Dell PowerStore vs Dell Unity XT comparison

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Comparison Buyer's Guide
Executive Summary
Updated on Mar 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.

To learn more, read our detailed Dell PowerStore vs. Dell Unity XT Report (Updated: November 2022).
653,522 professionals have used our research since 2012.
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
Quotes From Members
We asked business professionals to review the solutions they use.
Here are some excerpts of what they said:
Pros
"The administration tools take advantage of machine learning and make recommendations to the admins, and that makes the administration easier.""The supportability of SCME drives for faster data access from the PowerStore and is the most valuable feature.""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.""The most valuable feature of Dell PowerStore is the all-NVMe flash storage. This is the most powerful feature of this series. It supports compression and duplication leads.""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.""Migrations are very easy and fast.""This solution is very useful to us as we use it internally for all of the services that we need. We use it as a lab and we showcase new technology to the customers and how it can help them going forward.""The simplicity and ease of use have been very valuable features. I have a very small team, and only half of the team is well versed in the HP product. Whereas if I bring PowerStore in, everyone can learn it because it will be new on the floor."

More Dell PowerStore Pros →

"The most valuable features of Dell Unity XT are the data compression for all of our VMs up to four times and the performance is good.""The most valuable features include snapshots, Thin Clones, and deduplication and compression.""My storage team likes Unity's replication features. Three-site replication is a unique feature that EMC offers us.""This solution is easy to work with and easy to maintain.""The Unity XT box is very strong. It doesn't break. The MTBF time is very large so you don't have to worry about faults or outages in your operations.""The most valuable feature is the dynamic cache of this product. It is very important. We have the physical cache and we can boost this cache using disks. All the products are mainly flash now and this is one of the main characteristics which our customers like.""The inline deduplication and data reduction capabilities have been the most valuable.""The setup and installation procedures are easy."

More Dell Unity XT Pros →

Cons
"More demonstration and training options are needed.""We are looking for the Dell PowerStore to become more mature to maximize our use cases.""I would like to see a Snapshot feature. Currently, it is unable to occupy the capacity.""The only area I can highlight for improvement is that the 4:1 data reduction target has not been reached. This may be due to an issue with Dell EMC's initial analysis of data compression. As a result, we have had to add new physical disks to reach our goal of total available disk space.""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.""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.""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 storage could be improved. I would like a feature for how to best secure an appliance and the storage since we are connecting the container to the public cloud. I would like them to develop another level of security, making it more secure than from what they have now."

More Dell PowerStore Cons →

"The pre-sales technical support and technical engagement could be made better for this product.""It could go faster. Make it bigger, better, and faster at a lower price, and I am there.""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.""Scalability of this solution could be improved.""They can certainly improve in terms of monitoring.""The price of this product can be more cost-effective.""I would like it to be a little bit easier to contact support. We can contact support, but we have to go through a phone tree. We get routed to different places. I might call support to say that I need a drive replaced and get transferred to three different groups before I get to the group I actually need.""The solution can use improvement with the patch cluster like the Synchron and Active replication."

More Dell Unity XT Cons →

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."
  • "The licensing for this solution is good and is in the mid-range tier."
  • 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.

    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.

    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.

    Questions from the Community
    Top Answer:PowerStore is flexible, scalable, simple, and performant with market-leading economics for a wide range of legacy and next-gen apps. It is only Flash and can support many workloads from today's… more »
    Top Answer:Dell EMC PowerStore is a unified storage platform that has the added benefit of being scalable. The automated management of resources feature provides a more simple administration. I found the… more »
    Top Answer:Dell PowerStore is an all-solid-state midrange storage system. It has many internal elements taken from other Dell offerings and integrated into the PowerStoreOS. The installation and setup have a… more »
    Top Answer:I saw that you have doubts about what you chose. I have a lot of experience with the constructor, honestly I can recommend Dell EMC Unity XT All-flash which can guarantee you a ratio of 3:1 signed by… more »
    Top Answer:They’re both great solutions and I’ve used both. EMC is being VERY aggressive on pricing which may be the undoing of NetApp. Differences are in the user interface mostly, they both do what they… more »
    Top Answer:First of all the decision should be taken looking at similar products in terms of capacity and performance. I will show a few aspects helping the decision, comparing Unity Xt480f and AFF220 (both… more »
    Ranking
    1st
    Views
    31,970
    Comparisons
    20,650
    Reviews
    17
    Average Words per Review
    918
    Rating
    8.6
    3rd
    Views
    24,459
    Comparisons
    18,911
    Reviews
    32
    Average Words per Review
    475
    Rating
    8.5
    Comparisons
    Also Known As
    PowerStore
    EMC Unity, Dell EMC Unity
    Learn More
    Overview

    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
    Learn more about Dell PowerStore
    Learn more about Dell Unity XT
    Sample Customers
    Information Not Available
    Draper, Rio Grande Pacific, Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre
    Top Industries
    REVIEWERS
    Computer Software Company30%
    Healthcare Company20%
    University10%
    Financial Services Firm10%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Computer Software Company22%
    Comms Service Provider13%
    Government7%
    Manufacturing Company7%
    REVIEWERS
    Financial Services Firm19%
    Healthcare Company17%
    Manufacturing Company13%
    Energy/Utilities Company7%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Computer Software Company22%
    Comms Service Provider18%
    Government8%
    Manufacturing Company7%
    Company Size
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business38%
    Midsize Enterprise10%
    Large Enterprise52%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business23%
    Midsize Enterprise17%
    Large Enterprise60%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business27%
    Midsize Enterprise23%
    Large Enterprise49%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business23%
    Midsize Enterprise17%
    Large Enterprise60%
    Buyer's Guide
    Dell PowerStore vs. Dell Unity XT
    November 2022
    Find out what your peers are saying about Dell PowerStore vs. Dell Unity XT and other solutions. Updated: November 2022.
    653,522 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    Dell PowerStore is ranked 1st in All-Flash Storage Arrays with 20 reviews while Dell Unity XT is ranked 3rd in All-Flash Storage Arrays with 34 reviews. Dell PowerStore is rated 8.6, 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 Pure Storage FlashArray, IBM FlashSystem, Dell PowerMax NVMe, HPE Nimble Storage and NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS), whereas Dell Unity XT is most compared with NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS), HPE Nimble Storage, Pure Storage FlashArray, HPE 3PAR StoreServ 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.