. They wanted to try something new. When we did so, the users and the IT team and the customers preferred it. They thought it was a lot smoother.

          Because we work with the DoD, they have a list of devices that are approved. That's the list they go off of.

          How was the initial setup?

          It was more our Tier 3 team that did the setup, but they didn't have any issues with it. Most of them have a lot of experience with a lot of equipment so, it was pretty smooth.

          What was our ROI?

          I definitely see value in it. We will probably implement it in other locations that we have as well, since we currently only use it at our main location. It has definitely been useful equipment.

          What other advice do I have?

          If a friend or colleague was using the equipment that we were using beforehand, we'd definitely tell them to transition over because it is a lot easier to use.

          I'd rate it about a nine out of ten. It's smooth, has been an easy transition, the interface is a lot easier than the one we were working with. The setup was easy and we haven't had any problems with it. Of course, it's not perfect, but it's really good equipment.

          Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
          SB
          Senior IT Business Analyst at a pharma/biotech company with 1,001-5,000 employees
          Real User
          We look to update our datastores while operational, but we have had hardware issues

          Pros and Cons

            • "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."
            • "Licensing has been quite difficult. It doesn't always auto-license. About half the time, when I provision one, I have to contact Service to get a license, or even go to our account manager to help get it straightened out."

            What is our primary use case?

            We use it for ESXi data stores and performance seems to be okay so far. We've only had it a couple months. We have it integrated with VMware.

            How has it helped my organization?

            The benefits are the stability and that we're able to contact Dell EMC support for a quick turnaround. We have a higher level of support. If we have issues, they generally get fixed quickly.

            What is most valuable?

            Our hope is that they stay up, online, and that we will be able to update them while the data stores are operational. That is why we picked them.

            Once it is set up, it is definitely easy to manage.

            What needs improvement?

            We've got an ongoing issue with a Unity in which 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.

            We have also 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.

            For how long have I used the solution?

            Less than one year.

            What do I think about the stability of the solution?

            The stability has been fine so far. We're good during normal operations.

            What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

            In terms of scalability, the size is fine for the environment we have. We're usually at about half the capacity, so we have quite a bit more we can expand with. It's good.

            How is customer service and technical support?

            In most situations, tech support works really well. If there are technical logs that they can diagnose and actually pull something out of, fantastic. If there aren't, if it's an abstract sort of issue, like the fan issues we're having, where they cycle every six minutes, it's taken me about six weeks.

            They didn't believe me that the environment was not too hot. So they sent a technician out just to make sure that I could read the thermostat, that it was 68 degrees in our office. Then, they sent someone out to reseed each component, which I had already done. I didn't appreciate that part because I did some of those basics. I did exactly what they had said on the phone. The third time, they actually replaced some components and the fourth time they just sent the components to be replaced. It appeared to work, the fan issue did appear to go away, but it came back a couple of weeks later, after an update. I'm not sure if it's update-related, but it came back.

            How was the initial setup?

            Because I've done the setup before with the VNXe version, it was straightforward. It's very similar to the VNXe.

            What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

            Licensing has been quite difficult. It doesn't always auto-license. About half the time, when I provision one, I have to contact Service to get a license, or even go to our account manager to help get it straightened out.

            What other advice do I have?

            Study the configurations of what you need to use and ensure you understand what you're provisioning. The procurement process can be a little daunting because there are a lot of features and there are a lot of components that you'll get set up with but which you may not need.

            When selecting a vendor, what's important for me are global, 24-hour support; being able to get things fixed. After that, price, because we'll probably buy a thousand of them over time.

            Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
            CA
            Helpdesk Supervisor at a logistics company with 501-1,000 employees
            Real User
            Significant increase in boot speed of our SQL Servers has notably reduced downtime

            Pros and Cons

            • "Being all-flash makes everything super-fast. It's also great to manage. That's the easiest part. We also have another SAN, from Pure, and the Unity is easier to manage than the Pure."

              What is our primary use case?

              We use it to high-speed all of our SQL Servers.

              How has it helped my organization?

              It increased the boot speed on our SQL Servers. It made downtimes incredibly small compared to when we had them on normal spinning disk. Back then, it would take two or three minutes to boot up. Now, on all-flash, it's 25 to 30 seconds. So it has improved downtime, if we have to reboot a server, which is something we do a lot.

              We used to have Exchange on it but we've put that in the cloud so it's no longer on a solution. When we did have it, it was faster because it wasn't on spinning disks. It helped us with that.

              What is most valuable?

              Being all-flash makes everything super-fast.

              It's also great to manage. That's the easiest part. We also have another SAN, from Pure, and the Unity is easier to manage than the Pure.

              What needs improvement?

              Support and licensing are big things, in the end, that needs improvement.

              For how long have I used the solution?

              One to three years.

              What do I think about the stability of the solution?

              It's very stable. We have not had any issues with it since we put it in. We've had one drive fail in two years. It was easily replaced, a hot swap and done. It has been incredibly easy and been stable for two years.

              How are customer service and technical support?

              We have used technical support and I would rate them a massive zero. I put in a ticket, although my preferred contact method is a call. I never receive a call. I send it to my sales engineer, my sales engineer sends it to their manager, the manager tells the guy to give me a call, and he sends me an email. That's not my preferred contact method and, even when complaining, I still get an email.

              Also, when I put in a ticket and say, "Here are our logs," they don't read the logs. It even says to do so in the ticket, but they skim over it. Their support has been pretty bad since they became Dell EMC. EMC used to be good. Dell has been horrible forever. I think it's going down that road.

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

              We were using the VNX and the IBM V7000. We needed to move to a new solution because they were slow. There was a little bit of flash in the VNX, and some in the V7000, but the all-flash was just such an improvement that we decided we needed to go to the Unity.

              When looking to work with a vendor, the important criteria we look for are nothing too pushy, and having a good relationship, and a continued relationship. It's not good when they just sell and leave. It's always good to continue that communication, make sure we have everything we need.

              What was our ROI?

              The fact that it reduces our downtime gives us incredible cost savings. Our industry is agriculture. We do market trading. Seconds are everything that matters. That minute, or the few minutes, that we save can mean hundreds of thousands of dollars. If that happens in the middle of the day, since we are trading constantly, reducing the amount of time that it takes, when something goes down, to get back up is cost savings.

              What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

              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.

              Which other solutions did I evaluate?

              We looked at Pure. Unity beat out Pure.

              What other advice do I have?

              Make sure you have all your ducks in a row when you finish. Make sure they understand the type of support that you want, make sure the licensing is clear, make sure it has all the features you want.

              The purchasing process was actually incredibly easy. We had a vendor to go through. She was able to clear everything up. When we were trying to look at it ourselves, it was a little bit convoluted. But once we had her help explain it through, it became easier.

              They have a good product. It's great for what it does. The surrounding pieces are where everything gets tricky.

              Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
              AP
              Storage Architect at a healthcare company with 10,001+ employees
              Real User
              API enables me to set auto expansion of end-user's home directory when close to capacity

              Pros and Cons

              • "We just started doing a bunch of automation where, if an end-user's home directory or departmental share gets filled, I can set certain things through a Unity API so that if it reaches 95 or 98 percent full, it will automatically expand. Now, instead of our getting a ticket and having to go in and do it manually, it does that for us."
              • "Dell EMC's competitor has a clustering technology. In the next release, it would be nice if they could build that into the product."

              What is our primary use case?

              We use it for our NAS systems and our SAN systems. On the NAS side, it's used for our end-users' home directories and Departmental shares. On the block side, we use it for VMware storage and we have it integrated with VMware. There was no additional cost for that integration.

              How has it helped my organization?

              We just started doing a bunch of automation where, if an end-user's home directory or Departmental share gets filled, I can set certain things through a Unity API so that if it reaches 95 or 98 percent full, it will automatically expand. Now, instead of our getting a ticket and having to go in and do it manually, it does that for us.

              Our end-users are happy with the product, there are no issues.

              What is most valuable?

              The product is pretty easy to use. The GUI is nice, really easy to use, and the performance is good. 

              What needs improvement?

              For the upgrade from the old system to the new system, if there was a better way to integrate them so I could easily move the data without working all those nights and weekends, that would be nice.

              Also, Dell EMC's competitor has a clustering technology. In the next release, it would be nice if they could build that into the product.

              What do I think about the stability of the solution?

              The product has been pretty good.

              There was one minor issue where we would get these alerts every six hours, but they were fake alerts. We installed a patch a week ago and it fixed the issue. Other than that, no issues, the product has been stable.

              What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

              We have a Unity 500, which scales to 500 drives, and we're about half full. But it's like their previous systems where you can add a couple of drives or a couple of shelves. There are no issues on that end.

              How are customer service and technical support?

              Technical support has always been pretty good. Customer service includes the guys who come in and replace the drives and install the system, and those guys are good too. No issues.

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

              We had the older generation of the Unity system, it was called EMC VNX. It's similar in some ways, but they've definitely improved the GUI, the user interface, and the performance.

              When selecting a vendor, a big thing is support. We really need a company that, when something goes wrong, they're there and they can respond immediately, so we don't have to wait a certain amount of time. We experience a little bit of the waiting part with Dell EMC, but we have a technical account manager, and his job is to escalate. Since we already had that with EMC, it made sense to go with Dell EMC. So support would be number one. Number two would be performance, obviously. It has to work well.

              How was the initial setup?

              The initial setup was pretty easy. We actually have a Dell EMC service engineer who came on site and helped set it up. I had to help in terms of getting all the infrastructure ready, but he did most of the heavy work.

              The upgrading experience from our previous solution to this one is definitely better than it was with the VNX product. The only thing that we wished that it had is a way to migrate the data from the old system to the new system. We had to do a manual process for that. To move the data, we had to work a lot of nights and weekends. That was the hardest part of setting it up.

              But other than that, it's better in every way.

              What was our ROI?

              I get fewer calls at night. That's my ROI.

              Which other solutions did I evaluate?

              NetApp and HPE were on our shortlist. HPE support is not good, so we didn't choose them. NetApp does have some good technology, but the relationship that we had with Dell EMC was the reason that we chose them.

              What other advice do I have?

              In terms of the purchase process, we work with a rep. We have biweekly meetings. They're always on site. We worked with the Dell EMC sales engineer, making sure we got the right kind of drives, the right kind of performance, etc.

              Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
              Rob Koper
              Senior Storage Consultant at a tech services company with 201-500 employees
              Consultant
              Hybrid version is fast, has automated storage tiering; all-flash version provides higher performance, compression, data replication

              Pros and Cons

              • "In the hybrid version, I would say they are fast. They have fully automated storage tiering. In the all-flash version, higher performance, compression, data replication."
              • "Things that could be improved include one-to-many replication, data deduplication, and asynchronous Fibre Channel replication. It is asynchronous on iSCSI and I would like to have that on the Fibre Channel. Unisphere-wise, I have to log in to each Unity as a unique environment. In VNX, I logged in to the domain and I was logged in to every VNX. So that's missing."
              • "I miss storage groups. Now, if I have to add a LUN to a cluster, multiple host, I have to know which host is in that cluster. I have to write it down and that makes it hard. In VNX and earlier, I could simply put a LUN on a storage group and every host in the group had the LUN. This lack bothers me a lot because it takes a lot of time and mistakes are made. Sometimes, a Hyper-V host gets a VMware LUN and vice-versa. Not good."

              What is our primary use case?

              Primary use is mid-range storage. We have two variants, we have the hybrid version and the all-flash version. It's for general use. For high performance, we have different systems.

              How has it helped my organization?

              For the hybrid version, the benefit is that data is stored on relatively cheap storage. Hot data is on faster storage. On the all-flash version, lower energy costs help, if you want to pursue green IT.

              What is most valuable?

              In the hybrid version, I would say they are fast. They have fully automated storage tiering. In the all-flash version, higher performance, compression, data replication.

              What needs improvement?

              • One-to-many replication.
              • Data deduplication.
              • Asynchronous Fibre Channel replication. It is asynchronous on iSCSI and I would like to have that on the Fibre Channel.
              • Unisphere-wise, I have to log in to each Unity as a unique environment. In VNX, I logged in to the domain and I was logged in to every VNX. So that's missing.
              • I miss storage groups. Now, if I have to add a LUN to a cluster, multiple host, I have to know which host is in that cluster. I have to write it down and that makes it hard. In VNX and earlier, I could simply put a LUN on a storage group and every host in the group had the LUN. This lack bothers me a lot because it takes a lot of time and mistakes are made. Sometimes, a Hyper-V host gets a VMware LUN and vice-versa. Not good.

              For how long have I used the solution?

              One to three years.

              What do I think about the stability of the solution?

              Stability could be better. I've had a few storage processor reboots; not as often as with VNX. And Clariion was a disaster. So, it has improved.

              What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

              The scalability is less than with VNX. In the VNX, I could replicate out to more than one storage system. On Unity, it's one on one. If I could migrate one to many, that would be helpful, but that is missing now.

              How are customer service and technical support?

              I'm certified myself. We have certified colleagues. But we use technical support. The problem is that some of the time we are more knowledgeable than them.

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

              VNX1/2

              Tech-refresh

              How was the initial setup?

              The setup is straightforward.

              What about the implementation team?

              in-house

              What was our ROI?

              no clue

              What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

              no clue. I'm technical, I don't do prices

              Which other solutions did I evaluate?

              No. We only use EMC

              What other advice do I have?

              The hardware is fine, a nine or a 10 out of 10. Manageability is a seven or eight out of 10, because of the storage group and the domain absence. Overall, if I put the two together, the solution is a nine out of 10.

              My advice would be to stick with VNX. If the developers come up with a solution for single sign-on for multiple Unity's, and if they bring back the storage groups, I'm fine with it. It's a good solution.

              Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
              RB
              Senior Systems Engineer at BBH Solutions
              Real User
              Faster performance, smooth migration, good uptime, and easy management are the keys

              Pros and Cons

              • "Storage Snapshots have been really nice. They allow us to do backups without impacting our production workload that much. The scalability, the ability to add disks dynamically and adjust our workload as needed, has also been really helpful. That definitely makes my job easier. And the interface for managing Unity is very easy. The integrations between VMware Hypervisor and Dell EMC are top-notch, so it's been really easy to use and manage."
              • "My only complaint would be some of the CLI Help files could be a little more detailed, but that's very minor complaint. We were trying to run some commands just to see how the storage snaps were interacting with the storage array, and it was a little difficult to look up exactly what commands should be run. The Help files detailing what exactly the commands did wasn't as detailed as we would have wanted them to be."
              • "More integration with VMware would always be helpful, plugins that go directly into the vSphere management. A single pane of glass is always beneficial."

              What is our primary use case?

              It's our primary storage array. We have a public cloud hosted internally, and it's our primary storage array for our customer virtual machines. It has performed very well. There have been no problems with it. We've had it for about nine months and it has performed well.

              How has it helped my organization?

              Obviously, our customers rely on us for uptime. We've had no problems with it so far. Migration to it went very smoothly, so in terms of value to us, it's been very good at keeping our workload and our uptime going.

              Also, it has definitely provided much faster performance.

              What is most valuable?

              Storage Snapshots have been really nice. They allow us to do backups without impacting our production workload that much.

              The scalability, the ability to add disks dynamically and adjust our workload as needed, has also been really helpful. That definitely makes my job easier.

              The interface for managing Unity is very easy. The integrations between VMware Hypervisor and Dell EMC are top-notch, so it's been really easy to use and manage. We already had solutions in place, so it was more just a matter of buying the hardware and migrating workloads over to it. There was no cost other than the purchase of the hardware and software licenses.

              What needs improvement?

              We had a couple issues, but they were very minor, related to storage Snapshots and our backup product, which is Veeam. That turned out to be a Veeam issue.

              My only complaint would be some of the CLI Help files could be a little more detailed, but that's very minor complaint. We were trying to run some commands just to see how the storage snaps were interacting with the storage array, and it was a little difficult to look up exactly what commands should be run. The Help files detailing what exactly the commands did wasn't as detailed as we would have wanted them to be. They were very limited in scope. They could have been more detailed.

              More integration with VMware would always be helpful, plugins that go directly into the vSphere management. A single pane of glass is always beneficial.

              For how long have I used the solution?

              Less than one year.

              What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

              It's been very good at scaling when we've needed it to. It's been a good solution so far.

              How are customer service and technical support?

              We have used technical support occasionally. There really have been no issues, we haven't had it that long. But just for implementation and licensing, we did contact support a couple of times. There were no issues with it. They were helpful.

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

              We were using a VNX array, which was fine for the time when we had it, but we've expanded. The business is growing and we decided to invest in something a little more heavy-duty to handle the kind of IOPS that we're dealing with now. We are a Dell EMC partner. Obviously, that is who we wanted to go with.

              The most important criterion when selecting a vendor is their relationship with us. In addition, easy use of the product and reliability are important. We rely on uptime, so we look for redundancy and reliability.

              How was the initial setup?

              I didn't install the hardware, but I definitely assisted in setting it up: migrating workloads to it, setting up data stores, etc. The process was pretty straightforward. It was stuff I've done a hundred times before, so it was what I expected. It was not more complicated than what I would have hoped for.

              What was our ROI?

              We don't have many numbers in terms of ROI because we've only had it about nine months, but we definitely see the performance value.

              Which other solutions did I evaluate?

              We looked at a couple. We looked at Rubrik a little bit and we looked at some HPE arrays, but we decided to go with Dell EMC to keep up our partnership with them.

              What other advice do I have?

              Ownership simplicity is there. Licensing was straightforward. We've always had good support from Dell EMC, we've never had a problem with them. Their solution engineers are always very helpful. So overall, no problems with ownership.

              I give the Unity a nine out of ten. The Help files and a little more integration would be nice.

              Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
              AD
              Infrastructure Team Lead at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
              Real User
              Simple to set up, use, and manage - it has been hands-off since we configured it

              What is our primary use case?

              We have it set up for storage for VDI. It is as advertised: Very easy to set up, very easy to manage, and the performance is great. We have integrated the solution with Horizon VDI and there was no additional cost to do so.

              How has it helped my organization?

              I don't have to spend nearly as much time getting in to manage the device on a daily basis because it functions very smoothly. We don't have any issues with it. Usually, on a daily basis, we don't mess with it. It's been hands-off since got it set up and configured. It's been great.

              What is most valuable?

              The ease of setup and management have been the best features.

              What needs improvement?

              The only thing that could improve it would be a price reduction.

              For how long have I used the solution?

              Less than one year.

              What do I think about the stability of the solution?

              It's very stable. We hardly get into the device itself to manage it on a daily basis. It's been great.

              What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

              We have not had to scale it yet but, from what I have read and understand, scalability will be very easy. Adding extra bricks or nodes to it is going to be easy.

              How are customer service and technical support?

              We haven't had to use technical support.

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

              We had a previous storage device that was coming to end-of-life and we wanted to replace it. We had to do it in a very short time, last year. I liked the performance and the features that the Unity had. The cost was also a factor in our choice.

              The most important criteria when selecting a vendor are that they need to be an industry leader, they need to be easy to work with, and they need to be fast. A lot of times in IT, we move fast. I need quotes fast, I need demos fast. That's one of the things that Dell EMC has always done for us. Those are a few things that we look for.

              How was the initial setup?

              The initial setup was very straightforward. We had a Dell EMC technician on site to help us. He was very helpful, explained what he was doing, let us get hands-on when we wanted to be and could. It was a very smooth process.

              Which other solutions did I evaluate?

              Our shortlist also included Nimble. 

              What other advice do I have?

              So far, it has done everything that they say, in demos, it will do. I cannot stress enough how simple and easy it is to set up and use and manage. That's it.

              Regarding simplicity of ownership, everything that we've experienced so far has been very easy to deal with. We already have a Dell EMC rep who handles all of our licensing and notifications, keeping us up to date on that. Management of it and service have been very positive, nice and simple.

              It was also very easy to order. We have had a relationship with our Dell EMC reps in Kansas City for the last 12 years, so getting in touch with them, having them come out and demo the product as best they could, and then getting us the pricing, getting it delivered - everything was very simple.

              I rate the Unity at eight out of ten. I don't think it's possible for it to be ten. They'd have to have someone from Dell EMC show up and do my job for me to get it to a ten.

              Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
              CK
              Head Of IT at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
              Real User
              The NAS capability is the main feature we are looking for, and the fast recovery in DR

              Pros and Cons

              • "The NAS capability is mainly what we're looking for from this product, and being able to recover fast in DR."

                What is our primary use case?

                We did a one-month exercise with EMC. We are trying to replace several systems, like NAS and some file shares, put them into one consolidated system. We do have VDI. We're going to re-use it for VDI, so this is the perspective we're trying to evolve toward.

                How has it helped my organization?

                We're replacing legacy hardware and hardware that is going out of support, and we are consolidating two or three systems into one. We also do have some special security requirements that Unity can meet.

                What is most valuable?

                The NAS capability is mainly what we're looking for from this product, and being able to recover fast in DR.

                What needs improvement?

                I don't think at this stage we have a specific concern. They have answered most of our concerns in terms of scalability and being future-proof.

                For how long have I used the solution?

                Trial/evaluations only.

                What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                We actually haven't tested it yet.

                What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                I believe it is scalable.

                How is customer service and technical support?

                Dell EMC is actually one of the strategic vendors we work with, so they have quite a big presence at our bank. We meet with them at least once every two weeks.

                How was the initial setup?

                I believe the setup is going to be straightforward because they have this tool that migrates the data seamlessly, and you don't have any system downtime. I believe it is called Datadobi. It takes out all your data from one system to another and makes it seamless.

                Which other solutions did I evaluate?

                Most of the infrastructure we have is from Dell EMC, so we're locked in with Dell but that's fine. If you're happy with the specific product and vendor, why change?

                Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                OJ
                Senior IT Systems Engineer at a aerospace/defense firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
                Real User
                Integrates easily into our current environment and NAS is extremely simple to set up

                Pros and Cons

                • "The NAS is also extremely easy to set up."
                • "On the data domains - for the Unity product, but specifically for data domain - I would like a much easier interface for managing, for actually going in and having one place where I could get all of the different parts of the overall unit. And I would also like to be able to identify individual disks a lot more easily."

                What is our primary use case?

                We use it for enterprise SAN. We have multiple units. We just started getting them in and the performance has been good. It back-ends our enterprise Oracle, which is for our financials. We have some Mission-Support applications that it supports as well. We have both structured and unstructured data.

                What is most valuable?

                The most valuable feature is the ease of integrating it into our current environment. It works within our enterprise management application. The NAS is also extremely easy to set up.

                What needs improvement?

                On the data domains - for the Unity product, but specifically for data domains - I would like a much easier interface for managing, for actually going in and having one place where I could get all of the different parts of the overall unit. And I would also like to be able to identify individual disks a lot more easily.

                What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                In terms of stability, so far everything has been fine.

                What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                The scalability has been pretty easy too, as opposed to some other vendors that we've had in the past.

                How are customer service and technical support?

                We have only used tech support to replace drives that have gone bad. But our experience has not been so good. The biggest problem has been having the right equipment in the right category that our support people can have access to. We have multiple accounts, and unfortunately, equipment is across them. So we'll call it in and they'll say, "Well, that's not under your account," so they can't actually go in online and put an SR against it. We're working on fixing that, but that's been extremely frustrating. Once we get past it, and if they understand that, yes, we do own it, and where the site is, etc., getting the part is easy.

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

                We are replacing our VNX2s with the Unity storage. The VNXs were end-of-life and it was our normal tech refresh. We also had new requirements come in for larger storage so we bought the Unity.

                How was the initial setup?

                The initial set up was more difficult than the original VNX2s. My Storage Admin said that it was just different.

                What was our ROI?

                Three years is probably the best that we get for the return on our investment. It takes three years to actually get it back.

                What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

                Regarding the licensing, that was easy. As far as recurring costs go, all that is understood, what we need to keep in place. If we grow and scale, we also understand a license comes with that, too. In terms of integrating it with our existing apps, there was no additional cost, nothing we didn't expect.

                Which other solutions did I evaluate?

                Primarily we're Dell EMC. We do have NetApp and they're pretty big, they're petabyte systems and they're primarily for a business-level project, not for enterprise storage. After using them, we definitely wanted to stick with Dell EMC.

                What other advice do I have?

                It's a good product and you should definitely evaluate it. We're concerned about standardization, so even if a product has something that's better - one item, one capability that's better - we probably wouldn't go with it and would rather standardize across, for support and everything else. That's important to us.

                For the purchasing process, we'll go to the vendor, we'll give them our requirements, and we'll work out the final design. They'll give us a quote and then we'll get two more quotes from two other vendors. We're required to get three quotes. I then put that in through my finance and then it goes through contracting. Contracting goes out and they get the true quote. And then, once the equipment is purchased, it comes directly to me onsite.

                I rate the solution an eight out of ten. Improving the interface for managing it would help make it a ten.

                Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                AT
                Storage and Virtualization Engineer at a healthcare company with 1,001-5,000 employees
                Real User
                Gives us the ability to provision storage from the CLI, but needs native replication

                Pros and Cons

                • "The most valuable feature is the ability to provision storage from the CLI, versus having to go in and use the GUI every time. I can just script it out and it will create what I need. That makes it super-easy to manage. Also, for us, it's a set-and-forget. Once we provisioned it out, we haven't had to mess with it."
                • "It could always use native replication. Then I could get rid of RecoverPoint."

                What is our primary use case?

                Primarily we use it for our file side storage. It's pretty solid. It's tied into our VMware environment for the virtual storage, but Exchange doesn't run on it. It's mostly just Windows File Servers at this point.

                We had some issues with it in the beginning, but Dell EMC took care of them and it has just been sitting there running ever since. We haven't had any real problems since then.

                How has it helped my organization?

                For us, it is cheap and deep. That's really why we wanted it, to get an expanded amount of storage. We also run Xtremes, but they're a lot more expensive. Really, it was the cost-benefit for longterm storage.

                What is most valuable?

                The most valuable feature is the ability to provision storage from the CLI, versus having to go in and use the GUI every time. I can just script it out and it will create what I need. That makes it super-easy to manage. 

                Also, for us, it's a set-and-forget. Since we provisioned it out, we haven't had to mess with it.

                What needs improvement?

                It could always use native replication. Then I could get rid of RecoverPoint.

                What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                We had some problems in the beginning, but since they did the code upgrade and the bug fix, it has been solid for the last eight months. We haven't had any issues.

                What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                Scaling is easy. If we need more, we just buy another shelf. It's probably not as easy as the Isilon, but it scales well.

                How are customer service and technical support?

                Our local SE guy is awesome. Everything we have is set to call home, so that's the set-and-forget for us. If there's an issue that pops up, they immediately send equipment to our SE, and he comes in and replaces it. I never have to mess with it.

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

                Our old arrays, the VNXs - we had a 5400 and a 5700 - were reaching the end of their days, and we wanted to go to the next step up, but not quite to the Xtreme level. Unity was the obvious choice.

                When selecting a vendor, support has to be rock solid. And then, ease of use: Do they have all the features we need? Are there any outstanding issues that are going to clash with our onsite stuff (which usually ends up being with AIX)? As far as Dell EMC goes, we've been pretty good with them for a while.

                How was the initial setup?

                The setup process was pretty straightforward, similar to any other storage device. I don't think there were any special considerations we had.

                What was our ROI?

                We've only had it running for not quite a year yet. I can't say, versus our other arrays, if the ROI is better or worse at this point.

                Which other solutions did I evaluate?

                We only use Dell EMC and Pure for storage. We went with Dell EMC because of cost. We have an aging Isilon that we're also replacing. We do have Pure, we do the flash array there, but that's quite expensive compared to the Unity. What we needed was dependable cheap and deep storage.

                What other advice do I have?

                It really depends on your specific needs: if it's speed or if it's longterm storage. Dell EMC has a whole array of products. I would say go for it. We used to push the Isilon a lot, that's super cheap and deep, and that's been rock solid as well, but you lose that block functionality. You really need to go to the Unity. I would definitely do the Unity over the SC.

                It was pretty easy to order. We got rezoned when Dell took over, so our sales rep is out of a different state. But, as far as going through our partner, it was perfectly fine, like any other normal purchase.

                I would rate the Unity at about seven out of ten, once the bugs were fixed. To be a ten it would need native replication.

                Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                MU
                Systems Engineer at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
                Real User
                Does complete LUN deployment for us, but we have had issues with the stability

                Pros and Cons

                • "I like the integration into VirtualCenter. I used to have to add LUNs manually, then scan them in and format them. It does that all for you, all in one, immediate deployment of LUNs."
                • "It does great deduplication. From a storage perspective, we save money being able to dedupe right on the disk"
                • "I would like better integration with RecoverPoint. My major issue with the solution, all around, has been RecoverPoint more than Unity. While I like the easy user interface, I would like some more advanced features for troubleshooting built into the product, so that we can do more in-depth problem-solving."
                • "Stability is the problem. We've had stability issues with it. We've had problems with the iSCSI interface. We've had it for two years now and for two years we've had problems where a service processor will drop, we'll lose connectivity to LUNs, we'll lose connectivity to the storage, issues like that. No matter how we've tried to chase it down, everybody just points fingers at each other. The only thing that changed in our environment was that the Unity solution was installed."

                What is our primary use case?

                We primarily use Dell EMC Unity XT for SAN storage for ESX data stores. It has been performing okay. We have integrated it with VMware. We do have iSCSI LUNs for some Microsoft Windows servers as well, but not many.

                How has it helped my organization?

                It allows junior engineers to administer it a lot, so senior engineers, like myself, don't have to do hands-on stuff. It's less complex.

                What is most valuable?

                The most valuable feature is the interface. It is really usable, easy to manage.

                Looking at that ease of management, for LUN creation, I like the integration into VirtualCenter. I used to have to add LUNs manually, then scan them in and format them. It does that all for you, all in one, immediate deployment of LUNs. Also, for replication, we use RecoverPoint. It's a little clunky but, overall, the Unity part of that product works in a very simplistic manner. It's easy to manage.

                What needs improvement?

                I would like better integration with RecoverPoint. My major issue with the solution, all around, has been RecoverPoint more than Unity. While I like the easy user interface, I would like some more advanced features for troubleshooting built into the product, so that we can do more in-depth problem-solving.

                The issue we're having right now is that we can't really see much in the interface. Support can see more, but we can't see what's going on, so we have to rely on support to send us things. I would like something that a power user, an advanced user, a subject matter expert, could actually look at and say, "Okay, this is what's going on here," to make troubleshooting easier, instead of just the happy, bubbly alerts.

                For how long have I used the solution?

                One to three years.

                What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                Stability is the problem. We've had stability issues with it. We've had problems with the iSCSI interface. We've had it for two years now and for two years we've had problems where a service processor will drop, we'll lose connectivity to LUNs, we'll lose connectivity to the storage, issues like that. No matter how we've tried to chase it down, everybody just points fingers at each other. The only thing that changed in our environment was that the Unity solution was installed. It's the "least common factor."

                What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                The scalability is great. If we need to expand, it's very easy to expand.

                How are customer service and technical support?

                Aside from the finger-pointing, they're generally pretty easy to work with. But in my opinion, it's hard to get up to higher levels of support. For a complex problem like we've had, it's been very difficult for us to get ahold of the right type of people. We almost need engineers or someone at a higher level. When you call in, you get the base-level people. What I always say whenever it comes to tech support is, if I'm calling you, it's not a problem that's easily solved. Because if it was easy, I would have fixed it myself. So getting to those higher levels of support has been very problematic for us. They just want to say, "It's not our issue," instead of someone actually tackling the problem.

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

                We had a VNX before and the one that we were using was starting to be phased out. We needed to keep on support and we need to stay with a solution, for our clients, that is newer and cutting edge. We were aimed towards Unity.

                When selecting a vendor, the most important criterion is interoperability. It has to be able to integrate really well.

                How was the initial setup?

                Deployment was complicated when we did it initially and we still have problems with it. We had a VAR come out to do the initial install.

                What was our ROI?

                As far as cost is concerned, it does great deduplication. From a storage perspective, we save money being able to dedupe right on the disk. It's easy to manage, which saves us time. Overall, that time is money; it saves us money. It has a pretty good ROI.

                What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

                As far as simplicity of ownership goes, I don't think there is anything aside from the maintenance licensing.

                Which other solutions did I evaluate?

                We were aiming more towards Dell EMC because that's what we had previously.

                What other advice do I have?

                Test it really well first, and get somebody who knows what they're doing to set it up. The VAR that we were referred to was terrible. That was the root of a lot of our problems.

                If we didn't have the problems that we had with it - all the problems that I highlighted above - it would be definitely a ten out of ten. But given those problems, and the fact that one of them has been going on for two years and we still don't have a solution, and the Unity is the only factor that changed in the environment...

                Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                TG
                Consultant at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
                Consultant
                With a click, we can deploy a data store or LUN to the ESX host

                Pros and Cons

                • "Via a click, we can deploy a data store or LUN to the ESX host. We can also deploy VVOLs to the ESX server."

                  What is our primary use case?

                  For most of our general-purpose cluster, we are using a Unity as Tier 2 and Tier 3 storage. Earlier, we were using a VNX box. Compared to VNX we are getting better performance.

                  How has it helped my organization?

                  We are looking for a lot of automation from the Unity. For example, if I want to create one LUN from the Unity box, I have to do multiple clicks. I create zoning and there are a lot of steps involved. But, looking forward, we can reduce the steps, automate things so they are done more easily, deploying LUNs.

                  What is most valuable?

                  The deployment is very easy. Via a click, we can deploy a data store or LUN to the ESX host. We can also deploy VVOLs to the ESX server.

                  What needs improvement?

                  I'm looking for more automation, not only for VVOLs, but for NFS and RDM disk.

                  What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                  The stability is good. I don't see any issues with the Unity boxes.

                  What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                  Scaling is easy. If there is future growth I am able to call Dell EMC to provide additional capacity.

                  How was the initial setup?

                  When it arrived at our data center I was there, but the installation and configuration services were done by EMC. I sat with them, watched what they were doing. It was pretty simple.

                  What other advice do I have?

                  I would definitely recommend Unity because, compared to VNX and other storage solutions, it is the easiest way to deploy for VMware and physical operating system services.

                  Regarding ownership, it is very easy. It's a single point of contact. We have the type of support from Dell EMC where, in case of any failure, we get an immediate response from them. For the purchasing process, we just validate the bill of materials and then we reach out to the Dell EMC salesperson to get it delivered to our data center.

                  We are working on the vSphere integration. Once that integration is done we will easily be able to do everything on the vSphere console.

                  Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                  DH
                  Manager of Storage and Backup at a healthcare company with 1,001-5,000 employees
                  Real User
                  Replication is a key feature for us and the file services interface is nice

                  Pros and Cons

                  • "The replication is big for us. We use file services on Unity and it has a really nice file services interface. It's also easy to manage. It's really easy in terms of provisioning, replication. There are no real tricks to it. It's just easy."
                  • "The biggest one for us, and the reason we don't use it more, is that we can't throttle the replication speed. If it's on, it's on. So we have to be a little more WAN-sensitive, in some applications, which means we can't put it everywhere. That's the biggest issue for us, by far."

                  What is our primary use case?

                  The primary use case is mid-tier processing for our hospitals. We have a lot of VM infrastructure on the Unity, but not our most mission-critical. The performance has been great.

                  How has it helped my organization?

                  The biggest benefit is where it fits in the cost profile. It's for VMs that, again, aren't mission-critical but do need some performance. It fits really well there for that. We get exactly what we want from it, what we expected.

                  What is most valuable?

                  The replication is big for us.

                  We use file services on Unity and it has a really nice file services interface.

                  It's also easy to manage. It's really easy in terms of provisioning, replication. There are no real tricks to it. It's just easy.

                  What needs improvement?

                  The biggest one for us, and the reason we don't use it more, is that we can't throttle the replication speed. If it's on, it's on. So we have to be a little more WAN-sensitive, in some applications, which means we can't put it everywhere. That's the biggest issue for us, by far.

                  For how long have I used the solution?

                  One to three years.

                  What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                  The stability has been very good. We've had it for a couple years, really like it.

                  What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                  Scalability is also really easy. There are lots of options.

                  How are customer service and technical support?

                  Our experience with technical support depends. That mid-range is probably not the strong suit in terms of Dell EMC support. They don't have the depth of technical experience in that area like they do with some of the other products. But we haven't had any serious issues with it.

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

                  This was a VNX replacement. We had an older VNX that was off the depreciation tables and maintenance costs were a little higher, as the equipment aged. We just replaced it, pretty much one-for-one.

                  When selecting a vendor, a big factor for us is the quality of support.

                  How was the initial setup?

                  The initial setup was really straightforward. I've been doing this for a long time so there were no real surprises in terms of the Unity.

                  What was our ROI?

                  The ROI is right where we need it to be. It's a reasonably priced array. It performs a function that we absolutely need, and it definitely fits where we want it to be. We wouldn't use it for everything but, where we use it appropriately, it makes a lot of sense.

                  Which other solutions did I evaluate?

                  This one came down to either Dell EMC or Pure. We had a NetApp as well, but we weren't considering that. Pure doesn't really have the depth of product offering, so this was an easy choice for us.

                  What other advice do I have?

                  I would definitely recommend it and have recommended it. We're pretty large, but I think for most companies it probably is the array that's going to work the best, especially for a VM workload. If you don't want to invest in a VMAX, this makes a lot of sense.

                  It fits that price profile really well. It's an entry-level, all-flash array for us. So stuff that we don't want to go on VMAX or XtremIO, we can put right on the Unity and feel pretty comfortable that it's going to do what we need it to do, as far as performance goes. Unity falls right in, with it being the successor to the VNX line. It works great, has a very simple interface that we're comfortable with, so it's a good product for us.

                  In terms of the purchasing process, we have a pretty good sized environment, so we work with our dedicated team. They knew that this was going to perform the way we wanted. We had a spot where we needed some VNX replacement and this was the logical choice. It was very easy.

                  My rating of eight out of ten would get to a ten if it had throttled replication.

                  Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                  David Silberhorn
                  Senior Systems Engineer at Midland States Bank
                  Real User
                  Solid, easy to manage, and improves the efficiency of our reporting environment

                  Pros and Cons

                    • "I called about an issue where I couldn't get VVOLs registered. It turns out it is a bug in the code and that there is no information about when it will be fixed. It's just not going to work. I was a little miffed about that."

                    What is our primary use case?

                    The primary use case is for our reporting environment, business intelligence and analytics. We run our Oracle and SAS-based applications on it right now. The performance is sufficient and we don't have any complaints about it. 

                    How has it helped my organization?

                    It runs our business analytics environment, so it improves reporting performance, how they pull data.

                    What is most valuable?

                    For our environment just having a solid, running box is really sufficient.

                    The administration of it is fine. For the most part, it is easy to manage. There is not a lot that you really need to change, there is not that much you really need to do. 

                    What needs improvement?

                    The Active Directory integration isn't very good, it is kind of limiting. It's okay.

                    When you get into more advanced storage administration, it's really hard to find that stuff, but those situations are few and far between, so it's not that relevant.

                    Also, I called about an issue where I couldn't get VVOLs registered. It turns out it is a bug in the code and that there is no information about when it will be fixed. It's just not going to work. I was a little miffed about that, especially getting more into VVOLs with Pure Storage, but it is what it is.

                    I would like to see better support for VVOLs and a less hokey AD-integrated login. Those are probably the two things that bug me the most.

                    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                    I haven't had any issues with stability.

                    We did an upgrade not that long ago and that was a little rough. They uploaded the firmware and it seems it was corrupted. When they went to go live with the upgrade process they had to re-download it, which took a while. I didn't have any issues personally but I saw some of the trials that the support and then the engineering teams went through. It made me a little anxious, watching that process.

                    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                    The scalability is fine. There's not much for me to really say about scalability. Adding disk is really the scalability factor, for right now. We only have two shelves of storage disks so I don't have any concerns about or needs for scalability.

                    How is customer service and technical support?

                    Support was responsive.

                    What was our ROI?

                    I am not sure we've gotten to the point of getting a return because we've spent three years investing in trying to build out our SAS platform. I'm not sure we're there yet.

                    What other advice do I have?

                    Vet out your use case sufficiently, make sure you understand what you are trying to achieve and how you are trying to achieve it. Do your best to leverage the gambit of functionality, as opposed to focusing on one area.

                    I rate it at eight out of ten. The best would be no issues, no concerns. I can't imagine I'd give anyone a ten, to be honest. To achieve that is pretty hard.

                    I wouldn't not recommend Unity.

                    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                    MM
                    Network Administrator at a construction company with 201-500 employees
                    Real User
                    Speed is the reason we got it but we are able to easily create LUNs as well

                    What is our primary use case?

                    Our Unity arrays are our primary storage arrays for both of our data centers. We run all our VMs on there, they're all-flash. They've been running great. We've had no problems with them. Fantastic.

                    How has it helped my organization?

                    The fact it's all-flash is why we chose it. The speed increase, therefore, that we've experienced from it has been great.

                    What is most valuable?

                    Obviously its speed is the main reason why we got it but we've really loved being able to use the interface. We've been able to create LUNs easily. We're able to get in there and create what we need, do everything we need to do, configure it the way it needed to be configured.

                    In terms of simplicity of ownership, it was almost plug-and-go. We did have some help getting it set up but, as for licensing and being able to get support through Dell EMC's site, it has been really easy. The interface makes it really easy to manage.

                    What needs improvement?

                    There could always be improvements to the UI. For what we've been using it for it's been great, but there are always little tweaks that could happen there.

                    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                    It's been very stable. We haven't had any issues. I think we had a drive go out and it was quick to alert us and they made sure that we got it replaced without any failures. Everything has been great.

                    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                    We haven't had to do any expansion on it yet, but I've heard that it's very easy and that, if we ever need it, it shouldn't be a problem.

                    How is customer service and technical support?

                    We've used the technical support. They've been great. They have a good system to alert you when there's an issue. They've been quick to get us the drives that we need.

                    How was the initial setup?

                    The initial setup wasn't too bad. They delivered it. We got the software installed, the OS installed, and got it all configured. It was just a matter of setting up the LUNs. We had a little bit of help with that but it was not difficult.

                    What other advice do I have?

                    My advice is, obviously, to go with something tailored to your needs. For what this has been, a full flash array and ease of setup, from what I've had experience with, I would probably recommend the Unity array.

                    We plan to eventually use the VMware integration. There is a little bit that we're using right now but it's not the whole vSAN setup. I don't believe there will be a cost involved with that. It's just a matter of taking the time and getting it set up. Right now, we just have it set up as a simple SAN array.

                    Nothing is ever perfect. It would have to be perfect to be a ten out of ten, but this is probably as close as we've been to perfect, so that's good.

                    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                    it_user513312
                    Solutions Architect at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
                    Consultant
                    Reliable, plugins are mature, and it gets the job done

                    Pros and Cons

                    • "It is completely reliable. The plugins for it are quite mature. I don't really have any issues with the interactions with vSphere, they all work as intended."
                    • "In future releases, I would like to see automatic upgrades from one to the next, when this system is coming out and the next one is coming in; more akin to what Pure Storage is doing. That would be really helpful."
                    • "The upgrade process needs improvement. I should be able to swap it out, with zero downtime, with another array, down the road. I don't think Dell EMC has anything in the roadmap for this product line. I just don't want to have to deal with that anymore and all of our customers are pretty much the same."

                    What is our primary use case?

                    We're using it for block storage in a lab, supporting Fortune 500 customers, testing out solutions. We have a number of other competitive solutions in the lab and we try out upgrades for customers, we test out all the different features and functions.

                    Performance of the system is fine, I really don't have any issues with the actual raw IO of the system, but the competitors are pushing a lot of all-flash solutions in front of us.

                    We're not doing any integrated Snapshotting of the applications. Some of our team is working on being able to Snapshot Oracle RAC clusters but, for the most part, we're focusing on doing mostly backup solutions, data protection software.

                    What is most valuable?

                    It is completely reliable. The plugins for it are quite mature. I don't really have any issues with the interactions with vSphere, they all work as intended. There is a level of reliance and a maturity in the product, whereas the other ones are a little more cutting edge and the bugs can come out of the blue.

                    What needs improvement?

                    It still has the same implementation headaches of the VNX that came before it. It's still the same Unisphere, it's all the same tools from the VNX, nothing has really changed, from my perspective. It's still all the same stuff we're used to seeing. The management of it just isn't very strong, whereas a lot of the tasks I do day-to-day on some of the newer competitors, like Pure and Kaminario - we're talking three to five seconds to get something done rather than 15-20 minutes. It's a big time saver on the other systems. With the Unity, once it's installed, raw performance works fine.

                    In future releases, I would like to see automatic upgrades from one to the next, when this system is coming out and the next one is coming in; more akin to what Pure Storage is doing. That would be really helpful.

                    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                    I don't know that I can really address the issue of scalability with the units we have. We have mostly a test box, a small one. We haven't had to add disk shelves or do any scaling of the system.

                    What other advice do I have?

                    Unity is a lot like "no one gets fired for buying IBM." I think you will get what you pay for, but a lot of competitors have better efficiencies, better programs, easier installations. I'd be looking elsewhere. I don't feel the product is the leader in the market anymore.

                    I rate the Unity at eight out of ten. It gets the job done, it does it well, I can rely on it. It's just not cutting-edge in any way right now. To get to a ten, as I said, the upgrade process needs improvement. I should be able to swap it out, with zero downtime, with another array, down the road. I don't think Dell EMC has anything in the roadmap for this product line. I just don't want to have to deal with that anymore, and all of our customers feel pretty much the same.

                    Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Reseller.
                    Ben Liebowitz
                    Server and Storage Engineer at a legal firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
                    Real User
                    We're able to provision storage and create consistency groups and RDMs for our VMs

                    Pros and Cons

                    • "It's easy to manage. We access it and manage it through Unisphere and have had no issues. We're able to provision storage, create consistency groups, create RDMs for our virtual machines. Creating it through Unisphere, it automatically adds the data store on the VMware side and rescans the LUNS. We just have to add and configure the storage in one place and it takes care of everything, which is very handy."
                    • "Unity only does compression. It would be nice if there was a deduplication feature as well. At my previous job, we used XtremIO and that was deduplication and not compression, and I think we got more out of it because the more OSs you have that are the same, the fewer copies it needs to keep of all that data. So, the deduplication would be a nice feature to have."

                    What is our primary use case?

                    We're using Dell EMC Unity as our primary storage for our production and for our DR site. We've had no performance issues with it, whatsoever.

                    We're using it for our data storage, for our virtual machines. It's the only array that we have, so we're not doing tiering at all. Everything is on the unit. We're using it for the data storage that we replicate to our DR site, for the ones that just stay local. We're using it for allocating raw disk-mapping, for mapping storage from the SAN directly to virtual machines for super-clusters and the like. We're using it for everything

                    How has it helped my organization?

                    The fact that it's all-flash has really helped our overall performance.

                    What is most valuable?

                    It's easy to manage. We access it and manage it through Unisphere and have had no issues. We're able to provision storage, create consistency groups, create RDMs for our virtual machines. Creating it through Unisphere, it automatically adds the data store on the VMware side and rescans the LUNs. We just have to add and configure the storage in one place and it takes care of everything, which is very handy.

                    What needs improvement?

                    Unity only does compression. It would be nice if there was a deduplication feature as well. At my previous job, we used XtremIO and that had deduplication and not compression, and I think we got more out of it because the more OSs you have that are the same, the fewer copies it needs to keep of all that data. So, the deduplication would be a nice feature to have.

                    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                    We've had almost no stability issues.

                    We had an issue once and it turned out to be a bug. There was a memory leak and we had an issue in our DR site where one controller would reboot and then come back up and then, later on, the other controller would reboot and come back up. Then it happened once on our production site where both controllers went down at the same time. We worked with Dell Support and they found a memory leak and they recommended we upgrade to the latest code version.

                    They have a script you run, a utility to gather the logs, etc., and then they analyze. The hardest problem was that, because they're analyzing logs, they have a certain SLA in which to do that. Even though we had a production issue and we wanted it resolved right away, it took them a few days to analyze the logs and get back to us.

                    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                    We've added more and more on to it, and had no issues with it. When we started there, they had just deployed Unity. It was used in a few places, but not all that much. We've been migrating more and more over to it to get off of and retire the VNX, and we've had no issues. The compression has been working well.

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

                    We came from a VNX platform and we had lots of performance issues on the VNX, especially when we were doing OS patching. When all the reboots happened at the same time, we had performance hits on the VNX, systems crashed, and so on. And with the Unity, we have no issues. It's much easier to manage than the VNX. I've been managing both, but I've found the Unity is a bit easier to manage and to deploy.

                    From what I understand, the VNX was coming off of support and our company worked directly with our Dell EMC rep to see what was out there, what we could use, which storage arrays have which features, and they went with Unity.

                    To go with all-flash with Dell EMC, you've got XtremIO and you've got Unity. Unity is the type of array that you can size yourself and say, "This is how much storage I want," and you can add on in the future. With XtremIO, you're buying a set package and you get what you get.

                    What other advice do I have?

                    Each solution is dependent on the use case so it's really hard to give advice without knowing the exact use case the person is trying to fill. But we're very happy with Unity.

                    I rate it at nine out of ten. If they added dedupe, that would get me to a ten.

                    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                    LN
                    Information Technology Manager at a non-tech company with 201-500 employees
                    Real User
                    There has been no downtime. It has built-in redundancy upon redundancy.

                    Pros and Cons

                    • "There has been no downtime. It has built-in redundancy upon redundancy."
                    • "It is easy to manage overall. It is all web-based. It has a an easy, nice dashboard. I receive emails if there are issues. When there are any updates, I receive emails. I can either do them on my own, but normally I schedule them with Dell EMC and they remote in, then it's done."
                    • "Their support cases are all handed through the portal. The support contacts me when they need to do upgrades. It has been great. It's all very well-handled, scheduled, and performed."
                    • "If there's anything Dell EMC could do to get the same performance for a cheaper price, that would be great."

                    What is our primary use case?

                    It is for our production. We also have a second one for disaster recovery. We use it for our VMware storage.

                    It's done everything we need and we have had no issues.

                    How has it helped my organization?

                    Since we have gone virtual, we've been using the SAN and the speed on our servers has increased along with the time to reboot and time for maintenance. We have built in our company's backup redundancies and the SANs both have Unities with replication, which has benefited with speed and reliability.

                    What is most valuable?

                    • Speed
                    • Reliability
                    • Support

                    It is easy to manage overall. It is all web-based. It has a an easy, nice dashboard. I receive emails if there are issues. When there are any updates, I receive emails. I can either do them on my own, but normally I schedule them with Dell EMC and they remote in, then it's done.

                    What needs improvement?

                    If there's anything Dell EMC could do to get the same performance for a cheaper price, that would be great.

                    For how long have I used the solution?

                    One to three years.

                    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                    It's awesome. It hasn't missed a beat. We haven't had any issues with it whatsoever. Speed has been great. It does everything we need.

                    There has been no downtime. It has built-in redundancy upon redundancy, so I feel very confident with it.

                    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                    I'm using 25% of the available space for that drive. I can scale it as far as money could spend, as far as I can tell.

                    How are customer service and technical support?

                    Their support cases are all handed through the portal. The support contacts me when they need to do upgrades. It has been great. It's all very well-handled, scheduled, and performed.

                    It's all been email-based portal cases. When they schedule remote sessions, they're on time. They get the job done and have been helpful every time I've needed them. I give them an A+ for support.

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

                    We were not using anything previously. We had 15 physical servers previously, so we knew it was time to change. This was part of a VMware virtualization project with SAN for the storage, so it made sense for us to go physical to virtual and use EMC Dell.

                    How was the initial setup?

                    The initial setup is straightforward.

                    What about the implementation team?

                    The vendor implemented it and is knowledgeable.

                    What was our ROI?

                    By doing virtual and reducing our footprint of servers, we're definitely not pulling as much power as we were. The time savings of not having to do virtual reboots rather than physical reboots of boxes. 

                    ROI probably has been more in time and uptime than in dollars saved. We have definitely had more uptime in the past year since we've been on this than we've had in previous years.

                    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

                    Dell EMC has a great portal for the licensing. It's very logical and easy to license. 

                    We integrated it with VMware vSphere at no additional cost. As we moved into VMware vSphere, this is what we bought to go with it for our storage performance.

                    What other advice do I have?

                    When we were purchasing the product, we didn't have a capital budget for it. I sat down with my boss (the COO), and went over upcoming projects. We looked over the dollar values and if they fit. If it does fit, we do it. We went with the VAR that sold Dell EMC in our city and from there it was done. This made it very easy.

                    If it fits your budget, do it.

                    Most important criteria when selecting a vendor: brand and support reputation.

                    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                    BM
                    IT at a manufacturing company with 501-1,000 employees
                    Real User
                    ESRS works with remote support to remote in and take a look at problems proactively

                    Pros and Cons

                    • "It is nice the way ESRS works with remote support, being able to remote in and take a look at problems proactively."
                    • "It is easy to manage. A lot of the system manages itself."
                    • "I would like to see more integration with other products."
                    • "The interface can be a little challenging for someone new."

                    What is our primary use case?

                    We primarily use it for backup.

                    How has it helped my organization?

                    It is a good backup product.

                    What is most valuable?

                    • It is easy to manage. A lot of the system manages itself.
                    • It is nice the way ESRS works with remote support, being able to remote in and take a look at problems proactively.

                    What needs improvement?

                    • I would like to see more integration with other products.
                    • The interface can be a little challenging for someone new.

                    For how long have I used the solution?

                    Less than one year.

                    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                    It is pretty reliable.

                    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                    You can just add nodes and shelves to it.

                    How is customer service and technical support?

                    The remote support is excellent.

                    We had a case automatically opened last night, and it is being handled.

                    What other advice do I have?

                    Dell EMC has been around for a long time. Owning VMware is a big plus.

                    Most important criteria when selecting a vendor: 

                    • Support long-term
                    • Longevity
                    • Cost is always an issue.
                    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                    JL
                    Deputy CIO at a insurance company with 1-10 employees
                    Real User
                    We can sleep at night because the support is great

                    Pros and Cons

                    • "It's very reliable. I have not had an issue with Dell EMC Unity."
                    • "It's easy for us to use because we use other solutions which are built for Unity, like VMware, which are recovery points. They work with the Dell EMC Unity system, as these products integrate well in our environment."
                    • "The Dell EMC unity interface is simple to manage. We manage it by ourselves. We create logs to store data."
                    • "We can sleep at night because the support is great."

                      What is our primary use case?

                      We use our Dell EMC Unities to store the bank's data. We have one Unity in our production environment and another Unity at our disaster recovery site.

                      We use it in conjunction with VMware. We store all our virtual machines on Unity. 

                      How has it helped my organization?

                      The Dell EMC unity interface is simple to manage. We manage it by ourselves. We create logs to store data. It's also easy for us to use because we use other solutions which are built for Unity, like VMware, which are recovery points. They work with the Dell EMC Unity system, as these products integrate well in our environment. 

                      All our applications have been migrated to VMware.

                      What is most valuable?

                      It's very reliable. I have not had an issue with Dell EMC Unity. 

                      Their service is good. If there is an issue with our Unity, Dell will sometimes call me before I even know I received a notification. They will tell me that some disks are bad and needed replacement. Whenever we have issues, they respond very quickly. 

                      We are using all-flash disk, so the speed is very good.

                      For how long have I used the solution?

                      More than five years.

                      What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                      The solution is stable.

                      What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                      We are a small bank. It is very scalable whenever we want to expand the disk storage. 

                      How is customer service and technical support?

                      Dell EMC technical support is very good. I would rate them a 10 out of 10. They take you by the hand and walk you through every issue. They explain the issue and follow up on it.

                      Whenever we need help to service the system or apply any upgrades, their customer service is good.

                      What about the implementation team?

                      We used Dell EMC for the setup. We had a Dell EMC engineer and a third-party engineer come in. The Dell EMC engineer came and set up what he had for the disk. He took away the complexity from us, so I didn't see it. We had a third-party help us as well during the installation. 

                      My part was mainly just administering the system. If I had an issue, I just made a short phone call to Dell EMC.

                      What was our ROI?

                      In the past, we used to have a physical server dedicated for Exchange or SQL. We have been able to virtualize those systems. Therefore, we cut our costs on the hardware and the backup is simpler in a VM environment. With Unity, we can easily replicate all our data to our production. 

                      For DR, the solution is very efficient for us. It has also allowed us to centralize our data repository.

                      What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

                      While Dell EMC is costly, I don't have any complaints about their licensing model.

                      Which other solutions did I evaluate?

                      We have also used Dell EMC CLARiiON and Symmetrix within the Dell EMC shop. What attracted to us to Dell EMC Unity was its flash disk technology.

                      Outside of Dell EMC, we looked at IBM and HPE. However, we have VMware as a recovery point for replication, and those VMware solutions work together well with Unity.

                      What other advice do I have?

                      The purchasing process was uncomplicated. We went through a third-party reseller who has a relationship with Dell. They know the product well, so they specialize in it. We gave them our needs and they were able to recommend the appropriate solution to Dell, the sizing, etc. This helped us out. 

                      We can sleep at night because the support is great.

                      Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                      BM
                      System Engineer at a manufacturing company with 10,001+ employees
                      Real User
                      It is simple to use and easy to manage. We don't touch it after we set it up.

                      Pros and Cons

                      • "It is simple to use and easy to manage. We don't touch it after we set it up."
                      • "For sites that we use it on, it gives us more flexibility and high availability solutions. It is easier to expand the site, if needed."
                      • "I would like the UI to look better."

                      What is our primary use case?

                      We use it as block storage for a couple sites. 

                      The performance is fine for what it does. It is flash and spinning media.

                      How has it helped my organization?

                      For sites that we use it on, it gives us more flexibility and high availability solutions. It is easier to expand the site, if needed.

                      It is simple to use and easy to manage. We don't touch it after we set it up. It is not something you constantly have to go in everyday and tweak, which makes it beneficial.

                      What is most valuable?

                      • Ease of use: The GUI management is very easy to use.
                      • The management is easy for us. We rarely touch it now. It just runs.

                      What needs improvement?

                      I would like the UI to look better.

                      For how long have I used the solution?

                      One to three years.

                      What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                      Stability is very good. It has been running for over a year now without problems. We haven't had any dropped layers.

                      What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                      The growth is difficult to forecast, but it's easy for the unit to grow when needed. It is very scalable.

                      How are customer service and technical support?

                      The technical support does alright.

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

                      We didn't have a solution in place for the size that we needed to have a high availability solution. Dell EMC is our preferred storage provider, so we went out and worked with them to get a solution where we have a cluster environment to VMware and a failover with the other node along with shared storage.

                      How was the initial setup?

                      The initial setup was very straightforward. This was not our first SAN array, so I just racked and stacked it, and they gave us the IPs and turned it over to us. 

                      The purchasing has been simple. When you do need storage, you spec it out. Then, you receive a quote back and make a decision from there. 

                      The last purchase was in China, so I was more on the config, less on the purchase side.

                      What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

                      The solution should be cheaper.

                      Which other solutions did I evaluate?

                      We evaluated NetApp. We decided on Dell EMC because we are more familiar with them.

                      What other advice do I have?

                      Most important criteria when selecting a vendor:

                      • Reliability
                      • Price.
                      Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                      RH
                      IT Manager at a transportation company with 201-500 employees
                      Real User
                      Because it is virtualized, we save time to set up, warranty, and AC cooling costs

                      Pros and Cons

                      • "We currently have two Dell EMC Unities going. One of them at our primary on-premise DR site. They communicate with each other. If we ever have to failover, it is right there and ready."
                      • "It is easy to manage. Managing it, I get alerts if there are any type of issues. I had a hard drive go bad, which had never caused any issues. Dell EMC contacted me, and said, "We are a shipping a new one out." My response was, "Why?" He told me that hard drive was bad. So, I went and looked, and it was. This was almost immediate. I never even knew anything had happened."
                      • "It should be lighter. It takes up a ton of rack space. It would be nice to have a smaller footprint."
                      • "It might be nice to have more integrated features instead of having everything as a separate module, like the networking. The networking is attached separately in the back. It would be nice if that was more integrated with less ports."

                      What is our primary use case?

                      We use it for virtualization. We have all of our servers virtualized on the entire unit.

                      The performance has been outstanding. It's amazing.

                      How has it helped my organization?

                      We currently have two Dell EMC Unities going. One of them at our primary on-premise DR site. They communicate with each other. If we ever have to failover, it is right there and ready.

                      We have integrated Dell EMC Unity XT with VMware, Exchange, Microsoft SQL, and all types of Windows servers running on it. It outperforms any other physical hardware that I have ever had. We had to purchase the licenses for the Exchange and SQL servers. We also had to purchase VMware, and that could be cheaper.

                      We are also using it with our Veeam solution for our backup. Everything is just integrated so seamlessly. It is great.

                      What is most valuable?

                      The ease of use. Being able to configure it was easy, which I liked. 

                      It is easy to manage. Managing it, I get alerts if there are any type of issues. I had a hard drive go bad, which had never caused any issues. Dell EMC contacted me, and said, "We are a shipping a new one out." My response was, "Why?" He told me that hard drive was bad. So, I went and looked, and it was. This was almost immediate. I never even knew anything had happened.

                      As frequently as updates come in, it has far more updates than anything else, Dell does it for you, which makes it simple to do them. I just sit back and watch them do it, so it's nice. It keeps us up-to-date and secure.

                      What needs improvement?

                      It should be lighter. It takes up a ton of rack space. It would be nice to have a smaller footprint. 

                      It might be nice to have more integrated features instead of having everything as a separate module, like the networking. The networking is attached separately in the back. It would be nice if that was more integrated with less ports.

                      For how long have I used the solution?

                      One to three years.

                      What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                      Stability is perfect and consistent. We have had no downtime. It is reliable.

                      What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                      As far as hardware goes, we haven't had to scale up at all. We're staying pretty steady. 

                      As far as users go, I have about 1000 users on it right now, and it's not even at 50%. It's amazing as far as utilization goes.

                      How are customer service and technical support?

                      Technical support is top-notch. I have talked to them a couple times. They definitely seem to know what they are talking about. They are pretty quick to get parts out, and getting a tech out there to replace them.

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

                      This is our first time that we moved into virtualization. We are largely an HPE shop.

                      How was the initial setup?

                      The initial setup is pretty straightforward. I had a technician do it for me, then I looked over his shoulder because I had never done it before. He told me that he would do it this one time, and next time I would set it up because it was not that hard. It wasn't easy, but it wasn't impossible.

                      It was very easy to order. We went through and spec'd it out internally, then went through a Dell EMC partner and spec'd it out through them. The parts were here quickly, assembled, and all we had to do was mount it. We didn't have to do any configuring nor assembly, which was good.

                      What about the implementation team?

                      Dell EMC did setup number one. Then, they shadowed me when I did the next setup. It's not simple, but it's doable. It's doable with the right guidance.

                      Deployment with the product is great.

                      What was our ROI?

                      When I first got the Dell EMC Unity system, I converted all of our physical machines to virtual, which:

                      • Eliminated the need for a $300,000 cost upfront to extend warranties.
                      • Eliminated the electricity that was being used along with other inadvertent items, such as cooling. The AC doesn't run as much in the data center now. 
                      • We went from about 45 servers down to one, which is amazing. 
                      • As far as purchasing additional servers, there is no need to buy hardware. It's all right there. Since we have deployed, this has easily saved us close to about $300,000 easily.

                      The time to set up has definitely improved. That is ROI for us. We save time spinning up a new server. If you ask me today for a new server, I can have it ready by the end up the day. When we were using hardware, it would take us about three weeks. We would have to provision a server. We would have to spec it out, buy it, assemble it, install the OS, back it, then we were finally ready to go. Whereas now, by the end of the day, I have a very nice server.

                      What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

                      Simplicity of ownership is a no-brainer:

                      • Obtaining a warranty is easy.
                      • The price is very reasonable.
                      • As far as licensing goes, I love how VMware works with Dell EMC Unity. It's great. They work hand in hand. They have made it so simple.

                      Which other solutions did I evaluate?

                      We looked at VxRail, IBM, and Nutanix. Dell EMC Unity work out financially. VxRail was nice, but a lot more expensive and robust. Price-wise, Dell EMC Unity was right where we needed it to be.

                      What other advice do I have?

                      Make sure to shop around to make absolutely 100% certain that it is what you want. You will want to come back to this particular model. 

                      Most important criteria when selecting a vendor: 

                      • Pricing
                      • Knowledge: They know what they are talking about. 
                      • Aggressiveness: Are they vested in the pricing and product?
                      Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                      Guy Shepperd
                      Director of IT at a healthcare company with 10,001+ employees
                      Real User
                      To be programmatically administered is huge, it is one of its key features

                      Pros and Cons

                      • "It has helped us be able to use less administrators per device or system. Therefore,we are more streamlined."
                      • "To be programmatically administered is huge, it is one of the key features that we like about it."
                      • "It needs more functionality and the ability to move across more landscapes."

                      What is our primary use case?

                      We are a medical center, so we have a very diverse ecosystem. We do a lot of imaging, which is our primary use case.

                      It is performing very well.

                      How has it helped my organization?

                      It has helped us be able to use less administrators per device or system. Therefore,we are more streamlined.

                      The management is key. This is where we see the functionality and ease of use. To be programmatically administered is huge, it is one of the key features that we like about it. My team finds it easy to manage.

                      We have integrated it with vSphere.

                      What is most valuable?

                      • The interface is easy to use.
                      • The ability to programmatically manage it.

                      What needs improvement?

                      It needs more functionality and the ability to move across more landscapes.

                      For how long have I used the solution?

                      One to three years.

                      What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                      Stability is rock solid.

                      What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                      We haven't found a scale that we can't go to yet.

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

                      Historically, we are a Dell shop. We actually asked Dell's solution experts to come in and give us a suggestion of where we needed to go before purchasing this solution.

                      What was our ROI?

                      Our big return of investment is the ability to scale and not add FTE counts nor extra administration.

                      What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

                      It was easy to order. We are a big Dell shop, so it was easy to purchase and get it in place, then up and running.

                      What other advice do I have?

                      Find out what your use case is. Look at it across the board. Dell EMC has been good to us as a customer.

                      Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                      JS
                      New Technologies Director at a tech services company with 5,001-10,000 employees
                      Real User
                      We use it to implement all our VDI solutions

                      What is our primary use case?

                      It is for users of VDI solutions.

                      How has it helped my organization?

                      We use it to implement all our VDI solutions. It is easy to deploy and manage. We were able to integrate it very quickly with other solutions.

                      What is most valuable?

                      Cheaper Its consumption of kVA

                      What needs improvement?

                      I would like to see more compression and deduplication added to the solution. Today, our compression is about 2:1 and other solutions give us about 4:1 or 5:1.

                      How is customer service and technical support?

                      Technical support is good.

                      How was the initial setup?

                      The initial setup is good. Ordering is easy, but the processing site and working with those companies was difficult.

                      What is our primary use case?

                      It is for users of VDI solutions.

                      How has it helped my organization?

                      • We use it to implement all our VDI solutions.
                      • It is easy to deploy and manage.
                      • We were able to integrate it very quickly with other solutions.

                      What is most valuable?

                      • Cheaper
                      • Its consumption of kVA

                      What needs improvement?

                      I would like to see more compression and deduplication added to the solution. Today, our compression is about 2:1 and other solutions give us about 4:1 or 5:1.

                      How is customer service and technical support?

                      Technical support is good.

                      How was the initial setup?

                      The initial setup is good.

                      Ordering is easy, but the processing site and working with those companies was difficult.

                      Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                      Jonathan Pierce
                      Senior systems program at a healthcare company with 10,001+ employees
                      Real User
                      It is a workhorse and will run even demanding workloads

                      Pros and Cons

                      • "The performance is great. We have four or five different Unity arrays, and they have all run flawlessly."
                      • "It is a workhorse and will run even demanding workloads."
                      • "Dell EMC Unity is not sexy. It doesn't have all the flash and pizzazz of some of the other storage vendors."

                      What is our primary use case?

                      The primary use case is to replace stream I/O and other VNX traditional spinning disks with a less expensive all flash. However, it should have the same five nines availability.

                      How has it helped my organization?

                      It's easier to carve out months and present them to hosts as opposed to some of the older Dell EMC solutions.

                      The majority of our vSphere environment is running on Dell EMC Unity. Exchange is also running on it. Most of our environment is split-up. Only really mission critical applications are on stream I/O. Unity has ended up being our main storage platform.

                      What is most valuable?

                      It is all cost-based. It's as good as a VMAX All Flash with stream I/O. In terms of our use case, we're not thinking of deduplication. However, looking at it based on cost per gigabyte, it's certainly very effective.

                      What needs improvement?

                      Dell EMC Unity is not sexy. It doesn't have all the flash and pizzazz of some of the other storage vendors.

                      What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                      We've had no issues with it. 

                      The performance is great. We have four or five different Unity arrays, and they have all run flawlessly.

                      How is customer service and technical support?

                      I haven't used technical support.

                      What about the implementation team?

                      Dell EMC did the entirety of the setup.

                      What was our ROI?

                      We have seen tremendous ROI.

                      What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

                      Because of the attractive price, we were able to get rid of more expensive arrays, standardize, and get rid of a lot of spinning disks. We also got rid of more expensive flash that we weren't properly utilizing.

                      What other advice do I have?

                      I've had so many nightmares with so many other arrays, but I have no complaints with Dell EMC Unity at this time.

                      It is a workhorse and will run even demanding workloads.

                      Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                      JC
                      Tech consultant at KMD
                      Consultant
                      It provides SAN capabilities and storage replication

                      What is our primary use case?

                      We are using it as a storage unit. We also using it at my customer site.

                      How has it helped my organization?

                      It is the storage provider that the company is using. The product is easy to manage.

                      What is most valuable?

                      It provides SAN capabilities and storage replication.

                      What needs improvement?

                      The user interface could use improvement. They could move away from flash and make it an HTML5 file.  They should update to the cloud.

                      For how long have I used the solution?

                      Less than one year.

                      What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                      It is very stable.

                      What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                      It is very scalable.

                      How is customer service and technical support?

                      The technical support is very professional and provides…

                      What is our primary use case?

                      We are using it as a storage unit. We also using it at my customer site.

                      How has it helped my organization?

                      It is the storage provider that the company is using. The product is easy to manage.

                      What is most valuable?

                      It provides SAN capabilities and storage replication.

                      What needs improvement?

                      • The user interface could use improvement.
                      • They could move away from flash and make it an HTML5 file. 
                      • They should update to the cloud.

                      For how long have I used the solution?

                      Less than one year.

                      What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                      It is very stable.

                      What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                      It is very scalable.

                      How is customer service and technical support?

                      The technical support is very professional and provides quick responses. 

                      When using the callback function, we found it to be good. It is also good for creating cases. 

                      I haven't experienced anything bad with the support yet.

                      How was the initial setup?

                      I was not involved with the initial setup. I haven't worked with it that long.

                      What other advice do I have?

                      Most important criteria when selecting a vendor: good support and fair price.

                      Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                      LB
                      Sr. Engineer at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
                      Real User
                      Hits a sweet spot for us between price point and the amount of storage and performance

                      Pros and Cons

                        • "We have had some downtime. Nothing is perfect. Unity’s have had some code-release problems, versions that, from a compatibility perspective, had some glitches which caused an outage. But, given the amount of Unity’s we run, that has been fairly minor and it hasn't happened at scale or across all of our Unity’s."

                        What is our primary use case?

                        We use Dell EMC Unity XT as our primary storage, mostly for VMware, the tier-one storage of our VMs. We use it for SaaS and corporate. We do replications with it. I hate to call Unity your standard, basic storage, but it's your standard, basic, old-school, tried and true, reliable, classic storage. Nothing fancy, but it gets the job done, has all the features you need, and is easy to use.

                        Performance-wise, we actually use ScaleIO for the high-performance stuff. But Unity, as your classic storage, does a fairly good job.

                        We actually use it just about everywhere because, in the majority of the use cases in our company, there is a need for a lot of storage but they don't have a lot of IOPS. Unity fits that use case well. For the areas that need high performance, the high IOPS, it doesn't fit. But that's okay. That's why you have multiple SAN solutions.

                        How has it helped my organization?

                        One of the benefits it brings is the value for its price. It has saved us a lot of money. It does the job. It just works. We just bought a bunch of new Unity's that allowed us to do a lot of consolidation. Those four Unity's replaced 13 VNXs and older Unity's. 

                        In terms of simplicity of ownership, I think we still have somewhere in the neighborhood 20 Unity's and they're managed by four storage guys. So, from a simplicity perspective, you can manage a lot of Unity's across a lot of data centers with a very small staff.

                        What is most valuable?

                        In addition to the price point, you factor in all the features, like replication, and that it works great.

                        Like most newer SANs, the interface is very simplistic. I'm still used to the old-school SAN where you need a PhD to be able to configure it. I'll pick on NetApp as an example. To work on a NetApp, needing a certification isn't a recommendation, it's a requirement. You don't want someone who hasn't had all the required training working on NetApp. On a Unity, you can throw it in a remote office and tell whoever is there, "Hey, go click on these buttons." And you really don't have to worry about them clicking on the wrong thing. 

                        Or if I even need them to rack and install the Unity, it's a handful of cables here and there, where it's called out and easy to follow. There is just no complexity to it. A lot of SANs are easy to use these days. Unity was - if I recall correctly, especially on the VNX line, before they changed the name to Unity - one of the first to really lead in having that simplistic interface; the "why make this hard?" mindset.

                        What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                        We have had some downtime. Nothing is perfect. Unity’s have had some code-release problems, versions that, from a compatibility perspective, had some glitches which caused an outage. But, given the amount of Unity’s we run, that has been fairly minor and it hasn't happened at scale or across all of our Unity’s. 

                        It's more like, "Hey, we have a new code. Let's deploy it," and we have a situation where we can deploy it in a given location first. So we deploy in that location. Oops, it has an issue. Roll back and get Dell EMC engaged and resolve it and move on.

                        It hasn't really been that big of a deal. As a great "for instance," with ExtremeIO - which we bought starting about two years ago, and deployed in one of our divisions as their primary storage because we needed performance there - it's had so many issues that upper management has essentially banned us from ever buying an ExtremeIO again, because of the downtime. Either because of compatibility or just straight up code problems, it's just not a stable SAN. And the one thing you want out of a SAN is that it has to be stable.

                        So as long as Unity remains good and stable, that will be a primary reason that we use it.

                        What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                        It scales decently to 100,000 IOPS, maybe 150,000. But as long as your IOPS requirements are below that, it does a great job.

                        With the nature of the architecture, there's a limitation to its total, possible throughput. So if you need IOPS above that 150,000 mark, your Unity engineer will say something like, "Oh, we just need to cluster it and do that." That's a very old-school approach. If you need more IOPS than what Unity SAN can provide, clustering is not a great option. The better option is to go with a SAN with better IOPS. Unity is good at what Unity does, so don't try to make it do what it doesn't do. It's great for bulk storage, up to a certain performance level. If you use it for that, it works great.

                        On a per-SAN basis we could have 3,000 to 6,000 VMs connecting to it.

                        How are customer service and technical support?

                        Technical support is responsive, of course. If it's obviously a Unity issue, it's usually a pretty simple and straightforward fix.

                        It's when they say, "Well, no, the Unity's fine. It must be an issue with the host. Or it must be an issue with the VM," where you get a little bit of that finger-pointing going on. Then it becomes that struggle of stopping the finger-pointing. It's all one company so let's all get on the same phone call and figure out where the problem is.

                        That is usually something we have to start, whereas from a Dell EMC/VMWare/whatever-else-is-involved perspective, they're not the ones to start that bridge or that conversation.

                        Especially if it's a production outage, I don't care about finger-pointing. I don't want to hear about it. No one does within the organization. They want it fixed. If you don't think it's a SAN problem but it's clearly an issue with the SAN, let's get everyone involved who needs to be involved and fix the problem.

                        So it would be great, in terms of future support calls that fall under that finger-pointing category, to have them say, "Okay, we need to now engage so and so. Let's get them on the call."

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

                        We had a lot of VNXs that we retired and we moved over to Unity. But that's just a natural progression of the product line. We also replaced a lot of old VMAXs with Unity. It might not be the sexiest box but its performance has grown through the generations to the point where it can do the job we used to have to buy VMAXs for.

                        We replaced the VNXs due to multiple factors. End-of-life was a big aspect; end of service contracts. It's cheaper to install a Unity than to renew the maintenance on an old SAN. That's where it's at. 

                        We were able to reduce our monthly spend significantly enough by doing that consolidation that we were actually able to buy the ScaleIO's we needed for another division.

                        When I look for a vendor to work with, I care more about the product than the vendor. Personally, I am most happy with a mixed environment. A mixed environment tends to be typically configured to best practices more frequently, with fewer proprietary aspects. Those proprietary aspects are typically what box you in or prevent you from doing something as technology changes. By running a mixed environment, you have more flexibility and ability. With that being said, I run all things VMWare. So it's a relative thing.

                        From a SAN perspective, storage-wise, I look at storage as a commodity. That's really what it is. Give me a server. I don't care what it is. Give me a SAN. I don't care what it is. Make it cheap, let it hit the performance marks I need, and make it reliable. If it's those three things, what it is doesn't matter to me. Whether it's a Unity or something else, I don't care. I'm not buying the brand, I'm not buying the vendor. I'm buying a commodity.

                        Like I said, Unity wins on ROI. As long as it wins on ROI, as long as it wins on uptime, as long as it does the job it's doing, it will continue to be the one that gets installed. When it fails to meet those, we'll switch.

                        We used to have a lot of NetApp. We've always bought BMC. But we have had no problem changing vendors. We buy a lot of Cisco. We don't care what the server is. The Dell EMC servers are cheaper, so that's what we go with. It's all about satisfying the base requirements and getting the job done.

                        How was the initial setup?

                        I've installed Unity’s, but it's been a few years. The setup is a piece of cake. It's super easy: click, click, click, done.

                        Regarding upgrades, the guys who take care of that do so on a very regular basis with no real issues. They do it through maintenance windows. But at the end of the day, they really haven't had too many problems; a few of those minor problems I've mentioned, but overall, it works well.

                        What was our ROI?

                        From an ROI perspective, I'll put it this way: When we've tried to buy other SANs, the Unity ROI makes it impossible to buy them. So usually, the only time we buy another SAN is when the ROI isn't a factor, when Unity can't do the job. From an ROI perspective, it's great because it beats out everything else.

                        We've tried to look at other options but, at the end of the day, when you price it out, the Unity wins.

                        What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

                        Its biggest valuable feature is its price point for the amount of storage and performance you get. It's a sweet spot. It's cheaper than the other SANs out there, but performs well enough. It fits that nice, middle-ground portfolio.

                        If your small office or data center needs a couple petabytes, or just lots and lots of storage, it works great. Or if you need just a couple of hundred terabytes worth of storage, it works great. The price point hits that right spot.

                        What other advice do I have?

                        As for advice to someone who is interested in this type of solution, I would simply say, "Talk to so and so, because that's what they do, and have fun." We use it across the board. So if someone needs a Unity for their project and they want their own SAN for some reason, they just have to go through the approval process. There's no fight to buying a Unity, because again, from an ROI perspective, no one argues.

                        In terms of the buying process, I'll start with getting a quote. I find it's pretty easy, mainly because I worked as a consultant, so I actually would build those BOMs (bills of materials); the pre-quote build. For me, it's super easy - because I've done that career-wise - to build a BOM for a SAN, Unity, or otherwise. Typically you have your BOM. And from the BOM you get your quote. From the quote you get your invoice. The BOM is the first step. You get your approvals, that this is the configuration I want.

                        So it is easy for me but not necessarily for your "Joe Average" person, for the rest of the storage guys. Their typical response is, "Okay, I need a new Unity with these IOPs and this capacity. Go." And they just have our partner, through whom we buy this stuff, build the BOM. The partner sends it to us and says, "Hey, this is what we're doing for you." We say, "Okay, it looks great." And it moves forward. The struggle is after you get past that point, on our side, where it goes through our approval, what we call the CAR process. That's where it takes some time. That's not necessarily a Dell EMC issue or even an issue with our partner. That's an internal logistics and political issue.

                        I would rate this solution at eight out of 10 because, at the end of the day, it is an old-school SAN. It really doesn't take advantage of any of the modern-day advances in SAN technology.

                        Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                        RR
                        Senior Manager at a tech vendor with 501-1,000 employees
                        Real User
                        We integrated it with vSphere and SQL without any costs specific to the Unity platform

                        Pros and Cons

                        • "We have integrated it with vSphere and SQL. There were no costs involved outside of our normal workload licensing, no costs that were specific to the Unity platform."
                        • "We did encounter a firmware bug which actually caused loss of data. There was some heartburn around that. But in general, it has operated as expected, except for that bug."

                        What is our primary use case?

                        We're using it to host development workloads and it's performing as expected.

                        How has it helped my organization?

                        Dell EMC Unity XT is cheap and deep storage. It fits the business need that we had. I'm sure there are a number of other products out on the market that compete just as well.

                        What is most valuable?

                        One of the most valuable features is its cost. It was inexpensive compared to other arrays that we were looking at.

                        It's also easy to manage. I have 20 years of managing EMC storage and it has been the same from day one, pretty much.

                        We have also integrated it with vSphere and SQL. There were no costs involved outside of our normal workload licensing, no costs that were specific to the Unity platform.

                        What needs improvement?

                        It does what we bought it for. I don't know that there's anything else that it needs to do that we're not leveraging from it already. From a product perspective, I don't see any room for improvement.

                        From a service perspective, they can do nothing but go uphill.

                        For how long have I used the solution?

                        One to three years.

                        What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                        It runs. It operates. Developers can do their development work. It's not screaming-fast, but it doesn't fall down when you bring up a workload. So it's performing as expected.

                        We did encounter a firmware bug which actually caused loss of data. There was some heartburn around that. But in general, it has operated as expected, except for that bug. Fortunately, we found the bug in pre-production, so we didn't lose anything that we needed. However, had it been in production, we'd be having a very different conversation about Unity.

                        What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                        I can't really comment on scalability. We bought the frame fully loaded. I don't know whether it scales or not. I suppose if I bought a unit that had half the capacity, it would scale to the max capacity. That wasn't my need.

                        How are customer service and technical support?

                        Technical support has gotten progressively worse. In the past 24 months, give or take, the amount of attention from Dell EMC support for flagship products, both the Unity platform - which replaced VNX - and their VMAX platform: Their support teams and R&D have gone down under the Dell regime.

                        Our customer service, our support, the engineers that we get on the phone, the hassles that we put up with at level-one and level-two, didn't exist three or four years ago with EMC. We paid a premium for EMC products and you got a premium service as part of that investment. We don't get that anymore.

                        How was the initial setup?

                        Set up went flawlessly.

                        Generally, with these types of products, there is not really much documentation from the build and configure perspective. There's a config sheet that you work on with your SE team. But it's not like going out and getting a packaged product from a Best Buy and implementing. There is an expectation from the config sheet for fiber connections, network connections, speeds and feeds, and the like. That is enterprise-class architecture. That's out-of-the-box. 

                        What about the implementation team?

                        Dell EMC came in and did the implementation. They were knowledgeable.

                        What was our ROI?

                        I didn't put together an ROI for this product. We had a fixed budget that we wanted to invest in storage for development teams. This fit the bill.

                        What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

                        Pricing was competitive compared to other products on the market. Among the ones we considered, Unity came in with the best price.

                        Compared to other EMC platforms, Unity is nice because it is all-inclusive, in terms of the licensing model. That's unique for them, compared to other manufacturers. It is beneficial. We could use replication, native, right out-of-the-box.

                        Which other solutions did I evaluate?

                        We looked at NetApp, Infinidat, Pure. 

                        What other advice do I have?

                        My advice is: Stay up to date on code.

                        Regarding the purchasing process, we went through a VAR and it was easy. Once pricing was established, the bill of materials was defined, we paid for the product, and it showed up.

                        In terms of important criteria when selecting a vendor, from an executive perspective, it's partnership. From my team's perspective, it's probably 

                        • usability
                        • performance
                        • stability.

                        I want it up, I want it to stay up, and I don't want to have to manage it.

                        I would rate the solution at eight out of 10. It's not an all-flash array so it's not the fastest thing on the market. But the stability has been good, minus the initial bug. It does what we ask of it.

                        Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                        JD
                        Solution architect at a manufacturing company with 1,001-5,000 employees
                        Real User
                        It is scalable. We can add additional tools if we need to expand it.

                        Pros and Cons

                        • "The Unisphere management interface: We are very familiar with it. It manages all the EMC devices that we have. Management is easy because it is part of Unisphere, which is self-learning."
                        • "It is scalable. We can add additional tools if we need to expand it."
                        • "I would like to see a more seamless virtual box integration with the physical box which can replicate, because the setup of the replication is very difficult right now."

                        What is our primary use case?

                        Our use case is very unique. We just need it in our offices.

                        How has it helped my organization?

                        It used to be a complex product. Now, it is becoming simpler. 

                        Overall, the feedback from my team has definitely been positive.

                        What is most valuable?

                        • Its simplicity and simple management. 
                        • Auto-features for data protection.
                        • Being able to expand the product.
                        • The Unisphere management interface: We are very familiar with it. It manages all the EMC devices that we have. Management is easy because it is part of Unisphere, which is self-learning.
                        • The support for Dell EMC is excellent.

                        What needs improvement?

                        I would like to see a more seamless virtual box integration with the physical box which can replicate, because the setup of the replication is very difficult right now. We tried it multiple times, and while the physical box is easy, when we mixed it with a virtual edition and it seemed very complex. We been trying this for several months, even with the cabling included. We are still working on it.

                        For how long have I used the solution?

                        More than five years.

                        What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                        No issues so far. It is very stable.

                        What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                        It is scalable. We can always add additional tools if we need to expand it. 

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

                        We had been using VNX for a long time that it is now a part of our lifecycle. We introduced Dell EMC Unity into our environment to replace the VNX.

                        What about the implementation team?

                        We contact our VAR, get a quote, and order all the hardware. Then, they ship and install it with a Dell EMC engineer. It is very straightforward.

                        What was our ROI?

                        We can see improvement since moving to the inclusive licensing.

                        What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

                        The Dell EMC Data Protection license covers everything, like a one stop shop. All our options are covered. 

                        Which other solutions did I evaluate?

                        We have worked with different vendors. However, right now, we are sticking with Dell EMC Unity as it seems like it is a very solid, mature product.

                        What other advice do I have?

                        Do your homework. Obtain all the use cases. See what license you need and purchase the license as part of your preparation. Then, the process will be smooth.

                        We do integration with vSphere, but it is very limited because we outsource with IBM. 

                        Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
                        JK
                        Senior IT Analyst at a pharma/biotech company with 1,001-5,000 employees
                        Real User
                        I like the ease of configuration and, once running, you don't have to touch them

                        Pros and Cons

                        • "I like the ease of configuration, the quick setup and the fact that it seems to be hardened. We haven't had any issues with them. In terms of simplicity of ownership, once they're running you don't have to touch them. They're also simple to manage. We came from the VNXe 3200s so it's very similar."
                        • "We integrated it with vSphere but that integration was "iffy". It was okay but we had a few challenges with it."

                        What is our primary use case?

                        We use it for storage for our ESXi hosts at our smaller sites.

                        How has it helped my organization?

                        It increased our uptime because we switched from physical stuff to virtual stuff, and being able to have that we could do the high-availability and failover.

                        What is most valuable?

                        I like the ease of configuration, the quick setup, and the fact that it seems to be hardened. We haven't had any issues with them. In terms of simplicity of ownership, once they're running you don't have to touch them.

                        They're also simple to manage. We came from the VNXe 3200s so it's very similar.

                        What needs improvement?

                        We integrated it with vSphere but that integration was "iffy". It was okay but we had a few challenges with it.

                        For how long have I used the solution?

                        One to three years.

                        What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                        It's very solid. No issues at all. The only issue we have is that the power supply ramps up and down and makes some noise on SPA. But other than that being a nuisance, we haven't had any reliability issues at all.

                        What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                        Scaling is easy. Just add drives, extend the space. It's super simple.

                        How is customer service and technical support?

                        We called them and put in a service ticket on the power supply issue. We tried a few things and then they sent us another one, but other than that we haven't had any issues. They've been easy to work with.

                        How was the initial setup?

                        The initial setup was straightforward. Coming from the VNXe's, it was almost identical, just has a different GUI platform. It was very easy.

                        What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

                        The price is up a little bit from what we used to pay so I'm hoping that it's a little bit of a better system than the VNXe was. But I still think it's a good value. It's new, so I'm sure there's room for the pricing to drop.

                        We did have an issue with licensing once but we were able to reach out to the licensing group and do an online chat. They helped instantly, so that was nice.

                        What other advice do I have?

                        My advice is to follow the installation guide, it's pretty straightforward, step-by-step.

                        In terms of the purchasing process, after we had figured out what we wanted, it became easy. But we had to get into our first set of standards. The first one that we ordered had the SFP module cards in it, which we didn't need. We just use the 10-gigabit copper. After figuring out our standard template, it has become super simple every time.

                        What I look for when selecting a vendor to work with is somebody who

                        • is big
                        • guarantees their product
                        • has good support; somebody who is going to answer their phone 24/7.

                        So far, I rate the Unity a nine out of 10. It has been easy to set up, we've only had a few small issues. Once they're set up, they're running, you don't have to touch them. The one point I held back is because we're new to them. The version we're using is the 300 and it's also new out there so there has been a little bit of a struggle here and there with some small things; for example, the fans ramping up and we have one right now that's not responding after updates.

                        It fits what we're trying to do. It has everything and more. There are some features that we're not even using yet.

                        Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                        MS
                        Assistant Administrator at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
                        MSP
                        Hybrid: SSD gives us fast response for SharePoint, while the slower storage is good for file servers

                        Pros and Cons

                        • "The fact that it's hybrid is the most valuable feature. We have the SSD so we put our SharePoint on there and some of the stuff that requires a little more speed. For SharePoint, we want the pages to respond a little more quickly. And it's nice to be able to use the slower storage for stuff that we don't need as quickly, like file servers."
                        • "I like that when you log in it gives you a dashboard of what your storage looks like."
                        • "In the dashboard there could be notification of duplicate files and the like, so we don't have to rely on Windows to do that."

                        What is our primary use case?

                        It's our storage solution. We have a Dell EMC Unity 400. The performance is great.

                        What is most valuable?

                        The fact that it's hybrid is the most valuable feature. We have the SSD so we put our SharePoint on there and some of the stuff that requires a little more speed. For SharePoint, we want the pages to respond a little more quickly. And it's nice to be able to use the slower storage for stuff that we don't need as quickly, like file servers. If they're a little slow, it's okay, nobody really complains. Overall, the hybrid is what we really like about it.

                        I like that when you log in it gives you a dashboard of what your storage looks like. Pretty cool with that.

                        What needs improvement?

                        In the dashboard there could be notification of duplicate files and the like, so we don't have to rely on Windows to do that. They have all the files in the Dell EMC so that would help us out.

                        What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                        I haven't had any issues with it at all. The stability has been very good.

                        What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                        Dell EMC is one of the best in terms of scalability. They can just add another component to it. It's so modular so it's super easy. The scalability is very nice.

                        How are customer service and technical support?

                        We had a year's worth of support from them when we first bought it. They were very responsive, whether via email or phone calls. We could get a tech onsite if we wanted to, to help us with the installation.

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

                        We had Tintri before. It was good, it's also a very simple solution. The problem was that they got too expensive, once you tried to scale up with them. They quoted us something like $800,000. We said to ourselves, "Um, let's go to Dell EMC. We know Dell, we know EMC, so let's just switch."

                        In the industry in which we work, a lot of people use Dell EMC and there weren't a lot of Tintri users. Being able to reach out to somebody in another company who uses Dell EMC makes that partnership with everyone a lot easier too.

                        How was the initial setup?

                        Setting it up was super easy, as is the management of it. We used the same thing for setting up a disaster site and it was pretty seamless.

                        What was our ROI?

                        I don't know an actual number for ROI but, especially because we are a small IT shop, having something that is easy, that doesn't take a lot of time to set up, monitor, and manage helps us a ton. We can focus on other things.

                        What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

                        When you look at what Dell EMC is compared to, like NetApp, they're all priced pretty similarly. I think the pricing of the hybrid model is good. Obviously, we would want cheaper prices but you can't get everything.

                        What other advice do I have?

                        My advice would be to use their support. If you bought it, have them come onsite, have them help you set it up, make sure you get comfortable with it. If you bought the support have someone come onsite. It's like free training. Don't wing it.

                        Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                        it_user866808
                        Senior Manager IT at a financial services firm
                        Real User
                        All-flash performance, Snapshotting, Replication, less management are key for us

                        Pros and Cons

                        • "All-flash performance, Snapshotting capabilities and replication are all valuable features."
                        • "I think there are a couple of things on the file side that we're lacking from the VNX world. It would be nice if we got some of those back. I think there are limitations on how many file systems you can back up at a time. Whereas you can do, I believe, eight continuous per data mover on the file side on the VNX, you can only do something like two or four on Unity. If they could step up to that, that would be good."

                        What is our primary use case?

                        Primary use case is block and file. It's like a combo device. It has performed well, except for the migration process.

                        How has it helped my organization?

                        It requires a lot less management.

                        What is most valuable?

                        • All-flash performance
                        • Snapshotting capabilities
                        • Replication

                        It's good. It has a lot of good features.

                        What needs improvement?

                        I think there are a couple of things on the file side that we're lacking from the VNX world. It would be nice if we got some of those back. I think there are limitations on how many file systems you can back up at a time. Whereas you can do, I believe, eight continuous per data mover on the file side on the VNX, you can only do something like two or four on Unity. If they could step up to that, that would be good.

                        What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                        It was difficult at first. It wasn't very stable. It was crashing a lot. I think we were early adopters and, during the file side of migration, it crashed a number of times.

                        What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                        Scalability is good, although we only have a 400F. I think we missed out on getting the 450, but it seems to be fairly scalable.

                        How is customer service and technical support?

                        Tech support is good. Just like most of the EMC products, there is a knowledgeable staff.

                        How was the initial setup?

                        Setup was fairly straightforward, although we had EMC onsite to give us a hand.

                        What other advice do I have?

                        The important criteria for us when selecting a vendor are

                        • relationship
                        • quality of product.

                        I would rate the Unity between seven and eight out of 10. It's not quite at the level of what the VNX was, but it's one of those products that is improving with time.

                        I would definitely recommend you look at Unity.

                        Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                        it_user562692
                        IT Manager at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
                        Real User
                        Same operating system for both file and block, it simplifies everything

                        Pros and Cons

                        • "We put the Unity on one of the file servers and the backup performance improved quite a lot."
                        • "It has the same operating system for both file and block, and it actually simplifies everything. And it's much smaller compared to VNX."
                        • "Scalability for the 650F is good, but I was expecting a little bit more."
                        • "We had some issues recently because of a bug in the system. We were presenting LANs to the Unity array but I think it caused a disruption to the host. EMC did acknowledge it and provided an alternative way to do it."

                        What is our primary use case?

                        It's a tier-two storage array. The performance is okay.

                        How has it helped my organization?

                        The all-flash array and the compression ratio are benefiting us. We still have to migrate a couple of systems. We are still in the process of doing it and we'll know better afterward. But, we've seen some good improvements. For example, we put it on one of the file servers and the backup performance improved quite a lot.

                        What is most valuable?

                        It has the same operating system for both file and block, and it actually simplifies everything. It's much smaller compared to VNX.

                        What needs improvement?

                        I have just been to one of the briefing sessions, here at the Dell EMC World 2018 conference, and they released a very cool feature, Snapshot replication, which is very interesting. I'm excited about that.

                        What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                        Stability seems to be good but we had some issues recently because of a bug in the system. We were presenting LANs to the Unity array but I think it caused a disruption to the host. EMC did acknowledge it and provided an alternative way to do it. We felt that this could have been avoided. It caused downtime to the host on two occasions.

                        What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                        Scalability for the 650F is good, but I was expecting a little bit more than that.

                        How are customer service and technical support?

                        Technical support was helpful. I would have appreciated it if it were a lot faster, but we got a resolution for our issue.

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

                        We come from VNX, and we also have VMAXs.

                        What other advice do I have?

                        When selecting a vendor we look at the 

                        • performance 
                        • scalability
                        • price.

                        First of all, it should meet the business requirements such as performance, and it should be compatible with all applications. Then we will look at the third factor which is the price.

                        Regarding advice, it depends on the size of the business. Unity, price per Gig, is actually a good system. In fact, I'm thinking of moving some of the old VMAX arrays to Unity because of the price performance per Gig. If the stability makes sense, then I'm actually going to move it.

                        Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                        it_user866805
                        Infrastructure Management Expert at Turkcell
                        Real User
                        Used with Metro Cluster in our data centers, it makes our data continuously available

                        Pros and Cons

                        • "Provides good provisioning, allowing us to save space."
                        • "The monitoring part could be better. With EMC storage systems - or Unity and VPLEX, because I'm using them, for the moment - the monitoring part is very difficult. They should improve this to have a better reporting system."

                        What is our primary use case?

                        We had a stand-alone storage system and we wanted to purchase a Metro Cluster system. We looked at other companies and we found EMC was the best of them. That's why we choose them.

                        How has it helped my organization?

                        At the moment it's a cluster, we use it in different data centers. In case of any interruption, a power cut or something, our data will be continuously available.

                        What is most valuable?

                        At the moment we are using it with VPLEX. VPLEX is a very big advantage for us. We don't use very many of the Unity's functions. But it does provide good provisioning, allowing us to save space. We use all-flash systems and they are quite fast.

                        What needs improvement?

                        The monitoring part could be better. With EMC storage systems - or Unity and VPLEX, because I'm using them, for the moment - the monitoring part is very difficult. They should improve this to have a better reporting system.

                        For how long have I used the solution?

                        Less than one year.

                        What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                        The stability is quite okay. We have not had any downtime with the Unity. We have only been using it for three months. We have just finished the migrations, but so far it is working quite well.

                        What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                        For us, it's scalable.

                        How was the initial setup?

                        Setup was very easy.

                        What other advice do I have?

                        When selecting a vendor, as a technical guy, it's the power or bandwidth, the technical details, that are more important to me.

                        I would definitely tell a colleague to go for Unity.

                        Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                        it_user866802
                        Data Center Pre Sales at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees
                        Real User
                        Robust architecture, reliable all-flash provide mid-range storage performance

                        Pros and Cons

                          • "Replication with VMware - it's called the vSphere Metro Storage Cluster - is lacking in the Unity and is present in Compellent."

                          What is our primary use case?

                          The main use case for my clients is for mid-range storage performance. It's primarily all-flash arrays. It's always with two sides replicated. It's working well.

                          What is most valuable?

                          The architecture is robust. I know that it has changed a lot with the advent of the all-flash. But it was the good, old-fashioned storage array, block array for customers. It's reliable.

                          What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                          The feedback I have is it's quite stable. We have a configuration with VPLEX. The issues are not coming from the Unity itself, in general. It's more about the SAN or the VPLEX, the virtualization layer. On that specific point, I'd say the Unity is doing well. It's reliable.

                          What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                          The market I'm working, in Switzerland, is quite small. The Unity, in terms of scalability, covers 90% of our use cases.

                          What other advice do I have?

                          Replication with VMware - it's called the vSphere Metro Storage Cluster - is lacking in the Unity and is present in Compellent. In general, that's a key decision metric. If we need to have synchronous replication... That's why we had to use VPLEX, because it's not in the Unity. Look out for this. If that kind of setup is not required, you should always go for Unity.

                          Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                          it_user866799
                          Network Storage Admin at a transportation company with 1,001-5,000 employees
                          Real User
                          Simplifies our instance to one storage pool; integrates very well with VMware

                          Pros and Cons

                          • "We have simplified it down to where we're using one storage pool inside the Unity, whereas on the VNX, we had multiple storage pools. This has simplified that aspect for us. It would depend on each organization. We're heavy into VMware and this ties into it so simply. It's made it a lot easier for us. I create a datastore inside Unity, it just shows up in VMware. I love that tie-in."

                            What is our primary use case?

                            We use the Unity as the SAN for our data center. It's where all of our data lives right now, for our main office. It has exceeded our expectations.

                            How has it helped my organization?

                            We have simplified it down to where we're using one storage pool inside the Unity, whereas on the VNX, we had multiple storage pools. This has simplified that aspect for us. It would depend on each organization. We're heavy into VMware and this ties into it so simply. It's made it a lot easier for us.

                            What is most valuable?

                            We're very familiar with the VNX series, we were using VNX before Unity. The features sets are very similar but what I like is the way it ties into VMware. When I create a datastore inside Unity, it just shows up in VMware. I love that tie-in.

                            What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                            Stability is excellent. We have never had downtime with Unity.

                            What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                            Scalability is great. We haven't scaled up very much, but it's definitely easy to do.

                            How are customer service and technical support?

                            We have only had to use technical support for firmware upgrades. They are helpful.

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

                            We were using VNX. Our Dell rep stays in touch with us fairly often. He keeps us knowledgeable about things that are up and coming and what might be a good fit for us. The business makes the decision. 

                            When looking at a vendor what's important are 

                            • price
                            • support
                            • the product.

                            Price is definitely going to be a factor. More than that, you want something that's solid. You're going to pay a little bit more for something that performs better and is more efficient at what it does, makes your life easier.

                            How was the initial setup?

                            The initial setup was fairly straightforward.

                            What other advice do I have?

                            We're probably going to go away from the Unity and end up using VxRail and vSan. Hyperconvergence is all the rage, that is where everything is going, so that's where we're headed. We need the hyperconverged, we need the elasticity - that we can spin things up and spin them down quickly and easily. We can't do that right now.

                            I would definitely steer a colleague towards Unity if they were looking at that versus NetApp, for example.

                            Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                            it_user866796
                            Consultant at a tech services company with 201-500 employees
                            Consultant
                            Scalability is not good and we have stability issues with IBM AIX

                            Pros and Cons

                            • "It's easy to handle for administrators and it's a unified system. It's not as complex as Celerra systems or CX4 Clariions to administrate. You can do everything with one GUI."
                            • "Scalability is not good. We have a Unity 300, now we have to do a data-in-place conversion for the next upgrade because only 150 slots are supported, not drives, only slots."
                            • "We've got massive issues at the moment with IBM AIX. It's not stable. We have a lot of disk errors, production crashes sometimes."

                            What is our primary use case?

                            We had old systems - CX4-960 and Celerra - and we wanted to consolidate the systems to the Unity platform for the customer because the old systems were very expensive for maintenance.

                            How has it helped my organization?

                            The only reason we made this move was to save costs, to be honest.

                            What is most valuable?

                            It's easy to handle for administrators and it's a unified system. It's not as complex as Celerra systems or CX4 Clariions to administrate. You can do everything with one GUI.

                            What needs improvement?

                            In the next release, I would like to see stable performance on AIX. AIX are mostly mission-critical systems, so the support has to be there.

                            For how long have I used the solution?

                            One to three years.

                            What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                            We have had a lot of issues. We've got massive issues at the moment with IBM AIX. It's not stable. We have a lot of disk errors, production crashes sometimes, and that's not good for a retailer.

                            Also, we still have to administer the Celerra because we have massive issues with the filer system of Unity. We hope it gets better with the 4.2 or 4.3 release. We do not have the integration for connection to Centara. This means we have to keep the data on Celerra and cannot migrate to Unity.

                            What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                            Scalability is not good. We have a Unity 300, now we have to do a data-in-place conversion for the next upgrade because only 150 slots are supported, not drives, only slots. So my job next week is to do an in-place upgrade from 300 to 400.

                            How was the initial setup?

                            The setup was complex but it was one of the first Unity systems in Germany. We sold it in August two years ago.

                            What other advice do I have?

                            If you plan to use Unity as a filer system take a bigger controller because with the 300 and 400 you have performance issues compared with other filer systems. For pure filer systems, I would recommend an Isilon or NetApp, or something like that. Unity is a unified solution, if you have to do unified, but it's better to separate if you have more data.

                            Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
                            it_user866793
                            Solutions Architect at a tech services company with 201-500 employees
                            Real User
                            Flexible, simple to set up, and performs well as mid-range storage

                            Pros and Cons

                            • "Its main advantage over vSAN was the rebuild, the intelligence of the restoration in the event of a hardware drive failure and, of course, the all-flash solution."
                            • "I'd like to see more of the NVMe back-end for the flash. And the big deal with the PowerMax is that they've used all U2 drives so that they can avoid having to take it down. I see using M.2 and modular sections as being a real nice alternative that could be implemented in Unity at a fairly low cost."

                            What is our primary use case?

                            Primary use case is mid-range to low-end storage, and it performs very well for that type of operation.

                            How has it helped my organization?

                            We just recently put together a large customer deal. They're going to use Unity's for applications at remote sites, so it's essentially a robo operation. Its main advantage over vSAN was the rebuild, the intelligence of the restoration in the event of a hardware drive failure and, of course, the all-flash solution.

                            What is most valuable?

                            The flexibility of the paradigm and, obviously, its price point.

                            What needs improvement?

                            I'd like to see more of the NVMe back-end for the flash. And the big deal with the PowerMax is that they've used all U2 drives so that they can avoid having to take it down. I see using M.2 and modular sections as being a real nice alternative that could be implemented in Unity at a fairly low cost.

                            What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                            Obviously, we haven't had it in the field for years, but we haven't had any problems with it and we've deployed close to 150 of them.

                            What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                            It's not really scalable. Up to mid-range requirements, it's just fine. But scalability takes you to the enterprise-class, and that's more high-end VNX or low-end Symmetrix.

                            How is customer service and technical support?

                            We've used technical support but it wasn't Unity's fault, it was the customer's. The tech support is very good.

                            How was the initial setup?

                            Setup is simple.

                            What other advice do I have?

                            For our applications, we'd rate Unity at eight out of 10. It would be a 10 if it had a lower cost. That's really the issue. The value point is, once you get into the Unity spectrum, you're looking at a lot of competitive offerings, and they're appealing to a limited class requirement, so the demands are not as stringent.

                            In terms of advice, find out what your storage group's expertise level is and their background, and then see if they don't already have experience with Unity or one of the others in the family. It seems to be a natural fit that way.

                            Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
                            it_user866784
                            Systems Engineer at a healthcare company with 201-500 employees
                            Real User
                            Gives us a lot of storage directly on a 3U box, that density has been very helpful

                            Pros and Cons

                            • "The flash aspects of the Unity make it incredibly fast. The fact that you get that much storage directly on what is basically a 3U box to us, that density has been really useful."

                              What is our primary use case?

                              Right now, we're using it as overflow storage. We initially had a VNX and an Isilon. We needed to grow out further, and we thought that Unity would be a good way to do that. Right now, we're using it a secondary storage platform, VVols across it, and using it directly for VMware storage.

                              How has it helped my organization?

                              The flash aspects of the Unity make it incredibly fast. The fact that you get that much storage directly on what is basically a 3U box to us, that density has been really useful.

                              What is most valuable?

                              • The easy setup.
                              • We really enjoy the HTML5. 
                              • The VVols have worked seamlessly with VMware.

                              What needs improvement?

                              We haven't gotten that deep into it yet to suggest improvements, but based on what we've been seeing here at the Dell EMC World 2018 conference, we'll be looking to make sure CloudIQ is set up for it.

                              For how long have I used the solution?

                              Less than one year.

                              What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                              We haven't seen an issue with it since the day we installed. It has been only two months but it's good.

                              What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                              We really enjoy the scalability, absolutely. We're running one box right now, but the fact that we can add additional compartments as needed is extremely useful, and we will probably go that way in the future.

                              How are customer service and technical support?

                              We've had to use very little tech support, but so far it has been fine. Mostly we had some assistance with it during setup and haven't needed it since. When we needed them they were there for us, helpful, on schedule.

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

                              We've been using Isilon and VNX. We heard about Unity here, at the conference, two years ago, and had started to look into it. Obviously, as flash has continued to get cheaper compared to spinning disk, it makes a natural choice.

                              When selecting a vendor, responsiveness and accountability are incredibly useful. A really important part was the support we got out of EMC for Isilon. Often, we'll hear from them that disks are ready to be replaced. They're getting to us, setting their pace, getting out there without much interference from us.

                              What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

                              In terms of price, I would say that the support you're getting with it is probably an underestimated value that comes with the box you're buying.

                              What other advice do I have?

                              I would tell a colleague this makes a very sound investment. It's very reasonable density for space. The extendability is extremely useful. It's hard to choose a competitor at that level that would do it better.

                              Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                              it_user866778
                              Director at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
                              Real User
                              We can put all virtualized servers together to share and manage the devices easily

                              Pros and Cons

                              • "We can put all the virtualized servers in one place, so our customers can share and manage the devices very easily."

                                What is our primary use case?

                                Most of our customers buy it for data storage for the ERP that they use in their businesses. Most of them have a preference for the flash model.

                                All of them are very satisfied with the performance. It's very good equipment. Our customers give us very good feedback about it, they are very satisfied.

                                How has it helped my organization?

                                It's very easy to manage the whole system. We can put all the virtualized servers in one place, so they can share and manage the devices very easily.

                                What is most valuable?

                                It is very high-speed. The compression is also a very good feature, and the deduplication as well.

                                For how long have I used the solution?

                                Trial/evaluations only.

                                What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                                No complaints about the stability. Our customers are very happy with it.

                                What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                                Most of our customers are medium-sized businesses. My market, my targets, they don't need high-scale performance. But I know the scalability is very good and you can scale very easily.

                                What was our ROI?

                                The TCO is very good. Our customers invest and they get a good return.

                                What other advice do I have?

                                When selecting a vendor, I choose the storage to fit the value and budget that the customer can afford. I can set most of them up with Unity, but sometimes I need to give them something with a lower cost. Sometimes, the price point is a little bit high in our market.

                                Unity is equipment that, if you sell it, you don't have any headaches with it. It's very good, its performance is very good. We are very satisfied.

                                Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
                                it_user866772
                                Product Manager at a tech vendor with 1,001-5,000 employees
                                Real User
                                Solid platform, and the performance allows us to do more with less

                                Pros and Cons

                                  • "I would like to see better compression, better dedupe. It's not nearly as good as what is built into the XtremIO. I understand why that is the case, but if they can take some of that technology and leverage that a little bit better in the Unity array, that would be great."

                                  What is our primary use case?

                                  Our primary use case is for our product, Oracle Database, and it's performing very well.

                                  How has it helped my organization?

                                  The benefit of the solution is that it allows us to maintain an Oracle Database for our product, for our customers. Given the performance of the Unity array, we've been able to do more with less.

                                  What is most valuable?

                                  It's just a solid platform.

                                  What needs improvement?

                                  I would like to see better compression, better dedupe. It's not nearly as good as what is built into the XtremIO. I understand why that is the case, but if they can take some of that technology and leverage that a little bit better in the Unity array, that would be great. That would be the first improvement.

                                  What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                                  It's rock solid. All of the EMC arrays are rock solid. I wouldn't expect anything less.

                                  What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                                  Scalability is phenomenal.

                                  How are customer service and technical support?

                                  Technical support is typically very good. The only issue is, where our products are located. it's hard to get technical support in there. Only certain individuals can go in there, so finding that right, cleared person is sometimes a challenge.

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

                                  This is just the next generation. We started with the CX models, we went to the Celerra, and now we're only blocks. We've used the 5300, the 5400s. We've used them all for years and years.

                                  When selecting a vendor what's important are 

                                  • price
                                  • the name
                                  • the product itself 
                                  • most importantly, stability. 

                                  I need to know that I've got a device that's running and it's not going to go down; that has rock-solid stability. That's the issue.

                                  How was the initial setup?

                                  The initial setup is different from the VNX arrays and the CX arrays, which we have played with and used for years. The interface is just different.

                                  Previously, we manually did all of our RAID groups. We didn't use the pools in the VNX2, we just went down to RAID groups because that would give us the best performance. We could maintain that performance, we could control that. With Unity, that went away, so that was a little bit of a learning curve. We had to understand and learn to trust that it was going to do what it needed to do.

                                  What other advice do I have?

                                  Compared to XtremeIO, the unity is a two out of 10. Compared to other products, like Compellent, which is a Dell product, I think it's better than the Compellent. I think it's better than the 3PAR, I think it's better than the Netapp. The whole VNX/Unity line has been the industry leader, as far as I'm concerned. if I were to rank the Unity against all of its equivalent competitors, I would say it's probably a nine out of 10.

                                  I would give a colleague the advice that he needs to look at what his product does, or what the use case is for that device. The Unity array is, by design, block, with unified on top of it. NetApp is, by default, file, with a block added on, which is kind of a hybrid; it's not really block at all. It depends on what you're doing. If you're looking for a filer, NetApp is the way to go. But if you're looking for block storage, by far EMC Unity is the way to go. That is its design.

                                  Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                                  it_user866766
                                  Data Protection Architect at a consultancy with 501-1,000 employees
                                  Real User
                                  All-flash array eliminates overhead of tiering and much of the data structuring overhead

                                  Pros and Cons

                                  • "All-flash array eliminates all the overhead of tiering and a lot of the data structuring overhead involved."
                                  • "There are also DR and data protection functions that we found in the new Unity, now that we are stepping up from VNX and other storage appliances, that we've started implementing."
                                  • "The one thing that we would look at would be if they were to expand the file level features, just to give us a balance or a tier between it and Isilon options out there, for unstructured data."

                                  What is our primary use case?

                                  The primary use case is block storage for ESX and structured data, SQL Database primarily.

                                  How has it helped my organization?

                                  We have adopted the all-flash array. It eliminates all the overhead of tiering and a lot of the data structuring overhead involved. It gives us a lot of operational efficiencies.

                                  What is most valuable?

                                  Being able to bring those multiple groups into a central solution. From a storage perspective, that is a bit of a challenge. 

                                  There are also DR and data protection functions that we found in the new Unity, now that we are stepping up from VNX and other storage appliances, that we've started implementing.

                                  What needs improvement?

                                  The one thing that we would look at would be if they were to expand the file level features, just to give us a balance or a tier between it and Isilon options out there, for unstructured data.

                                  What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                                  We have never had any problem beyond that which you would assume you might get out of a storage system.

                                  What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                                  It will scale as much as we want or need. Scalability is not a concern.

                                  How are customer service and technical support?

                                  We have not had to use tech support often, beyond the normal occasional drive, standard part replacement. The support has been good.

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

                                  We've been a long time EMC customer. For us, though, it's been a journey of modernization and standardization. We took a couple different storage platforms and then centralized it on the Unity.

                                  When selecting a vendor, from my perspective, I like to come up with the technically best solution possible, and then work retroactively into the price. Then, obviously, the business will make that decision based on price point and other things. But we try not make that one of the deciding factors.

                                  What other advice do I have?

                                  My advice would be, if you're looking for this kind of solution, one of the challenges we had was clearly defining the use case. There is a lot of preparation in clearly identifying the workloads that you're going to put on it.

                                  Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                                  it_user866763
                                  Project Manager at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
                                  Real User
                                  Reduced the latency in application and database reads and writes; all-flash just flies

                                  Pros and Cons

                                  • "It has reduced the latency in application and database reads and writes... All-flash, it's fast. We have the 650 model which is all-flash, upgraded from VNX. It just flies."

                                    What is our primary use case?

                                    We're running virtual machines and we're using the NAS filer for file shares.

                                    How has it helped my organization?

                                    It has reduced the latency in application and database reads and writes, which is of benefit to the business.

                                    What is most valuable?

                                    All-flash, it's fast. We have the 650 model which is all-flash, upgraded from VNX. It just flies.

                                    What needs improvement?

                                    I can't think of any improvements, other than bringing down the price point. That would help.

                                    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                                    It seems rock solid so far.

                                    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                                    At this point, we're at the high end. I don't know that we have a lot of room to scale up, but I think it's going to meet our needs for a while.

                                    How are customer service and technical support?

                                    My colleague did a firmware upgrade recently and that went well. I would say that was a good experience with tech support.

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

                                    We were running out of disk space, and there was some latency that we wanted to improve on. We had the VNX previously.

                                    When selecting a vendor, the price is always important, but we need a product that supports our business, It's both those factors.

                                    How was the initial setup?

                                    The setup went relatively well. It was straightforward. We got migrated over quickly, so I have been very pleased with all of it.

                                    What other advice do I have?

                                    It's working well for us so far. We haven't had it long enough to have a full-term answer, but I am very pleased with it so far.

                                    In terms of advice to a colleague, if it's a mid-size company that has a similar needs to ours, I think the Unity is a good option.

                                    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                                    it_user866094
                                    Storage And Virtualization Architect at a legal firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
                                    Real User
                                    Gives us a much smaller footprint than our older storage arrays, and it is much faster

                                    Pros and Cons

                                    • "It's a much smaller footprint than our older storage arrays, which take up some six tiles, a lot of space in the data center. The Unity's are a lot smaller, and they're a lot faster."
                                    • "I would like to see them add Storage Groups, like we have had in Clariions and VNXs."

                                    What is our primary use case?

                                    It is primarily for block storage for VMware in our Americas data centers, and it is also used for block storage and file storage in our European data centers.

                                    How has it helped my organization?

                                    It's a much smaller footprint than our older storage arrays, which take up some six tiles, a lot of space in the data center. The Unity's are a lot smaller, and they're a lot faster.

                                    What is most valuable?

                                    We use the all-flash arrays so the performance is probably the most valuable feature. As features go, deduplication and compression are important too.

                                    What needs improvement?

                                    I would like to see them add Storage Groups, like we have had in Clariions and VNXs. Storage Groups would be a great addition.

                                    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                                    We've had no issues with it whatsoever, as far as stability goes.

                                    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                                    We have not had to add capacity to them. I would imagine it's going to scale well, we just haven't had to add capacity.

                                    How are customer service and technical support?

                                    The support is very good.

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

                                    It was just a refresh.

                                    When selecting a vendor, the criteria for us would be 

                                    • track record
                                    • stability
                                    • support.

                                    I work for a rather large law firm and they're not typically that price sensitive but, obviously, we need to be good stewards of the firm's money as well.

                                    How was the initial setup?

                                    The setup was pretty quick, pretty easy.

                                    What other advice do I have?

                                    At this point, I would give the Unity an eight out of 10. I think it's a little bit early on in the development of features. But overall, it has performed well.

                                    There are some alternatives, but what we've found, working with our partners, for mid-range storage it's probably the best one you could choose. There are other offerings from other vendors, but it's a good choice.

                                    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                                    it_user866091
                                    Manager Storage And Back Up at a manufacturing company with 1,001-5,000 employees
                                    Real User
                                    All-flash compression, NAS features, and stability are key for us

                                    Pros and Cons

                                    • "It's an all-flash Unity, With that compression feature, it's comparable to a hybrid. That is one thing that we definitely like."

                                      What is our primary use case?

                                      We added it to our Vblock 740 as a storage extension, basically a tech extension for a capacity upgrade. We set it up about three weeks ago. I haven't seen any issues so far.

                                      What we noticed was that the SP utilization is quite high, although the main load is on a VMAX. We'll need to dig into it with EMC and see if there are any issues that might pop up.

                                      What is most valuable?

                                      The setup was quite easy, straightforward.

                                      Compression, it's an all-flash Unity, so with that compression feature, it's comparable to a hybrid. That is one thing that we definitely like.

                                      For how long have I used the solution?

                                      Less than one year.

                                      What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                                      It runs. No stability issues.

                                      What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                                      If those SP utilization things, noted above, get to be an issue, I think scalability might be an issue too. But we need to confirm that. I don't know yet.

                                      How are customer service and technical support?

                                      We had a licensing issue to do with encryption but, other than that, we have not had to use tech support. It took a little bit, support had to get it into our ELA. It worked out in the end.

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

                                      Obviously, it is the successor of the VNX. We wanted to add some mid-range capabilities to that Vblock 740 and it was the logical choice.

                                      In terms of selecting a vendor, we're a big EMC partner, so we don't usually look at other vendors. We have very good experiences with EMC support so far. We are currently not looking at other vendors.

                                      What other advice do I have?

                                      It is definitely worth having a look at. The price-point for all-flash is certainly quite interesting. It has NAS capabilities too, if you need it. It's an interesting product, at least for mid-range.

                                      Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                                      it_user866085
                                      Systems Consultant at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
                                      Consultant
                                      Gives our customers simplicity, streamlines management

                                      What is our primary use case?

                                      Most of the systems are replacements for ancient VNXs. For most of the customers, we suggest they be replaced by Unity.

                                      How has it helped my organization?

                                      For our customers, the benefits are that it's not too expensive and it has almost all of the features from the beginning.

                                      What is most valuable?

                                      • Simplicity.
                                      • Ease of management.
                                      • It's still running on the ancient systems, so the customers know what they are getting.

                                      What needs improvement?

                                      I can't really think of any improvements for the next release.

                                      The ease of installation, sometimes, for the customers, is not that positive because the customers think they can do it themselves. Sometimes that is a bit of an issue.

                                      What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                                      Very stable. Sometimes you can have issues, but they are usually solved with an upgrade of the system.

                                      We have had two issues: replication between two Unity's, and when running several Snapshots on the Unity.

                                      What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                                      Scalability for us is not yet much of an issue because most of our customers are running on rather small systems.

                                      How is customer service and technical support?

                                      Sometimes our customers use tech support but, generally, tech support is in order.

                                      How was the initial setup?

                                      Setup is very straightforward. Compared to the VNXs, it's rather easy.

                                      What other advice do I have?

                                      I would rate the Unity at eight out of 10, because of the ease of management compared to the ancient systems. For us, in Belgium, it is more small and medium businesses, so Unity is a good solution.

                                      My advice is to choose the Unity.

                                      Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
                                      it_user286668
                                      Solution Architect - Data Center at a tech consulting company with 51-200 employees
                                      MSP
                                      Our customers find it easy to use, the speed is a big improvement over what they had

                                      Pros and Cons

                                      • "For our customers, it's the simplicity of it. They find it easy to use, along with the added features, the dynamic volumes."
                                      • "They should have more wizards for customers so they can do more of the self-service types of functions, in terms of upgrades and patching, although it's pretty easy right now."

                                      What is our primary use case?

                                      Most of our customers are using it for Microsoft workloads, like SQL Server, Exchange, on-premise use. We have one customer running Oracle on it, all-flash.

                                      They find the performance amazing from what they're coming from. Some of them say it's blazingly fast. They've switched to all-flash.

                                      How has it helped my organization?

                                      The whole cycle of provisioning and acquisition has been simplified for our customers. Also, the deployment and general maintenance of it has been greatly simplified. It has cut into our professional services quite a bit.

                                      What is most valuable?

                                      For our customers, it's the simplicity of it. They find it easy to use, along with the added features, the dynamic volumes. Things like that have been a big improvement over past generations.

                                      What needs improvement?

                                      The features they have added have been great, they've greatly simplified it. Bigger, faster. They're always leap-frogging, so the next generation, I'm sure, will have newer processors in it. They have improved leaps and bounds on the interface and ease of use, and I would like to see them keep doing that.

                                      They should have more wizards for customers so they can do more of the self-service types of functions, in terms of upgrades and patching, although it's pretty easy right now.

                                      Also, I would like to see more migration tools. When we're putting the Unity in, I would like to see more capability to migrate from third-party storage platforms, competitive platforms. Migrating from their own platforms is pretty straightforward.

                                      What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                                      We've had no issues. The customers talk to us before they do an upgrade and we say, "Yeah, it should be no problem." They go ahead and do it themselves now, and there have been no outages or unplanned downtime.

                                      What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                                      There have been no scalability issues with our customer base. Our customers are maybe, at most, a few hundred terabytes, so scalability is not an issue.

                                      How is customer service and technical support?

                                      Before they do an upgrade, our customers will talk to us and they will also talk to Dell EMC support. From what I know, our customers are very happy with the support they receive from Dell EMC.

                                      How was the initial setup?

                                      The initial setup is straightforward.

                                      What other advice do I have?

                                      I can't give any product a 10 out of 10. But I'm happy with it, I'd give it an eight out of 10. It has been a good product for us in terms of selling it, keeping the customer community happy. 

                                      My advice would be, download the virtual edition of Unity and try it out. Get used to the interface and ease of use. Also, take a look at the cloud-based analytics and the other pieces that go with it, to round out the solution.

                                      Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
                                      it_user866076
                                      Business Development at SG Solutions Ltd
                                      Real User
                                      The edge for our customers results from the simplicity and stability of the solution

                                      What is our primary use case?

                                      Most of our customers use it on-premise, 90 percent of our customers use VMware vSphere on top of it, and a little more than half of them use Fibre Channel to connect to the Unity. They use it for most of their workloads.

                                      How has it helped my organization?

                                      Our customers have a competitive edge when compared to the other solutions in the market. Most of our customers don't just look at the value per Gig, they put a great value on the after-sales support and the stability of the appliances.

                                      What is most valuable?

                                      It's the simplicity, and most of all it's backed up by Dell EMC support, which is very valuable.

                                      What needs improvement?

                                      There aren't any improvements that come to mind, none that are obvious. After what I've seen today, here at the Dell EMC World 2018 conference, they pretty much have the next couple of years covered. For example, the current buzzword is the Cloud Tiering Appliance which allows you to tier data from your on-premise to the cloud or on-premise cloud.

                                      What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                                      To me, the stability is impeccable.

                                      What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                                      Scalability is good.

                                      How is customer service and technical support?

                                      Tech support is very good, very efficient.

                                      How was the initial setup?

                                      Setup is straightforward. Once you do it once, it's a walk in the park.

                                      What other advice do I have?

                                      The backing of the vendor is important. In Dell EMC's case, we know that there is always someone backing us, just in case we get stuck.

                                      A rating out of 10 out of 10 is a bit too much because, obviously, no product is super perfect, but I would rate the unity a good nine. What might make it a 10 is a better price.

                                      I would vouch for this solution, I would definitely say go for it.

                                      Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
                                      it_user649683
                                      Sales Engineer at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
                                      Real User
                                      Review about Dell EMC Unity

                                      Pros and Cons

                                        • "It's very frustrating that it's not backward-compatible with the previous platforms, so it's a struggle for a lot of our customers."

                                        How has it helped my organization?

                                        It helps our customers save money because it's at a price point where a lot of our customers can easily bring it in for different projects and it will also provide for DR. I find that the cost has really enabled them to do a little bit more with it.

                                        What is most valuable?

                                        It performs great. Customers really like it. I've had a lot of customers go from the previous platforms up to Unity. They've noticed better performance with it.

                                        What they really like is the easy licensing now - Dell EMC has caught up to a lot of their competitors - based on not having to charge for everything, and they can get everything in one bundle.

                                        Ease of management is one thing I get a lot of good feedback regarding as well.

                                        The flexibility is also important. We still have a lot of customers that have a use case for non-flash, yet you can also build the flash version as well.

                                        What needs improvement?

                                        I would love to see more compatibility between the different platforms within Dell EMC's portfolio.

                                        What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                                        Stability is great. It has been very rock solid.

                                        What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                                        Now that they can do the controller upgrades, it's really helped them out a lot, and it'll help to be able to scale more. They're not just trapped into one model and, instead of having to do a lift and shift of all the data, they can now do head upgrades.

                                        How is customer service and technical support?

                                        The support is still going through its growing pains right now, with the merger of the two organizations.

                                        What other advice do I have?

                                        I rate it an eight out of 10. It's very frustrating that it's not backward-compatible with the previous platforms, so it's a struggle for a lot of our customers. We can overcome it, but it's a hard conversation to have with them sometimes.

                                        Go in open-minded. If you're used to the old VNX platforms you'll be pleasantly surprised.

                                        Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                                        it_user866058
                                        Storage Engineer at a healthcare company with 10,001+ employees
                                        Real User
                                        Quick Snapshots, improved performance, small form factor are key features for us

                                        Pros and Cons

                                        • "Quick Snapshots and cloning are key features."

                                          What is our primary use case?

                                          Our primary use case is branch office. It has performed adequately well.

                                          How has it helped my organization?

                                          Performance is the key factor within the branch offices and this platform, because it is a small form factor, definitely helps address our power-space constraint problems, within this facility. It also provides overall performance improvement of our business applications which are critical to our regional offices.

                                          What is most valuable?

                                          • Quick Snapshots
                                          • Cloning, which we need in our environment
                                          • It's all-flash array, Unity 450F
                                          • It has performed adequately well for our business needs

                                          What needs improvement?

                                          There is nothing needed at this time.

                                          What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                                          It's very stable. The current firmware version we're on is the latest and greatest, so we've been pretty happy with the overall performance and availability of the platform.

                                          What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                                          Again, it's a branch office, small, so there's no need to scale it, we haven't crossed that path yet. This is our first implementation of Unity within our environment, we are primarily a VMAX shop, so our venture into the mid-range arrays was something that was brought on because we needed better performance within our regional offices.

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

                                          Based upon my experience working with previous EMC platforms, the GUI is a vast improvement over the previous GUI's, the elimination of Java, the use of HTML5 was a substantial improvement, and the ease of use of the GUI made it very, very intuitive for my team and myself.

                                          Here, we were using local Dell servers with local, attached storage, and we needed something that could provide a high level of availability for our customers in the branch, and that also fit into a small cabinet within our closet. The solution presented itself as a viable platform for what we needed in our space. The whole goal - high-availability, capacity, performance - all three were met by the Unity 450F storage platform.

                                          How was the initial setup?

                                          It was straightforward to a point. There were some minor hiccups with the registration piece. It's something I shared with my account team, but overall, once we got past those hurdles, everything else was a simple install, configure. 

                                          What other advice do I have?

                                          When selecting a vendor, support is the key thing.

                                          Do your research. There are a lot of vendors out there but if you're looking for performance, price-point, ease of use, I recommend looking at Unity as a platform. It's a great platform, for mid-range businesses.

                                          Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                                          it_user865578
                                          Director of IT at a financial services firm with 201-500 employees
                                          Real User
                                          We have had problems with controllers, SPBs, though we have seen speed improvements

                                          Pros and Cons

                                            • "One of the issues we've had is that controllers have crashed several times... We've had a lot of problems with the storage processor, SPBs. We've actually had them crash."

                                            What is our primary use case?

                                            It's our production SAN. In terms of performance, I've had a few issues, a lot of error messages that they haven't been able to figure out yet. 

                                            I do like to be able, in a DR scenario, to use it to failover if we have to. That was our original use case, but we've actually gotten away from that for now, because it was just too cumbersome to do a failover, a data center failover, using Unity.

                                            How has it helped my organization?

                                            We can get to our applications faster. That's the biggest plus that we've seen with it. 

                                            What is most valuable?

                                            The reason we purchased it was for dual data centers. We have one in each data center so that we can have that redundancy, that failover if needed. 

                                            Obviously, flash, everything's quicker. We did notice a lot of speed difference.

                                            We actually started out with XtremIO, and we were running our SQL servers off XtremIO, but our application servers couldn't keep up. So now, our application servers are all on flash, SQL Servers are all on XtremIO, and the two work together well.

                                            What needs improvement?

                                            One of the issues we've had is that controllers have crashed several times. Just today I received a message that a dump file was detected. We've had a lot of problems with the storage processor, SPBs. We've actually had them crash. Luckily, nothing went down.

                                            What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                                            We purchased big enough that we haven't had to worry about scalability yet.

                                            How are customer service and technical support?

                                            Tech support is knowledgeable. We get the answers when we need them, they get us back up.

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

                                            Originally we had the EMC VNX, and support was up on it. So it was either going to be: buy support for the VNX or move to Unity. The money came out the same, so our decision was to move to Unity.

                                            What other advice do I have?

                                            I would rate the unity at six out of 10 because of the errors that we are receiving.

                                            If I were advising a colleague, right now I'd probably have them move to another solution. There are other flash arrays. They may not have the Dell EMC name, but they are performing just as well at a lower cost point.

                                            Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                                            it_user865572
                                            Managing Partner at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
                                            Real User
                                            Fast cache in the hybrid storage has increased my client's performance

                                            Pros and Cons

                                            • "The performance combined with the gig-per-dollar value is a combination that is superior to other storage options."

                                              What is our primary use case?

                                              General storage for virtual machines. The virtual machines have different roles, essential roles; and, of course, mission-critical servers running financial services, or engineering programs, etc.

                                              How has it helped my organization?

                                              I have a client that jumped from the stone age to hybrid. They do enjoy the hybrid storage, the fast cache, etc. It has greatly improved their performance, absolutely. The customer is really happy about it.

                                              What is most valuable?

                                              It is the performance combined with the Gig-per-dollar value. That combination is superior to other storage options.

                                              What needs improvement?

                                              All the features that the client has, the client has really enjoyed them.

                                              One thing they could do is lower the price point. There are other storage products that are available from Dell, the SE series for example. The client is comparing the Unity and the SE3000 for example, the SE is cheaper.

                                              What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                                              So far so good. No issues with stability.

                                              What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                                              I'm sure scalability will be fine. It will be great. But the client has not reached the point of needing to increase the capacity, or other features, yet.

                                              How is customer service and technical support?

                                              So far technical support is very reliable, it's very good that way. We haven't engaged tech support so far, but when did the deployment we did have Dell EMC come in and provide deployment services, and that went through pretty well.

                                              How was the initial setup?

                                              We picked Dell deployment services, so it was very straightforward. The Dell technician came in on time and then, according to the survey that the client filled out earlier - it was great. The client was impressed.

                                              What other advice do I have?

                                              I give it an eight out of 10 and the two missing points are because of the price tag.

                                              In terms of advice, I would definitely recommend Dell solutions. As for Unity, it depends on the budget. I definitely recommend Unity, because I do have clients that are currently using it, and they don't have any issues, they're happy with the product.

                                              Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
                                              it_user866775
                                              Sir Systems Engineer at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
                                              Real User
                                              Scalability and all-flash are key features, but code revisions need better testing

                                              Pros and Cons

                                                • "I think that they could do a better job of testing on the back-end, for the code revisions. I've heard of some issues down the line where people have upgraded to the latest code and there were bugs in it, and they had to release a subsequent code fix."

                                                What is our primary use case?

                                                As a partner, we are able to deploy it across multiple industries: healthcare, government, small business. We install Unity everywhere. There is really no one, set, niche customer that we do it for.

                                                What is most valuable?

                                                • Starting small and being able to grow to a larger scale
                                                • All-flash options are great
                                                • Hybrid options are good for certain use cases

                                                What needs improvement?

                                                The code revisions. I think that they could do a better job of testing on the back-end, for the code revisions. I've heard of some issues down the line where people have upgraded to the latest code and there were bugs in it, and they had to release a subsequent code fix. More testing on the Dell EMC side, for when they release those code revisions, would be a good idea.

                                                For how long have I used the solution?

                                                One to three years.

                                                What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                                                It is stable. I have not personally seen any issues when deploying in a customer environment.

                                                How are customer service and technical support?

                                                Technical support has gotten worse since the merger, for example, response time to SR creation. And mainly, if I ask for a solution, they'll send me a white paper and say, "Here, just do it, here's a KB article." They seem to be more hands-off, and they just want to let the customer or the partner deal with it.

                                                Another big thing that is somewhat upsetting is that they got rid of partner support, installation support. We really liked that. Being a partner and installing, if we run into issues while on site, with doing any type of work, we don't have a number to call anymore, a direct line. We have to go through the same process, and that process is terrible, still.

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

                                                Most of the customers that I have are old VNX customers, and they want to replace their VNX with the latest and greatest, so they go to Unity. The Unity is a VNXE but on steroids. That's the main use that I see, just part of a refresh cycle, and they want to refresh with the Unity's.

                                                How was the initial setup?

                                                It's very simple to set up. No issues with the setup.

                                                What other advice do I have?

                                                Nothing is ever a perfect 10 in my book, so I would say this solution is a seven. I think there is room for improvement, there is always going to be room for improvement, especially in IT. Having a perfect 10 in any IT hardware platform, I don't it think that exists right now.

                                                Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
                                                it_user866097
                                                Infrastructure Engineer at CGSH
                                                Real User
                                                All-flash array gives me hope it will do a good job, but the compression algorithm has issues

                                                Pros and Cons

                                                  • "There are some features in VNX that I wish were in the Unity. For example, Storage Groups for isolating LANs and hosts. That is a big issue."
                                                  • "We've also encountered an issue when it comes to migrating to compressed LANs on the Unity, and during the Storage vMotion. It appears that the compression algorithm is overwhelmed, and when it becomes overwhelmed it just stops compressing and writes the raw data to the destination. We later copied internally another Storage vMotion to another compressed LAN and achieved much higher compressions on that internal copy. It would be really nice if there was a way to automatically throttle, as a part of a Storage vMotion, to say, "I want to gain the maximum benefits from the compression algorithm, so throttle back the Storage vMotion to implement 100 percent compression.""

                                                  What is our primary use case?

                                                  It's a replacement for a VNX, it's faster. It has its good points, and it has its bad points.

                                                  How has it helped my organization?

                                                  I don't think it's providing any great enhancements over the existing platform.

                                                  What needs improvement?

                                                  There are some features in VNX that I wish were in the Unity. Storage Groups for isolating LANs and hosts. That is a big issue.

                                                  We've also encountered an issue when it comes to migrating to compressed LANs on the Unity, and during the Storage vMotion. It appears that the compression algorithm is overwhelmed, and when it becomes overwhelmed it just stops compressing and writes the raw data to the destination. We later copied internally another Storage vMotion to another compressed LAN and achieved much higher compressions on that internal copy. It would be really nice if there was a way to automatically throttle, as a part of a Storage vMotion, to say, "I want to gain the maximum benefits from the compression algorithm, so throttle back the Storage vMotion to implement 100 percent compression."

                                                  My colleague has done most of the migration work, but he's also encountered a few other issues in terms of the integration with vCenter. 

                                                  It's a box that has a lot of promise, and it was a very shiny new "sports car" when we got it. It has a few dents and scratches in it. That "new car pride," we don't go out and wash it every weekend now. Some of that reality has kicked in. 

                                                  I still have expectations, it's an all-flash array, while our VNX, obviously, is not. So we do anticipate, once we've completed the migration and get more experienced with it and maybe with some code upgrades, improvements to some of the attributes, that it will do a good job for us.

                                                  For how long have I used the solution?

                                                  One to three years.

                                                  What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                                                  We went from the VNX, where we had about 900 spinning disks, to 27 solid-state disks. There have been no failures in the last year.

                                                  What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                                                  It had better scale, it costs a lot of money. I definitely think it will. Also, my hope, being that it is solid-state, is that the ongoing maintenance costs will be reduced, on the off chance that our firm might not want to replace it after five years.

                                                  How is customer service and technical support?

                                                  Tech support is good. We've always had our struggles over the years with their support. I characterize their level-one support as being somewhat questionable. But if stuff hits the fan and you have to get up to level two or three, you have a priority-one, they always come through.

                                                  Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                                                  it_user866769
                                                  Solution Architect at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
                                                  Real User
                                                  Compression performance is not good, and there have been problems with I/O modules

                                                  Pros and Cons

                                                  • "It can be simple to deploy, the standup time is quite quick. The interface is quite quick. The terms are simple, intuitive, it's similar what was there in the VNXE before it. It's very simple to navigate and administer from the console."
                                                  • "The hardware itself, it differs from Compellent and differs from the VNX before it. It doesn't have a separate file harbor that goes with it, there are no separate NAS heads. It's 2U, you have file and block storage, so you get a quite a lot of services for a small footprint."
                                                  • "It's not as reliable as it should be, I think it was probably released a little early. We've had production problems with customers, and there are still some challenges at scale as well. Compression is a problem for the system. Once you enable dedupe and compression, the performance of the system, the capability, halves... It has to be right-sized and sized for compression, but even with that, because there are only two storage processors, you're ending up at almost 40 percent usage."
                                                  • "Problems with I/O modules, with bugs that came out that really should have been caught before the product was released."

                                                  What is our primary use case?

                                                  We are a titanium partner. We deliver the full solution portfolio that Dell and Dell EMC have.

                                                  What is most valuable?

                                                  It can be simple to deploy, the standup time is quite quick. The interface is quite quick. The terms are simple, intuitive, it's similar what was there in the VNXE before it. It's very simple to navigate and administer from the console. 

                                                  The hardware itself, it differs from Compellent and differs from the VNX before it. It doesn't have a separate file harbor that goes with it, there are no separate NAS heads. It's 2U, you have file and block storage, so you get a quite a lot of services for a small footprint.

                                                  For how long have I used the solution?

                                                  One to three years.

                                                  What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                                                  It's not as reliable as it should be, I think it was probably released a little early. We've had production problems with customers, and there are still some challenges at scale as well.

                                                  Compression is a problem for the system. Once you enable dedupe and compression, the performance of the system, the capability, halves. Customers don't necessarily realize that, and they can't get as much out of the system as they initially thought. It has to be right-sized and sized for compression, but even with that, because there are only two storage processors, you're ending up at almost 40 percent usage.

                                                  How is customer service and technical support?

                                                  Tech support has taken a downturn since the acquisition, and that's not just for the Unity. The skill, the people, the engineers, some of them have been let go. Their talent has been let go, so the overall support is another challenge we're dealing with on an ongoing basis.

                                                  How was the initial setup?

                                                  It's quite easy to deploy, there is no problem there. The system itself is good as well, the offering is good. You can have file and block without any extra harbor for file.

                                                  I would like to see the new system come out very quickly - that merges Compellent and Unity - and let's get rid of these problems and focus the engineering group on one system. To me, that's the quickest route to success. They need to get off the pot for one of them and take the good. Don't necessarily discard the code. There are some good features in both, so they really need to get back to an engineering focus, like EMC of old.

                                                  What other advice do I have?

                                                  I would give the Unity a five out of 10. The offering is good. The simple console is good. The deployment is good. Support is not good. The compression performance capability is not good. Problems with I/O modules, with bugs that came out that really should have been caught before the product was released. And I have a problem with the confusion in the market between the two systems, between Compellent and Unity. The quicker a mid-range solution comes out combining the two products, the better.

                                                  Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Titanium partner.
                                                  it_user73656
                                                  Director, Solution Architecture at a tech company with 501-1,000 employees
                                                  Vendor
                                                  Provisioning is very simple, the system yields an improved footprint

                                                  Pros and Cons

                                                  • "It is scalable. Customers are going more into distributed architecture, so the Unity definitely has a scalable architecture built into that."
                                                  • "Inline dedup compression security is coming up as an issue, encryption, etc. is key for our customers. If we could have more ways to do software-based encryption, those are the features customers are asking us for, as well as replication."

                                                  How has it helped my organization?

                                                  The biggest improvement is the data reduction for the organization. That is where they see the better TCO and improved ROI for their existing footprint. That's the biggest advantage for the businesses that are using the Unity platform.

                                                  What is most valuable?

                                                  The features that customers are looking for, because I do a lot of architecture work, is the management simplicity. The provisioning is very simple in the Unity platform, as well as the reporting structure back to the customer. They get to know end-to-end visibility in the system environment.

                                                  What needs improvement?

                                                  Inline dedup compression security is coming up as an issue, encryption is key for our customers. If we could have more ways to do software-based encryption, those are the features customers are asking us for, as well as replication.

                                                  For how long have I used the solution?

                                                  One to three years.

                                                  What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                                                  The maturity level of the Unity is getting better and better as we speak. The latest and greatest cores are becoming more stable than the previous one. EMC is doing a lot of investment in research and development. They're getting better and better.

                                                  What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                                                  It is scalable. Customers are going more into distributed architecture, so the Unity definitely  has a scalable architecture built into that. Scale-out architecture, scale-up architecture.

                                                  How are customer service and technical support?

                                                  There is a lot of room for improvement on the support side, because of the response time. I'm giving the customer feedback. Customers are coming to me as their architect, as a level-1, level-2, they're asking me. The response from the EMC is not there yet. We are sending the same feedback back to EMC, to improve the support line.

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

                                                  We started with the VNX platform. I have a very good understanding of the EMC portfolio from Centera, from NS, VNX, VNXE, and then VMAX.

                                                  How was the initial setup?

                                                  Setup is very easy. Absolutely. It's easy to build the environment. That has improved a lot.

                                                  What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

                                                  At the end of the day, the licensing cost is key, because every customer has a pain point, that the cost of each piece is high. So if we can bundle everything in a package, that is how the competitors are selling their footprint. For example, Pure, if you buy a box, everything comes with the box. So, in a similar fashion, if we can do anything along those lines, it will be better for the customer.

                                                  What other advice do I have?

                                                  I give it an eight out of 10, because there is definitely room for improvement, for EMC to invest in it.

                                                  Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                                                  it_user866061
                                                  Infrastructure Architect at a government with 5,001-10,000 employees
                                                  Real User
                                                  For our test and dev environments, the ease of use and management are key features

                                                  What is our primary use case?

                                                  For Unity, our use case is mostly test and dev.

                                                  How has it helped my organization?

                                                  Compared to older generations of arrays there is quite an improvement, compared to the older VNXs, for example. It depends on you use it, but for our purposes, we find Unity simple to use.

                                                  What is most valuable?

                                                  It's simple, easy to manage.

                                                  What needs improvement?

                                                  At the moment, we are pretty satisfied with it. Perhaps the user interface could be better.

                                                  For how long have I used the solution?

                                                  One to three years.

                                                  What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                                                  It's more stable than the old generation of arrays. We had a lot of issues with the VNX, for example, but they got better over time. The VNX2 was better, and the Unity has been even more stable. …

                                                  What is our primary use case?

                                                  For Unity, our use case is mostly test and dev.

                                                  How has it helped my organization?

                                                  Compared to older generations of arrays there is quite an improvement, compared to the older VNXs, for example. It depends on you use it, but for our purposes, we find Unity simple to use.

                                                  What is most valuable?

                                                  It's simple, easy to manage.

                                                  What needs improvement?

                                                  At the moment, we are pretty satisfied with it. Perhaps the user interface could be better.

                                                  For how long have I used the solution?

                                                  One to three years.

                                                  What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                                                  It's more stable than the old generation of arrays. We had a lot of issues with the VNX, for example, but they got better over time. The VNX2 was better, and the Unity has been even more stable.

                                                  What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                                                  For our use cases, I believe it will meet our needs moving forward.

                                                  How is customer service and technical support?

                                                  Tech support is very good. We haven't had many of serious issues, and the issues we have had have been dealt with very well.

                                                  How was the initial setup?

                                                  The setup was straightforward. We set most of the configuration ourselves. If you have basic knowledge then it's pretty straightforward.

                                                  Which other solutions did I evaluate?

                                                  We did compare it to others at the time, but they have a wide selection of tools and products to meet our use cases. Good support as well.

                                                  Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                                                  AD
                                                  Systems Engineer at Zenware
                                                  Real User
                                                  Inline compress and dedupe are great features for a mid-range solution, but NAS capabilities are lacking

                                                  Pros and Cons

                                                  • "I like the idea that it can compress and dedupe inline. That is quite a stunning feature for mid-range customers."
                                                  • "The NAS capabilities of Unity - I have to say there are a lot of things I miss. For example, deduplication for hybrid. I have tons of customers with VNX and dedupe. These customers achieve around 50% dedupe efficiency and they mostly use them for archive. If you're talking about 50TB of NAS, which is stored in a 25TB repository, which is very economical, and you can not provide that in a Unity hybrid box, you have problems."
                                                  • "A customer had to buy VMX because Unity didn't have WORM."

                                                  How has it helped my organization?

                                                  It can improve your TCO. When you buy a Unity box, you can consolidate a lot in a very small frame. You can save energy and, if you're arranging a room for your equipment, it can help you reduce costs in tiles and flooring, energy, and so on. It is pretty easy to use, so your storage admins don't have to put a lot of effort into managing it. It's easy and practical to use.

                                                  What is most valuable?

                                                  I like the idea that it can compress and dedupe inline. That is quite a stunning feature for mid-range customers. That is something that is much better than the expectation that we have with VNX, which does that post-processing, and is not recommended for databases. So it's a big step for Unity. When we position Unity, that is one of the first things we say, that it is prepared to work things inline with dedupe and compress.

                                                  What needs improvement?

                                                  I believe this product lacks some things that are extremely valuable for customers, especially VNX customers. The NAS capabilities of Unity - I have to say there are a lot of things I miss. For example, deduplication for hybrid. I have tons of customers with VNX and dedupe. These customers achieve around 50% dedupe efficiency and they mostly use them for archive. If you're talking about 50TB of NAS, which is stored in a 25TB repository, which is very economical, and you can not provide that in a Unity hybrid box, you have problems. That has caused us a lot of problems. 

                                                  The other problem I have with the NAS capabilities in Unity is the WORM feature. We were working with a government company that has a public bid and they were buying storage for 13 remote sites. All of them required WORM. Since this is a government customer they took two years or so to establish the project. And they required the WORM feature to securely store records, and they had to be unmodified records. They bought that the idea and they implemented a NAS solution that was going to be consulted by an Oracle Database. They had to buy VMX because Unity didn't have WORM. That would be the most important thing. It's very problematic.

                                                  Migrating from VNX to Unity was not so straightforward in the beginning. You could not migrate NAS servers from CIFs. They began with NFS. they recently added CIF support. So, lots of problems there.

                                                  For how long have I used the solution?

                                                  One to three years.

                                                  What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                                                  I would say it is stable now. Of course, the first releases had some issues but I believe it is fine now.

                                                  What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                                                  Peru is a very different market from the U.S. or Europe. A company that is mid-range in the U.S., for instance, could be using an enterprise solution in Peru. For Latin America in general, it is a perfect product for mid-range and for some enterprise-grade, big, transactional businesses.

                                                  How is customer service and technical support?

                                                  Technical support is pretty good. It always has been. In Peru, we have a senior engineer that has been with the company for 32 years. He has a lot of knowledge. We have three field engineers. For a small business, like the Peruvian one, it's more than enough, because these machines never fail. You just turn it on and that's it.

                                                  How was the initial setup?

                                                  We had some issues installing these machines at the beginning, but overall it is really easy. It's done exactly the way the manual says.

                                                  What other advice do I have?

                                                  I would rate Unity a seven out of 10. I know these products since Clariion, and I believe they hit a great peak with VNX2. It was a product customers loved. When Unity arrived, the ability to consolidate NAS and SAN in a 2U box was pretty cool. But the NAS part didn't follow. That's why I give it a seven.

                                                  Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                                                  Juan Rebelo
                                                  Pre Sales Manager at Datastar
                                                  Real User
                                                  EMC's reputation in storage attracts customers, but the solution lacks features

                                                  Pros and Cons

                                                    • "VNX used to have some features that Unity still doesn't have. From that perspective, the progress is not that advanced."

                                                    What is most valuable?

                                                    I think that EMC has a good name in the market. VNX was a great product, and Unity is seen as the natural replacement. Customers see that as an advantage of the Unity. 

                                                    What needs improvement?

                                                    VNX used to have some features that Unity still doesn't have. From that perspective, the progress is not that advanced, at least compared to what customers might expect.

                                                    For how long have I used the solution?

                                                    One to three years.

                                                    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                                                    We hear from our customers that it is stable. The other thing that customers say is that it's easy to manage. But, as I previously said, I think it has some things that are not ready yet and they are being announced for the next releases, such as inline compression and deduplication, IP replication, synchronous replication. VNX used to have these but Unity, not yet so. But we have good feedback about the product.

                                                    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                                                    For our market, in Argentina, Unity is, most of the time, a good product, a big product. It is unlikely our customers would be short of on the number of drives or IOPS with the Unity. We don't have huge enterprises compared to the American market, for example. Unity is enough for our market's scalability. With the biggest products in the Unity line, we cover pretty much every customer and, if not, we start talking about VNX; but only for a couple of the biggest companies in Argentina. We are a small market.

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

                                                    Sometimes our customers are switching from an installed base of a competitors' solution, for example, IBM, or HPE. Some are users of VNX and are migrating to Unity.

                                                    EMC is the leader in the storage market so our customers see that, of course. Maybe they trust more in Unity than, for example, Compellent, because it is a product that comes from EMC. At least in Argentina, it is seen that way. Maybe Compellent products are good, but Dell's storage name is not the best.

                                                    How was the initial setup?

                                                    I don't do setups myself. But I've heard that it's standard, it's not that complex. In a couple of weeks, the program is fully configured.

                                                    What other advice do I have?

                                                    I would rate it a seven out of 10, mostly because of what I mentioned already, the features that aren't ready yet that previous products had. I think it is seen as not that mature. That's why it could be better. Maybe they should have stayed with the VNX until Unity was ready to be the natural replacement, and seen as the next step. I don't think that they can show big improvements in the Unity compared to what the VNX was.

                                                    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                                                    it_user865575
                                                    Infrastructure Engineer at a pharma/biotech company with 1,001-5,000 employees
                                                    Real User
                                                    The solution is critical to our business; Snapshot is a key feature

                                                    Pros and Cons

                                                    • "The Snapshot feature is key."
                                                    • "With all-flash it should be able to scale. You probably just need one 4U device and you have terabytes of space."
                                                    • "Recently, they released products, sometimes without proper testing, it seems."

                                                    How has it helped my organization?

                                                    All of the IT devices help production time. They make time "faster." But this device, in general, it is a money maker. It makes us a lot of money. That is what I like most about it. It is critical to the business.

                                                    What is most valuable?

                                                    The Snapshot feature.

                                                    What needs improvement?

                                                    Recently, they released products, sometimes without proper testing, it seems. I guess the way the market is going, the way technology is going, they are saying, "Hey, let's get it out there."

                                                    For how long have I used the solution?

                                                    One to three years.

                                                    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                                                    It was pretty buggy when we first got it, but they have improved it with some updates. They worked with us and addressed our concerns.

                                                    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                                                    It will definitely meet our needs going forward. With all-flash it should be able to scale. You probably just need one 4U device and you have terabytes of space.

                                                    How is customer service and technical support?

                                                    Technical support has dropped off over the years. It is what it is. It is probably a seven or eight out of 10. It is difficult to find the right person. 

                                                    How was the initial setup?

                                                    It was straightforward. I cabled it up myself and racked it myself. Someone came out to help with the front-end side, the software side. That was it.

                                                    What other advice do I have?

                                                    I rate it an eight out of 10, only because it started out buggy. Other than that, it has worked well for our company.

                                                    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                                                    it_user865584
                                                    Design Architect at Alexander Open Systems
                                                    Reseller
                                                    A unified solution, it does block and file; I can provide everything on a single array

                                                    Pros and Cons

                                                    • "It's unified, it does block and file, so that is pretty important to my customers who might have file servers around their environment. I can roll them all up into a single array, as well as provide block storage for them on one array."
                                                    • "It's the simplicity part of it. It's the ease of management, it's the call home, the CloudIQ functionality. It's all built in. I think Dell EMC has put a lot of thought into it."

                                                      What is our primary use case?

                                                      As a reseller, I cross many industries. I deal with a lot of state and local government, a lot of health care, and a lot of commercial and banking industries. This product fits that mold across all those spectrums, as do other EMC products, but Unity is primarily the one I go to market with.

                                                      How has it helped my organization?

                                                      Some of their recently added feature sets, like the dedupe and compression, they have been a pretty significant improvement. 

                                                      What is most valuable?

                                                      First, it's the "Unity," it's the name itself. It's unified, it does block and file, so that is pretty important to my customers who might have file servers around their environment. I can roll them all up into a single array, as well as provide block storage for them on one array. 

                                                      It's the simplicity part of it. It's the ease of management, it's the call home, the CloudIQ functionality. It's all built in. I think Dell EMC has put a lot of thought into it. That's what I push out to my customers, to bring that message to them.

                                                      What needs improvement?

                                                      They added the dynamic pools, that was the biggest improvement. They have incorporated replication, RecoverPoint for BCDR, they have a good disaster recovery, they have a good replication strategy. I think they've got their spots covered.

                                                      For how long have I used the solution?

                                                      More than five years.

                                                      What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                                                      It is scalable, but you have to know your customer, and what the environment is. Perhaps you're going in there with a Unity 350 and then, at some point, do a data-in-place upgrade to a 450 or a 550. You have to get a good base understanding of what to initially go with for customers, so they're not coming back to you six months later saying "Hey, this thing is full."

                                                      How are customer service and technical support?

                                                      This is an interesting question; how to gingerly talk about it? I think in the past, I've always been able to call - I have the phone number memorized, I've called it hundreds of times. I know there has been a lot of work on it. Dell EMC is starting to transition back and put more thought into their support.

                                                      I would give it an okay rating. I think there is headway that needs to be made as compared to competitors out there, to be honest with you.

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

                                                      It started down the Clariion route, and then we went to VNX obviously, when that transitioned over, and then we transitioned again to the Unity and we're on that side now.

                                                      How was the initial setup?

                                                      As a service provider, on the VNX side, on the Clariion side before, we make our money in services. There could be a couple of days of services to install a VNX or Clariion, as we would go through all the processes to do so. On the Unity side, it is almost "next, next, next." If you can read a big Ikea instruction manual, you can install this Unity box. I give it to them, hands down, they have done a fantastic job with that.

                                                      From the services side, I'm a little hesitant about how easy it is, so I'm glad I have other things like RecoverPoint and the like, tertiary services I can continue to install.

                                                      Which other solutions did I evaluate?

                                                      Other competitors in the industry, they had a "me too" box, but I don't know if as much thought went into them as went into the VNX and the Unity.

                                                      What other advice do I have?

                                                      I would give it a high nine out of 10. The only thing that makes me pull back is the continuing work on the support. To be a 10, that is asking a lot, in my opinion. But I think Unity is right up there. I think they're ahead of their game with any competitor out there. Compared to the top three or four that you could consider in this realm, I think Dell EMC has them beat, hands down.

                                                      Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Reseller.
                                                      it_user866088
                                                      Systems Admin at Farm Bureau Health Plans
                                                      Real User
                                                      Simplifies our structure, replication, and administration

                                                      Pros and Cons

                                                      • "One of the things that I like the most about it is how they have changed the Unisphere GUI, and how it is now HTML5. It is so easy to use. Also, the array itself is so simple, easy to set up and easy to use, but it still has that great Dell EMC technology behind it."

                                                        How has it helped my organization?

                                                        We're actually in the first stages of getting it implemented. One of the ways it is really going to help in our organization is that we had to rely on VPLEX to do our replication for X-IO. We're going to be able to take several products out, which, I'm sure, Dell doesn't like too much. But being able to take some of those pieces out is just going to make it simpler for us to administer.

                                                        What is most valuable?

                                                        One of the things that I like the most about it is how they have changed the Unisphere GUI, and how it is now HTML5. It is so easy to use.

                                                        The array itself is so simple, easy to set up and easy to use, but it still has that great Dell EMC technology behind it.

                                                        What needs improvement?

                                                        I haven't found anything that has jumped out at me that they need to improve on. I have been very impressed with how it has gone out, because we use RecoverPoint in our environment and we're 99 percent VMware. Things just seem to show up, with very minimal setup on our side to get it to work.

                                                        For how long have I used the solution?

                                                        One to three years.

                                                        What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                                                        I haven't run across any bugs in it yet, even from the implementation I did previously. We have had it in place in our environment for approximately three months now. I did an upgrade - the project manager wasn't happy that I did it - but the upgrade was very simple. It has performed like it is supposed to.

                                                        What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                                                        I think it will meet our needs going forward. I don't think we would ever max out the Unity that we bought, based on our business model.

                                                        How are customer service and technical support?

                                                        I think the support from Dell EMC has improved greatly from what I received from EMC before they were purchased. They have been very responsive and very helpful.

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

                                                        I used to be on the VAR side, so I did an implementation in Texas, and then I went to Farm Bureau Health Plans. They were in the first stages of purchasing Unity to replace VNX, X-IO, and VPLEX.

                                                        How was the initial setup?

                                                        It is very straightforward. It is like the old Geico commercial: "Even a caveman could do it."

                                                        What other advice do I have?

                                                        I hardly ever rate anything perfect and best, so I would have to give this is a 9.9 out of 10. Nothing is absolutely perfect, but it's very high up there. I would recommend it to anyone.

                                                        Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                                                        it_user866082
                                                        Data Center Architect at Iron Bow Technologies
                                                        Real User
                                                        Seamless data migration from VNX, and VDI performance is very good

                                                        What is our primary use case?

                                                        Lately, the biggest use I've seen is around VDI and data migrations - migrating from the old VNX platform onto a new Unity. So far so good. Everybody has been very happy with it. It has been a very seamless transition. The performance, from a VDI perspective, has been very good. They are very happy with it.

                                                        What is most valuable?

                                                        Ease of use Ease of management Ease of deployment The GUI is very user-friendly.

                                                        What needs improvement?

                                                        I don't see a lot of room for improvement. Perhaps if they added more 10GB ports to the back of the system, so you have more IOPS out of the box itself to the network, that would help. But other than that it's a great platform.

                                                        What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                                                        The stability is awesome. It is very…

                                                        What is our primary use case?

                                                        Lately, the biggest use I've seen is around VDI and data migrations - migrating from the old VNX platform onto a new Unity.

                                                        So far so good. Everybody has been very happy with it. It has been a very seamless transition. The performance, from a VDI perspective, has been very good. They are very happy with it.

                                                        What is most valuable?

                                                        • Ease of use
                                                        • Ease of management
                                                        • Ease of deployment
                                                        • The GUI is very user-friendly.

                                                        What needs improvement?

                                                        I don't see a lot of room for improvement. Perhaps if they added more 10GB ports to the back of the system, so you have more IOPS out of the box itself to the network, that would help. But other than that it's a great platform.

                                                        What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                                                        The stability is awesome. It is very stable. No issues.

                                                        What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                                                        No issues with scalability. It is very good.

                                                        How is customer service and technical support?

                                                        Our customers have only had to use technical support for replacing drives and things like that. When they do, they are able to get through to the right people and get the help they need.

                                                        How was the initial setup?

                                                        The initial setup is very straightforward. Very easy.

                                                        What other advice do I have?

                                                        Definitely do it.

                                                        Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
                                                        it_user866079
                                                        IT System Admin Lead at a energy/utilities company with 10,001+ employees
                                                        Real User
                                                        Snapshot performance is key for us, along with improved recoveries

                                                        Pros and Cons

                                                        • "The way it takes the Snaps, that is one of the best features. Snapshot performance is what is key in the Unity, compared to a traditional VNX."
                                                        • "The VNX reporting is much more granular, versus the Unity reporting."

                                                        What is our primary use case?

                                                        The first time we got a Unity was last year. We started deploying some of our file system data into it. We have been seeing a significant improvement, not just the way that we take Snaps, but with the recoveries as well. We're also using it for block storage.

                                                        What is most valuable?

                                                        The way it takes the Snaps, that is one of the best features. Snapshot performance is what is key in the Unity, compared to a traditional VNX.

                                                        What needs improvement?

                                                        The reporting, I'm comparing the VNX with Unity. The VNX reporting is much more granular. The information that we need in terms of the IOPS, for example, and things like what my compression value is, that kind of information is pretty straightforward and you can just go to the dashboard and look for the information.

                                                        For how long have I used the solution?

                                                        One to three years.

                                                        What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                                                        Unity is a pretty stable product.

                                                        What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                                                        I know there are new, scalable versions of Unity that are out there. We recently have been getting more because our data is increasing. Recently we got the latest Unity model, and we are planning to convert most of our VNX data over to the Unity at some point.

                                                        How is customer service and technical support?

                                                        Technical support is five stars out of five. Every time it has dialed home for any of the issues that we have, so far we have seen very good support from EMC.

                                                        The new upgrades, the processors get changed, a new box comes in, there are new security vulnerabilities that the security team will ask us to analyze; those are the issues where we ask support for that information. We get a response pretty quickly.

                                                        How was the initial setup?

                                                        The setup is straightforward.

                                                        Which other solutions did I evaluate?

                                                        We did not evaluate other solutions. We have been an EMC shop for a very long time and we will continue to use it.

                                                        Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                                                        it_user866067
                                                        Group Technology Ops Executive at a retailer with 10,001+ employees
                                                        Real User
                                                        Increases performance, and we have gone from multi-rack to a portion of one rack

                                                        Pros and Cons

                                                        • "It will certainly help us scale bigger. If I look at the footprint, the VNX's was multi-rack. Now, all of a sudden, we're only at a portion of a rack. And, obviously, if we can scale within the same rack - we can certainly see that by the number of hard drives we've had to put in - we can scale a lot more easily."

                                                          How has it helped my organization?

                                                          We have certainly received a performance boost by moving to Unity.

                                                          What is most valuable?

                                                          We weren't looking at specific features. We needed to the additional storage and the performance.

                                                          For how long have I used the solution?

                                                          Less than one year.

                                                          What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                                                          No issues with stability so far, but it's early days. We have only been using it a few weeks.

                                                          What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                                                          It will certainly help us scale bigger. If I look at the footprint, the VNX's was multi-rack. Now, all of a sudden, we're only at a portion of a rack. And, obviously, if we can scale within the same rack - we can certainly see that by the number of hard drives we've had to put in - we can scale a lot more easily.

                                                          How are customer service and technical support?

                                                          Support has always been good. Support, service, all of that, has been good. The guys have been knowledgeable, they know what they're doing. No issues.

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

                                                          We were on the VNX before and we needed to do storage upgrades, we ran out of storage. We decided it would be better to refresh the entire architecture. Went to Unity, which obviously gave us the flash storage as well. 

                                                          The transition was pretty seamless. There were no issues in the migration. It is early days. We have not yet gotten to the point of looking at advanced features.

                                                          What other advice do I have?

                                                          When looking at selecting a vendor, it will be reputation, market share. It will be support, the pricing of the product; a roll-up of all of that is what counts at the end of the day.

                                                          I give it a 10 out of 10 for now, because we haven't had anything go wrong.

                                                          Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                                                          it_user865602
                                                          Director of Technical Services at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
                                                          Real User
                                                          Provides our customers with simplicity, flexibility, and ease of integration

                                                          Pros and Cons

                                                          • "The benefits are the simplicity, flexibility and the ease of integration between the Unity platform and VMware, for example, and Microsoft platforms; the integration tools and the simplicity of management."

                                                            What is our primary use case?

                                                            Most of the customers that I work with are using it for virtualization platforms. They are looking at it from a block data perspective. Most of them are leaning towards an Isilon platform for file-based data, so most of our traditional VNX customers have moved to the Unity platform, mostly for their structured block data.

                                                            How has it helped my organization?

                                                            Most customers are using it to gain some technical advantages through its simplicity and ease of use.

                                                            What is most valuable?

                                                            The benefits are the simplicity, flexibility and the ease of integration between the Unity platform and VMware, for example, and Microsoft platforms; the integration tools and the simplicity of management.

                                                            There have been big shifts, of course, in technology moving away from kind of the traditional three-tier architecture, so the Unity has gotten to the point where it's, once again, simple and optimized. Dell EMC has done a really good job of putting together a platform, one that is well supported.

                                                            What needs improvement?

                                                            There really aren't many weak spots, not many places to improve it.

                                                            What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                                                            The stability has been solid through dozens of implementations with our customers, from small to medium businesses running anywhere from 8TB to 10TB, up to some of our big enterprise customers using Unity for specialized systems running all-flash and half a petabyte type of scale. The performance and the stability of the platform have been stellar. No issues from customers.

                                                            Also, simple upgrades, stability right through the upgrade processes, they are very non-disruptive. It has been fantastic for all of our customers.

                                                            What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                                                            Moving away from the traditional EMC Clariion integration with the VNX, and some challenging upgrades through that process - specifically on the file side - the Unity, especially the all-block Unity platforms that we have been selling most of, are very simple, seamless, non-disruptive upgrades. Most customers are extremely happy with that. On the file side, the Unity is much easier to upgrade than it was traditionally with the VNX, so, once again, a big improvement over previous solutions.

                                                            How is customer service and technical support?

                                                            The role I'm in, I'm not directly calling EMC for support. I did, for years, but I haven't with the Unity platform. I do get to handle a lot of our customers, any kind of challenging scenarios, making sure that my resources, my technical resources are responding, are as responsive as can be to our customers. 

                                                            I know from my group of technicians who support our customers, and from our customers, that the tech support has been very, very solid on the Unity platform. I won't say it's perfect across the board for all Dell EMC products, but primary storage, the traditional EMC - the VNX rolling into the Unity platforms - has been stellar.

                                                            What other advice do I have?

                                                            I would put this solution at a solid nine out of 10. I don't think there is such thing as a perfect infrastructure. There is always room for improvement, even though I can't think of any. It is a strong platform.

                                                            In terms of advice, I think there are a couple of things. One of the reasons why I lean towards the Dell EMC solutions, as an EMC guy/reseller, is because of the completeness of vision. Across the data center with the disaster recovery, the integration with tools like RecoverPoint, with VMware, with some of the VMware tools, insight into the entire stack up and down. I would push most of my customers in that direction, versus a lot of the other players that are out there in the market today. We have seen some of them go by the wayside, we see a lot of new start-ups coming up. We see a lot of pressure from some of those start-ups that have an interesting gimmick.

                                                            Ultimately, when it comes right down to it, it's the supportability, it's the completeness of vision that Dell EMC has, and the integration. Typically, I will push most of my friends, colleagues, and customers, towards that platform.

                                                            Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                                                            it_user866781
                                                            Director at ESPH
                                                            Real User
                                                            Simple and efficient technology, makes it easier for my team to deliver solutions

                                                            How has it helped my organization?

                                                            The simplicity of the technology means it is easier for my team to do administration, to deliver.

                                                            What is most valuable?

                                                            The technology is simple and it is efficient.

                                                            For how long have I used the solution?

                                                            One to three years.

                                                            What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                                                            The product is reliable.

                                                            What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                                                            It is scalable. For example, at this moment I have a large customer, a government ministry in Costa Rica. We have two Unity's with services for transactions on different scales. It has grown over the course of six months. 

                                                            How is customer service and technical support?

                                                            From my experience, EMC provides good support, and Dell's service is very good. It is simple to call technical…

                                                            How has it helped my organization?

                                                            The simplicity of the technology means it is easier for my team to do administration, to deliver.

                                                            What is most valuable?

                                                            The technology is simple and it is efficient.

                                                            For how long have I used the solution?

                                                            One to three years.

                                                            What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                                                            The product is reliable.

                                                            What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                                                            It is scalable. For example, at this moment I have a large customer, a government ministry in Costa Rica. We have two Unity's with services for transactions on different scales. It has grown over the course of six months. 

                                                            How is customer service and technical support?

                                                            From my experience, EMC provides good support, and Dell's service is very good. It is simple to call technical support and they immediately respond.

                                                            With EMC technology, you don't really need support. We have been dealing with EMC for 14 years. We were the first company in Costa Rica to use EMC. We have 14 or 15 devices and we no have problems with this technology.

                                                            My technical personnel have implemented different fixes or upgrades. I have good internal technical support in my company.

                                                            Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
                                                            PO
                                                            System Analyst at a university with 1,001-5,000 employees
                                                            Real User
                                                            Easy to use and the All-Flash is helping our virtual machines perform better

                                                            Pros and Cons

                                                            • "The all-flash feature is really boosting up the VMware. It is helping our virtual machines to perform better."
                                                            • "The scalability is really good now that they have the Dynamic Pools. We don't always have the money to buy complete write sets when we have to expand the storage, so now with the Dynamic Pools we can add disks on the go."
                                                            • "There is an ESRS problem that we're facing where, for some reason, the other Unity has not been able to register to EMC. The support information is not upgrading and nobody can tell me what is wrong with it. It's a minor issue, the ESRS is still working, but it is something that is very confusing and nobody seems to know what to do about it."

                                                            What is our primary use case?

                                                            We have two all-flash Unity's and their primary use case is for VMware. We have two VMware's and the Unity's are the data storage back-end for them. We also have some 20 servers that boot from SAN, Fibre Channel. We also provide storage disks for the servers.

                                                            How has it helped my organization?

                                                            It helps because the all-flash feature is really boosting up the VMware. It is helping our virtual machines to perform better.

                                                            What is most valuable?

                                                            It's very simple to use. I really love the new Unisphere.

                                                            What needs improvement?

                                                            In a Fiber Channel world, things aren't really evolving, they're pretty stable. The VVols will be something that we'll look into later on. Now, we use very traditional LUNs that are attached to VMware as data storage, so we're not yet using VASA or VVol stuff. But maybe that will be something that, in the near future, when we update VMware to the next operating system version, we'll look into.

                                                            There is an ESRS problem that we're facing where, for some reason, the other Unity has not been able to register to EMC. The support information is not upgrading and nobody can tell me what is wrong with it. It's a minor issue, the ESRS is still working, but it is something that is very confusing and nobody seems to know what to do about it.

                                                            For how long have I used the solution?

                                                            One to three years.

                                                            What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                                                            I think it is really stable. We have had one Unity for two years and the second one was bought this year. I have roughly two years' experience and we have had no problems at all. Then again, we are only using Fibre Channels, so I don't know if the file side or the iSCSI side has issues. But the FC side is working very, very well.

                                                            What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                                                            The scalability is really good now that they have the Dynamic Pools. We don't always have the money to buy complete write sets when we have to expand the storage, so now with the Dynamic Pools we can add disks on the go. It's an easier process to order them and to get more storage when we need.

                                                            How is customer service and technical support?

                                                            We only used technical support during the installation. When we installed it, we had to fix some things with support. But after that, we have not needed to use it. DELL EMC support works really well with EMC storage systems.

                                                            How was the initial setup?

                                                            Setup was very straightforward but, then again, I have a lot of experience with Fibre Channel. I've been working with two VNX machines, and with one Clariion before that. I've been doing this job for seven or eight years, so I knew exactly what I wanted. Our technical guy came and installed it and it was very, very simple.

                                                            What other advice do I have?

                                                            When selecting a vendor, I really just want the product to work and the support to work. Every computer fails at some point. Every computer breaks down occasionally, and when that happens I need the support to act quickly and be as useful as possible.

                                                            I would give Unity a definite nine out of 10 at the moment. I really like the storage system. It's really good.

                                                            If you are using a fully virtual environment, I would suggest you check into an HC, a hyper-converged environment instead. But if you do need traditional storage and a SAN network, I would really recommend Unity as your back-end, if you're not too big to use Unity systems. They are mid-range storage. If you have a mid-range environment and you need to use Fibre Channel, I would really recommend a Unity All-Flash system.

                                                            Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                                                            it_user865596
                                                            Implementation Engineer at Telindus
                                                            Real User
                                                            A stable, scalable product with a multitude of features

                                                            Pros and Cons

                                                            • "Scalability is good."
                                                            • "It is very stable."
                                                            • "You can't use every feature, because it costs in performance. Therefore, you have to choose which features to use to achieve a better environment. That is why customers do not use every feature in Unity."
                                                            • "Since Dell took over EMC, the support has been very bad. Before, the support was fine. Now, the support is slow or they don't react."

                                                            What is our primary use case?

                                                            Mostly, it is used for the storage of a fertilization environment. It performs fine.

                                                            What is most valuable?

                                                            All the features are okay, but not all of our customers are using all the features.

                                                            What needs improvement?

                                                            The features are nice, but you can't use every feature, because it costs in performance. Therefore, you have to choose which features to use to achieve a better environment. That is why customers do not use every feature in Unity.

                                                            For how long have I used the solution?

                                                            More than five years.

                                                            What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                                                            It is very stable. While I have had downtime, it has mostly been due to a bug in the MCX version.

                                                            What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                                                            Scalability is good.

                                                            How is customer service and technical support?

                                                            Since Dell took over EMC, the support has been very bad. Before, the support was fine. Now, the support is slow or they don't react.

                                                            As a partner company, if EMC does not react immediately, it is not good. Because if there are any issues with the customer, then we need assistance. However, it is getting better and could be better.

                                                            Which other solutions did I evaluate?

                                                            The VNX is also a good system, but Unity is a little better. I am not saying it is much better, but it is better than the VNX

                                                            What other advice do I have?

                                                            Just use EMC.

                                                            Most important criteria when selecting a vendor: 

                                                            1. The product itself.
                                                            2. How the product is used.
                                                            Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
                                                            it_user865581
                                                            Storage Admin at a healthcare company with 10,001+ employees
                                                            Real User
                                                            Easy to use and set up replication, plus we have had no stability issues

                                                            How has it helped my organization?

                                                            It saves us time, it does not require a lot of admin from us. We are looking for things that we don't have to spend a lot of time managing. This solution falls into that category.

                                                            What is most valuable?

                                                            It is easy to use. Setting up replication is pretty simple. We just set it and forget it.

                                                            What needs improvement?

                                                            I'm not sure if it has a single pane of glass management console. That would be something we would like to see. Managing as many platforms as we do, as many physical devices as we have, anything that can provide a single pane of glass would be a huge benefit.

                                                            What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                                                            We're happy with the stability. We have not had any issues with it. We run all-flash on two of them and, so far, we have not had any complaints about performance issues.

                                                            How are customer service and technical support?

                                                            Other than upgrades, I have not had to use tech support. When I have had to do upgrades, they have been responsive, and easy to get to.

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

                                                            We are replacing our VNXs with it. Performance-wise, it has been pretty stable. The code upgrades are fairly simple and straightforward. I can't say it has had any issues so far. 

                                                            What other advice do I have?

                                                            When selecting a vendor, product stability is the big thing, but support is probably right up there with it.

                                                            I would use this solution over most VNX solutions. It is right up there. We have some Pure Storage, so it is somewhat in contention with that. We are mostly an EMC shop, so that's probably our biggest deciding factor. If you're an EMC shop, I would definitely go with Unity. If not, which you go for will probably be in the middle. Pure probably has the ease of use down a little bit better than Unity, but I would ding their support much more than anything I've done with EMC. 

                                                            Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
                                                            it_user865587
                                                            Infrastructure Engineer at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
                                                            Real User
                                                            Allows us more scalablility, as we don't have to overbuy a solution that can't scale out

                                                            Pros and Cons

                                                            • "The compression and deduplication that will be coming in version 4.3. With just those features, you're reducing the amount of data and the footprint on the hardware."

                                                              What is our primary use case?

                                                              Primary use case is block storage for healthcare IT. 

                                                              It has performed very well.

                                                              How has it helped my organization?

                                                              It has allowed us to be more scalable on the solution that we are buying, not having to overbuy a solution that we can't scale out.

                                                              What is most valuable?

                                                              The compression and deduplication which will be coming in version 4.3. With just those features, we will be reducing the amount of data and footprint on our hardware.

                                                              What needs improvement?

                                                              Among the biggest features that I wanted was deduplication, looking at the zeros coming in, in-line, and those will be available in version 4.3. There is nothing else I can think of at the moment.

                                                              What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                                                              Stability has been pretty rock solid for us. We actually did have one outage that was due to a bug in the code which caused the kernel to just run off on itself. It was a known bug. We probably should have been up on the newer code. We were a level behind. Although that bug was known, it caught us off guard.

                                                              Since then, we have had no issues with the stability. We have had 100 percent uptime.

                                                              What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                                                              Scalability is great, anywhere from upgrading the SPs to adding disks.

                                                              How are customer service and technical support?

                                                              I would evaluate the technical support as doing pretty well. I have never really had an issue with Unity's support.

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

                                                              We were using a VNX solution, and the reinvestment was partially due to its age as well as support contract renewals.

                                                              When selecting a vendor, it often comes down to price, but we have been pretty much a Dell EMC customer for years. We look for their products, and it is traditionally pretty easy to move from product to product.

                                                              How was the initial setup?

                                                              Very straightforward; simple. No Professional Services were needed on our install.

                                                              What other advice do I have?

                                                              I give it a 10 out of 10. I like it for what our application does.

                                                              I would recommend it.

                                                              Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
                                                              it_user623847
                                                              IT Infrastructure and DWH/BI Manager with 5,001-10,000 employees
                                                              Real User
                                                              We are able to put more DBs on flash, reducing latency and improving productivity

                                                              Pros and Cons

                                                              • "After migration to Unity 300F, we were able to put more DBs on flash, reducing latency. The results were visible in the front-end systems, and all users noticed the improvement."
                                                              • "VMware integration makes the life of our engineers easier, as we are almost 100% virtualized and this feature is used on a daily basis."
                                                              • "All-flash is a game changer. If you need performance, simple operations, and you plan to use it with VMware, it is a good choice."
                                                              • "The initial setup was very straightforward. Migration was smooth and configuration of the storage was quick and simple. The time needed to put it into production was less than expected, and data migration itself went without a glitch."
                                                              • "Improve the administrative user interface so it is easier to work with. Currently, a simple task, such as removing a host from 100 LUNS, takes a lot of time. If they could improve LUN to host model to be more like the EMC VPLEX, for example, it would be great."
                                                              • "We had one incident with a memory leak that led to controller reboot. Although it had no impact, when such things happens the storage should be more aware of it, send alerts, and propose corrective actions."
                                                              • "Last (and I understand that it has a low chance of being implemented) the copy services currently are redirect on write. It would be great if the administrator could choose between redirect on write and copy on write, when configuring copy job."

                                                              What is our primary use case?

                                                              Storage for high I/O databases.

                                                              How has it helped my organization?

                                                              Most of our systems had their respective performance bound to how fast the DBs were responding. After migration to Unity 300F, we were able to put more DBs on flash, reducing latency. The results were visible in the front-end systems, and all users noticed the improvement. The change impacted not only end-user satisfaction but also productivity, as users were able to perform more in the same amount of time.

                                                              What is most valuable?

                                                              • Performance
                                                              • Low Latency
                                                              • Integration with VMware

                                                              These features are important for us for two reasons. The first two features - performance and low latency - are customer-facing and have direct impact on the user experience. This way, our work is more visible and we are able to improve not only user perception but business processes overall as well. VMware integration makes the life of our engineers easier, as we are almost 100% virtualized and this feature is used on a daily basis.

                                                              What needs improvement?

                                                              I have three suggestions: 

                                                              Improve the administrative user interface so it is easier to work with. Currently, a simple task, such as removing a host from 100 LUNS, takes a lot of time. If they could improve LUN to host model to be more like the EMC VPLEX, for example, it would be great.

                                                              Additionally we had one incident with a memory leak that led to controller reboot. Although it had no impact, when such things happens the storage should be more aware of it, send alerts, and propose corrective actions. 

                                                              Last (and I understand that it has a low chance of being implemented) the copy services currently are redirect on write. It would be great if the administrator could choose between redirect on write and copy on write, when configuring copy job.

                                                              For how long have I used the solution?

                                                              Less than one year.

                                                              What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                                                              No issues with stability.

                                                              What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                                                              No issues with scalability.

                                                              How are customer service and technical support?

                                                              Good.

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

                                                              We were using EMC VNX, and it was a natural upgrade from tiered to all-flash storage.

                                                              How was the initial setup?

                                                              The initial setup was very straightforward. Migration was smooth and configuration of the storage was quick and simple. The time needed to put it into production was less than expected, and data migration itself went without a glitch.

                                                              What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

                                                              We always do a business case, so I recommend that to others too. If the business case sums well, go forward.

                                                              Which other solutions did I evaluate?

                                                              We evaluated options from other vendors and, although there were some other very good propositions, we chose DELL/EMC as we have the knowledge and we trust the partner.

                                                              What other advice do I have?

                                                              All-flash is a game changer. If you need performance, simple operations, and you plan to use it with VMware, it is a good choice.

                                                              Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
                                                              ITCS user
                                                              Sr Storage Architect at a tech services company
                                                              Real User
                                                              Remove configuration limits and improve the interface to provide management capabilities

                                                              Pros and Cons

                                                              • "Setup is simple."
                                                              • "Software updates have to be downloaded to the root of the device. This pushes the available space to 95% utilization."
                                                              • "​Improve the interface and provide more management capability."

                                                              What is our primary use case?

                                                              • Enterprise production services
                                                              • Wide variety of applications
                                                              • Block only

                                                              How has it helped my organization?

                                                              It did not. Simpler interfaces mean less capabilities for managing. Inexplicable rules of configuration contribute to inefficient disk allocation. The Unity units are an okay upgrade from VNXe, but are a poor substitute for a VNX2 model. It limits the management, distribution, monitoring, and implementation of our storage LUNs.

                                                              What is most valuable?

                                                              None. Having used EMC products for more than 15 years, this is the first product in that time that I could find nothing to like.

                                                              What needs improvement?

                                                              • Improve the interface and provide more management capability.
                                                              • Remove the configuration limits.
                                                              • Start over.

                                                              For how long have I used the solution?

                                                              One to three years.

                                                              How are customer service and technical support?

                                                              Dell is far worse at support than EMC was. It headed downhill fast.

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

                                                              EMC for more than 15 years. Prior solutions were VNX and VNX2.

                                                              What about the implementation team?

                                                              in-house.

                                                              What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

                                                              Setup is simple, but at the expense of key management features.

                                                              Pricing is as high as it has ever been for EMC.

                                                              Which other solutions did I evaluate?

                                                              Compared IBM Storwize and some Dell storage options.

                                                              What other advice do I have?

                                                              Software updates have to be downloaded to the root of the device. This pushes the available space to 95% utilization. Poor design.

                                                              Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                                                              it_user798228
                                                              IT Manager
                                                              Real User
                                                              Ease of use, scalability, and set up; you could call it child's play, it's so easy

                                                              Pros and Cons

                                                              • "Ease of use is probably number one, compared to the previous storage that we've had. Easy scalability, easy set up. Compared to everything else, the Unity is, well, you could call it child's play. As long as you know what you're doing storage-wise, Unity is really easy to use."
                                                              • "We run about 100 virtual servers on it. We have about 100 users accessing the file shares from there, and I've seen no problem with that. We have about a 10GB backbone. Whatever we throw at it, it hasn't shown any sign of weakness or anything. It's been really good."
                                                              • "On a scale from one to 10, I'd probably give EMC customer support an 11. It's been really good. We do have premium support, which means if we have a problem, it gets solved really quickly."
                                                              • "Maybe deduplication would be something that would be better to have. Also, it's a fairly new management interface, so work is still being done on that. But compared to other vendors and previous EMC storage, the Unity is really good."

                                                              How has it helped my organization?

                                                              It takes a lot less time to manage. Setting up new storage for virtualization is really easy, so it saves a lot of time creating file shares. So, it does save us time, and cost when compared to any other storage solutions.

                                                              What is most valuable?

                                                              Ease of use is probably number one, compared to the previous storage that we've had. Easy scalability, easy set up. Compared to everything else, the Unity is, well, you could call it child's play. As long as you know what you're doing storage-wise, Unity is really easy to use.

                                                              What needs improvement?

                                                              Maybe deduplication would be something that would be better to have. Also, it's a fairly new management interface, so work is still being done on that. But compared to other vendors and previous EMC storage, the Unity is really good.

                                                              At the moment actually, it does everything it needs to do; I don't have any improvement requests.

                                                              For how long have I used the solution?

                                                              One to three years.

                                                              What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                                                              No stability issues. Absolutely none.

                                                              What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                                                              For our needs, it's more than capable. We run about 100 virtual servers on it. We have about 100 users accessing the file shares from there, and I've seen no problem with that. We have about a 10GB backbone. Whatever we throw at it, it hasn't shown any sign of weakness or anything. It's been really good.

                                                              How are customer service and technical support?

                                                              On a scale from one to 10, I'd probably give EMC customer support an 11. It's been really good. We do have premium support, which means if we have a problem, it gets solved really quickly. 

                                                              At one time, we had an issue with multi-protocol storage which was solved in about two days. It wasn't even that critical. It was something that was in testing, and for testing purposes I got it solved in two days. So, customer support has been just marvelous, splendid.

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

                                                              We used VNX previously. This was an upgrade from VNX. We've also used EqualLogic which, of course, is part of the same company today. But EqualLogic was just for simple file storage and more of a scratch storage because it was really cheap and we needed more storage quickly at one time. The EqualLogic was the easiest to get access to at that time.

                                                              Compared to VNX, the Unity is a lot easier to use. I could have kept on going with the VNX, but since the Unity was more or less the replacement for this size of storage, the Unity was the logical next step.

                                                              How was the initial setup?

                                                              Dead simple. Comparing both EqualLogic and VNX, which basically are fairly simple themselves also, the Unity - as long as you know something about storage and what kind of storage or what kind of hardware you have below - it was just "Next, next, next," because it just uses the drives that you have. It sets them up automatically, creates everything more or less without almost knowing anything. It was very easy.

                                                              Perhaps I could have gotten some instruction online. The thing was that when I set it up, it had just entered the market. It was just about one week old when we got it. So, I don't think I would have found that much online, but then again, having worked with storage for the last 15 years, in essence I took a 15-year-long course before I got the Unity. But it was so simple, I didn't need any help setting it up.

                                                              What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

                                                              More or less, I am the team. I do have three other guys, but yes, I was the one who decided to get this. The pricing was quite okay compared to others. We probably got it cheaper because we were the first ones out of the gate, but I would say that it's good value for the money.

                                                              Which other solutions did I evaluate?

                                                              I wouldn't say that I actually did look at anything else because I'm familiar with EMC and have been really satisfied with them.

                                                              What other advice do I have?

                                                              It's really simple to use, set up, manage. Just be sure to know something about storage before you start, but that goes for any kind of storage solution that you use.

                                                              I actually want to give it a 10 out of 10 because it's been really easy to manage. It just does what it's supposed to do and it doesn't bother me. 

                                                              Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
                                                              it_user779364
                                                              Infrastructure Engineer at a financial services firm
                                                              Vendor
                                                              Speed and deduplication need improvement, tech support is difficult to work with

                                                              What is our primary use case?

                                                              Storage.

                                                              What is most valuable?

                                                              I didn't choose this solution. My boss picked the solution. I actually suggested something else from a different vendor. Personally, my opinion of it is there aren't a lot of great features with it.

                                                              What needs improvement?

                                                              There are plenty of areas for improvement. 

                                                              They can improve on the speed. 

                                                              They can improve on the dedupe features, because right now, if you're using certain functionalities, certain criteria, it doesn't dedupe. It's very limited in one sense, while other vendors dedupe on primary, on critical tier-1 data.

                                                              You get support, but sometimes you have to sit there and try to fight through tier-1 just to get to tier-2, to get the correct support, to get particular items corrected. Sometimes it's a battle just to fight through support to get the right people. Most of the time, their first-level support is not very technical, so they tend to give you a page number out of their administration guide, which they call their instruction booklet, and they have you read it. I already have the admin guide. I don't need to read it. I need someone to help me because my system is down. I have a production environment that's very critical.

                                                              For how long have I used the solution?

                                                              16 months.

                                                              What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                                                              It is stable. I give it that. I have had no issues such as where it just decides to take a vacation or drop dead. I've never had that happen. It's pretty stable. 

                                                              What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                                                              It is limited to a certain amount of terabytes. We haven't reached that threshold yet. 

                                                              How are customer service and technical support?

                                                              As I said above, when you call, their support is a little light on the "tech. Sometimes you get the correct people. Sometimes you don't. I'd give tech support a four out of 10.

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

                                                              Basically, we used the same company's storage. They kind of revamped the same model and gave it a different name. They rebranded it because they supposedly restructured the whole code, redesigned the code. But basically, it's the same model, but rebranded.

                                                              How was the initial setup?

                                                              I think they advertise that configuring this model takes less than an hour. But we had an integration firm that came in to do the install. It took some four to five hours just to rack it and configure it. I wouldn't say it was too complicated, and I wouldn't say it was extremely quick compared to what they advertise, that, "You can get the box running within an hour."

                                                              Which other solutions did I evaluate?

                                                              I personally had other options that I would have liked to explore, but my boss chose this, so I had no choice.

                                                              What other advice do I have?

                                                              It's basically the same unit as a VNX, as the predecessor, so it was not that much of a change besides a redesign in code. 

                                                              My advice would be do your due diligence in research. Ask a lot of questions. If you can go to the vendor - they have these offices where they have lab environments - go there. Check it out. Test it. Look at it. Do everything before you make the purchase, because once you buy it you're stuck with it. There's no money-back guarantee. Once you buy it, you're stuck with it for the next three to five years. You're spending a quarter million dollars all the way to maybe $5 -$6 million. It's not like you go into a retail store, "The shirt doesn't fit. Can I get my money back, or something else?" You can't do that.

                                                              They're slow to implement new innovation with their product. They look at other vendors, I'm guessing, use other vendors as a "guinea pig." If another vendor came out with something new and innovative in their product, they would probably sit there, wait three years to see how the market reacts to that special design, the functionality that they implemented. EMC doesn't really innovate. They just sit there and wait for other people to innovate, and then they just copy.

                                                              Their product is stable. That's why people just buy it. Their company is big, and that's why they buy it, because they know EMC has been around for ages. It's one of the very first SAN vendors, since the 1970s. It's that old. It's an ancient company, so people buy for stability.

                                                              Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
                                                              MG
                                                              Senior IT Infrastructure Engineer and Administrator at a pharma/biotech company with 1,001-5,000 employees
                                                              Real User
                                                              They have always met their stated service levels and have never let us down

                                                              What is most valuable?

                                                              • FAST Cache: The ability for hot blocks to almost instantaneously be served from Flash.
                                                              • FAST VP: Enables us to better utilise the Flash resources that we have.
                                                              • ESRS/CloudIQ: Having the array communicating back to Dell EMC enables me to get faster responses to issues which may arise, like a failed disk.

                                                              How has it helped my organization?

                                                              The Unity 400 Hybrid has enable us to better utilise our storage resources and make adjustments dynamically without having to shut down our hosts.

                                                              What needs improvement?

                                                              • Inline deduplication would be nice.
                                                              • Better management of the hosts in Unisphere.

                                                              For how long have I used the solution?

                                                              15 months.

                                                              What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                                                              Yes, we had an issue in January with a Service Processor rebooting unexpectedly. Dell EMC resolved this quickly with a special build of the OE and a permanent fix was included in the next public release.

                                                              What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                                                              No, the Unity 400 hybrid is highly scalable. It adds extra storage or connectivity can be done while it is online.

                                                              How are customer service and technical support?

                                                              10 out of 10. One of the most important criteria in our purchasing decisions is the technical support. DELL EMC set the benchmark for us by which all other vendors are compared.

                                                              They have always met their stated service levels and have never let us down. They always follow up to make sure everything is OK.

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

                                                              Yes, we had a CX4-480, which had reached the end of its service life.

                                                              How was the initial setup?

                                                              The setup was extremely straightforward, As long as you follow the initial config guide, your first LUNs can be available in a couple of hours.

                                                              What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

                                                              Dell EMC is very competitive on its storage pricing, and from our experience, is not only the superior solution, but the best priced.

                                                              Which other solutions did I evaluate?

                                                              Yes, we also looked at IBM and NetApp.

                                                              What other advice do I have?

                                                              The Unity 400 is one of the easiest to manage and the most reliable storage systems that I have managed in my 22 years in IT. Performance-wise it has met or exceeded all our expectations. If you do run into a problem, the support is second to none.

                                                              Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
                                                              Flavio Araujo
                                                              User
                                                              Real User
                                                              Consolidates all our data in a unique 2U configuration

                                                              Pros and Cons

                                                              • "Real Unified Storage (Block, File, VVols) in a unique 2U hardware."
                                                              • "The Host LUN ID is sequential by access in the hosts. When one LUN needs access by many hosts (for cluster purposes), in some cases the Host LUN ID remains different on each host."

                                                              How has it helped my organization?

                                                              The storage solution has all our data from all systems, including our new ERP; the whole organization depends on the storage to work. All data is in one location.

                                                              What is most valuable?

                                                              Real Unified Storage (Block, File, VVols) in a unique 2U hardware. 

                                                              What needs improvement?

                                                              LUN mask. The Host LUN ID is sequential by access in the hosts. When one LUN needs access by many hosts (for cluster purposes), in some cases the Host LUN ID remains different on each host. Storage groups or global IDs for LUNs could be a good solution for this.

                                                              What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                                                              No stablility issues.

                                                              What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                                                              No scalability issues.

                                                              How is customer service and technical support?

                                                              Very good.

                                                              How was the initial setup?

                                                              The initial setup was very simple.

                                                              What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

                                                              The licensing process is very simple and it has many features. I can't talk about pricing because I'm in a technical position and I do not have access to costs.

                                                              Which other solutions did I evaluate?

                                                              Yes, we still have a VNX5400 (block), before it was at a production storage site, today it is at a disaster recovery site. The change from VNX to Unity was because of the build of the DR site, a new ERP implementation, and to update the storage technology.

                                                              Other storage solutions need additional hardware to support file storage and the integration sometimes fails; or they offer fewer features.

                                                              We were EMC partners for some time, now Dell EMC partners. Our choices are based in Dell EMC products because we understand that the EMC technology is better when it comes to storage solutions. Among the EMC storage options, the Unity is the best choice when we analyze price, scalability, performance and  features.

                                                              What other advice do I have?

                                                              The Dell EMC Unity is a small but powerful storage solution. With the "unified" concept it is possible get many features for less.

                                                              Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
                                                              it_user758250
                                                              IT Manager
                                                              Vendor
                                                              We find the DR plans, RPO, and RTO beneficial to our organization, but the GUI updates need improvement

                                                              What is most valuable?

                                                              Replication: Disaster Recovery (DR) plans, RPO and RTO. Replication and ease of storage setup for block LUN’s and VMware.

                                                              How has it helped my organization?

                                                              Same answer as most valuable features.

                                                              What needs improvement?

                                                              GUI updates. I had several hours helping support troubleshoot the difference in what the system was doing compared to what the GUI said.

                                                              For how long have I used the solution?

                                                              Less than a year.

                                                              What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                                                              Sure did.

                                                              What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                                                              No.

                                                              What is most valuable?

                                                              Replication: Disaster Recovery (DR) plans, RPO and RTO. Replication and ease of storage setup for block LUN’s and VMware.

                                                              How has it helped my organization?

                                                              Same answer as most valuable features.

                                                              What needs improvement?

                                                              GUI updates. I had several hours helping support troubleshoot the difference in what the system was doing compared to what the GUI said.

                                                              For how long have I used the solution?

                                                              Less than a year.

                                                              What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                                                              Sure did.

                                                              What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                                                              No.

                                                              Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
                                                              it_user776964
                                                              Platform Administrator
                                                              Vendor
                                                              The presentation of new storage to the servers is very easy

                                                              What is most valuable?

                                                              • Auto-tiering
                                                              • FAST Cache

                                                              Automatically, the cool data downgrades to slower disks and no human needs to intervene. The FAST Cache helps to have a large quantity of data in memory and speed up the presentation of new storage.

                                                              How has it helped my organization?

                                                              • We spend less time checking the solution.
                                                              • The presentation of new storage to the servers is very easy.

                                                              What needs improvement?

                                                              The reports could possibly export all the data at once.

                                                              For how long have I used the solution?

                                                              10 months.

                                                              What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                                                              No issues.

                                                              What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                                                              No issues.

                                                              How are customer service and technical support?

                                                              Low.

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

                                                              Yes, we previously used EMC VNX. We switched to upgrade.

                                                              How was the initial setup?

                                                              The initial setup was very easy and intuitive.

                                                              What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

                                                              It is a good value given the benefits it provides.

                                                              Which other solutions did I evaluate?

                                                              Yes, HPE 3PAR.

                                                              Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
                                                              it_user776910
                                                              Manager Information Technology at a real estate/law firm with 11-50 employees
                                                              Vendor
                                                              It is a single source of knowledge and repository for all our data

                                                              What is most valuable?

                                                              • The performance
                                                              • Ease of use

                                                              How has it helped my organization?

                                                              Before the product went in, we did not have any centralized storage. All our service storage was supported separately. We had multiple machines which added administration and maintenance costs. Whereas now, it is a single source of knowledge and repository for all our data. It has made our lives a lot easier. It also has improved our disaster recovery because we have two of them in place replicating. 

                                                              What needs improvement?

                                                              • The virtual appliance is limited to 4TB in storage. This should be unlimited for paying customers.
                                                              • The front panel is too fiddly to take off and on.
                                                              • The support model would be better within Australia. Support has been great, but onshore support would be minorly beneficial.
                                                              • Troubleshooting LUN replication can be difficult.
                                                              • When making changes to replicated LUNs (Async in our case), perhaps some measures to prevent us making mistakes. (One of our engineers modified the block storage size and it did not follow the proper procedure, and this broke the replication awkwardly. This was the subject of our most recent support ticket.)

                                                              For how long have I used the solution?

                                                              We started using it last November, so going on just about 12 months.

                                                              What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                                                              No issues. A very stable product. In previous roles, I have also used the earlier models. The VNX Series and EMC do a really good job. 

                                                              What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                                                              No issues. It has been a year, and at the moment, I am having a schedule of work put together to increase the capacity. It will be a very easy job. A matter of adding extra disks to existing slots. Very easy to do. So, a very scalable product.

                                                              How are customer service and technical support?

                                                              I have not personally worked with the tech support, but the engineers who installed it have worked with EMC's support. It has been very good. EMC has at times reached out to us, flagging that they have noticed a problem with some of the array configurations. That level of support has been very good. 

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

                                                              No, as there was no central storage solution beforehand. We went to market straight away. 

                                                              How was the initial setup?

                                                              I got professional services in to do the initial installation. If you get the right people to do the installation, they make it a lot easier.

                                                              What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

                                                              Pay for the training. At least negotiate with EMC to get the training done, because it is a good product and it is even better once you are shown how to use it properly.

                                                              Which other solutions did I evaluate?

                                                              I was debating between the Unity 300 and a NetApp Solution. We ended up picking the Unity only because the administration is a lot easier. 

                                                              Also, I had used the earlier model in the past, and it was recommended by the supplier as well. 

                                                              What other advice do I have?

                                                              It is absolutely a good solution. It does have the ability for expansion into Cloud services, which I would like to use one day, but we have not tried that yet.

                                                              Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
                                                              it_user776907
                                                              IT Server Admin at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
                                                              Consultant
                                                              The product is easy to use and configure. The support is also superb.

                                                              What is most valuable?

                                                              • Storage
                                                              • Easy to manage and configure.
                                                              • I can easily setup and configure the LUN and host without support.

                                                              How has it helped my organization?

                                                              Alert notification via SMS. If the product could only send alert notification via SMS, it would be much better. This is needed mostly when you are not in the office and have no access to email. Therefore, you could check immediately if there was an issue.

                                                              For how long have I used the solution?

                                                              Nine months.

                                                              What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                                                              No issues.

                                                              What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                                                              No issues.

                                                              How are customer service and technical support?

                                                              100%. They are very accommodating, and it is easy to contact them.

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

                                                              This solution is much better than the previous one.

                                                              How was the initial setup?

                                                              The initial setup is straightforward. All I need to do is to configure the LUN and host.

                                                              What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

                                                              This device is worth it.

                                                              Which other solutions did I evaluate?

                                                              No.

                                                              What other advice do I have?

                                                              The product is easy to use and configure. The support is also superb.

                                                              Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
                                                              it_user765249
                                                              Data Center & IT Infrastructure Administrator at a financial services firm with 5,001-10,000 employees
                                                              Vendor
                                                              We use it to backup our storage. It is very easy and convenient.

                                                              What is most valuable?

                                                              The ease of use, which makes it very good.

                                                              How has it helped my organization?

                                                              We use it to backup our storage, and also positioning LANs by using the file option, then the block. It is very easy and convenient.

                                                              What needs improvement?

                                                              The payment account area.

                                                              For how long have I used the solution?

                                                              For approximately a year.

                                                              What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                                                              At the moment, there are no issues. We once had an issue where one LAN was full, and because it was full it was making the SP reboot. But with the upgrade, we decide it was a non-issue, and with the upgrade, it was fixed. The upgrade fixed it.

                                                              What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                                                              There are no issues with the scalability.

                                                              How are customer service and

                                                              What is most valuable?

                                                              The ease of use, which makes it very good.

                                                              How has it helped my organization?

                                                              We use it to backup our storage, and also positioning LANs by using the file option, then the block. It is very easy and convenient.

                                                              What needs improvement?

                                                              The payment account area.

                                                              For how long have I used the solution?

                                                              For approximately a year.

                                                              What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                                                              At the moment, there are no issues.

                                                              We once had an issue where one LAN was full, and because it was full it was making the SP reboot. But with the upgrade, we decide it was a non-issue, and with the upgrade, it was fixed. The upgrade fixed it.

                                                              What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                                                              There are no issues with the scalability.

                                                              How are customer service and technical support?

                                                              They have been helpful and knowledgeable.

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

                                                              We used DNX, but we needed to buy something for the backup solution. That is why we went for Unity.

                                                              How was the initial setup?

                                                              The initial setup is simple, okay, and easy.

                                                              What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

                                                              The pricing is fine and licensing is okay.

                                                              Which other solutions did I evaluate?

                                                              Yes, we looked at Hitachi.

                                                              What other advice do I have?

                                                              We are partners with this vendor.

                                                              Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
                                                              it_user763845
                                                              Infrastructure Manager
                                                              Real User
                                                              From a functionality perspective on cost-effectiveness, it is exceeding all expectations

                                                              Pros and Cons

                                                              • "It has compression, which allows you to store more data than you would normally under the arrays."
                                                              • "The uses of tools to communicate with EMC directly. With EMC, I am not able to connect and resolve issues without assistance, so they can't do unattended maintenance on devices, which would be a massive benefit if they could."

                                                              How has it helped my organization?

                                                              By having ease of management in central management, this means that our company no longer needs to hire a dedicated storage engineer. The administration of it can be passed over to existing team members without us spending on additional resources.

                                                              On the capacity side, by having compression available from the All-Flash storage, we are in a position where we are no longer running out of space, so if we are, we are notified well in advance, and the ease of expansion means that it can be done remotely without an engineer configuring it on site. So, the disk can just be inserted, and we can support it all remotely.

                                                              Cost-effectiveness means we are actually able to provide the sums in pairs to have disaster recovery (DR) as opposed to buying one single larger solution. We can have multiples.

                                                              What is most valuable?

                                                              • Expandability for capacity management is pretty important.
                                                              • It has compression, which allows you to store more data than you would normally under the arrays.
                                                              • The ease of use in central management by Unisphere Central.
                                                              • Cost-effectiveness, when compared to other products.

                                                              What needs improvement?

                                                              The uses of tools to communicate with EMC directly. With EMC, I am not able to connect and resolve issues without assistance, so they can't do unattended maintenance on devices, which would be a massive benefit if they could.

                                                              They need a resource available to like grant them access or privileges onto the devices, so it can delay upgrades and fixes being put in places because we might not have a resource available who can assist them at that time.

                                                              If they could manage it remotely as they were, completely remotely without off-switching it, that would be a massive asset.

                                                              What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                                                              It is very stable. We have never had an issue with it.

                                                              What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                                                              The scalability is exceeding expectations.

                                                              How are customer service and technical support?

                                                              I would give them an eight out of 10. They are knowledgeable and solve my issues in a timely manner.

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

                                                              We used an older EMC product, and we switched over because this was a newer model that they had released. We moved from a VNXe to the Unity devices.

                                                              How was the initial setup?

                                                              It was straightforward. It was very easy to set up. Every single step of the process was well documented, intuitive, and easy to follow. There were no caveats or any extra things we had to do to get it to work. It worked out-of-the-box.

                                                              What was our ROI?

                                                              From a functionality perspective on cost-effectiveness, it is exceeding all expectations.

                                                              What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

                                                              For costing, you have to have a budget in mind because SANs can be fairly expensive and EMC offers a wide range of products. It is important that you know your requirements exactly before you go ahead and purchase one of those devices. Because it could be either under or over your requirements.

                                                              Which other solutions did I evaluate?

                                                              We checked out Nimble Storage and HPE MSL.

                                                              We evaluated based on performance, scalability, availability, security options, and costs. The Unity was either equal to or better than the other products in all those areas, plus the staff already had previous familiarity with using EMC products, which is why we kept using it.

                                                              What other advice do I have?

                                                              For someone researching whether to implement Unity: If they have familiarity using EMC devices previously, then it is really a no-brainer. You would use this because you will be able to install, setup, and configure it without any additional training required for your current staff. If you're a new customer, and you have another product, the Unity offers several features that other products do not. I would advise just looking at the technical specifications or ask EMC to give you a preview because they are very helpful over the phone, and they can do a live demo for you.

                                                              Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
                                                              it_user760152
                                                              IT Engineer with 1,001-5,000 employees
                                                              Real User
                                                              Provides multiprotocol support including NFS, fiber channel, and CIFS

                                                              Pros and Cons

                                                              • "The multiprotocol support. It's supporting NFS, fiber channel, CIFS, and these kinds of things. The multiprotocol is very attractive."
                                                              • "We are running VMware, and with the VNXe it was possible to restore. We're using Veeam for VMware backups and with the predecessor, it was possible to mount a backup or restore a backup from a storage snapshot. With the Unity 300, this is not possible."
                                                              • "We are running VMware, and with the VNXe it was possible to restore. We're using Veeam for VMware backups and with the predecessor, it was possible to mount a backup or restore a backup from a storage snapshot. With the Unity 300, this is not possible."

                                                              How has it helped my organization?

                                                              It's flexible and we've been doing a decentralization exercise for the last number of years, so we've used the Unity 300 for our remote sites as a storage box.

                                                              What is most valuable?

                                                              The multiprotocol support. It's supporting NFS, fiber channel, CIFS, and these kinds of things. The multiprotocol is very attractive.

                                                              What needs improvement?

                                                              There is something that comes to mind. We've deployed these systems in a virtualized environment. We are running VMware, and with the VNXe it was possible to restore. We're using Veeam for VMware backups and with the predecessor, it was possible to mount a backup or restore a backup from a storage snapshot. With the Unity 300, this is not possible.

                                                              What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                                                              So far it's proven very reliable and very flexible.

                                                              What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                                                              So far we have no issues. But we are currently doing disaster recovery tests so we've deployed the Unity 300 with an expansion in our disaster recovery sites. Now we're going to do some serious tests, so we'll be able to tell you that in a few weeks, whether or not it holds its own.

                                                              How are customer service and technical support?

                                                              I think I called once, when I deployed the first box myself, to validate whether the setup was correct.

                                                              And also with some call-back issues, the ESRS. We had some issues with that, the call-back support. Whenever a box encounters an issue, we automatically contact Dell EMC and log a call automatically. This function has proven somewhat problematic. But it doesn't affect any of the normal day to day operations of it.

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

                                                              As I said, we'd been using its predecessor, the VNXe. It's because the VNXe is being phased out that we switched to the successor, the Unity 300. But apart from that, we've been using EMC solutions for the last four years now. That's why we've stuck with EMC, ever since.

                                                              How was the initial setup?

                                                              Some points are frustrating. There's no quick setup guides included with the box itself on paper, so you have to connect to EMC support for that. But apart from that, it's very straightforward, quite easy, intuitive. It's proven fairly easy.

                                                              Which other solutions did I evaluate?

                                                              As I mentioned before, we've used this product to deploy in remote sites, so as an alternative we were contemplating VMware vSAN. But in the end we didn't choose that option. We chose the shared storage option using the Unity 300.

                                                              What other advice do I have?

                                                              My experiences are generally positive with this product. I would definitely recommend to others to go for it unless they choose an alternative.

                                                              Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
                                                              it_user762255
                                                              Systems / Security Administrator with 51-200 employees
                                                              Real User
                                                              It has been upgraded with additional drives and enclosures multiple times without incident

                                                              Pros and Cons

                                                                • "I would like the device to have the ability to pull down its own firmware. That would be a great thing."

                                                                How has it helped my organization?

                                                                The VNX5300 was a good all-around device, which we used for our VMware-based workloads along with CIFS-based file access. After our transition to HCI, we needed a dedicated, non-virtual machine-based CIFS solution that was easily scalable to fit our needs. The Unity 300 fit that and has not caused any issues since being in production.

                                                                What is most valuable?

                                                                We currently deploy the Unitys for CIFS-based file access to supplement our VxRail deployment, which was installed around the same time.

                                                                What needs improvement?

                                                                I would like the device to have the ability to pull down its own firmware. That would be a great thing.

                                                                What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                                                                We have had no stability issues with the product, including when adding replication on the fly, customer installed code updates, and customer installed DAEs.

                                                                What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                                                                We have had no issues of scalability with the product. The product has been upgraded with additional drives and enclosures multiple times without incident.

                                                                Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                                                                AT
                                                                Head of IT, South & Central America at a engineering company with 201-500 employees
                                                                Real User
                                                                The small device has fast access to data with a small consumption of energy

                                                                What is most valuable?

                                                                Small device Using few U's on rack Small consumption of energy Fast access on data

                                                                How has it helped my organization?

                                                                The best improvement will happen in the future. We will hopefully not be replacing the HDD with failure.

                                                                What needs improvement?

                                                                The price has room for improvement.

                                                                For how long have I used the solution?

                                                                I have used this product since May 2017.

                                                                What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                                                                Not at all. No issues with stability.

                                                                What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                                                                I will need to see in the future. I do not have time for scalability for the time being to determine whether it can scale out.

                                                                What is most valuable?

                                                                • Small device
                                                                • Using few U's on rack
                                                                • Small consumption of energy
                                                                • Fast access on data

                                                                How has it helped my organization?

                                                                The best improvement will happen in the future. We will hopefully not be replacing the HDD with failure.

                                                                What needs improvement?

                                                                The price has room for improvement.

                                                                For how long have I used the solution?

                                                                I have used this product since May 2017.

                                                                What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                                                                Not at all. No issues with stability.

                                                                What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                                                                I will need to see in the future. I do not have time for scalability for the time being to determine whether it can scale out.

                                                                Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
                                                                it_user760155
                                                                IT Techinal Engineer at a consultancy with 51-200 employees
                                                                Consultant
                                                                Simple configuration enables adding datastores on VMFS5 to any clusters on your vSphere organization

                                                                Pros and Cons

                                                                • "VMware integration: Grants both the Storage and Virtual Administrator the ability to create and mount datastores, or even to check how much space each VM is consuming."
                                                                • "Compression and block deduplication on non-all-flash solutions."

                                                                How has it helped my organization?

                                                                With a such a simple configuration you can add datastores on VMFS5 to any clusters on your vSphere organization.

                                                                What is most valuable?

                                                                • VMware integration: Grants both the Storage and Virtual Administrator the ability to create and mount datastores, or even to check how much space each VM is consuming.
                                                                • Block compression on F Models: Compression on F Models or in flash pools allows us to almost duplicate the available space on the array; more space for less money, everyone likes this.
                                                                • Simple management: The simple GUI implemented on the Unity arrays simplifies management.

                                                                What needs improvement?

                                                                Compression and block deduplication on non-all-flash solutions. I know it should not be easy to reach flash-like compression on mechanical disks, but it would bring this array to the top of the charts. And, of course, the block deduplication in mechanical pools. As I said above, everybody likes the "more space for less money" formula.

                                                                What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                                                                There were issues with the earlier releases, not now.

                                                                What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                                                                No issues.

                                                                Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
                                                                it_user757434
                                                                IT Supervisor
                                                                Vendor
                                                                We have been able use Auto-Tier and FAST VP to build up flexible space

                                                                Pros and Cons

                                                                • "Because I always need to trouble shooting for IOPS & database (DB) performance issues. I can quickly focus on what is part of the issue. I can decrease downtime and can plan next year's extended capacity budget."
                                                                • "For the integration of the VPLEX function for Cross IDC structure, they should integrate the function into the SP controller."

                                                                How has it helped my organization?

                                                                • Use Replication function to build up cold or warm Disaster Recovery (DR) site.
                                                                • Use Auto-Tier and FAST VP to build up flexible space.

                                                                What is most valuable?

                                                                • Performance dashboard
                                                                • Because I always need to trouble shooting for IOPS & database (DB) performance issues. I can quickly focus on what is part of the issue. I can decrease downtime and can plan next year's extended capacity budget.
                                                                • Integration of the VPLEX function for Cross IDC structure.

                                                                What needs improvement?

                                                                For the integration of the VPLEX function for Cross IDC structure, they should integrate the function into the SP controller.

                                                                What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                                                                Yes, sometimes the DNS does not work out properly.

                                                                What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                                                                No, there have not been issues with the scalability.

                                                                Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
                                                                it_user758247
                                                                Senior Systems Engineer at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees
                                                                Real User
                                                                Ability to redefine storage policies and improve performance by adding dynamic cache and “Auto-tiering”

                                                                Pros and Cons

                                                                • "The ease of management and “user-friendly” management environment (GUI)."
                                                                • "There are features still to come, like compression and deduplication on hybrid platforms, VDM improvements to be developed for NAS environments, and also improvements in the “self-migration” tools to push or pool information (to assist the migrations to and mostly from third-party arrays)."

                                                                How has it helped my organization?

                                                                It has improved the environments for many customers who have transitioned from other vendors storage platforms to Unity, due to technical proposals and offerings defined by us.

                                                                What is most valuable?

                                                                • The ease of management and “user-friendly” management environment (GUI).
                                                                • Simplicity for deploying and controlling storage elements.
                                                                • Ability to redefine storage policies and improve performance (adding dynamic cache and “Auto-tiering”).
                                                                • Hardware simplification (e.g., not requiring NAS dedicated hardware).
                                                                • The true “Unification” (to have a fully-flexible solution combining multiple technologies and protocols in 2U of rack space).

                                                                What needs improvement?

                                                                There are features still to come, like compression and deduplication on hybrid platforms, VDM improvements to be developed for NAS environments, and also improvements in the “self-migration” tools to push or pool information (to assist the migrations to and mostly from third-party arrays).

                                                                It has evolved from what it was one year and a half ago, but there are more features incoming with the scheduled “UnityOS” updates (planned on roadmap) that will provide the product with new features only available in VNX2, but most important, all newly added features will have no additional cost for the customers, because the platform is fully-licensed from the base configuration.

                                                                What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                                                                Very few (some NAS related issues with early “UnityOS” versions, prior to 4.1).

                                                                What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                                                                None. Data-in-Place Conversions are available, for “scaling-up”. This feature may be driven online, in the next “UnityOS” release (4.2 SP1).

                                                                How are customer service and technical support?

                                                                With the new support options offered with Unity, this support is always offered on a 24/7 basis (if the customer allows it, the system will be permanently monitored for issues). In this case, the system will be “two-way” connected remotely to Dell EMC proactive support via an ESRS gateway. Now, with the option to add a feature called “CloudIQ” that consists of an online portal offering (totally free, without additional fees) to access online and watch the system health and behaviour (in real time, from a customer point of view).

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

                                                                This does not apply directly to us. I had a very close contact with all “EMC legacy” storage platforms from the times of Clariion and Celerra. Thus, I have experienced the evolution and consolidation of these products, first on VNX, and later on in Unity, that is the pinnacle of this unification.

                                                                How was the initial setup?

                                                                The initial configuration is guided by an “Initial Configuration Wizard” that is completely straightforward.

                                                                Which other solutions did I evaluate?

                                                                Absolutely. We offer Dell EMC solutions to partners who always work with several offerings from various manufacturers, targeting the same scenario (mostly NetApp, Huawei, HPE and IBM).

                                                                What other advice do I have?

                                                                When implementing this product, be careful while configuring “Virtual Pools” (on hybrid platforms), in order to assure optimum performance. The proper disk raid choice is critical and may impact directly in the performance of a “Storage Pool” dedicated for a specific purpose or environment.

                                                                Dell EMC Unity is actually one of my market focuses, from the understanding that Dell EMC has redefined the core of their mid-range storage portfolio, focusing on two main products: Dell EMC SC (Dell legacy Compellent) and Dell EMC Unity (the last mid-range storage solution developed by the former EMC, just prior to committing the fusion with Dell).

                                                                In the Spanish market (which is totally different compared with US), it is considered the “premium” Dell EMC mid-range storage choice for those SMB customers who wish to acquire a full integrated solution, combining “multi-protocol” physical topologies (FC/10GbE) but also combining multipurpose storage (SAN/NAS and “Virtualization Optimized Storage”).

                                                                From this point of view, I consider it a “well-thought out” solution who was born from the principles that EMC established with the development of the VNXe Storage Series (considering that VNXe3200 is, in many aspects, the mother on Unity). It has inherited a full refresh regarding the “microcode” that characterized the VNX Series, while retaining all the benefits developed in the VNX MCx codes (optimized for true multi-core processing) and foremost developed (is the case of Unity AFA solutions) as a true “All Flash” solution, from their very foundations.

                                                                Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
                                                                it_user756597
                                                                IT Supervisor
                                                                Vendor
                                                                It's easy to manage and the interface is great

                                                                How has it helped my organization?

                                                                It’s helped with the overall stability of our VMware environment.

                                                                What is most valuable?

                                                                We use it to provide VMware VMFS to our VMware environment. Also, we use it for replication of data stores to another EMC Unity 300. This works fantastically. It’s easy to manage.  The interface is great.  Underlying functionality works well. 

                                                                What needs improvement?

                                                                The only improvement would be a lower cost per unit/disks, however on the whole we are very pleased with this product. 

                                                                What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                                                                None whatsoever. A big update was released in which Dell contacted us and did the upgrade.

                                                                What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                                                                None whatsoever. We expanded both our EMC Unity disks by 10TB…

                                                                How has it helped my organization?

                                                                It’s helped with the overall stability of our VMware environment.

                                                                What is most valuable?

                                                                We use it to provide VMware VMFS to our VMware environment. Also, we use it for replication of data stores to another EMC Unity 300. This works fantastically.

                                                                • It’s easy to manage. 
                                                                • The interface is great. 
                                                                • Underlying functionality works well. 

                                                                What needs improvement?

                                                                The only improvement would be a lower cost per unit/disks, however on the whole we are very pleased with this product. 

                                                                What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                                                                None whatsoever. A big update was released in which Dell contacted us and did the upgrade.

                                                                What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                                                                None whatsoever. We expanded both our EMC Unity disks by 10TB without any disruption or issues. Simply added the disks, then created further data stores.

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

                                                                We moved away from NetApp FAS storage and really like EMC Unity.

                                                                Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                                                                it_user758244
                                                                Senior Systems Engineer at a sports company
                                                                Vendor
                                                                Delivers High IOPS and low latency which are the most important part of our usage

                                                                Pros and Cons

                                                                • "Veeam Backup integration: Veeam is the defacto standard for backing up of virtual environments."
                                                                • "Firmware Upgrades in EMC Unity require you to manually download OS and Drive firmware, this should be integrated (Nimble does this). When you order an EMC Unity, you have to specify the block size. This is weird for me and even weirder that you cannot change this afterwards, you should be able to specify per LUN/datastore (Nimble does this as well)."

                                                                How has it helped my organization?

                                                                Delivers High IOPS, but more important, low latency as this is the most important part for our usage.

                                                                What is most valuable?

                                                                • VMware integration, why is pretty self-explanatory, though Nimble offers better VMware integration then EMC does, which is odd given where EMC comes from.
                                                                • Veeam Backup integration: Veeam is the defacto standard for backing up of virtual environments.
                                                                • Fibre Channel support

                                                                What needs improvement?

                                                                I’d say better VMware integration. Currently, EMC relies on an additional VM (virtual machine) for integration with vCenter, whereas Nimble interfaces directly without the need of an additional virtual machine.

                                                                Both products are fully HTML5 compliant, which makes me very happy. We have been able to fully eliminate Adobe Flash thanks to this.

                                                                Firmware Upgrades in EMC Unity require you to manually download OS and Drive firmware, this should be integrated (Nimble does this). When you order an EMC Unity, you have to specify the block size. This is weird for me and even weirder that you cannot change this afterwards, you should be able to specify per LUN/datastore (Nimble does this as well).

                                                                What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                                                                No.

                                                                What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                                                                Not yet.

                                                                Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
                                                                it_user757431
                                                                Head of IT Infrastructure
                                                                Vendor
                                                                ​User friendly interface, scalable, no need for additional licenses, flexible support plans, prompt support

                                                                How has it helped my organization?

                                                                Decreased administration efforts, improved manageability.

                                                                What is most valuable?

                                                                User friendly interface Scalability It is shipped with all licensed, included for this product range, no need to buy additional licenses Flexible support plans  Prompt answers from EMC support

                                                                What needs improvement?

                                                                Thick provisioning of LUNs. Firmware management form EMC. Strange way to populate firmware based on spread ratio among the customers of EMC Unity.

                                                                What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                                                                Yes, but did not affect systems which relay on it. Firmware patch was released by EMC.

                                                                What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                                                                Not for now.

                                                                How has it helped my organization?

                                                                Decreased administration efforts, improved manageability.

                                                                What is most valuable?

                                                                • User friendly interface
                                                                • Scalability
                                                                • It is shipped with all licensed, included for this product range, no need to buy additional licenses
                                                                • Flexible support plans 
                                                                • Prompt answers from EMC support

                                                                What needs improvement?

                                                                Thick provisioning of LUNs.

                                                                Firmware management form EMC. Strange way to populate firmware based on spread ratio among the customers of EMC Unity.

                                                                What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                                                                Yes, but did not affect systems which relay on it. Firmware patch was released by EMC.

                                                                What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                                                                Not for now.

                                                                Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                                                                it_user715143
                                                                Storage Specialist at a tech services company with 201-500 employees
                                                                Consultant
                                                                Entire Environment Is Virtualized, Though Depending On Location May Not Be The Best Solution

                                                                What is most valuable?

                                                                Easy to use. For beginners, it is very interactive.

                                                                How has it helped my organization?

                                                                The company migrated data from an older NetApp storage. The entire environment is virtualized. The amount of fast cache is great for meeting all demands.

                                                                What needs improvement?

                                                                All areas, since the entire environment is virtualized. In Brazil, price and native unity migration tools are not very good yet.

                                                                For how long have I used the solution?

                                                                Still using.

                                                                What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                                                                No, but I found some articles about a code upgrade that solved some issues.

                                                                What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                                                                No problem. During installation, I added more disks and this activity ran without problem.

                                                                How are customer service and technical support?

                                                                EMC technical support is great. With support, chat works well to talk with someone about any kind of problem. The only problem is some support agents take a lot of time to understand your issue.

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

                                                                I have worked implementing storage for at least 10 years. So yes, I used a huge number of solutions before. In this case, the customer changed because the warranty of his older storage expired.

                                                                How was the initial setup?

                                                                The implementation went smoothly. The startup tool is very easy to use.

                                                                What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

                                                                I believe there are other cheaper options, but you are not paying just for the "iron". The support in storage environment is a crucial thing to consider. Also, consider buying more flash disks for fast cache.

                                                                Which other solutions did I evaluate?

                                                                HPE 3PAR

                                                                What other advice do I have?

                                                                Implement views using consistency groups. It is easier to replicate LUNs, take snapshots, etc. Also, you can't use fast cache with SSD storage pools.

                                                                Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer:
                                                                it_user657789
                                                                Vice President at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees
                                                                Vendor
                                                                Some of the valuable features are reporting and the replication of the COB scenarios.

                                                                Pros and Cons

                                                                • "Replication of the communication object (COB) scenarios"
                                                                • "The EMC VNX Virtual Data Mover (VDM) software needs more improvement."

                                                                How has it helped my organization?

                                                                It has increased the reliability in our organization and it is cost effective.

                                                                What is most valuable?

                                                                • Replication and reporting
                                                                • Replication of the communication object (COB) scenarios

                                                                What needs improvement?

                                                                The EMC VNX Virtual Data Mover (VDM) software needs more improvement.

                                                                What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                                                                There were no stability issues.

                                                                What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                                                                We did not encounter any scalability issues.

                                                                How are customer service and technical support?

                                                                I would give technical support a rating of 9/10.

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

                                                                Previously, we were using the EMC VNX solution and I am still using it.

                                                                How was the initial setup?

                                                                The setup was straightforward. It is just simple clicks. You just need to follow the manuals and the instructions.

                                                                What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

                                                                This product is cheaper than the EMC VNX solution. It is good for small businesses.

                                                                Which other solutions did I evaluate?

                                                                We evaluated other solutions, namely Nutanix and NetApp.

                                                                What other advice do I have?

                                                                • EMC is known for its reliability
                                                                • This product is good
                                                                • It is easy to install and maintain
                                                                • It operates with low maintenance and manpower costs
                                                                Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                                                                it_user635478
                                                                Deputy Manager Systems at a comms service provider with 1,001-5,000 employees
                                                                Vendor
                                                                We use it as block storage. We are hosting a video on demand service.

                                                                What is most valuable?

                                                                I really like the true unified storage box.

                                                                How has it helped my organization?

                                                                We use it as block storage. We are hosting Video on Demand Service and it is doing pretty well. Previously, VNX required separate hardware to support file based storage which is not required anymore.

                                                                What needs improvement?

                                                                To the best of my knowledge, migration from VNX to Unity without VPLEX/RecoverPoint is not available right now. If Dell/EMC will do this, then I would give them a rating of 10/10.

                                                                For how long have I used the solution?

                                                                We have used it for seven months.

                                                                What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                                                                I did not encounter any stability issues.

                                                                What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                                                                I did not encounter any scalability issues.

                                                                How are customer service and technical support?

                                                                I would give technical support a rating of 10/10.

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

                                                                We used to deploy VNX5200. We moved to a new box due to technology improvements.

                                                                How was the initial setup?

                                                                The initial setup was straightforward. We present our all storage to EMC VPLEX and then VPLEX presents the storage to hosts.

                                                                What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

                                                                Pricing is relatively good compared to other vendors with the same specifications.

                                                                Which other solutions did I evaluate?

                                                                We have compared HPE 3PAR, Huawei OceanStor, and Lenovo Storage.

                                                                What other advice do I have?

                                                                For greater efficiency, use SSD, SAS, and NL-SAS with FAST.

                                                                Use at least 10-20% SSD of whole storage, 20-30% of SAS, and the rest with NL-SAS. This will give you good performance as well as provide you with a cost-effective solution.

                                                                Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                                                                it_user448698
                                                                Senior Systems Engineer in the Storage & Systems Practice at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
                                                                Consultant
                                                                I appreciate the performance with flash drives, SAS connections, and the fibre channel.

                                                                Pros and Cons

                                                                • "I like the easy management with the new Unisphere management and the HTML5 interface."
                                                                • "The storage processors have less port expansion than previous high-end VNX arrays. Data compression is only available in all-flash pools."

                                                                How has it helped my organization?

                                                                We saved money by moving off old storage and we gained extra capacity and speed.

                                                                What is most valuable?

                                                                • I appreciate the great performance with flash drives, 12Gb SAS connections, and the 16Gb fibre channel.
                                                                • I like the easy management with the new Unisphere management and the HTML5 interface.
                                                                • All this comes with a smaller footprint, with the main unit taking 2U instead of 8U.

                                                                What needs improvement?

                                                                The storage processors have less port expansion than previous high-end VNX arrays. Data compression is only available in all-flash pools.

                                                                What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                                                                I did not encounter any stability issues.

                                                                What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                                                                I did not encounter any scalability issues.

                                                                How are customer service and technical support?

                                                                Technical support was good. I can create a case online or have a chat with an EMC support engineer.

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

                                                                We used to deploy EMC VNX. But we needed more speed and capacity.

                                                                How was the initial setup?

                                                                The initial setup was straightforward. Disk Array Enclosure (DAE) cabling is different than VNX. Otherwise, it is easy.

                                                                What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

                                                                Licensing is easy since all the software is included.

                                                                Which other solutions did I evaluate?

                                                                We evaluated Nimble, NetApp, and Compellent.

                                                                What other advice do I have?

                                                                I recommend that you purchase five years of maintenance up front. EMC tends to increase maintenance significantly in years four and five.

                                                                Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: EMC Partner
                                                                it_user628035
                                                                Infrastructure Manager at a hospitality company
                                                                Vendor
                                                                It is scalable and supports small environments and larger deployments.

                                                                What is most valuable?

                                                                • Fiber channel connectivity
                                                                • Fast cache features
                                                                • Support of VVOLS
                                                                • 10GB NICs
                                                                • Support of high performance and rapid provisioning/expansion options
                                                                • Deployment time is quick from unboxing to setup
                                                                • Scalable
                                                                • Supports both small environments and larger deployments
                                                                • Supports hosts connected via fiber channel directly to the unit without the need for fabric switches

                                                                How has it helped my organization?

                                                                Unity 300 is now the go-to storage device we use as we virtualize our infrastructure.

                                                                The SAN currently exceeds our requirements in terms of performance. We have estimated for 30% growth per year for three years. The configuration purchased had storage capacity and performance to match these requirements.

                                                                EMC provided a slightly alternative solution using all-flash negating all disk I/O, latency, and contention issues. We have seen a huge performance increase due to all-flash that is beyond what was anticipated. In three years, when the storage is close to its limits capacity-wise, performance will be greater than necessary.

                                                                What needs improvement?

                                                                The SAN provided by EMC exceeded our expectations. The only room for improvement I can see would be a faster leader time and lower cost. However, even with the lead time we had (which was approximately 10 days at the time of order) and cost we are very satisfied with the product.

                                                                For how long have I used the solution?

                                                                I have used EMC Unity since June, 2016.

                                                                What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                                                                We have not had any stability problems.

                                                                What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                                                                We have not had any scalability problems.

                                                                How are customer service and technical support?

                                                                Technical support is excellent. They have rapid response teams, ESRs, and the EMC account managers are always available.

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

                                                                We had no previous SAN solution.

                                                                How was the initial setup?

                                                                The initial setup was very simple and instructions were provided in both documents and video tutorials.

                                                                What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

                                                                Licensing ranges from $20K plus for a decent configuration. AFA configurations start at about $25K.

                                                                Which other solutions did I evaluate?

                                                                We looked at multiple vendors including NetApp, HPE, IBM, and Nimble.

                                                                What other advice do I have?

                                                                There is currently a long lead time on 3TB SSD disks due to a shortage of materials in the USA.

                                                                Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                                                                Nuno Simoes
                                                                Storage Specialist at a tech company with 51-200 employees
                                                                Real User
                                                                Some of the valuable features are speed and stability.

                                                                What is most valuable?

                                                                • Stability
                                                                • Simplicity
                                                                • Speed

                                                                How has it helped my organization?

                                                                I’m a Dell/EMC partner, not a customer. In my all installations, customers were very satisfied. Unity has shown improvements over VNX.

                                                                For example, the graphic management has become HTML5, and the datamover(s) and control station(s) are not physical. They support VVOL.

                                                                What needs improvement?

                                                                In the management interface, you can only create one LUN at a time. This is resolved in last(s) unity version, DellEMC resolve this…
                                                                I also want to see inline deduplication in future Unity versions.


                                                                For how long have I used the solution?

                                                                I have used the product for six months.

                                                                What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                                                                I did not encounter any stability issues.

                                                                What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                                                                I did not encounter any scalability issues.

                                                                How are customer service and technical support?

                                                                Overall, it is very good.

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

                                                                I´m a Dell/EMC partner, not a customer.

                                                                How was the initial setup?

                                                                The initial setup was very simple.

                                                                What other advice do I have?

                                                                Read a little bit about the product and its purpose. The implementation itself is simple.

                                                                Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We are partners.
                                                                it_user562518
                                                                Senior Implementation Engineer at a tech company with 501-1,000 employees
                                                                Vendor
                                                                The most valuable features are FAST cache capabilities and Data at Rest Encryption.

                                                                What is most valuable?

                                                                • Fully automated storage tiering (FAST) cache capabilities. This allows some FLASH drives to be used to improve the overall performance and reduce the cost of the array versus an all flash or old style spinning disk array.
                                                                • Data at Rest Encryption (D@RE). This feature MUST be enabled after the purchase of the array. It has very little impact on performance and does not affect any of the functionality of the array. We advise always including D@RE on the arrays. You need to consider this upon ordering the array.

                                                                What needs improvement?

                                                                The lack of deduplication reduces some of the competitiveness compared to other products. The unity platform does not use data deduplication. This is a data-reduction technology to save space on the array.

                                                                For how long have I used the solution?

                                                                I have used it for three months

                                                                What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                                                                I did not encounter any stability issues.

                                                                What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                                                                I have not yet encountered any scalability issues.

                                                                How is customer service and technical support?

                                                                I would give technical support a rating of 7/10, given recent issues that arose.

                                                                During the merger process with Dell, many of the cases were handled out of India with less expertise than in the past.

                                                                How was the initial setup?

                                                                The initial setup is very straightforward. There is a wizard that guides you through the process.

                                                                Licensing would be easier if it would be more automated. The current process slows the installation as you have to go and get the license from EMC in the middle of the deployment.

                                                                What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

                                                                Pricing seems very competitive. A majority of the required options come with the base licenses.

                                                                Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                                                                RESC
                                                                Storage Solutions Architect at a manufacturing company with 1,001-5,000 employees
                                                                Real User
                                                                Top 10
                                                                I like the fact that you can use a solid-state array for your servers.

                                                                Pros and Cons

                                                                • "It has a very intuitive web console that runs in HTML5 and makes navigation and administration fairly easy."
                                                                • "This product lacks deduplication and compression at the current version 4.1.0. LACP is not available for iSCSI either."

                                                                How has it helped my organization?

                                                                We were able to consolidate from multiple types of disks into a single group of disks of the same speed. Now, we do not have to worry about preparing pools of disks for each server application. Instead, they are all using the same disks but getting a faster response due to the nature of the solid-state drives.

                                                                What is most valuable?

                                                                I like the fact that you can use a solid-state array (all-flash array) for your servers. It has a very intuitive web console that runs in HTML5 and makes navigation and administration fairly easy.

                                                                What needs improvement?

                                                                This product lacks deduplication and compression at the current version 4.1.0. LACP is not available for iSCSI either.

                                                                What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                                                                The previous version to 4.1.0 caused the array to stop responding during the code upgrade.

                                                                What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                                                                We have had no scalability issues so far.

                                                                How are customer service and technical support?

                                                                The merger between Dell and EMC caused some issues with support tickets not getting assigned properly. The last few months the support has improved.

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

                                                                Although, we cannot compare them one to one, we were using Celerra NS-480 and now we are using EMC Unity. The main reason, we switched platforms was due to EMC end-of-life support for the Celerra NS-480 as December 31, 2016.

                                                                How was the initial setup?

                                                                The initial configuration was quick since we took time to prepare the project plan that states what we need to start the installation. We had some challenges when connecting the ESRS gateways to monitor and manage these arrays.

                                                                What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

                                                                This unit is one of the cheapest storage all-flash arrays in the market and it does well for what it is intended. It can be combined for both file and block storage.

                                                                Which other solutions did I evaluate?

                                                                I looked into EMC VNX, NetApp, Isilon, Qumulo, Pure Storage, Nimble Storage, and Tegile.

                                                                What other advice do I have?

                                                                Learn about the product and its capabilities. If you are unsure whether this will handle your workload, my suggestion is to get a proof-of-concept with your preferred value added reseller. Move some workload to it and test the performance. There is nothing worse than buying a unit that won’t perform as you expect it.

                                                                Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
                                                                it_user620604
                                                                Director of Infrastructure Services at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
                                                                Consultant
                                                                Provides us with unified block and file storage without control stations and data movers.

                                                                Pros and Cons

                                                                • "Unified block and file storage without the need of control stations and data movers. This simplifies administration and deployment and requires less rack space."
                                                                • "Include cloud-based replication for blocks"

                                                                How has it helped my organization?

                                                                It decreased the amount of time to deploy and we recognized the ROI quicker. The ability to use a single piece of hardware simplifies the overall administration.

                                                                What is most valuable?

                                                                Unified block and file storage without the need of control stations and data movers. This simplifies administration and deployment and requires less rack space.

                                                                What needs improvement?

                                                                • Increased flexibility in the GUI to provision storage easier
                                                                • Include cloud-based replication for blocks

                                                                What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                                                                We didn’t encounter any stability issues.

                                                                What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                                                                We didn’t encounter any scalability issues.

                                                                How are customer service and technical support?

                                                                Technical support was pretty good. However, the Dell/EMC merger has been challenging across the board.

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

                                                                We were using EMC VNX. We switched because this was a newer version of an aging technology.

                                                                How was the initial setup?

                                                                The initial setup was straightforward and easy. It is simple with a single IP. It recognizes arrays without pre-populating with IP addresses.

                                                                What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

                                                                The price is good for commercial grade storage arrays. Licensing has changed to be more advantageous for users.

                                                                Which other solutions did I evaluate?

                                                                We didn’t have any alternatives in mind.

                                                                What other advice do I have?

                                                                If you are looking for a unified solution for block and file and to be competitive in the all-flash market, this is the product to choose.

                                                                Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We are channel partners.
                                                                it_user555651
                                                                Technology Consultant at a tech company with 501-1,000 employees
                                                                Vendor
                                                                Provides inline compression, auto-shrinking, and data in-place upgrades.

                                                                What is most valuable?

                                                                • Inline compression
                                                                • Auto-shrink
                                                                • Data in-place upgrades

                                                                What needs improvement?

                                                                Definitely the biggest requirement is deduplication. The EMC Unity Platform doesn’t have this feature, yet it was a part of the predecessor VNX series. Customers cannot afford to keep duplicates of data on such a tier.

                                                                For how long have I used the solution?

                                                                We have used it for about six months with multiple deployments during this period.

                                                                What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                                                                The operating environment is very stable. I have no complaints and no bugs were noticed so far.

                                                                What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                                                                All the models in the series/family have a specific range of scalability. I believe there never was an issue on this, its predecessors, or with the Unity.

                                                                SAN is a scale-up technology. Usually when a system needs to be upgraded to handle more workloads or requires to scale up more than the existing systems’ capability, you do not need to do a traditional "fork-lift" upgrade. You do not need to get a bigger SAN and then do the traditional migration from the old SAN to the new one.

                                                                You can simply replace the existing storage processors one at a time with a higher model SP and voila, you’re done! Now you’re upgraded from model A to model B with higher scalability and better configurations.

                                                                How are customer service and technical support?

                                                                I would give them a rating of "11/10".

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

                                                                I have worked with NetApp, Dell Compellent, Dell EqualLogic, and HPE EVA systems.

                                                                • Dell: Too complicated for configuration and management utilization
                                                                • NetApp: A very good product when it comes to a file environment. However, they are quite restrictive with their block protocols.
                                                                • HPE EVA: Not as reliable as a NetApp or EMC.

                                                                How was the initial setup?

                                                                The initial setup was simple and straightforward with a friendly interface, wizard driven, and no extra utilities required.

                                                                What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

                                                                Unity is a good product since all the software required is already bundled.

                                                                Which other solutions did I evaluate?

                                                                We previously evaluated Compellent, EqualLogic, MD series, NetApp FAS, Nimble and HPE EVA.

                                                                What other advice do I have?

                                                                Go for it!

                                                                Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We’re partners with Dell EMC (also Dell & EMC individually).