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How does Dell's EMC PowerStore compare with its EMC Unity XT?

Netanya Carmi - PeerSpot reviewer
Content Manager at PeerSpot (formerly IT Central Station)

Why pick one over the other?

PeerSpot user
57 Answers

JohnBowling - PeerSpot reviewer
Top 5LeaderboardReal User

I agree with Leah... There are a bit more features/options with PowerStore, but the networking setup much more complex (too much if you ask me).  

Currently, there's no support for replicated NAS, so that's a big issue within our environment. 

The scale-out feature is nice, but there's a lot of limitations, i.e. data isn't spread across all of the available 'appliances' in a big pool. Volumes are isolated to a single 'appliance' and can be migrated to another appliance if one becomes full or to balance the system out. 

All in all, the product is still a bit too new and DELL needs some time to bake the product before I can fully endorse it. 

For those reasons, we recently deployed Unity. It's much simpler to deploy & support (especially with NAS).

If you remove NAS from the equation, then it's fine for Tier2 workloads, but to be honest, PowerStore has a ways to go before it gets my vote.

Pawel Augustyn - PeerSpot reviewerPawel Augustyn
Top 10Real User

@JohnBowling from 2.0 version NAS is serverd

Ted Spero - PeerSpot reviewer

Unity XT was released in April 2019, so it's about 2.5 years old at this point, and as you can imagine, mid-tier storage technology has changed significantly in the past 2.5 years.  

PowerStore 2.0 supports end-to-end NVMe-FC protocol which is super-important if you're running an all-NVMe or all-SCM configuration on any array (not just Dell / EMC). Unity XT only supports legacy FC or iSCSI transport, both of which use legacy SCSI logic which was released back in the 1980's and was never intended for use with NVMe or SCM drives which use massive parallelism. 

Also, there are no persistent NVMe or SCM drive options for Unity XT... only old-school 12Gb SAS SSDs and classic spinning disks.

Also, fiber transport speed on Unity XT is capped at 16Gb/s where PowerStore uses 32Gb/s currently.  

PowerStore also has tons more compute and memory, which is necessary to run >1M IOPS.  For example, the biggest Unity XT array (880) uses only 64 cores and 768GB of memory, where the biggest PowerStore (9000) uses 112 cores and 2560GB of memory.

Since the cost per TB is nearly identical between Unity XT and PowerStore, I believe the business cases to choose Unity XT over PowerStore are pretty limited at this point.

Konstantinos Koumarelos - PeerSpot reviewer

The common denominator is that both are storages but so far Unity is hybrid storage while PowerStore is only NVMe with excellent performance and response time.

Unity is a monolithic system, while PowerStore is a container-based design for faster innovation.

Unity has a classic RAID configuration while the PowerStore uses the unique DRE technology with coverage up to dual parity.

Unity operates on its own while the PowerStore can operate on a cluster with up to 8 active-active nodes and the unique feature of the global cache in the cluster.

Logical protection within the PowerStore as well as for the asynchronous replication is based on snaps that are immutable and cannot be modified or manipulated, it is the perfect tool for recovering instantly from ransomware scenarios! The synchronous replication of PowerStore is based on Metro Node, an active-active HW solution based on VPLEX, is independent, does not burden the PowerStore and offers 0 RPO 0 RTO and 0 DTO providing virtual volumes of up to 64TB!

The integration with VMware is unique, the PowerStore model X can natively support VMs and applications in a 2U appliance, loads could be transferred to the VMware ecosystem with a simple vmotion. This game-changing capability, known as AppsON, is ideal for data-intensive workloads in core or edge locations where infrastructure simplicity and density is required, as well as for “infrastructure applications” such as anti-virus or monitoring software.

Notable are the automation for load balancing in the cluster, the ability of programming with Ansible and the ability to connect with the hosts with NVMe over FC fabric or TCP using even the existing infrastructure if compatible.


PowerStore is a new and innovative product with features that make it stand out.

Ali Ashraf - PeerSpot reviewer

HPE Storage 3PAR solution on TOP

Evgeny Belenky - PeerSpot reviewerEvgeny Belenky
Community Manager

@Ali Ashraf can you please explain why?

Buyer's Guide
Dell PowerStore vs. Dell Unity XT
May 2022
Find out what your peers are saying about Dell PowerStore vs. Dell Unity XT and other solutions. Updated: May 2022.
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