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Compare Dell EMC Unity XT vs. NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS)

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Comparison Summary
Question: What is the Biggest Difference Between Dell EMC Unity and NetApp AFF? 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 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
Top Review
Find out what your peers are saying about Dell EMC Unity XT vs. NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS) 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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"This solution has reduced our data center costs because when we went from the 8000 and 3200 series that took us from 20 racks of storage down to two.""The solution’s thin provisioning has allowed us to add new applications without having to purchase additional storage. We use thin provisioning for everything. We use the deduplication compression functionality for all of our NetApps. If we weren't using thin provisioning, we'd probably have two to times more storage on our floor right now than we do today.""The most valuable features of this solution are the deduplication and the ability to move data to different clouds.""The most valuable features of this solution are snapshotting and cloning.""The overall latency in our environment is very low because it's All Flash and we've got 10 Giga dedicated to the storage network""Speed, reliability, ease of use are the most valuable features.""Our AFF 8040 is currently helping us in terms of response time and speed because it is a flash system. Most importantly, it enables our SQL Cluster to respond to database queries and things a lot faster. It minimizes latency.""Switching to AFF has improved the performance of a lot of our virtual machines in a VMware environment. The number of support tickets that we receive has fallen to almost zero because of this, so it's been a real help for our virtual server support team."

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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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"We would like to have NVMe on FabricPool working because it broke our backups. We enabled FabricPool to do the tiering from our AFFs to our Webscale but it sort of broke our Cobalt backups.""Something I've talked to NetApp about in the past is going more to a node-based architecture, like the hyper-converged solutions that we are doing nowadays. Because the days of having to buy massive quantities of storage all at one time, have changed to being able to grow in smaller increments from a budgetary standpoint. This change would be great for our business. This is what my leadership would like to see in a lot of things that they purchase now. I would like to see that architecture continue to evolve in that clustered environment.""It would be very useful if we could do the NFS to CIFS file transfer, but it is not supported at this time.""The cost of this solution should be reduced.""It has not reduced our data center costs. NetApp charges a pretty penny for their stuff.""We have had issues with CIFS presentations and outages, so if that was removed, we could do seamless upgrades without affecting CIFS presentations. That would be an advantage. That's about the only improvement I can think of.""We currently use some thin provisioning for our planning system, but we will probably move away from thin provisioning because our Solaris planning system actually has some issues with the thin provisioning and way Solaris handles it, since Solaris uses a ZFS file system. The ZFS file system doesn't like the thin provisioning changing things and it brings systems down, which is bad.""Tech support is great with NetApp if you can get past Tier 1. A lot of times when you open a new case or do a direct dial-in with an issue, like with any support, you will definitely reach a Tier 1 level that is not particularly helpful until you get escalated to an expert."

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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 »

Information Not Available
"The pricing is good.""It consolidates a lot of our storage into one or two chassis, which makes money savings in our data center.""We have used the solution’s thin provisioning to add new applications without having to purchase additional storage. We use thin provisioning on all of our flash arrays at this point. It gives us the choice to be able to overprovision and take advantage of compression, compaction, and thin provisioning all at the same time. We can get more out of the purchases that we make.""I would like it to be a lot less expensive, but it's been a very good solution for us.""The price of the upgrading of the solution is high. I could buy a whole unit of All Flash FAS 300 with a shelf for around $285,000. Yet if I want to add one additional shelf, it'll cost me $275,000. So they want you to upgrade by replacing it. It's cheaper to buy a whole new unit than to just scale out. The upside is they last. AFF lasts us three or four years. So that's a good investment.""It definitely reduces costs because it simply takes less power to run these systems. While the SSDs don't take power, they are in general very big right now. So, the running cost has decreased for a lot of our customers.""One of the reasons we like this solution is that all of the features are included with the one license.""We would like it to be free."

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Answers from the Community
Asiri Dissanayake
author avatarRodrigo Carte
Real User

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.

author avatarPayman Maher
Real User

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

author avatarHuseyin Yildirim
Real User

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.

author avatarFrank Ruvolo
User

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.

author avatarCornelCristea
Real User

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.

author avatarMohamed Y Ahmed
Reseller

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

author avatarMaro Gav
User

EMC definitely.

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: Well, Is one thing NetApp Storage has vs other brand is the mix of protocol CIFS with NFS booth working together in the… more »
Top Answer: This question is very dependent on your requirements. Both are among the best in the field. Of course, the intended cost… more »
Top Answer: The answer depends on your needs and budget. If you want high performance (who doesn't) or let's say the latency matters… more »
Comparisons
Also Known As
Pavilion HFA
EMC Unity, Dell EMC Unity
NetApp All Flash FAS, NetApp AFF, NetApp Flash FAS
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.

NetApp AFF8000 All Flash FAS systems combine all-flash performance with unified data management from flash to disk to cloud.  Leverage the Data Fabric to move data securely across your choice of clouds—enabled by Cloud ONTAP™ and NetApp Private Storage for Cloud. Plus, you get the industry’s most efficient and comprehensive integrated data protection suite, on premises or in the cloud.

Offer
Learn more about Pavilion HyperParallel Flash Array
Learn more about Dell EMC Unity XT
Learn more about NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS)
Sample Customers
Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC), Statistics Netherlands (CBS)
Draper, Rio Grande Pacific, Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre
Acibadem Healthcare Group, AmTrust Financial Services, Citrix Systems, DWD, Mantra Group
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
Healthcare Company16%
Financial Services Firm12%
Energy/Utilities Company9%
Retailer8%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Computer Software Company27%
Comms Service Provider23%
Manufacturing Company10%
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 Business12%
Midsize Enterprise13%
Large Enterprise75%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Small Business18%
Midsize Enterprise11%
Large Enterprise70%
Find out what your peers are saying about Dell EMC Unity XT vs. NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS) 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 NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS) is ranked 1st in All-Flash Storage Arrays with 40 reviews. Dell EMC Unity XT is rated 8.4, while NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS) is rated 8.8. 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 NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS) writes "Good price to performance ratio, no latency, and simple to use". Dell EMC Unity XT is most compared with Dell EMC PowerStore, HPE Nimble Storage, Pure Storage FlashArray, HPE 3PAR StoreServ and IBM FlashSystem, whereas NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS) is most compared with Pure Storage FlashArray, Lenovo ThinkSystem DM Series, HPE Nimble Storage, Dell EMC PowerStore and IBM FlashSystem. See our Dell EMC Unity XT vs. NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS) 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.