Dell Unity XT vs Pure Storage FlashArray comparison

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Comparison Buyer's Guide
Executive Summary

We performed a comparison between Dell Unity XT and Pure Storage FlashArray based on real PeerSpot user reviews.

Find out in this report how the two All-Flash Storage solutions compare in terms of features, pricing, service and support, easy of deployment, and ROI.
To learn more, read our detailed Dell Unity XT vs. Pure Storage FlashArray Report (Updated: March 2024).
772,277 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Featured Review
Quotes From Members
We asked business professionals to review the solutions they use.
Here are some excerpts of what they said:
"The standout features for us in Pure FlashArray X NVMe are its robust DDoS protection, seamless transparent failover, and failback capabilities ensuring high availability.""The initial setup was extremely simple and straightforward.""It is very easy to install and configure. It has got excellent diagnostics. If you really need to see how the box is performing, the console gives you a lot of information. You can set thresholds as well as alerts based on the thresholds, which is a very powerful functionality. They are very proactive. They know how to monitor and manage the systems. They see a problem, and they are all over it before us. They see the problem before we see it, which is very good.""Overall stability is very good. It is a very stable solution.""The solution is very straightforward to set up.""The high availability of the product is the most valuable feature.""It's helped us because we've changed fundamentally what we talk about. We don't talk about storage and different tiers of storage anymore nor do we talk about servers. We talk now about applications and how applications impact the business and end users.""Pure FlashArray X NVMe has low latency and high Ops. It is an evergreen model."

More Pure FlashArray X NVMe Pros →

"The most valuable feature is that the solution is a hybrid system, so you can do both block and file storage.""My storage team likes Unity's replication features. Three-site replication is a unique feature that EMC offers us.""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 most valuable thing for our use case is the flexibility to have multiple-protocol support.""It is scalable, and we usually recommend Dell Unity XT to small and medium companies.""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.""I like that the performance is very good.""Unity's are more easily administrated, so we need fewer people to do the administration. We have less overhead because of that."

More Dell Unity XT Pros →

"The product cheaper compared to other solutions concerning the technology that they are using.""The solution has probably reduced my power use substantially.""Lone segmentation is simpler and more agile. It's improved the velocity in overall provisioning from project to operation.""It is the SAN backbone for our company.""It gives us capacity planning.""The solution is very reliable.""Has also helped simplify storage for us. The other person we put in there, took about a week to implement. And we had both arrays set up within around four hours with a thirty minute drive time between the two locations.""For us, the most valuable feature is the compression and deduplication. Being able to deploy a three to one ratio for storage is absolutely critical in today's world with the growing need for storage and the growing need for more space."

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"It's more multi-tenant functionality in their Pure1 manage portal that is lacking.""I want to see Pure Storage not only be for fast storage, but I want to see it be for the entire data center.""The tool's pricing is higher than competitors.""They could add more support for file storage and different types of storage.""I would like to see replication and DR features in the next release of this solution.""You cannot tag a LUN with a description, and that should be improved. What I like on the Unity side is that when I expand LUNs or do things, there is an information field on the LUN. This is the Information field that you can tag on your LUNs to let yourself know, "Hey, I've added this much space on this date". Pure lacks that ability. So, you don't have a mechanism that's friendly for tracking your data expansions on the LUN and for adding any additional information. That's a downside for me.""The tool's portfolio is minimal. It is expensive.""In the future, I would like to see integration with enterprise backup systems."

More Pure FlashArray X NVMe Cons →

"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.""This product needs to have better integration with enterprise backup solutions and archiving devices.""The initial setup is not so straightforward if you don't have experience with storage arrays.""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.""Support Responsiveness & time to fix bugs should be improved.""I would like to see more integration with other products.""Software updates have to be downloaded to the root of the device. This pushes the available space to 95% utilization.""It is expensive, and the pricing could be better."

More Dell Unity XT Cons →

"I would like to see more detailed reporting on the data. However, it would be nice to know what are the exact VMs usage after deduplication and/or what that VMs actual latency and bandwidth is, outside of VMware.""They have a product, FlashBlade, which is their object storage integration, and that's something that we haven't integrated with yet. This might be an area for additional focus as it would play into scalability, because the very nature of object storage is that it's infinitely scalable.""The file functionality could be better.""The only time that we had problems with it was that there was a bug in the VVol implementation but, outside of that, it has been flawless.""I would like to see them lower the costs.""The connectivity needs improvement. You do not have the possibility to have a file and block connectivity at the same time on the same machine. It has limited ability to do so.""I would like some form of QoS implemented. As a service provider, it would be beneficial to have it.""Had some issues with Purity not being entirely compatible with VMware ESXi."

More Pure Storage FlashArray Cons →

Pricing and Cost Advice
  • "With Pure Storage, we would like to continue seeing price reductions with flash storage. I don't think we're any different than anybody else when we continue to look to the industry for price reductions of both NVMe and traditional SSD storage. We would like to see these prices continue to decline and erode, even displacing large spinning disks."
  • "We pay approximately $50,000 USD per year in licensing fees."
  • "With VMware, we pay $300,000 annually."
  • "Our licensing fees are $500,000+ USD."
  • "As far as the licensing costs, everything is included in the license."
  • "They can tout the functionality and cutting edge technology that they have, but that's where the price tag comes in. The cost is high, but I think as they grow their business and get more customers that it will probably go down a little bit."
  • "Its price could be better. It is not too expensive, but it is the high-end cost. It is kind of a Rolls-Royce. You pay a lot, but you get a lot out of it. So, the price pressure on the way down would be great, but at the end of the day, if you need to do the work, you just pay for it."
  • "The licensing is on a yearly basis."
  • More Pure FlashArray X NVMe Pricing and Cost Advice →

  • "The price is good for commercial grade storage arrays."
  • "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."
  • "Licensing is easy since all the software is included."
  • "This product is cheaper than the EMC VNX solution. It is good for small businesses."
  • "It is shipped with all licensed, included for this product range, no need to buy additional licenses"
  • "The only improvement would be a lower cost per unit/disks, however on the whole we are very pleased with this product."
  • "For costing, you have to have a budget in mind because SANs can be fairly expensive and EMC offers a wide range of products."
  • "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."
  • More Dell Unity XT Pricing and Cost Advice →

  • "We feel that the pricing is fair and the licensing process was easy for both."
  • "There is always room for negotiation."
  • "The price was slightly higher than others, but competitive, if you consider all the other features that you get from it."
  • "It is a more expensive solution, but it is worth it. You are getting what you paid for."
  • "For pricing, you have to take into account their performance on deduplication and compression in a $/GB comparison."
  • "We have seen a reduction in total cost of ownership (TCO)."
  • "It is a cheaper solution."
  • "Pure Storage is all-flash, so this sometimes tends to make it a bit more expensive in the beginning."
  • More Pure Storage FlashArray Pricing and Cost Advice →

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    Questions from the Community
    Top Answer:Pure FlashArray X NVMe helps to improve our processing speed. It is user-friendly and easy to use.
    Top Answer:The tool is an investment that we've budgeted for. While the prices may be higher than those of other vendors, we see it… more »
    Top Answer:The tool's pricing is higher than competitors.
    Top Answer:I saw that you have doubts about what you chose. I have a lot of experience with the constructor, honestly I can… 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… more »
    Top Answer:First of all the decision should be taken looking at similar products in terms of capacity and performance I will show… more »
    Top Answer:Both are great platforms, but if you are considering all flash solutions, I would recommend you to consider Pure… more »
    Top Answer:We consume less physical storage because of the solution’s deduplication and compression.
    Top Answer:We have customers who use a three-year or five-year license. We also have customers who use Evergreen.
    Also Known As
    Pure FlashArray//X NVMe, Pure FlashArray//X, FlashArray//X
    EMC Unity, Dell EMC Unity
    Learn More

    Pure Storage FlashArray//X is the world’s first enterprise-class, all-NVMe flash storage array. It represents a new class of storage – shared accelerated storage, which is a term coined by Gartner – that delivers major breakthroughs in performance, simplicity, and consolidation.

    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."

    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:

    • A much higher level of speed than similar pieces of technology. Pure Storage FlashArray maximizes the speed at which data can be transferred while at the same time minimizing system latencies that might slow the transfer down. Additionally, it offers users quick memory read and data access speeds.

    • A higher bang for your buck in terms of the storage capabilities you get for the money you pay. They are smaller in size than more standard storage technologies, but they offer flash memory, which enables users to store larger amounts of data than the current standard.

    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."

    Sample Customers
    Fremont Bank, Judson ISD, The Nielsen Company
    Draper, Rio Grande Pacific, Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre
    Nielsen, Lamar Advertising, LinkedIn, Betfair, UT-Dallas
    Top Industries
    Computer Software Company23%
    Financial Services Firm18%
    Manufacturing Company18%
    Comms Service Provider14%
    Computer Software Company17%
    Financial Services Firm13%
    Manufacturing Company10%
    Financial Services Firm17%
    Healthcare Company13%
    Manufacturing Company11%
    Energy/Utilities Company7%
    Educational Organization66%
    Computer Software Company6%
    Manufacturing Company4%
    Financial Services Firm19%
    Healthcare Company12%
    Manufacturing Company10%
    Computer Software Company8%
    Educational Organization31%
    Computer Software Company12%
    Manufacturing Company8%
    Financial Services Firm8%
    Company Size
    Small Business35%
    Midsize Enterprise29%
    Large Enterprise35%
    Small Business24%
    Midsize Enterprise16%
    Large Enterprise60%
    Small Business30%
    Midsize Enterprise24%
    Large Enterprise46%
    Small Business9%
    Midsize Enterprise70%
    Large Enterprise20%
    Small Business27%
    Midsize Enterprise16%
    Large Enterprise57%
    Small Business18%
    Midsize Enterprise40%
    Large Enterprise42%
    Buyer's Guide
    Dell Unity XT vs. Pure Storage FlashArray
    March 2024
    Find out what your peers are saying about Dell Unity XT vs. Pure Storage FlashArray and other solutions. Updated: March 2024.
    772,277 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    Dell Unity XT is ranked 4th in All-Flash Storage with 190 reviews while Pure Storage FlashArray is ranked 3rd in All-Flash Storage with 174 reviews. Dell Unity XT is rated 8.4, while Pure Storage FlashArray is rated 9.2. The top reviewer of Dell Unity XT writes "Easy to set up with good data compression technology and useful deduplication". On the other hand, the top reviewer of Pure Storage FlashArray writes "Effective provisioning, helpful support, and reliable". Dell Unity XT is most compared with Dell PowerStore, NetApp AFF, HPE Nimble Storage, IBM FlashSystem and HPE 3PAR StoreServ, whereas Pure Storage FlashArray is most compared with Dell PowerStore, NetApp AFF, HPE Nimble Storage, IBM FlashSystem and Pure Storage FlashBlade. See our Dell Unity XT vs. Pure Storage FlashArray 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.