We performed a comparison between Dell Unity XT and NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS) based on our users’ reviews in five categories. After reading all of the collected data, you can find our conclusion below.
Comparison Results: The main difference between the two products is speed. Dell EMC Unity XT users say the speed of the solution should be improved, while NetApp AFF users find the solution’s speed to be impressive.
"Provides fast access and is user-friendly."
"The most valuable feature of Pure Storage FlashArray is its high stability level."
"The solution is very reliable."
"NVMe data storage platform that's easy to set up and easy to use. It's stable, with a lower response time, and quick technical support."
"The tool is simple and easy to use. It has neat features like protection from device removal. Moreover, you can undo the deletes. The solution is easy to work with and not as complicated as CAC"
"The management features are well organized and they have a very good dashboard."
"The most valuable feature of the Pure Storage Flash Array is the blazing fast monitoring."
"We've been using FlashArray's snapshot for backups. Their replication across sites and response time are also excellent."
"The inline deduplication and data reduction capabilities have been the most valuable."
"It is great because it can work as a SAN and net storage."
"The most valuable feature of Dell Unity XT is data duplication. Additionally, the management interface is simple, and is not a hassle using it. You don't need too much to learn or to be familiarized with it."
"The setup and installation procedures are easy."
"I like Unity XT's software-defined storage. It's a new feature that isn't widely used yet, but customers are impressed with it."
"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."
"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."
"The product has helpful local technical support."
"Storage is very reliable. You don't have to do much maintenance."
"Supports file formatting, the main protocols, and the hot swapping of disks and features."
"The performance is outstanding when it's all Flash. That's the biggest bang for the buck that we get."
"We are a large-scale company, and our growth has been pretty significant over the last five or six years. We like the scale, and the way NetApp grows, so that's why we use it. It's mostly for block storage."
"The speed of data retrieval is the most valuable feature. We mostly use it for our SAP database and we are getting good IO from the hard drive."
"The NVMe flash cache is the most useful feature. It lowers transactional speed even more."
"In terms of the footprint, it is far more efficient. It has smaller, higher-capacity drives than our older unit. In terms of space, power, and cooling, it has simplified things."
"The benefits of being on AFF are the phenomenal speed at which we're able to ingest data and index it, and the IOPS."
"I think replication is one area that still needs improvement. Earlier, Pure Storage FlashArray only had IP-based replication. There was no API-based replication, but they have enhanced the feature now. However, they need to work on API replication for C-type of arrays."
"The solution could improve by having a multi-tenant feature."
"Pure Storage FlashArray could improve in the area of cryptographic information in the consoles. The user-friendliness could improve. The Pure Storage FlashArray team should come and log into the system with their maintenance credentials and then pull out the information as evidence of cryptography."
"It was not proactive communication."
"I like what they're doing, but some of my customers complain that they do not have all the bells and whistles and knobs to fine-tune workloads that some of the competitors have. In my opinion, that's good. All customers don't have dedicated storage gurus, and they can get themselves into trouble if they fine-tune too many of those high-performance knobs, but they do get knocked down. Pure Storage takes a hit in the minds and opinions of some of the customers because they cannot customize things as much as compared to a legacy storage provider's appliance such as NetApp, Dell EMC, or even HPE. I personally think 95% of my customers are better off letting the system fine-tune itself. That was something that you needed to do 12 or 15 years ago, but now with all-flash, the technology can handle what it needs to handle. Customers just end up shooting themselves in the foot if they are tweaking too many default settings."
"Pure Storage FlashArray could improve the recent file storage capabilities because it is lacking a lot of features."
"FlashArray's capacity for forecasting should be improved because it needs to be a bit more current. I think it's bundled with the deduplication and other compression factors. We need more user interfaces for forecasting in this software and more interfaces need to be integrated with this array management tool."
"The price of the solution can improve."
"Licensing costs could be reduced."
"We have only used this solution for less than one year so I don't have any improvements suggestions yet."
"One area of improvement is replication. We are also using Oracle virtual machines, and when you are using systems from other vendors, the process of replicating from Unity through OLVM is more laborious than when we were using VPLEX."
"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 have a problem because between the Unity XT and the PowerMax, sometimes we need another product between these two products. There could be better integrated and the capacity of the size could be larger."
"The pre-sales technical support and technical engagement could be made better for this product."
"In terms of what could be improved, I would say its capacity and its connection."
"It's an expensive solution, particularly for medium companies. One device costs about 30,000 euros. The support contract is quite expensive as well. We are currently looking for other lower-cost solutions."
"The initial setup has a lot more steps in it than are probably necessary for a base deployment, unlike other vendors where it's more straightforward. It could be a little bit more streamlined."
"NetApp should offer more training so everyone can learn about the products. Other vendors have a lot of training options. It would be great if NetApp would highlight how to use the features more so that every admin or person can gain more knowledge about this technology."
"NetApp AFF could improve SAN storage because it feels as if it was not put together at the beginning, it functions as an afterthought. Additionally, the cloud features could be more mature."
"The size of NetApp could be better. They're always about 40 pounds without the hard drives in them, so it would be great if there's a way to make them smaller yet keep the functionality. That would reduce the physical footprint."
"For ONTAP, in general, the deduplication ratio and Snapshot limitation are areas that need improvement. There is a global limitation on the number of Snapshots or clones that can be spun off of a particular Snapshot. If those limitations are increased, it might be helpful."
"The user interface should be more user-friendly, and the configuration could be more accessible."
"It would be better if they just improved the performance of the system."
"This is an expensive solution that could be cheaper."
Pure Storage FlashArray is the world’s first enterprise-class storage array that runs exclusively on the nonvolatile memory express (NVMe) protocol for memory access and storage. It represents a totally state-of-the-art type of storage technology. It offers users shared accelerated storage that delivers cutting-edge features in the realms of performance, simplicity, and consolidation. Pure Storage is fresh and modern today and will be for the next decade. Without forklift upgrades or planned downtime, Pure Storage takes the work out of storage ownership and delivers unprecedented customer satisfaction.
Pure Storage FlashArray is built with simplicity and reliability in mind. The solution can be implemented and optimized in hours, as opposed to other similar solutions that can take days. It has no moving parts, which removes areas where it could potentially be vulnerable to suffering errors. It is highly stable and gives users the ability to manage system shutdowns in a way that prevents data loss.
Benefits of Pure Storage FlashArray
Some of the benefits of using Pure Storage FlashArray include:
Reviews from Real Users
Pure Storage FlashArray is a highly effective piece of storage technology which stands out among its competitors for a number of reasons. Two major ones are its overall robustness and the value that it offers by way of its reliability and ease of use. It provides users with many valuable features that allow them to maximize what they can do with this solution. Pure Storage FlashArray’s reliability and ease of use make it a highly valuable solution.
PeerSpot user Prabakaran K., a technical consultant at Injazat Data Systems, notes the robustness of this solution when he writes, "FlashArray has many valuable features. It's very user-friendly and it has high availability, so there is comparatively less downtime. During maintenance, there is no shutdown procedure, so you can directly power off the Array and manage the shutdown process without any data loss, which is a unique feature. Managing replication and data migration is also very easy."
PeerSpot user Jason D., a cloud solutions architect at a tech services company, notes three features that make this solution valuable when he writes, "We've had different types of storage, and three things of this solution are valuable. The first one is its outstanding performance. The second one is its stability. In the about three years that we've had it, we've had component failures, but we never had a service interruption or any data loss. The third one, which is really critical, is that it is super easy to use in terms of provisioning, storage, and managing the arrays. I'm able to maintain a multi-site environment with a couple of dozen arrays with a single mid-level storage admin."
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:
Dell EMC Unity XT Benefits
Some of the benefits of using Dell EMC Unity XT include:
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."
NetApp AFF is a storage infrastructure that contains only flash memory drives instead of spinning-disk drives. NetApp AFF addresses enterprise storage requirements with best-in-class data management, higher performance, and flexibility. AFF systems accelerate your operations without sacrificing the effectiveness, dependability, or adaptability of your IT infrastructure, since they are built on ONTAP data management software. As an enterprise-grade all-flash array, the NetApp AFF manages and safeguards your critical data, making your datacenter’s transition to flash simple and painless.
NetApp AFF is a robust, scale-out platform designed for virtualized environments and can be deployed as an independent system or a high-performance tier in a NetApp ONTAP configuration.
NetApp AFF Features
NetApp AFF has many valuable key features. Some of the most useful ones include:
NetApp AFF Benefits
There are many benefits to implementing NetApp AFF. Some of the biggest advantages the solution offers include:
Reviews from Real Users
NetApp AFF stands out among its competitors for a number of reasons. Two major ones are its handling of read and write operations and its high-capacity drives. PeerSpot users take note of the advantages of these features in their reviews:
Harish M., Senior Consultant at a tech services company, writes of the solution, “The most valuable feature is its ability to handle high-intensity read and write operations. It works very well in terms of this.” He adds, “We recently started using the volume encryption feature, which is helpful because there are some federal projects that require data at rest to be encrypted.”
Another PeerSpot reviewer, a director at an IT Infrastructure Services department at a university, notes, “In terms of the footprint, it is far more efficient. It has smaller, higher-capacity drives than our older unit. In terms of space, power, and cooling, it has simplified things.”
Dell Unity XT is ranked 4th in All-Flash Storage with 45 reviews while NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS) is ranked 3rd in All-Flash Storage with 30 reviews. Dell Unity XT is rated 8.4, while NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS) is rated 9.0. The top reviewer of Dell Unity XT writes "Price / Quality ratio is good and since OE 5.03 code the array family reached a rather good maturity level". On the other hand, the top reviewer of NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS) writes "Provides us with quick options when restoring things for customers". Dell Unity XT is most compared with Dell PowerStore, HPE Nimble Storage, HPE 3PAR StoreServ, Dell PowerMax NVMe and IBM FlashSystem, whereas NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS) is most compared with Lenovo ThinkSystem DM Series, Dell PowerStore, HPE Nimble Storage, IBM FlashSystem and HPE Primera. See our Dell Unity XT vs. NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS) report.
See our list of best All-Flash Storage vendors.
We monitor all All-Flash Storage 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.
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 Dell and you have to deploy all types of workload from block to file. You can also rely on the native cash and fast cache functionality for increasing application performance
This question is very dependent on your requirements. Both are among the best in the field. Of course, the intended cost is decisively based on the Gartner magic quadrant storage 2020 Net app company and Dell EMC are leaders. But we can say NetApp is First in Queue.
One of the superiority NetApp working on NVMeOF
The answer depends on your needs and budget. If you want high performance (who doesn't) or let's say the latency matters more than IOPS for your needs, Netapp AFF is the right choice. You can approach the max. Performance by equipping Unity with SSDs but maybe this costs more. I would recommend Netapp AFF all the time if your budget is ok.
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 are designed to do in different ways.
I say, compare apples to apples on models and get them fighting on price.
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 chosen by distributor to be in the price range for capacity):
1. Comparing 2 systems with the same capacity and performance: pricing is the first to look at:
1a. Cost per GB, war capacity and usable capacity (+Unity)
1b. Cost of adding capacity (+Unity)
1c. Cost of licensing per GB / per added capacity (+Unity all included)
1d. Cost of maintenance after initial contract (+Unity same for all life )
2. Comparison of CPU/MEM, we choose Unity XT because of better CPU cores/frequency and memory per controller
3. Percentage of space lost in various configurations. Our goal was to use Dynamic disk pools, available on Unity. Easier upgrades/downgrades.
4. If virtual volumes are considered, Unity has a VASA provider included in the controller, Netapp is using external VM.
5. Product lifecycle
6. Inline compression / deduplication, performance,
From the above 1=80%, 2=5%, 3=10%, 4+5=5%
We went to Unity XT480 where on the same budget we got 20% more usable flash capacity, while enough slots remain for future upgrades.
My experience was with DELL EMC Unity Hybrid Storage and it was amazing cost-wise. Are you sure you need an All-flash solution?