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Compare Dell EMC Unity XT vs. IBM FlashSystem

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Comparison Summary
Question: When it comes to performance and pricing, what is the biggest difference between Dell EMC Unity and IBM FlashSystem? Answer: As with any engineered solution, it depends on your needs.   However, the bottom line is that for their target markets Dell EMC Unity will generally have a better price at parity performance over IBM's FlashSystem.   Both are focused on All-Flash arrays and Dell EMC Unity is where I start with VMWare. If I have a dedicated IBM DB2 application, I would lean toward the IBM FlashSystem.  The problem in the VMWare environment is that IBM has done a poor job prioritizing this area and has several I/O bottlenecks and interface driver issues. I expect future resolution, but does that happen before current platforms evolve?
Top Review
Find out what your peers are saying about Dell EMC Unity XT vs. IBM FlashSystem and other solutions. Updated: September 2021.
542,029 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
"We have been able to consolidate storage into Pavilion. Pavilions are our only SANs because it is a bring your own disk solution. When new drives come out, we are able to take out half of the drives in the system, put in new drives, move our VMs over to the new drives, take the other drives out, and populate those with new drives. Then, we are suddenly twice as dense as we were before. NVMe flash is only going to get denser and cheaper so we can make use of that every couple of years by just throwing newer disks into it at a fraction of the cost of a new SAN.""The high performance is very valuable, as well as the enterprise reliability features.""There's lots of flexibility in how we use the resources while also maintaining a small footprint."

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"This product is perfect for small, and mid-range customers who need to pay less, but still, get enterprise-level capabilities.""Integration is easy with this product.""The most valuable feature is the integration with vCenter."

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"The most valuable features are deduplication and compression, which together, enable you to have more space.""Most of the features for the reduction in data compression are useful. It is also very easy to use and administer. Its performance is also good.""Over the years, it has become increasingly user-friendly.""The maintenance service and support from IBM is very good.""The compression and deduplication features are the most valuable.""The installation is nice and easy.""I like most of the features. Its speed, performance, and availability are valuable. We are implementing the data reduction technology the most.""The power systems are very reliable if you are running 24/7 operations. For ongoing mission-critical applications, it's the best solution."

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Cons
"The rail system that Pavilion uses to mount up into a standard Dell or APC cabinet extends further back than normal rails, and they cover up the zero PDU slot. So, I don't like the rail system that comes with the device. That is my biggest complaint.""In our current configuration, we can only run the line controllers in high availability, active-standby mode, whereas we would like to see active-active implemented.""I would like to see the management layer improved."

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"This product needs to have better integration with enterprise backup solutions and archiving devices.""Currently, the protocol SNMP is not implemented. That's a problem, as we follow this protocol and I can't check the integrity of this equipment.""Support Responsiveness & time to fix bugs should be improved."

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"The security features can be improved such that the encryption does not affect performance in any way.""They can include Amazon file system S3 protocol in the upcoming releases. It is a cloud file system. IBM FlashSystem doesn't have this feature in the box for high-end or mid-range. We have got requests for this from customers because we need to use S3 for EDI application storage. At the beginning of every year, IBM releases firmware. When I find any bugs in the firmware during the year, I am unable to find any information from IBM regarding the bug. I need to open a ticket, and the IBM engineering team makes a patch only for me. This patch is not public. By creating a customized patch for a client, they don't really solve the issue for everyone. If multiple users have the same bug, IBM should upload the patch on the official website so that we can download it. IBM FlashSystem has a monitoring tool in the box, but it is not advanced. I need a more advanced tool for more advanced equations and monitoring. All top three storage vendors, that is, EMC, IBM, and Pure Storage, don't have a powerful monitoring tool. To monitor our box to show the statistics for I/Os and latency, I need to pay for extra software. The built-in monitoring storage is not mature enough to handle all requests and generate all reports that I need. They can include the functionality to stretch a cluster natively without using any additional boxes. In addition, there are some features that EMC has integrated with the box. These features are not available in IBM FlashSystem.""The customer's expectations are what they get on the cloud, they're expecting even in the on-premises deployments, going forward.""It could be easier to implement.""They can improve its initial configuration. The initial configuration is currently very difficult. There are multiple choices or alternative ways to configure based on the use case and what you are targeting out of the device, that is, more capacity or more performance. These multiple alternatives cause a lot of confusion. They should increase the processing part of the nodes. Currently, you can cluster up to eight nodes. From my experience and the workload that I am facing in my environment currently, I would like to see either a bigger or stronger node or a larger number of nodes that can be clustered together. We formally communicated to them that we need to see either this or that, and they are working on something.""The pricing needs to be more competitive.""Their technical support needs improvement in terms of reachability for the clients and response times. They should be more responsive and have more online platforms for support. They should make more technical information available online. There could be some kind of documentation community.""IBM should improve its data reduction development."

More IBM FlashSystem Cons »

Pricing and Cost Advice
"This is hardware. They have a singular array that you can populate with your own disk, or you can buy the disks through them. For controllers, you pay for the components inside of the SAN, but there is only one chassis that they work with.""The licensing fees are very reasonable."

More Pavilion HyperParallel Flash Array Pricing and Cost Advice »

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"The integration is already included in the license cost of IBM FlashSystem. The integration is very easy. You get the IBM storage core with all software, firmware, and upgrades. EMC provides the features in the box, but they are not free for customers. There is a licensing cost for features. We have yearly licensing, but IBM has also provided a new option where you pay as you go. They provide a big box, and I pay, for example, for 10 terabytes. If I exceed 10 terabytes, IBM will charge for the new storage after 10 terabytes. It is a good opportunity in the market for using the storage as a cloud and paying as you go.""They've been much more aggressive in the last five, six years than they were before that.""This is an expensive product and if the price were reduced it would be better.""Among IBM, Dell EMC, and Pure Storage, IBM is the cheapest. The price is also based on our location, the size of our entity, and our regular annual purchases from them. We are a very big IBM customer, so we normally get very high discounts. We are not a big customer of Pure Storage. We don't buy that much from Pure Storage per year. Everything is included in the price. There is no extra license for different functions.""Its price is very good.""I find the pricing of the solution to be very reasonable.""You purchase it as a bundle and the price is comparable.""The solution requires a license and could be less expensive."

More IBM FlashSystem Pricing and Cost Advice »

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Answers from the Community
Miriam Tover
author avatarScott McCready
User

EMC's Unity is not comparable to the performance of an IBM FlashSystem option, but it is fairly close in performance profile to the just released Storewize V5100 model 424. If you provide the initial amount of storage you are going to purchase and your expected capacity growth rate, plus any workoad/performance info you have on hand, and we will give you a very quick TCO and performance comparison.i

author avatarreviewer1243038 (CEO/co-founder at a tech services company with 1-10 employees)
Real User

Depends what you're expecting. Full compatibility with VMware environment - DellEMC only, IBM FS has problems with iSCSI connections to vsphere 7.02 - it's not supported (FS5200 and vsphere 7.02 server with Intel cards - doesn't work fast (10Gbe - 300MB/s instead of 1,1-1,2 GB/s), no solution for now from IBM and VMware (08/2021). Integration - DellEMC and VMware are one company - everything goes smoothly. Space reclamation didn't work well on IBM systems when connected to vsphere (vsphere 6.5 and V7000 models). When using Microsoft virtualization - no difference - it's more complex to start system but when properly configured - it runs well (fast). But of both of them I would choose HPE systems,:-) (Nimble or Primera):-)

Questions from the Community
Top Answer: We have been able to consolidate storage into Pavilion. Pavilions are our only SANs because it is a bring your own disk… more »
Top Answer: This is hardware. They have a singular array that you can populate with your own disk, or you can buy the disks through… more »
Top Answer: The rail system that Pavilion uses to mount up into a standard Dell or APC cabinet extends further back than normal… more »
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: As with any engineered solution, it depends on your needs.   However, the bottom line is that for their target markets… more »
Top Answer: One of the valuable features is the performance, it is one of the best in the market.
Top Answer: Hi, in competitive Flash Storage situations the pricing is very agressive and good.
Comparisons
Also Known As
Pavilion HFA
EMC Unity, Dell EMC Unity
IBM Storwize
Learn More
Overview

Pavilion HyperParallel Data Platform

The Pavilion HyperParallel Data Platform™ dramatically accelerates what organizations achieve by delivering universally unmatched storage performance, in an incredibly compact solution while reducing data center costs and complexity. Unrivaled flexibility for multiple data types and protocols, along with broad ecosystem integration, ensure that every customer has choice and control.

What is the Pavilion HyperParallel Data Platform

The Pavilion HyperParallel Data Platform is comprised of the Pavilion HyperParallel Flash Array™ and Pavilion HyperOS™. The Pavilion HyperParallel Flash Array leverages a unique, switch-based architecture to create a multi-controller solution that delivers an unmatched combination of high performance, ultra-low latency, and storage density. Pavilion HyperOS is a powerful, purpose-built storage operating system designed to unlock the power of the multi-controller Pavilion HyperParallel Flash Array, which delivers scalability and flexibility that no other solution can offer.

Pavilion HyperParallel Data Platform Data Sheet

Download the Pavilion HyperParallel Data Platform data sheet. Updated: December 2020

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.

IBM FlashSystem products are enterprise computer data storage systems that store data on flash memory chips. Unlike storage systems that use standard solid-state drives, IBM FlashSystem products incorporate custom hardware based on technology from the 2012 acquisition of Texas Memory Systems. This hardware provides performance, reliability, and efficiency benefits versus competitive offerings.

Offer
Learn more about Pavilion HyperParallel Flash Array
Learn more about Dell EMC Unity XT
Learn more about IBM FlashSystem
Sample Customers
Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC), Statistics Netherlands (CBS)
Draper, Rio Grande Pacific, Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre
Celero, Friedhelm Loh Group, Clarks, Mingkang Natregro Health Food Group, Sofia, Etisalat Fights Fraud, UF Health Shands Hospital, Generali, Elecon Engineering Company Limited, Ventiv , Technology, CPFL Energia, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., SciQuest, Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Consolidated, Paddy Power, Kelsey-Seybold Clinic, Interconnect Services, Severstal IP-Only AB, PVU Group GmbH
Top Industries
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Computer Software Company30%
Comms Service Provider19%
Government7%
Manufacturing Company6%
REVIEWERS
Financial Services Firm20%
Healthcare Company17%
Manufacturing Company13%
Government7%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Computer Software Company32%
Comms Service Provider25%
Government6%
Manufacturing Company5%
REVIEWERS
Financial Services Firm34%
Government13%
Healthcare Company11%
Comms Service Provider11%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Computer Software Company30%
Comms Service Provider26%
Financial Services Firm6%
Government5%
Company Size
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Small Business72%
Midsize Enterprise3%
Large Enterprise25%
REVIEWERS
Small Business26%
Midsize Enterprise26%
Large Enterprise49%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Small Business14%
Midsize Enterprise21%
Large Enterprise65%
REVIEWERS
Small Business37%
Midsize Enterprise14%
Large Enterprise48%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Small Business19%
Midsize Enterprise22%
Large Enterprise59%
Find out what your peers are saying about Dell EMC Unity XT vs. IBM FlashSystem and other solutions. Updated: September 2021.
542,029 professionals have used our research since 2012.

Dell EMC Unity XT is ranked 6th in All-Flash Storage Arrays with 3 reviews while IBM FlashSystem is ranked 5th in All-Flash Storage Arrays with 14 reviews. Dell EMC Unity XT is rated 8.4, while IBM FlashSystem is rated 8.0. The top reviewer of Dell EMC Unity XT writes "Price / Quality ratio is good and since OE 5.03 code the array family reached a rather good maturity level". On the other hand, the top reviewer of IBM FlashSystem writes "Simple licensing, good performance, and easy to use and administer". Dell EMC Unity XT is most compared with Dell EMC PowerStore, NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS), HPE Nimble Storage, Pure Storage FlashArray and Dell EMC PowerMax NVMe, whereas IBM FlashSystem is most compared with Pure Storage FlashArray, Dell EMC PowerStore, HPE Nimble Storage, NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS) and HPE StorageWorks MSA. See our Dell EMC Unity XT vs. IBM FlashSystem report.

See our list of best All-Flash Storage Arrays vendors.

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.