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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.

ITCS user
88 Answers

author avatar
Top 5LeaderboardReal User

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

author avatar
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 avatar
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 avatar
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 avatar

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 avatar
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 avatar
Top 5LeaderboardReseller

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 avatar

EMC definitely.

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