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Dell EMC Unity XT OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

Dell EMC Unity XT is #5 ranked solution in best All-Flash Storage Arrays. PeerSpot users give Dell EMC Unity XT an average rating of 8 out of 10. Dell EMC Unity XT is most commonly compared to Dell EMC PowerStore: Dell EMC Unity XT vs Dell EMC PowerStore. Dell EMC Unity XT is popular among the large enterprise segment, accounting for 64% of users researching this solution on PeerSpot. The top industry researching this solution are professionals from a computer software company, accounting for 30% of all views.
What is Dell EMC Unity XT?

Dell EMC Unity, powered by Intel Xeon processors, delivers the ultimate in simplicity and value, enabling your organization to speed deployment, streamline management and seamlessly tier storage to the cloud.

Dell EMC Unity’s All-Flash and Hybrid Flash storage platforms optimize SSD performance and efficiency, with fully integrated SAN and NAS capabilities. Cloud-based storage analytics and proactive support keep you available and connected.

Dell EMC Unity XT was previously known as EMC Unity, Dell EMC Unity.

Buyer's Guide

Download the All-Flash Storage Arrays Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: January 2022

Dell EMC Unity XT Customers

Draper, Rio Grande Pacific, Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre

Dell EMC Unity XT Video

Dell EMC Unity XT Pricing Advice

What users are saying about Dell EMC Unity XT pricing:
  • "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.""
  • "This solution is a good price for what you get."
  • "The solution is very expensive."
  • "The solution is very expensive."
  • "We looked at HPE Nimble but the price of the Unity XT was very good compared to the competition."
  • "I liked the price point when we purchased it."
  • Dell EMC Unity XT Reviews

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    Systems Engineering Manager at a manufacturing company with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Real User
    We can do both block and file storage on one unit without purchasing a separate device.
    Pros and Cons
    • "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."
    • "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."

    What is our primary use case?

    We use it for block storage for our entire VMware environment, which runs Windows, Exchange, and SQL Server. The Unity also provides block storage for bare metal Windows Server that run our backup software. We also use file storage primarily to store images.

    I use it with three projects that I directly work with. Each of those projects has 80 to 100 virtual servers. We have sysadmins who are dedicated to each project and do all the admin tasks, like checking VMs, servers, storage, etc. There is a larger team of five or six systems engineers who backstop all three of those projects. We focus on architecting and configuring any servers, storage, and networking. We may also be called in to resolve performance concerns.

    How has it helped my organization?

    Unity/Unity XT is significantly more user friendly than VNX.

    What is most valuable?

    We can do both block and file storage on one unit. For our projects, we use both of those functions. This is a key feature for us, along with very solid, predictable performance.

    What needs improvement?

    We use VMware in a number of projects but there isn't very good visualization of the storage from VMware or vice versa. I'm hopeful this improves in the follow on product, PowerStore.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have been using this solution for the past seven years, previously at Dell and three years with my current company.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    Stability has been very good, even the older models of Unity are quite good. The non-XTs and the XTs have been absolutely stable. We have had a couple of small hardware glitches, e.g., I have had to replace an LCC. That is literally it over the last three years.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    This is a newer model for us. Out of the three projects that I have worked on, two of them are using the older model and the XT is primarily in another project. We have tons of scalability in it. We have a whole rack dedicated to Unity, and it is pretty much empty. We have probably close to a petabyte of storage in there, and it is still pretty much empty. Scalability looks really good.

    Where we would run into a scalability problem, we are going to do a lot of image storage, and that doesn't compress well. So, flash drives wouldn't really help us. We need a big, scalable object storage system. That is where Isilon comes in. We have about three and a half petabytes of Isilon at each of that project's sites.

    How are customer service and support?

    The technical support has been really great. I have never had a problem that they were not able to get to the bottom of pretty quickly.

    How would you rate customer service and support?

    Positive

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    We do have Dell EMC SC storage, which is very simple and straightforward, which is good for our small remote locations. However, it doesn't have the performance or features that the XT would. As far as block storage, Unity XT is probably the best bank for the buck for us because we can get block and file storage in one package. We don't have to buy a separate Isilon for object storage.

    Including VNX, SC, and Unity/Unity XT, Dell EMC has provided all the storage solutions at the company for the last 20 years. 

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup was super easy for the most part. 

    I will note one issue. This might be on the sales team, but we had a need for encryption that I am sure we mentioned. However, the Unity that showed up at our data center did not have the licenses for encryption at rest. I would love to see Data At Rest Encryption (D@RE) be just the default since I can't imagine anyone wouldn't want it at this point. It would have made life easier for me. I definitely had to completely wipe out an array three days after we set it up, because it didn't have encryption, then redo it with a new license.

    What about the implementation team?

    Vendor did initial install. I reinitialized it and did the final install.

    What was our ROI?

    There are cost savings from having a single solution that does both file and block storage.

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    Pricing could always be better. Dell likes to charge a premium price for these products.

    I would say the major complaint with pricing is that Dell EMC comes to us and gives us a an initially high price. We usually need to go back and forth to negotiate the price to a more reasonable level. We are not going to just say, 'Yes,' because we are out of time." 

    I don't know if the discounting structure needs to be better or more consistent. 

    Having worked at Dell EMC previously, I know they have discount floors, etc. I just wish they would note, "This company gets a 55% discount." Just be consistent with it. Company-wide, we buy all our storage from them. They should be able to give us something a little more structured.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    In one project, we needed more scalability that the Unity can provide so we are using Dell EMC Isilon for it. In that case, I needed multiple PB of object storage.

    Otherwise, we have not looked at much else. In the future, however, we will probably transition to Dell PowerStore.

    What other advice do I have?

    I would rate it as nine out of 10. 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 wonderful for my piece of mind.

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    On-premises
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    Senior Technical Specialist at a healthcare company with 10,001+ employees
    Real User
    Reliable, easy to set up and maintain, good support
    Pros and Cons
    • "This solution is easy to work with and easy to maintain."
    • "It could be a little easier to attach it to a network file system."

    What is our primary use case?

    We currently have three Dell EMC Unity XT units, all used for different applications.

    The primary use case is general, all-around storage. We use it for both unstructured file and unstructured block storage and a lot of it is attached through a few systems to VMware.

    The applications are databases and other similar products.

    One of the units is used for diagnostic imaging, and another is used for file services such as the Hospital Management System (HMS).

    How has it helped my organization?

    I don't have metrics but this product benefits us because of its reliability. It's like a black box that sits in the background and just runs. It works great and does everything that's asked of it.

    What is most valuable?

    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.

    What needs improvement?

    It could be a little easier to attach it to a network file system.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have been working with Dell EMC Unity XT for approximately four years. It has been at the company for five years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    We have not had any issues with stability.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    We haven't really had to scale it too much. Whatever we've had to do, it's been able to accommodate what we need. We know that it can grow more but we just don't need it to. Also, we're shifting away from it because it's being replaced.

    How are customer service and support?

    Dell's technical support is great for 99% of things.

    There have been a few problems but I understand because the product was not mainstream. The unit was an FS8600 and there were only about 12 people in all of North America who knew it well. That's why we got rid of it.

    Overall, I would rate their technical support a nine out of ten. I don't give anybody a ten because there is always room for improvement.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    The organization did not have a previous solution. The original two devices were brought in specifically for the tasks that they perform. The third one is dedicated to the new HSM software.

    We have other storage, on-premises. We have different storage for different things. For example, we have two Dell Compellent units, as well as Isilon. We run the gamut of everything.

    We are retiring two of our Unity XT units because we bought a Dell EMC PowerStore. We're updating everything as part of our refresh cycle. We will be keeping the last Unity XT for at least two more years because it's a fairly new system. It will probably be replaced by a PowerStore as well.

    How was the initial setup?

    I was not with the company when it was initially set up but I have set up other ones. This product is straightforward and easy to set up. It is almost set-and-forget, where you get it on the floor and away you go.

    It took me less than a day to deploy, from unboxing to putting it on the raised floor to powering it on and having my first system attached to it.

    What about the implementation team?

    I deployed it myself. I have been working with storage products for more than 20 years.

    It is myself and two others that are responsible for the maintenance. All of us are backup and storage engineers. I am the primary and the other two are my backups. We all take different approaches and handle different things.

    For purchases, we have always dealt with Dell through a third party because until recently, Dell did not do direct sales. The company we used was Techni-Core and they're okay. We've had some issues with them including some improperly configured Isilons and other systems that were not done correctly. Back when I first joined, I had to go in and spend four months debugging a system that was set up wrong.

    I think that they had a couple of people that were poor at doing installs but I'm pretty sure they are now gone because I don't see their names anywhere.

    What was our ROI?

    We see a return on investment because this product just runs. We don't have to spend hours maintaining it. It needs less intervention from us which means that we can spend time on other things.

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    This solution is a good price for what you get.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We are a Dell customer so we did not evaluate options from other vendors.

    Everything that we have is Dell unless it is something that is vendor-issued or vendor-specific.

    What other advice do I have?

    We only touch the edge of what this product can do. It can do more than we use it for, such as file replication between two units.

    There is not much needed in terms of improvement. It is a rock-solid product.

    My advice for anybody who is considering the Dell Unity XT is to just enjoy it. It's a great system that is easy to maintain. Right out of the box, it's a good system. It's not the best that I've ever used but it's pretty close.

    I would rate this solution a nine out of ten.

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    On-premises
    Disclosure: PeerSpot contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
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    Melvin Thomas
    Senior Systems Engineer at Prosperity Bank
    Real User
    Easy to use and we can add LUNs or space without interruption to end-users
    Pros and Cons
    • "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."
    • "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."

    What is our primary use case?

    Unity is utilized primarily for our vSphere/vCenter environment. It is where we keep all of our data stores and all of our LUNs and anything to do with our vSphere environment. We really don't usually assign any LUNs directly to servers.

    How has it helped my organization?

    We have a large cluster environment and these are active clusters. There are times where the SQL cluster environment starts to get full and it's really easy to add a LUN or space without interruption. The customer is not even aware that the volume is about to run out of space. We can always just add more space and do data recovery for DRs without the customer's knowledge.

    What is most valuable?

    One of the features that I find most valuable is that it is easy to access. 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.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    The solution has been around in our environment for about five years. I've only been exposed to it for the past year and a half.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    My impression of the stability is all positive.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    We can always add more storage or more devices or more disks. There's always room for growth and it's easy to implement.

    This is our primary source of storage and we plan to increase our usage. There's an objective coming in 2022 to increase storage. We have several terabytes and we are constantly chewing that up so there is an effort underway to expand.

    How are customer service and support?

    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.

    Once we are able to get in touch with someone, and we have an engineer working with us, it's great the way they follow up. They constantly keep in touch with us whenever we have issues. They help schedule any type of upgrades and get them implemented. Overall, support has been very helpful.

    And anytime there are notices of updates and upgrades, support keeps us involved and engaged.

    How would you rate customer service and support?

    Positive

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    We went to the Unity because of cost. I wasn't involved in the purchase of it, but the VPLEX maintenance was getting costly and it felt like the Unity was newer technology. The technology was better, the interface was better, interacting with it was better. It is a lot easier to use than the VPLEX. We figured it was a better solution than what we had and one that gave us more flexibility

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup was straightforward. It was very easy to set up.

    Ours was a pretty large deployment. The Unity replaced our VPLEX environment so when we put the Unity in we had to do a lot of migration conversion from VPLEX to Unity. That was a process because we had a lot of VMs and data stores move. It took us about a day and a half to do everything.

    We have five engineers who work on it, or who actually touch it or provide hands-on support for it. As far as the end-users go, we have about 500, and they have no idea they're on a Unity. What they know is that when they pull their machines up, they have storage and data.

    What about the implementation team?

    We used CDW. Our experience with them was outstanding. They're great. I have no issues at all. CDW just did an outstanding job.

    What was our ROI?

    The return on investment is in the fact that it meets all of our storage needs and in the ease of expanding it. It's also seen through the fact that we can work on the environment without interruption to the end-user.

    What other advice do I have?

    Do your due diligence. Check it out to see if Unity is something you can use for your environment. It is definitely worth looking into. Give it a try.

    As far as the solution's functionality goes, I see no areas in need of improvement. Everything is functioning completely adequately. I have no complaints and no issues. I have no negative feedback. The implementation was easy and straightforward. Doing our recovery points is pretty straightforward. It is easy to access through a browser. We can add and remove LUNs on-the-fly with no impact at all to our environment.

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    On-premises
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    Cloud Engineer at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
    Real User
    Top 5
    Price / Quality ratio is good and since OE 5.03 code the array family reached a rather good maturity level
    Pros and Cons
    • "The most valuable feature is the integration with vCenter."
    • "Support Responsiveness & time to fix bugs should be improved."

    What is our primary use case?

    We are running 3,000 VMs spread out over five such units.

    How has it helped my organization?

    The initial Unity x50 series, even all-flash, were quickly driving the CPU to near 100% on as little as 180TB, having data reduction on all volumes in place.

    The XT came in support and sizes better on our infra, due to more CPU power. The system doesn't seem to have a module to offload datareduction, but in the end does a great job in getting the datareduction come round at higher capacity without oversubscribing the CPU (%). In the end the SDD media cost more then the array/storage processors. So basically you want to datareduce as much as the system can take.

    What is most valuable?

    Good in-built monitoring tools from the System|Performance section Tab, from CloudIQ you can reach out to vCenter as well. ESRS (Call Home) on the service delivery part is valuable.

    Remote Code update support (interactive or not) is free of charge , as you wish, nonetheless you are free to do it yourself as update are cumulative and retained on each new codelevel.

    What needs improvement?

    The UEMCLI is not an object-oriented CLI and the more object-rich PowerCLI has been discontinued. Only people with bash experience possibly can operate it. Still nowadays, feeding object from one command into another is still a burden with such CLI. When adding a few disks to a cluster, the CLI is actually standing in the queue for one disk to be added to all, requiring multiple scans on each membering host, before proceeding with the second...and scanning all hosts once again.  One could add all disks at once and stand in the queue once for a rescan all.

    There isn't a means to add volumegroups , nor hostgroups. A feature that any solution I worked with so far has. Its a burden to assure each host has the same LUN ID on each host in this manner. As of the june 2021 releae , code OE 5.1 it seems to offer the option to have hostgroups in the end !

    The integration with vCenter comes with a sideeffect, in that it will take control of the vSphere scan process, moreover every esx host is scanned multiple times. It takes easiliy a few hours to add a few LUNS to a few hosts. Rather Painfull. Even when adding LUNs using the unisphere GUI , you can keep up with the pace of your script.

    Support Responsiveness & time to fix bugs should be improved. Over the past 1,5 yrs we had occassional controller reboots and we went all the way from OE 4.5 over 5.02 to 5.03 and eliminated the  most common causes. We still face a stress triggered cache merge issue and though we provided the dumps and engineering acknowledged the bug, it has been told that addressing the bug requires substantial code rewritting and the problem will be fixed in the next major code release (OE 6.x) . We are now a year later, still no fix, but furtunately faced the considition once on one out of 5 arrays during that year. 

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have been using Unity (XT) for 15 months.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    OE 5.03 is a rather mature & stable code, without to say that it will addresse all. Some bugs are stress/load triggered and rather exceptional but might be easily recurring if the same conditions are remet.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    The XT scales better then its predecessor. 

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Not the most responsive support, we have a Service Account Manager and reporting in place now and keep the pressure to get answers. Very bad post bug/incident follow up.

    How was the initial setup?

    The system is easy to install and you might be able to do it on your own on the 2nd attempt.

    What was our ROI?

    Ease of use, Price Quality, vSphere Integration, CloudIQ (Performance data) , ESRS (Call Home) and though not used as such , Support for Block Devices, Cifs,NFS

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    The setup is rather straighforward.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    I have compared Unity x00/x50f versus Unity XT x80f. 

    What other advice do I have?

    Midrange solution for SMB up till Large Entreprises too if you spread the load on many units.

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    On-premises
    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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    DIrecteur Commerical at a tech vendor with 51-200 employees
    Reseller
    Top 20
    Highly reliable, effective dynamic cache feature, and simple setup
    Pros and Cons
    • "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."
    • "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."

    What is our primary use case?

    We can use Dell EMC Unity XT for backing up SAN and NAS drives. Mainly for databases and for file servers.

    What is most valuable?

    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.

    What needs improvement?

    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.

    In the future, if NVMe disc could be used on the Dell EMC Unity XT it would be beneficial.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have been using Dell EMC Unity XT for approximately three years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    Dell EMC Unity XT is very reliable.  I used to use legacy EMC products, such as VNX. This product has a long story.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    The solution is suitable for Medium-sized companies. When you talk large, it's relative. Our customers here in Algeria are the largest here but they are only medium-sized compared to other countries.

    How are customer service and support?

    The technical support is good. Opening the ticket, the management of the ticket is good. However, when we have to use or change parts, it can be more difficult because of the customs rules of the disposability and availability of the parts. We have problems delivering them in the time the parts are needed in some cases.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    We previously used Fujitsu and IBM products.

    When comparing Dell and IBM they are very similar. Fujitsu is a good product too. However, when comparing them all in their strengths for implementation, the lifecycle of the product, and the support they provide, I would rank Dell number one, IBM second, and third would be Fujitsu.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup is simple. The time it takes for the implementation depends. From scratch, a new implementation takes approximately three days. If you have to migrate a node storage array, the time can increase, I am not able to give an exact time because it depends on the volume and the nature of the data. We can take one week to three weeks to migrate. However, generally, it takes approximately 10 days when we have to migrate and without migration, it's about two and three days.

    What about the implementation team?

    We provide implementation service to our customers.

    The maintenance is done by the Dell representative in our country.

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    The solution is very expensive. 

    There are a lot of advantages with EMC Unity XT, there's no limitation. When you bought the product, the software is included and there's no limitation of the terabyte in the licenses.

    What other advice do I have?

    I would firmly recommend this solution to others.

    I rate Dell EMC Unity XT a nine out of ten.

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    On-premises
    Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: reseller
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    Storage Engineer at a energy/utilities company with 10,001+ employees
    Real User
    Enables us to reduce our physical footprint in the data center by replacing older systems
    Pros and Cons
    • "When I have an issue and need technical support, I reach out to them either through chat or by submitting a service request, and the response is good."
    • "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."

    What is our primary use case?

    We use Unity solutions for our data center operations as a primary storage environment.

    How has it helped my organization?

    We were able to retire all our VNX systems and reduce the footprint in the data center. The Unity systems can scale up quickly, so we use less space in the data center if we employ more Unity systems than the old VNX systems.

    What is most valuable?

    Unity is scalable and you can configure it quickly. 

    What needs improvement?

    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. It takes a little more work when we are incorporating a third-party environment. 

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I've been at my current job for almost five years, and we have been using Unity that whole time.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    I believe Unity is stable. However, we haven't used it for long, so I can't really know how stable it is until we have enough time to work with it.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    Scalability is one of Unity's biggest advantages. It looks like we're going to need to do a lot of expansion because any capacity we purchase gets consumed pretty fast. We'll have to increase our footprint on Unity.

    How are customer service and support?

    I rate Dell EMC support 10 out of 10. They respond rapidly and do a good job. When I have an issue and need technical support, I reach out to them either through chat or by submitting a service request, and the response is good.

    How would you rate customer service and support?

    Positive

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    My company was using EMC Symmetrix. They moved from Symmetrix to Dell EMC VNX and then Unity. They have not done any other evaluations of other vendors aside from EMC.

    How was the initial setup?

    Implementing Unity was straightforward. We were able to move through the process of setting up the systems based on the procedure the vendor provided without any problems. Once we got started, I think it was just a couple of days. 

    What about the implementation team?

    The company purchased a support contract, so we worked with Dell EMC to deploy the system.

    What was our ROI?

    We just deployed these new Unity systems a couple of months ago, so we haven't had an opportunity to assess the cost savings yet. As we continue moving ahead, we'll be able to do that. The company is scaling up Unity, so if they are willing to scale up quickly, they like the product, and there is something advantageous to the systems. Whether in terms of money or performance, they seem to be getting some value from the systems.

    What other advice do I have?

    I'll rate Dell EMC Unity nine out of 10. It's a great, scalable product that performs well. Out of many options, it would be my first choice.

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    On-premises
    Disclosure: PeerSpot contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
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    Evangelos Nikolaidis
    Freelance IT Professional at a energy/utilities company with 201-500 employees
    Real User
    Availability of different types of disks enabled us to increase speed and leverage different storage costs across data life cycle
    Pros and Cons
    • "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."
    • "Our request to Dell EMC for improvement was in the reporting and monitoring areas. Dell EMC built up a cloud ID so that we could see the overall storage numbers. We needed to have the proper KPIs to be able to see and manage things."

    How has it helped my organization?

    One advantage was the ability to use different types of disks and different types of disk solutions to increase the speed, first of all, and to take advantage of different storage costs across the life cycle of the data.

    What is most valuable?

    • One of the most useful features for us was the deduplication. It had been challenging for us to store certain types of data and to use patterns of storage to reduce storage size.
    • The IOPS and the speed were also an important part of the solution.
    • In addition, there was a Unity machine that offers block-level and NAS, and we used the block-level storage.
    • We also use the side-to-side storage verification for the recovery site.
    • Finally, the device was flexible and we could change the configuration to meet our needs.

    What needs improvement?

    Our request to Dell EMC for improvement was in the reporting and monitoring areas. Dell EMC built up a cloud ID so that we could see the overall storage numbers. We needed to have the proper KPIs to be able to see and manage things.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I worked with Dell EMC Unity XT for two to three months. My last role was IT director so I didn't do a lot of hands-on with the devices. I was overseeing the IT staff and doing project management for these kinds of solutions. At that time I was working for a manufacturing company for pharmaceutical life cycle products, and we were a customer of Dell EMC.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    There was no problem with the stability. It was, as expected, very strong.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    You can grow as much as you like. There is no limit. It's easy to scale.

    We had about 1,000 users of the Unity XT.

    How are customer service and support?

    We did not need to contact their technical support.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup for Unity XT was pretty straightforward. We knew exactly what we needed and our requirements were very easily applied to the box. With one day of hands-on training, my colleagues were able to manage things.

    Maintenance required one person.

    What about the implementation team?

    We used an integrator for the deployment. They had great knowledge of the product. We also did some additional integration with them in other parts of the storage, including backup and data domain devices, because we were very fond of the work they did.

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    The main factors to consider are space, availability, business continuity, performance, and IOPS. 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.

    It is a very complete platform. Dell EMC wrote a new OS for storage, but I haven't seen it yet.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We looked at HPE Nimble but the price of the Unity XT was very good compared to the competition.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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    CIO at a healthcare company with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Real User
    Top 20
    The dashboard gives me a quick reference on my monitor as to what is using what bandwidth
    Pros and Cons
    • "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 could go faster. Make it bigger, better, and faster at a lower price, and I am there."

    What is our primary use case?

    We use it for user shares and VMs.

    We have 200 people using it in our organization.

    What is most valuable?

    The snapshotting is slick.

    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.

    I like the dashboard, which gives me a quick reference on my monitor as to what is using what bandwidth.

    What needs improvement?

    It could go faster. Make it bigger, better, and faster at a lower price, and I am there.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    Our solution is four- to five-years-old. We use it every day.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    I have never had any stability issues. It has been solid and stable. The dual platform, i.e., how it sits one head on top of the other, has been rock-solid. I have never had an issue with it.

    I have noticed there is another version that has come out.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    I haven't scaled it yet. The way that I set it up was half the drive bays are being used. When I do need to scale up, I am just going to duplicate the other half of the drives, stick them in there, and then spin them up.

    How are customer service and support?

    The technical support is good and quick.

    I would like a little faster response, but I don't think that their response is really that slow. They respond fairly quickly, at least fast enough for most issues. If it was an emergency issue, it might be different, as they probably would move it up the ladder anyway.

    How was the initial setup?

    It is a little bit of a pain at first to set up the snapshotting. However, once it is set up, and you figure it out, it is not that bad.

    What about the implementation team?

    I needed one of the specialists to set it up initially, which is not surprising because the solutions are a pain in that way. Some of the menus, and how it is at first, are a little awkward. It takes a little while to get used to, then it all starts to make sense.

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    I liked the price point when we purchased it.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    I don't know what other units have that Unity doesn't have. Though I would say to them, "Keep up with your competition."

    What other advice do I have?

    Look at it online. If you can get a demo version in-house, give it a shot.

    If you need to keep data safe and make sure it doesn't go anywhere, Dell EMC Unity is a good way to go.

    I would rate them as nine out of 10.

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    On-premises
    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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