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Dell EMC Unity XT Competitors and Alternatives

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Read reviews of Dell EMC Unity XT competitors and alternatives

Ahmed Zaki
Infrastructure Architect Supervisor; Solution Delivery Supervisor at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Top 20
Simple licensing, good performance, and easy to use and administer

Pros and Cons

  • "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."
  • "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."

What is most valuable?

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.

What needs improvement?

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.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for six years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is stable. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is scalable. All projects in my company use the IBM FlashSystem. I am working on high-end storage, not mid-range. I can scale out or scale up. IBM has introduced FlashSystem 9200 to the market in which I can scale SAS disk, NVMe disk, and SSCM disk. I have three options on one box, which are not available with EMC or Pure Storage.

You can also scale out storage in EMC. In Pure Storage, there are issues in scaling. Pure Storage has different boxes like X70, X90, X50, and if I need to scale or upgrade the box, I need to change our controllers. Every Pure Storage box has limited capacity, whereas, for IBM storage, the capacity of the box is not limited.

How are customer service and technical support?

The response of technical support is good.

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

I have used NetApp storage and EMC storage. NetApp storage is very poor and bad. EMC is a good competitor of IBM in the market now, and in terms of the number of customers, EMC is number one. User Interface is the main big difference between IBM and EMC. IBM FlashSystem is very easy and friendly comparatively. EMC is very complicated. 

EMC is also closed, whereas IBM FlashSystem is very open. It provides a lot of communication over the internet for administrating and implementing the storage. I am working on a customer project that has EMC storage, and the customer daily complains regarding EMC Unity or XtremIO.

IBM is integrated with the different operating systems by a native operating system multipath. EMC works with PowerPath multipath. Until recently, EMC didn't have these features in the box, and you had to pay for a multipath license. In new technology and operating system versions of EMC, a separate multipath license is not required.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was very easy.

What about the implementation team?

I implemented it. I have experience of ten years in implementing IBM storage. It is very easy to implement. 

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

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. 

What other advice do I have?

I work only on high-end storage. Before recommending a solution, I need to know about the workload, that is, application workload, backup workload, and database workload. IBM provides a free workload script that can be applied to any environment, such as Windows, Unix, or Linux. I need to see the I/O performance, and after which, I can provide the best solution for a customer from Pure Storage, EMC, or IBM. 

I would rate IBM FlashSystem 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: Partner
PR
Senior Systems Engineer at Indra
Real User
Top 20
Easy to use solution but lacks federation and segmentation of data

Pros and Cons

  • "Rapid deployment, easy integration management and cloning of areas."
  • "Their problems are on the software and the controlling of the storage where they lack segmentation and federation."

What is our primary use case?

I normally work with customers. I'm a senior consultant so I'm responsible for giving information to customers and I make assessments for them about what technology is the best for them to use.

What is most valuable?

In terms of which features I've found most valuable, this includes rapid deployment, easy integration management and cloning of areas - their cloning tools.

Also, the deployment is very quick and very simple.

What needs improvement?

There is a lot of room for improvement. What I don't like is that they do not create barriers in the areas. The data management is based on the software and they do not use segmentation on the storage. That is the main problem - there is no segmentation. You cannot segment the data on the database. You put the data there but you don't know where the data goes on each disk. The information will be there but there is no segmentation. There needs to be improvement in data segmentation.

In future releases, I'd like to see federation and segmentation. Those are the big problems with NetApp at the moment. Compared to HP, Dell and HPE 3PAR, they cannot do the federation which is very important. We have to do remote replication and work with two or more storage sites in different locations. If I have a site and I have a second or third site - they require working federation and NetApp cannot do this right now.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using NetApp Series All-Flash for about four years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Until now we have not had issues on the four databases, the four storage units we are using.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

In terms of scalability, it's okay. 

But they do have one problem with scalability - they cannot do federation of storage.

How are customer service and technical support?

I have not contacted support directly. The customer has specific teams for that.

But I work directly with the support on tests for crash recovery. More than a year ago we made these tests before the customer bought the solution. But at the moment, I know that the support in Portugal is very limited because they don't have people working in the office. I think they only have one person working in the Portugal office.

How was the initial setup?

As I mentioned, the deployment is very quick and very simple to use.

I have customers with four storage sites, and we have all the virtual environments and the production cloning for disaster recovery tests on NetApp.

What other advice do I have?

On a scale of 1 - 10, I'd give NetApp EF-Series All Flash a 5. It's a low rating because as I mentioned, they have to improve their software. NetApp is an array that is made on the software. Their problems are on the software and the controlling of the storage where they lack segmentation and federation. Fragmentation, in particular, is a problem that could be improved for big customers since big data is so important for them.

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: Partner
Daniel Aramayo
Implementation and Support Engineer at PRACSO S.R.L.
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Reasonably priced, scales well, and offers good stability

Pros and Cons

  • "The initial setup was extremely simple and straightforward."
  • "I'd like to see the product implement active replication for vehicles such as VMware."

What is our primary use case?

We primarily use the solution for cluster applications and databases. We use the solution on the DBA and those that use double machines.

What is most valuable?

Being able to have broken files on-site on the same appliance is quite useful.

The newer version of NVME has a really noticeable difference in quality versus the last generation. It's better in terms of latency. It allows for so much more input.

The initial setup was extremely simple and straightforward. 

The stability is quite good.

We've found the scalability to be excellent.

The price of the product isn't too high.

What needs improvement?

To be able to do the welcome files simultaneously on a lower version would be helpful. 

I general, we don't really have any pain points when dealing with the solution.

The solution should improve its logon requirements.

I'd like to see the product implement active replication for vehicles such as VMware.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability has been very good and very reliable. There are no bugs or glitches. It doesn't crash or freeze. Its performance has been good.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution can scale if you need it to. It offers good scalability.

We have already expanded capacity and installed additional chokes and it works perfectly, with no downtime and no impact on production.

We do have plans to increase usage in the future. We're looking forward to installing more clusters and extending the offering.

While we have five main users that manage the arrays, we have many, many general users of the product.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is not overly complex or difficult. It's quite simple and very straightforward. A company shouldn't have any issues with the process. 

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

We pay for licensing on a yearly basis. We're pretty happy with the cost. It's reasonable and not overly expensive.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Before choosing this solution, we evaluated solutions from HP, IBM, and Dell EMC.

What other advice do I have?

We are partners. 

While I would recommend the product to others, I would also advise that they try it out first via a proof of concept if they are not so sure about the solution. It's free and they can experiment with all the features in their own environments.

I'd rate the solution at a ten out of ten. We are very happy with the product overall.

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: Partner
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MK
Solution Delivery Expert at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
Real User
Top 5
Fast support, easy to deploy, priced competitively, and well-serves our DR purposes

Pros and Cons

  • "This is a stable product that we can use for DR in production."
  • "If they implement a backup solution directly into the OceanStor then it will be a valuable feature."

What is our primary use case?

We have this product deployed in our data center and are using it for DR purposes.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is Snap Mirroring.

What needs improvement?

If they implement a backup solution directly into the OceanStor then it will be a valuable feature.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using Huawei OceanStor Dorado for between four and five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This is a stable product that we can use for DR in production. We plan to continue using it.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

This solution is scalable and you can expand it to petabytes. We have more than 500 users.

How are customer service and technical support?

Huawei's technical support is very advanced. Customers can directly approach a Huawei technical person by logging a ticket and providing an email address. They will definitely respond in one or two hours.

The support is fast but the customer needs to understand what data they need for support.

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

We call use another storage product, the Dell EMC Unity 300.

How was the initial setup?

The installation and configuration are quite simple.

The length of time required for deployment depends on your scenario. If you deploy it as a DR site, it will take between three and four hours to complete. This includes all of the features.

What about the implementation team?

We implemented and deployed in-house.

Not many people are needed for deployment maintenance. A minimum of two people can deploy and manage it.

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

All of the brands have different architectures for licensing. Some licenses come standard with the product, whereas some you need to buy.

This product is not too expensive, and the price is competitive on the market.

What other advice do I have?

For me, this is a good solution and there is no need to improve it. I recommend it to others.

I would rate this solution an eight out of ten.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
SV
Technical Specialist at a tech vendor with 11-50 employees
Reseller
Top 5
Easy to set up, good documentation, and the mirroring is useful

Pros and Cons

  • "The most valuable feature is data mirroring."
  • "Scalability, in terms of being able to scale out, is not easy and should be improved."

What is our primary use case?

We are a solution provider and Nimble is one of the storage products that we implement for our clients.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is data mirroring.

The documentation is good.

What needs improvement?

Scalability, in terms of being able to scale out, is not easy and should be improved.

In the future, I would like to see the vendor upgrade the hardware.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been working with Nimble Storage for seven years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This product is definitely stable and we use it on a daily basis.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scaling up is easy, but scaling out is not easy.

We have a team of five people who are responsible for maintenance. There are a very large number of end-users.

How are customer service and technical support?

I have never been in contact with technical support because we have sanctions that prohibit it. When I need assistance then I seek help in the community.

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

I have worked with other similar solutions and I find that there are no big differences between them.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is very easy.

What about the implementation team?

Once the solution has been delivered, I can set it up myself.

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

The pricing is better than some of the competitors, such as Dell EMC.

What other advice do I have?

My advice for anybody who is implementing Nimble Storage is to perform a step-by-step deployment, and write down the steps as you go. This will ultimately save a lot of time if you experience any problems.

I would rate this solution an eight 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
Get our free report covering Dell EMC, NetApp, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, and other competitors of Dell EMC Unity XT. Updated: November 2021.
552,305 professionals have used our research since 2012.