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Dell PowerStore vs Dell Unity XT comparison

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Executive Summary
Updated on March 24, 2022

We performed a comparison between Dell EMC PowerStore and Dell EMC Unity XT based on our users’ reviews in four categories. After reading all of the collected data, you can find our conclusion below.

  • Ease of Deployment: Users of both products report the initial deployment to be straightforward. Only a few users of each solution encountered configuration difficulties during setup.

  • Features: Reviewers of Dell EMC PowerStore are satisfied with its scalability, flexibility, and performance. One user reported stability problems after upgrading versions. Dell EMC Unity XT users are happy with its integration abilities, stability, and simplicity. One user noted that there was a performance drop for large deduplications and a few others mentioned that the solution could improve its capacity and speed.

  • Pricing: Each of these products received mixed reviews in the pricing category. Some users of each feel that the price is too high.

  • ROI: Users of both products report being satisfied with the ROI.

  • Service and Support: Most users are satisfied with the support and services they receive for both products. Several users felt the responsiveness of both support teams could be improved.

Comparison Results: The two products received similar reviews in most categories. According to reviews, Dell EMC PowerStore appears to be a bit more robust and therefore more appropriate for larger environments.

Q&A Highlights
Question: How does Dell's EMC PowerStore compare with its EMC Unity XT?
Answer: HPE Storage 3PAR solution on TOP
Featured Review
Buyer's Guide
Dell PowerStore vs. Dell Unity XT
May 2022
Find out what your peers are saying about Dell PowerStore vs. Dell Unity XT and other solutions. Updated: May 2022.
598,634 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Quotes From Members
We asked business professionals to review the solutions they use.
Here are some excerpts of what they said:
Pros
"We have been able to consolidate storage into Pavilion. Pavilions are our only SANs because it is a bring your own disk solution. When new drives come out, we are able to take out half of the drives in the system, put in new drives, move our VMs over to the new drives, take the other drives out, and populate those with new drives. Then, we are suddenly twice as dense as we were before. NVMe flash is only going to get denser and cheaper so we can make use of that every couple of years by just throwing newer disks into it at a fraction of the cost of a new SAN.""The high performance is very valuable, as well as the enterprise reliability features.""There's lots of flexibility in how we use the resources while also maintaining a small footprint."

More Pavilion HyperParallel Flash Array Pros →

"PowerStore is easy to use. All the drives use soft encryption. To upgrade it, you download the app, and it runs by itself. It's very easy to deploy, share, and create volumes.""Overall, we're quite happy with the product because we can move the data that is stored on more than 10 of our current storage devices to a single PowerStore.""The administration tools take advantage of machine learning and make recommendations to the admins, and that makes the administration easier.""The solution is extremely stable.""The supportability of SCME drives for faster data access from the PowerStore and has been the most valuable feature.""Currently, the features of replication and deduplication have been very important to us.""The way you're able to manage all your PowerStores as one solution is very good for us. PowerStore enables you to federate or cluster multiple appliances with automated load balancing. In terms of management, it's helpful that we can do it from a single interface where we're able to manage multiple PowerStores. When you have multiple PowerStores it works intelligently by running the workloads based on the needs of the infrastructure.""You can add compute and capacity independently. We have sized the solution based on our current needs, but in the future we can choose to increase capacity if we grow our activity in the market. And if we have more business in our monetary system, we can increase compute. The ability to choose what we increase is a good feature."

More Dell PowerStore Pros →

"This solution is easy to work with and easy to maintain.""Stable flash storage platform with good scalability, efficiency, and speed.""I like how it separates the iSCSI drives from the standard shares. It has two different routes to it. I know most of the other solutions do this, but I just like the way that Dell EMC does it.""The complete block and file sharing are the most usable features.""The feature that I have found most valuable is the unified storage. Also, its capabilities for block-access, file access, and the center box.""The most valuable feature is the fast cache with functionality rewrite.""We are happy with the way we have Dell EMC Unity XT configured.""The most valuable features are its performance and simplicity."

More Dell Unity XT Pros →

Cons
"In our current configuration, we can only run the line controllers in high availability, active-standby mode, whereas we would like to see active-active implemented.""I would like to see the management layer improved.""The rail system that Pavilion uses to mount up into a standard Dell or APC cabinet extends further back than normal rails, and they cover up the zero PDU slot. So, I don't like the rail system that comes with the device. That is my biggest complaint."

More Pavilion HyperParallel Flash Array Cons →

"Where the system needs to improve is by adding more enterprise features like replication on other sites. We would also like it to be much more aligned with the VMware version. For example, today we have two different versions of VMware ESXi running to keep the PowerStore online. It would be better if the software cycling was faster.""It's also only supported with a limited amount of switches.""There is no Synchronize replication feature on the storage.""The setup process could be improved. We had some issues regarding configuration and the time it took to do things. It wasn't specifically the people we worked with, but more the process and how it's done. They can work on that.""It was very new when we first deployed it a year ago. Even just the upgrade processes and knowing what to expect, as well as documentation, could be more robust.""The NAS part is very poor. It's very basic. Even Dell EMC has said that to us. We are waiting for version 3 of PowerStore for that. This must be improved and it is in the roadmap.""The upgrades themselves are running fine, but after the upgrade is when we have a problem. With the update to 1.4, we had a head crash. They told us, 'This is a known issue. Please upgrade to 2.' We upgraded to 2 and, one week later they told us, 'Yeah, there are some issues in 2.0.0. You can lose data. Please upgrade to 2.0.1.' Overall, they need to make the system stable.""Reporting is an area that could be improved. It's very simplistic sometimes, and some of the very technical guys on my team want to see more of the details and be able to massage the report a little bit better."

More Dell PowerStore Cons →

"This solution could be improved by offering containerization. This is something many of my customers are looking for.""The reporting should be better. In other systems, you can create many different kinds of reports but this is not the case with Dell.""It could be improved in the area of management flexibility. For example, I really need to set read-only access for LUNs, and there's no such option with Unity XT.""We do a lot of VMware. It only integrates with VMware in one way, which is virtual volumes. I don't really have any visibility on anything else. From VMware, I can't look into Unity. From Unity, I can't look into VMware unless I am using virtual volumes, where they integrate together happily, but we are not using that. I would like better integration for non-virtual volume VMware use.""I think Dell EMC should be more careful in appointing partners, and they need to have better control over their partners. And if their partner has some problems with them, we should not suffer.""The initial installation is straightforward and took approximately one hour. However, the full process was not as simple as IBM.""The interface and configuration could improve.""Dell EMC Unity XT should present a path or a roadmap on how they could put their products on the cloud. This would have some value for their current customers."

More Dell Unity XT Cons →

Pricing and Cost Advice
  • "This is hardware. They have a singular array that you can populate with your own disk, or you can buy the disks through them. For controllers, you pay for the components inside of the SAN, but there is only one chassis that they work with."
  • "The licensing fees are very reasonable."
  • More Pavilion HyperParallel Flash Array Pricing and Cost Advice →

  • "The price is not cheap, but it's worth it for the features you get from the storage. If you can afford it, you are probably buying the best solution that you can have for this virtual environment."
  • "There's still a cap on the upgrade path, where you can consume all the engines within the frame before you have to go to another frame... Normally, we exceed the IOPS on the frames before we can ever exhaust the storage, so anything they can do to help us avoid stranded storage capacity, capacity that we couldn't get to, would be beneficial."
  • "When we compared it with the other solutions, the pricing of PowerStore was equal. The pricing is good."
  • "The price of Dell EMC PowerStore could be better, it is a bit expensive."
  • "We only have a single machine and we are currently using half of the hard disk slots. We have asked for an upgrade for the rest of the hard disks but, from my point of view, it costs too much. We have 12 to 15 hard disks inside and if we try to upgrade only the hard disks, it costs the same as the complete system. This is something I don't understand."
  • "We are happy with the pricing that we get from Dell."
  • "Licensing is very simple. Everything is included in the basic license. There are no concerns about having to pay to add a feature. Everything is there."
  • "Pricing is very good. It's very competitive against those of all the others that I have looked at in the marketplace, such as Hitachi, IBM, HP, and Pure. Dell is right there in the mix as far as providing the best price point as well as meeting the performance requirements that we have."
  • More Dell PowerStore Pricing and Cost Advice →

  • "The price of Dell EMC Unity XT is higher compared to other solutions. The price should be less expensive."
  • "Pricing for this product is manageable, though slightly higher than comparable products."
  • "The solution is very expensive."
  • "The solution is very expensive."
  • "This solution is a good price for what you get."
  • "Here is our major complaint with pricing. Dell EMC comes to us and gives us a price. We are like, "Well, this doesn't even compare to what we got on the last project." We say, "No, you should bring it down to this level." Then, they come back again and we are sort of in the middle again. I am like, You already sold us other stuff at a better price. We are not going to just say, 'Yes,' because we are out of time.""
  • "I liked the price point when we purchased it."
  • "We looked at HPE Nimble but the price of the Unity XT was very good compared to the competition."
  • More Dell Unity XT Pricing and Cost Advice →

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    Answers from the Community
    Netanya Carmi
    JohnBowling - PeerSpot reviewerJohnBowling
    Real User

    I agree with Leah... There are a bit more features/options with PowerStore, but the networking setup much more complex (too much if you ask me).  


    Currently, there's no support for replicated NAS, so that's a big issue within our environment. 


    The scale-out feature is nice, but there's a lot of limitations, i.e. data isn't spread across all of the available 'appliances' in a big pool. Volumes are isolated to a single 'appliance' and can be migrated to another appliance if one becomes full or to balance the system out. 


    All in all, the product is still a bit too new and DELL needs some time to bake the product before I can fully endorse it. 


    For those reasons, we recently deployed Unity. It's much simpler to deploy & support (especially with NAS).


    If you remove NAS from the equation, then it's fine for Tier2 workloads, but to be honest, PowerStore has a ways to go before it gets my vote.

    Konstantinos Koumarelos - PeerSpot reviewerKonstantinos Koumarelos
    User

    The common denominator is that both are storages but so far Unity is hybrid storage while PowerStore is only NVMe with excellent performance and response time.


    Unity is a monolithic system, while PowerStore is a container-based design for faster innovation.


    Unity has a classic RAID configuration while the PowerStore uses the unique DRE technology with coverage up to dual parity.


    Unity operates on its own while the PowerStore can operate on a cluster with up to 8 active-active nodes and the unique feature of the global cache in the cluster.


    Logical protection within the PowerStore as well as for the asynchronous replication is based on snaps that are immutable and cannot be modified or manipulated, it is the perfect tool for recovering instantly from ransomware scenarios! The synchronous replication of PowerStore is based on Metro Node, an active-active HW solution based on VPLEX, is independent, does not burden the PowerStore and offers 0 RPO 0 RTO and 0 DTO providing virtual volumes of up to 64TB!


    The integration with VMware is unique, the PowerStore model X can natively support VMs and applications in a 2U appliance, loads could be transferred to the VMware ecosystem with a simple vmotion. This game-changing capability, known as AppsON, is ideal for data-intensive workloads in core or edge locations where infrastructure simplicity and density is required, as well as for “infrastructure applications” such as anti-virus or monitoring software.


    Notable are the automation for load balancing in the cluster, the ability of programming with Ansible and the ability to connect with the hosts with NVMe over FC fabric or TCP using even the existing infrastructure if compatible.


    Conclusion:


    PowerStore is a new and innovative product with features that make it stand out.

    Ted Spero - PeerSpot reviewerTed Spero
    User

    Unity XT was released in April 2019, so it's about 2.5 years old at this point, and as you can imagine, mid-tier storage technology has changed significantly in the past 2.5 years.  


    PowerStore 2.0 supports end-to-end NVMe-FC protocol which is super-important if you're running an all-NVMe or all-SCM configuration on any array (not just Dell / EMC). Unity XT only supports legacy FC or iSCSI transport, both of which use legacy SCSI logic which was released back in the 1980's and was never intended for use with NVMe or SCM drives which use massive parallelism. 


    Also, there are no persistent NVMe or SCM drive options for Unity XT... only old-school 12Gb SAS SSDs and classic spinning disks.


    Also, fiber transport speed on Unity XT is capped at 16Gb/s where PowerStore uses 32Gb/s currently.  


    PowerStore also has tons more compute and memory, which is necessary to run >1M IOPS.  For example, the biggest Unity XT array (880) uses only 64 cores and 768GB of memory, where the biggest PowerStore (9000) uses 112 cores and 2560GB of memory.


    Since the cost per TB is nearly identical between Unity XT and PowerStore, I believe the business cases to choose Unity XT over PowerStore are pretty limited at this point.

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    Dell EMC PowerStore is a unified storage platform that has the added benefit of being scalable. The automated management… more »
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    As with any engineered solution, it depends on your needs.   However, the bottom line is that for their target markets… more »
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    From a pricing perspective, this solution is comparable to others on the market.
    Comparisons
    Also Known As
    Pavilion HFA
    PowerStore
    EMC Unity, Dell EMC Unity
    Learn More
    Overview

    Pavilion HyperParallel Data Platform

    The Pavilion HyperParallel Data Platform™ dramatically accelerates what organizations achieve by delivering universally unmatched storage performance, in an incredibly compact solution while reducing data center costs and complexity. Unrivaled flexibility for multiple data types and protocols, along with broad ecosystem integration, ensure that every customer has choice and control.

    What is the Pavilion HyperParallel Data Platform

    The Pavilion HyperParallel Data Platform is comprised of the Pavilion HyperParallel Flash Array™ and Pavilion HyperOS™. The Pavilion HyperParallel Flash Array leverages a unique, switch-based architecture to create a multi-controller solution that delivers an unmatched combination of high performance, ultra-low latency, and storage density. Pavilion HyperOS is a powerful, purpose-built storage operating system designed to unlock the power of the multi-controller Pavilion HyperParallel Flash Array, which delivers scalability and flexibility that no other solution can offer.

    Pavilion HyperParallel Data Platform Data Sheet

    Download the Pavilion HyperParallel Data Platform data sheet. Updated: December 2020

    Dell EMC PowerStore is a midrange next-generation data storage solution. It is designed with a data-centric, intelligent, and adaptable infrastructure and helps consolidate storage and virtual server environments. The Dell EMC PowerStore platform includes two major configurations, including PowerStore T and PowerStore X. Dell EMC PowerStore enables you to deploy the appliance and consolidate data and applications and supports both flash and SCM Optane devices.

    Dell EMC PowerStore Offers:

    • Value
    • Flexibility
    • Simplicity

    Dell EMC PowerStore Features

    Some of the most powerful Dell EMC PowerStore features include:

    • Data-centric design: Dell EMC PowerStore is designed to optimize system performance, scalability, and storage efficiency to support any workload.

    • Intelligent automation: Intelligent automation helps simplify management as well as optimize system resources. Through a programmable infrastructure, it also enables you to easily monitor, analyze, and troubleshoot the environment.

    • Adaptable architecture: Because it has an adaptable architecture, Dell EMC PowerStore is able to provide speed and application mobility and offer flexible deployment models.

    • Scalability: Dell EMC PowerStore can be scaled up and scaled out.

    • Data-in-place upgrades: By providing data-in-place upgrades, you gain a modernized infrastructure without any downtime involved and without impacting applications.

    Dell EMC PowerStore Benefits

    Some of the benefits of using Dell EMC PowerStore include:

    • Flexible deployment: Dell EMC PowerStore is made to modernize the core, edge, and cloud without disruption, leading to flexible deployment.

    • Pay-per-use: Dell EMC PowerStore offers a range of flexible purchase options.

    • Any workload: Because Dell EMC PowerStore is designed to leverage next-gen innovations, it can work with any workload.

    • Programmable infrastructure: Dell EMC PowerStore streamlines application development and also automates storage workflows through integration with VMware and a broad ecosystem of leading management and orchestration frameworks, enabling you to provision services directly from the application tool sets that you use most frequently.

    Reviews from Real Users

    Below are some reviews and helpful feedback written by Dell EMC PowerStore users who are currently using the solution.

    PeerSpot user Maurizio D., who is a CTO at Universita' degli Studi di Pisa, says it "Gives us flexibility, performance, and ease of use. It also has some very good compression capabilities. We were looking for a solution that was easy to install in our VMware environment, that was flexible. PowerStore X is a type of a VMware cluster that you install inside your environment. If you have a VMware environment, like we have in production, it's easy to install and use."

    Another PeerSpot user, Jorg L., who is an IT Administrator at a construction company, mentions "For access from virtual machines, iSCSI, and NFS, it is very good. It helps increase performance."

    "The administration tools take advantage of machine learning and make recommendations to the admins, and that makes the administration easier," says a Chief Information Officer at a computer software company. He also comments that “Overall, we've benefited from the dedupe, compression, and replication, the advanced technology, of this frame. It's all better than what we had in the previous generation of XtremIO appliances, and above what we were getting in the Dell EMC Unitys.”

    Dell EMC Unity XT is one of the best all-flash storage arrays on the market today. Dell EMC Unity XT arrays are designed for performance, optimized for efficiency, and built for a multi-cloud world. In addition, they support digital transformation, enabling businesses to reach the full potential of their data capital quickly and easily. Dell EMC Unity’s All-Flash and Hybrid Flash storage platforms provide the performance, efficiency, enterprise-class software, and virtualization integrations required for running a wide range of virtualized applications.

    Dell EMC Unity XT Features

    Dell EMC Unity XT has many valuable key features, including:

    • Unified storage flexibility: With Dell EMC Unity XT you can consolidate separate storage platforms into a single Unity XT unified storage system via a simple and intuitive (HTML5) management GUI that also connects you to CloudIQ.

    • All-inclusive data protection: Dell EMC Unity XT offers a reliable way to protect application data with all-inclusive data protection services, including snapshots, data-at-rest drive encryption, replication, thin clones, and dynamic pools.

    • Software-defined solutions: Dell EMC Unity XT provides software-defined storage and HA for on-prem and in the cloud solutions.

    • Multi-cloud alignment: With Dell EMC Unity XT you have the ability to build and manage an effective data-first multi-cloud strategy. It allows you to consolidate public and private cloud resources that align with your business goals.

    • Metro node: This feature enables automated business continuity with zero RPO and RTO. It also provides greater flexibility through multi-platform support and replication to any array and has zero performance impact on the storage array.

    • Scalable file system: Dell EMC Unity XT is built with a robust 256TBu file system. The UFS64 file system includes up to 256 independent VMDK clones, 16 thin clones, space efficient snapshots with a simple space reclaim and low IO impact, file system shrink that can reclaim free blocks, simplified Quotas for User, and much more.

    • DevOps integrations: Dell EMC Unity XT supports the Container Storage Interface (CSI) plugin to run Kubernetes workloads.

    Dell EMC Unity XT Benefits

    Some of the benefits of using Dell EMC Unity XT include:

    • High-speed data access
    • Low latency
    • Dual-active controller architecture
    • Multi-cloud
    • Intuitive user interface
    • Cost efficient
    • Solid performance

    Reviews from Real Users

    Below are some reviews and helpful feedback written by Dell EMC Unity XT users.

    A Systems Engineering Manager at a manufacturing company says, "It is definitely one of the most robust, solid, well-performing products that I have dealt with. It is set it and forget it, which is pretty amazing." He also mentions, “We can do both block and file storage on one unit without purchasing a separate device.”

    Peter S., Senior Technical Specialist at a healthcare company, states, “The most valuable feature is reliability. At the end of the day, it just runs. This solution is easy to work with and easy to maintain.”

    PeerSpot user Melvin T., Senior Systems Engineer at Prosperity Bank, explains that the solution is “easy to use and we can add LUNs or space without interruption to end-users. We're able to access it from just about anywhere, as long as we have access to a browser. That feature is really neat because sometimes we will go to a different data center or a different site, and if we need to access it to see a LUN or to see any type of storage, we can do that. That's one of the big takeaways with Unity."

    Offer
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    Learn more about Dell PowerStore
    Learn more about Dell Unity XT
    Sample Customers
    Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC), Statistics Netherlands (CBS)
    Information Not Available
    Draper, Rio Grande Pacific, Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre
    Top Industries
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Computer Software Company26%
    Comms Service Provider24%
    Manufacturing Company7%
    Government6%
    REVIEWERS
    Computer Software Company30%
    Healthcare Company20%
    University10%
    Financial Services Firm10%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Computer Software Company28%
    Comms Service Provider23%
    Manufacturing Company6%
    Government5%
    REVIEWERS
    Financial Services Firm19%
    Healthcare Company17%
    Manufacturing Company13%
    Energy/Utilities Company8%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Comms Service Provider28%
    Computer Software Company28%
    Government6%
    Manufacturing Company5%
    Company Size
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business64%
    Midsize Enterprise7%
    Large Enterprise29%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business31%
    Midsize Enterprise13%
    Large Enterprise56%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business18%
    Midsize Enterprise29%
    Large Enterprise53%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business27%
    Midsize Enterprise24%
    Large Enterprise49%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business23%
    Midsize Enterprise16%
    Large Enterprise61%
    Buyer's Guide
    Dell PowerStore vs. Dell Unity XT
    May 2022
    Find out what your peers are saying about Dell PowerStore vs. Dell Unity XT and other solutions. Updated: May 2022.
    598,634 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    Dell PowerStore is ranked 7th in All-Flash Storage Arrays with 15 reviews while Dell Unity XT is ranked 2nd in All-Flash Storage Arrays with 29 reviews. Dell PowerStore is rated 8.8, while Dell Unity XT is rated 8.4. The top reviewer of Dell PowerStore writes "Saves us power and floor space, and we can quickly assign new data stores for our developers' VMs". On the other hand, the top reviewer of Dell Unity XT writes "We can do both block and file storage on one unit without purchasing a separate device". Dell PowerStore is most compared with Dell PowerMax NVMe, Pure Storage FlashArray, IBM FlashSystem, HPE Nimble Storage and HPE Primera, whereas Dell Unity XT is most compared with NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS), HPE Nimble Storage, HPE 3PAR StoreServ, Pure Storage FlashArray and IBM FlashSystem. See our Dell PowerStore vs. Dell Unity XT report.

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

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