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Dell Unity XT vs NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS) comparison

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Dell Unity XT vs. NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS)
May 2022
Find out what your peers are saying about Dell Unity XT vs. NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS) and other solutions. Updated: May 2022.
598,116 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
"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.""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."

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"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.""Dell EMC Unity XT has good integration with VMware.""The complete block and file sharing are the most usable features.""On the Data Domain side, the most attractive feature is the compression ratio, which none of the other products in the market are currently able to provide. On the Unity side, what customers mostly like is the availability guarantee.""I have found Dell EMC Unity XT to be stable.""This solution is easy to work with and easy to maintain.""The setup and installation procedures are easy.""The high availability of Dell EMC Unity XT has been the most important feature."

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"This solution helps accelerate demanding enterprise applications. VMware workloads, the database, and Oracle Solaris are hosted on AFF, which means that our primary priority workloads are on AFF and that the secondary ones are on FAS. That includes the SAN national cloud.""It simplifies data management for NAS environments with its ease of management, ease of share creation, and Active IQ feature. These features are good overall. It helps us manage data quickly and sufficiently. Also, compression features, like dedupe, give us a good ratio.""The newest version of ONTAP has a bit of a learning curve because you need to learn where things are to find them. It is not impossible, but when you are accustomed to the older version of ONTAP, it just takes a bit getting used to it, but it is about the same as before.""The cloning and snapshot features are the most valuable. With snapshot backup, we can clone a big database in minutes. We take a lot of snapshots for clients in different environments.""Regarding features, SnapMirror is one we depend on right now. It helps us provide snapshots to the customers on request. There are many scenarios in which we might take snapshots in various daily use cases. We trigger the snapshots, which gives us a sense of security because we know we have this technology in place if something happens.""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.""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 performance is outstanding when it's all Flash. That's the biggest bang for the buck that we get."

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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."

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"This product has some scalability issues. Before you can get support, you have to look for the service tag number on your product which could make it difficult to access support.""The price of this product can be more cost-effective.""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.""Support Responsiveness & time to fix bugs should be improved.""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.""Issues with slow responses from the support team.""This solution could be improved by offering containerization. This is something many of my customers are looking for.""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."

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"It used to give us the volume where LANs should be placed when we created a LAN in the older version. However, in the newer version of ONTAP, it does not give where to place the LAN in the volume. So, that liberty has been taken away. If that was there again, it would be very good.""We would like to have a feature that automatically moves volumes between aggregates, based on the performance. We normally need to do this manually.""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.""It would be better if they just improved the performance of the system.""When comparing with Pure for example, with Pure you have no maintenance anymore and with NetApp, you still need maintenance.""Another issue is that for smaller customers, NetApp doesn't have enough disk sizes. You begin with a 980-gigabyte disk and the next size is 3.8 terabytes. There aren't any disk sizes in between. Competitors have more choices in disk sizes.""I don't like the newest GUI. It needs more options. Some features have been removed. Oversight is not as good in the new GUI compared to the previous version. Though, it might be something that we just need to get used to.""We have been seeing some challenges around the application layer implementation. We are having some teething problems now with the cooperation between the application layer and backups to things, like SnapCenter. This may be a question of product maturity."

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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 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 →

  • "It depends on how you look at things, but they are in a higher price range."
  • "All features are included in the license, whereas with an EMC solution, you have to pay separately for extra terabytes."
  • "The price of NetApp is very expensive, but we don't know how much Pure is, so we can't compare."
  • "We benefited from implementing all-flash by reducing our data center footprint. We took it from 30 racks to just over five. This is one of the biggest savings for us."
  • "The licensing and pricing are fine. As a reseller for the product, we need to make the differentiation in the minds of the customer. They are not just buying some tool that does only one thing, e.g., showing a LAN for a customer. The pricing is fair for what it is."
  • "In addition to simplifying the management across a mix of solutions, AFF simplifies the cost. That was one of the main reasons we purchased AFF."
  • "NetApp AFF is an expensive product, although not compared to other vendors."
  • "The pricing is pretty reasonable for what we get. But if you have to buy any more disk space, it can be quite expensive."
  • More NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS) Pricing and Cost Advice →

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    Top Answer: 
    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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    Using this solution has meant that I do not need to look for different partners to provide me with solutions like a… more »
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    The benefits of being on AFF are the phenomenal speed at which we're able to ingest data and index it, and the IOPS.
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    The only area where the product has room for improvement is the cost.
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    It used to give us the volume where LANs should be placed when we created a LAN in the older version. However, in the… more »
    Comparisons
    Also Known As
    Pavilion HFA
    EMC Unity, Dell EMC Unity
    NetApp All Flash FAS, NetApp AFF, NetApp Flash FAS
    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 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."

    NetApp AFF8000 All Flash FAS systems combine all-flash performance with unified data management from flash to disk to cloud.  Leverage the Data Fabric to move data securely across your choice of clouds—enabled by Cloud ONTAP™ and NetApp Private Storage for Cloud. Plus, you get the industry’s most efficient and comprehensive integrated data protection suite, on premises or in the cloud.

    Offer
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    Learn more about Dell Unity XT
    Learn more about NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS)
    Sample Customers
    Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC), Statistics Netherlands (CBS)
    Draper, Rio Grande Pacific, Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre
    Acibadem Healthcare Group, AmTrust Financial Services, Citrix Systems, DWD, Mantra Group
    Top Industries
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Computer Software Company26%
    Comms Service Provider24%
    Manufacturing Company7%
    Government6%
    REVIEWERS
    Financial Services Firm19%
    Healthcare Company17%
    Manufacturing Company13%
    Energy/Utilities Company8%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Comms Service Provider28%
    Computer Software Company28%
    Government6%
    Manufacturing Company5%
    REVIEWERS
    Healthcare Company15%
    Financial Services Firm12%
    Energy/Utilities Company8%
    Retailer7%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Computer Software Company26%
    Comms Service Provider25%
    Manufacturing Company9%
    Government6%
    Company Size
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business64%
    Midsize Enterprise7%
    Large Enterprise29%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business27%
    Midsize Enterprise24%
    Large Enterprise49%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business23%
    Midsize Enterprise16%
    Large Enterprise61%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business12%
    Midsize Enterprise13%
    Large Enterprise75%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business23%
    Midsize Enterprise14%
    Large Enterprise64%
    Buyer's Guide
    Dell Unity XT vs. NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS)
    May 2022
    Find out what your peers are saying about Dell Unity XT vs. NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS) and other solutions. Updated: May 2022.
    598,116 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    Dell Unity XT is ranked 2nd in All-Flash Storage Arrays with 29 reviews while NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS) is ranked 3rd in All-Flash Storage Arrays with 20 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 "We can do both block and file storage on one unit without purchasing a separate device". 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, Pure Storage FlashArray and IBM FlashSystem, whereas NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS) is most compared with Pure Storage FlashArray, Lenovo ThinkSystem DM Series, Dell PowerStore, HPE Nimble Storage and IBM FlashSystem. See our Dell Unity XT vs. NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS) 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.