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Dell Unity XT vs VMware vSAN comparison

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All-Flash Storage Arrays
July 2022
Find out what your peers are saying about Pure Storage, Dell Technologies, NetApp and others in All-Flash Storage Arrays. Updated: July 2022.
622,645 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
"Integration is easy with this product.""I have had no problem at all. I think this is one of the most important things. It is very good. Maintaining it and deploying updates require very low maintenance. We haven't had problems. We had to replace a couple of disks in all these years, but it was pretty straightforward.""The inline deduplication and data reduction capabilities have been the most valuable.""Stable data storage platform which promotes ease of management through its multi-cloud support. Remote support provided to users to address issues is very good.""The solution overall has high performance.""The setup and installation procedures are easy.""Initial setup is a simple process.""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."

More Dell Unity XT Pros →

"It is user-friendly, and its performance is good.""The most valuable features of VMware vSAN are that it receives updates frequently, has good compression, optimized storage, and they provide webinars on what is new. Additionally, the integration with third-party products is good and it is easy to manage.""The solution is simple to use compared to other solutions, such as Hyperflex, VxRail, and Nutanix""The most valuable thing about vSAN is that all of its features have been working well for us for the past two years. We haven't had an issue with them.""VMware vSAN is easy to configure, with basic functionality and the customer can maintain the solution.""The most valuable feature of VMware vSAN is you do not have to use additional hardware for storage. The operation of VMware vSAN does not take a lot of effort. If you have VMware technology on your site, then it's easy for the operational support of the system.""In my opinion, vSAN is the most natural way to migrate to a fully hyperconverged solution. If a customer needs a more scalable solution with consolidated management, vSAN is excellent.""When we do to do more scaled load testing, we can run more dense workloads and still have the same results across all specific nodes"

More VMware vSAN Pros →

Cons
"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 have only used this solution for less than one year so I don't have any improvements suggestions yet.""Having more artificial intelligence tools built into the solution would be a great benefit. This would allow us to see more about the workloads and higher visibility, such as performance degradation.""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.""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.""Dell could improve Unity XT by adding support for NVMe."

More Dell Unity XT Cons →

"I think it needs to be more cost-effective. I would also say that even though the capacity is good, there is also room for improvement there. Also, they could improve the security of the system.""Reporting currently depends on third party applications and that could be improved.""The price can be reduced. Small businesses cannot afford this solution.""Troubleshooting tools could be improved.""This product is very expensive.""This is quite an expensive solution.""The big thing is pricing, and the rest of it is mostly good. From a scalability point of view, scaling the storage from network or compute should be easier. It is again all around the cost, and it would be good if it was easier to scale your storage separately from your compute.""If one node out of your ten nodes fails, it takes a lot of time to replicate and rebalance VMware vSAN. This time can be reduced. When a node fails and the data is not accessible, vSAN has to be rebalanced to make the redundancy level of two again. However, if it is taking a lot of time and any other hardware fails during that time, then we have a problem. Two disk failures mean that all data will be lost, and we may have to recover it from the backup. So, the number of threads that run to do the rebalancing could be more so that the time taken to make it fully redundant again is not so much."

More VMware vSAN Cons →

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 →

  • "If they could reduce the cost, it would be better. Licensing costs are something that they could take care of. If you are a smaller and strong IT team, then VMware vSAN is a very good product. If you want to expand in the service provider space, then you will have to go for an open-source solution like OpenStack. We are now looking at OpenStack because we sell licensing costs. We are a service provider, so the IT component data is a substantial component in our overall costing. We feel that OpenStack might help us to cut down the licensing cost. Therefore, we are looking at SAS storage instead of vSAN. SAS is open source, but it is not wise to have open source without having the backend support. We are using RedHat SAS, and it is an open-source solution. You can also have a free version, but we are using it with support from RedHat so that we have somebody to back us up in case we have a problem. If you do normal business, then IT expense is 1% or 2% of the total turnover. The higher licensing costs sometimes don't make difference to the big companies who are not service providers and are using it only for their internal use. For them, the IT cost is 1% or 2%, but for an IT service provider, the IT costs will go up to 15% to 16% of the total cost of the operations. This is where the licensing costs become irrelevant. For example, the licensing cost of using VMware, VC, and vSAN is 8% of my monthly revenue. Every month, I pay about $35,000, and, with the revised plan, it will be something like $50,000 or revenue of 600k per month, which means almost 8% of the revenue is going into VMware licensing. In a very competitive world, 8% as a cost element is huge. So, if I can bring it down to 2%, I save 6% in revenue expenditure. In terms of profit, 6% of 30% is something like another 25% increase in my profit. My profit can be almost 25%. It would be 20% to 25% in case I am able to handle the licensing costs and bring them to a very low level. Because these IT costs are substantial for us, that is why we are going with OpenStack. OpenStack has a limitation that it requires more hardware. There will be some increase in the hardware cost, but overall we will save 5% to 6% of our licensing cost by using OpenStack."
  • "It is fairly cost-effective for entry to mid-level performance based on the underlying hardware components."
  • "The price is expensive."
  • "It is an expensive solution. There should be more flexible with licensing to allow small businesses the essentials of the solution's features."
  • "The price of vSAN could be lower."
  • "It is too expensive."
  • "It is expensive, but you get what you pay for."
  • "The price is okay."
  • More VMware vSAN Pricing and Cost Advice →

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    Questions from the Community
    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 »
    Top Answer:While both run on the vSAN technology from VMware, vSAN needs to be deployed on vSAN ready nodes while VxRail is an engineered system. The choice to choose which technology depends on two major… more »
    Top Answer:We found the reduced power consumption with Nutanix Acropolis AOS a very attractive feature. We also like the interface that allows you to talk directly to your VM from the present software. We found… more »
    Top Answer:HPE SimpliVity is a hyper-converged infrastructure solution that is primarily geared to mid-sized companies. We researched VMware vSAN but found HPE was a better option for us. HPE SimpliVity has… more »
    Ranking
    3rd
    Views
    25,657
    Comparisons
    19,989
    Reviews
    28
    Average Words per Review
    466
    Rating
    8.5
    2nd
    out of 38 in HCI
    Views
    46,836
    Comparisons
    38,521
    Reviews
    85
    Average Words per Review
    418
    Rating
    8.2
    Comparisons
    Also Known As
    EMC Unity, Dell EMC Unity
    vSAN
    Learn More
    Overview

    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."

    VMware vSAN is a software-defined storage product that is used in collaboration with VMware ESXi hypervisor and that provisions and manages storage based on policies, regardless of the underlying hardware. The solution enables you to prime your business for growth through its seamless evolution (it is integrated with vSphere and requires no new tools), its flexibility, and its multi-cloud capabilities. As an industry-leading software, VMware vSAN provides high levels of performance with minimal impact on CPU and memory.

    VMware vSAN Features

    VMware vSAN has many valuable key features. Some of the most useful ones include:

    • Storage policy-based management (SPBM): VMware vSAN supports storage policy-based management for automated management of storage profiles.
    • Software-defined data-at-rest encryption: With this VMware vSAN feature, you can prevent unauthorized access of data at rest.
    • Multiple nodes: VMware vSAN provides clusters that can include as few as 2 nodes or as many as 64 nodes.
    • High security and availability: VMware vSAN offers stretched clusters, allowing more than one virtualization host server to be used in the same setup, promoting higher security as well as availability.
    • Deduplication: VMware vSAN’s deduplication compresses data to ensure efficient storage management and security.
    • HCI mesh updates: VMware vSAN clusters can share storage capacity with non-HCI Sphere clusters and can adopt HCI without having to scale computing resources and storage or replace existing servers.
    • Simplified file services: With VMware vSAN’s file services, backup of file shares is simplified. You can use APIs that allow backup and recovery software vendors to integrate with your VMware vSAN file services, which enables backup software to track new data and add scalability enhancements to files.

    VMware vSAN Benefits

    There are many benefits to implementing VMware vSAN. Some of the biggest advantages the solution offers include:

    • Reduced total cost of ownership (TCO): VMware vSAN helps you reduce upfront costs for businesses because it can be easily deployed on inexpensive x86 servers. In addition, its highly scalable infrastructure and quick deployment also save organizations time and money, making it an efficient storage solution. 
    • Good manageability: VMWare vSAN is easy to set up, manage, and provision, without sacrificing performance. 
    • Scalability: VMware vSAN is agile and allows administrators to scale storage on demand, quickly, and efficiently via policies and rules.
    • Simplicity: VMWare vSAN is simple to configure since it is embedded in the vSphere hypervisor. Installing it using the vSphere Web Client can be done quickly. 
    • Reduced risk: VMWare vSAN reduces the risk associated with digital transformations by utilizing existing tools, skill sets, and solutions.

    Reviews from Real Users

    Below are some reviews and helpful feedback written by PeerSpot users currently using the VMware vSAN solution.

    PeerSpot user Yves S., CEO, Cloud Evangelist at Comdivision Consulting GmbH, says, “vSAN gives us a lot of advantages when we need to expand resources. We have an overall larger host infrastructure, and we split that up for specific customer test and use cases. In that specific scenario, we can easily add more hosts or reduce the number of hosts in the environment.”

    A reviewer who works in Infrastructure Security explains, “The ease of use is great. The initial setup and upgrade process was pretty straightforward. And, technical support is great.”

    Laurent N., Director at Softlogic, comments, "The feature that I have found most valuable is that it is easy to deploy. It is easy to create and delete virtual servers. It is easy to create the load balancing and the clustering."

    Offer
    Learn more about Dell Unity XT
    Learn more about VMware vSAN
    Sample Customers
    Draper, Rio Grande Pacific, Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre
    Read Some Case Studies At Home Cloud CaribCINgroupDiscovery Check out the Rest of our Customer Stories Here
    Top Industries
    REVIEWERS
    Financial Services Firm19%
    Healthcare Company17%
    Manufacturing Company13%
    Energy/Utilities Company7%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Computer Software Company27%
    Comms Service Provider24%
    Government7%
    Manufacturing Company6%
    REVIEWERS
    Computer Software Company12%
    Comms Service Provider12%
    Financial Services Firm11%
    Healthcare Company10%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Computer Software Company24%
    Comms Service Provider22%
    Government8%
    Manufacturing Company7%
    Company Size
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business27%
    Midsize Enterprise24%
    Large Enterprise49%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business22%
    Midsize Enterprise17%
    Large Enterprise61%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business31%
    Midsize Enterprise23%
    Large Enterprise46%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business21%
    Midsize Enterprise17%
    Large Enterprise63%
    Buyer's Guide
    All-Flash Storage Arrays
    July 2022
    Find out what your peers are saying about Pure Storage, Dell Technologies, NetApp and others in All-Flash Storage Arrays. Updated: July 2022.
    622,645 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    Dell Unity XT is ranked 3rd in All-Flash Storage Arrays with 29 reviews while VMware vSAN is ranked 2nd in HCI with 87 reviews. Dell Unity XT is rated 8.4, while VMware vSAN is rated 8.2. 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 VMware vSAN writes "Gives us a lot of advantages when we need to expand resources". Dell Unity XT is most compared with Dell PowerStore, NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS), HPE Nimble Storage, HPE 3PAR StoreServ and Lenovo ThinkSystem DM Series, whereas VMware vSAN is most compared with VxRail, Nutanix Cloud Infrastructure (NCI), Microsoft Storage Spaces Direct, HPE SimpliVity and Red Hat Ceph Storage.

    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.