System Engineer with 51-200 employees
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What is the Biggest Difference Between Dell EMC Unity and NetApp AFF?

I'm a System Engineer for an IT company.

I'm comparing Dell EMC Unity and NetApp AFF. Which of these two solutions would you recommend and why?

Thanks! I appreciate the help.

PeerSpot user
8 Answers
ValereFEUGWANG - PeerSpot reviewer
Information System Consultant at CFAO Technologies
Real User
Top 10
Nov 3, 2020

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 Dell and you have to deploy all types of workload from block to file. You can also rely on the native cash and fast cache functionality for increasing application performance

Product comparison that may be of interest to you
Head of IT at Inacap
Real User
Aug 17, 2020

Well, Is one thing NetApp Storage has vs other brand is the mix of protocol CIFS with NFS booth working together in the same volume that features is difficult to find in other Storage but the flexibility that gives is a lot. Other is speed with SSDs because the latency is minimal and very helpful for higer concurrency in my case we have many concurrent connections and the metrics are very impressed with the behavior of NetApp AFF 300.

Storage Specialist at Informatics Services Corporation
Real User
Aug 3, 2020

This question is very dependent on your requirements. Both are among the best in the field. Of course, the intended cost is decisively based on the Gartner magic quadrant storage 2020 Net app company and Dell EMC are leaders. But we can say NetApp is First in Queue.

One of the superiority NetApp working on NVMeOF

Founding Partner at a transportation company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Dec 3, 2019

The answer depends on your needs and budget. If you want high performance (who doesn't) or let's say the latency matters more than IOPS for your needs, Netapp AFF is the right choice. You can approach the max. Performance by equipping Unity with SSDs but maybe this costs more. I would recommend Netapp AFF all the time if your budget is ok.

CIO at a healthcare company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Top 20
Dec 2, 2019

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 are designed to do in different ways.

I say, compare apples to apples on models and get them fighting on price.

You win.

Network and Service Development Manager at a comms service provider with 51-200 employees
Real User
Dec 2, 2019

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 chosen by distributor to be in the price range for capacity):

1. Comparing 2 systems with the same capacity and performance: pricing is the first to look at:

1a. Cost per GB, war capacity and usable capacity (+Unity)

1b. Cost of adding capacity (+Unity)

1c. Cost of licensing per GB / per added capacity (+Unity all included)

1d. Cost of maintenance after initial contract (+Unity same for all life )

2. Comparison of CPU/MEM, we choose Unity XT because of better CPU cores/frequency and memory per controller

3. Percentage of space lost in various configurations. Our goal was to use Dynamic disk pools, available on Unity. Easier upgrades/downgrades.

4. If virtual volumes are considered, Unity has a VASA provider included in the controller, Netapp is using external VM.

5. Product lifecycle

6. Inline compression / deduplication, performance,

From the above 1=80%, 2=5%, 3=10%, 4+5=5%

We went to Unity XT480 where on the same budget we got 20% more usable flash capacity, while enough slots remain for future upgrades.

Find out what your peers are saying about Dell Unity XT vs. NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS) and other solutions. Updated: March 2023.
687,947 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Technical & Pre-Sales Manager at GateLock
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Dec 3, 2019

My experience was with DELL EMC Unity Hybrid Storage and it was amazing cost-wise. Are you sure you need an All-flash solution?

Account Manager with 51-200 employees
Dec 2, 2019

EMC definitely.

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Technical Specialist at Phuc Thanh Viet Nam JSC
Oct 16, 2021
Hi peers,  How would you compare the All-Flash Storage Arrays products, such as Hitachi Virtual Storage Platform F, HPE Nimble Storage and Dell EMC Unity XT?
Content Manager at PeerSpot (formerly IT Central Station)
Apr 7, 2022
Why pick one over the other?
2 out of 5 answers
Aug 19, 2021
Dell EMC PowerStore is a unified storage platform that has the added benefit of being scalable. The automated management of resources feature provides a more simple administration. I found the flexibility, performance, and ease of use very helpful. We were looking for a solution that has good compression and we found it in PowerStore. Also, the load balancing is automated so you can cluster more appliances without worrying about the load balance. It has a central interface, which makes it very user-friendly. The machine learning capabilities even give you recommendations to optimize administration, so for me, it is a winner. That being said, there is a learning curve involved for setup, and the process is quite long. It would also be nice to have more enterprise features such as replication on other sites. For organizations using VMWare, it is difficult to integrate with PowerStore. Dell EMC Unity XT is an All-Flash storage array solution that optimizes SSD performance. The goal of the solution is to streamline resource management from and to the cloud. With this product, small businesses that cannot afford other enterprise flash storage offerings can have enterprise-level flash storage that is cost-effective. It makes it easy to manage storage and scale up by provisioning new workloads. I like it is easy to integrate with other products. Still, Dell EMC Unity XT lacks some useful features like flexible raid volumes. It is also difficult to integrate it with enterprise backup solutions. We would like to use it, but the SNMP protocol is not supported. Tech support needs to improve their response time, too. Conclusions Overall, the Dell EMC PowerStore is a more complete solution if you are looking for automation and scalability. While the EMC Unity is easier to integrate, the PowerStore’s machine learning and central interface are better advantages.
Hewlett Packard Enterprise Lead at AWAN Distribution (PVT) Limited
Aug 25, 2021
HPE Storage 3PAR solution on TOP
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