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

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Featured Review
Find out what your peers are saying about Dell EMC Unity XT vs. NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS) and other solutions. Updated: January 2022.
564,643 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
"There's lots of flexibility in how we use the resources while also maintaining a small footprint.""The high performance is very valuable, as well as the enterprise reliability features.""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."

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"The most valuable features are its performance and simplicity.""The Unity XT box is very strong. It doesn't break. The MTBF time is very large so you don't have to worry about faults or outages in your operations.""The most valuable feature is the dynamic cache of this product. It is very important. We have the physical cache and we can boost this cache using disks. All the products are mainly flash now and this is one of the main characteristics which our customers like.""Initial setup is a simple process.""This solution is easy to work with and easy to maintain.""The most valuable features include snapshots, Thin Clones, and deduplication and compression.""I like how it separates the iSCSI drives from the standard shares. It has two different routes to it. I know most of the other solutions do this, but I just like the way that Dell EMC does it.""My storage team likes Unity's replication features. Three-site replication is a unique feature that EMC offers us."

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"We recently started using the volume encryption feature, which is helpful because there are some federal projects that require data at rest to be encrypted.""Technical support has been okay.""Other manufacturers claim simplicity. In fact, frankly, they do have an advantage in that regard, however, they don't have the functionality. If you were to compare one of those products to NetApp, head to head from a feature perspective, NetApp would wind up in the top 10.""It also helps to accelerate databases in our environment. First of all, there is the reliability of things staying online and the small response time as well, from the MetroCluster, for all of the data that we're serving; and the applications are talking to the MetroCluster. It provides a very fast response time.""Using System Manager for green management or command line interface, we have a single point for managing the cluster. It is much easier to manage. It is very seamless. The product is robust and solid.""The most valuable features are the performance and the storage efficiency, due to the compression and deduplication... The efficiency is very important because we can buy fewer disks for more data.""The cloning and snapshot features are the most valuable. With snapshot backup, we can clone a big database in minutes. We take a lot of snapshots for clients in different environments.""It simplifies data management for NAS environments with its ease of management, ease of share creation, and Active IQ feature. These features are good overall. It helps us manage data quickly and sufficiently. Also, compression features, like dedupe, give us a good ratio."

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Cons
"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.""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."

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"I think Dell EMC should be more careful in appointing partners, and they need to have better control over their partners. And if their partner has some problems with them, we should not suffer.""It could be a little easier to attach it to a network file system.""It could go faster. Make it bigger, better, and faster at a lower price, and I am there.""The reporting should be better. In other systems, you can create many different kinds of reports but this is not the case with Dell.""Issues with slow responses from the support team.""The interface and configuration could improve.""I have a problem because between the Unity XT and the PowerMax, sometimes we need another product between these two products. There could be better integrated and the capacity of the size could be larger.""In terms of what could be improved, I would say its capacity and its connection."

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"The admin tools and the integration with other products and clouds can be improved. It should also be easier to identify and troubleshoot problems in this solution. It takes a long time, and it should be improved.""I don't like the newest GUI. It needs more options. Some features have been removed. Oversight is not as good in the new GUI compared to the previous version. Though, it might be something that we just need to get used to.""Their backup software could be improved.""During the initial setup, you need to know what you are doing.""We have been seeing some challenges around the application layer implementation. We are having some teething problems now with the cooperation between the application layer and backups to things, like SnapCenter. This may be a question of product maturity.""NetApp should offer more training so everyone can learn about the products. Other vendors have a lot of training options. It would be great if NetApp would highlight how to use the features more so that every admin or person can gain more knowledge about this technology.""It would be better if they just improved the performance of the system.""There is room for improvement in terms of support. I have noticed that if I sometimes call their customer care for a particular issue, they will give me another number and ask me to call that other team. It would be better if they could do a warm transfer. That would save customers time from calling all the numbers again and speaking to another team."

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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 →

  • "The price of Dell EMC Unity XT is higher compared to other solutions. The price should be less expensive."
  • "Pricing for this product is manageable, though slightly higher than comparable products."
  • "The solution is very expensive."
  • "The solution is very expensive."
  • "This solution is a good price for what you get."
  • "Here is our major complaint with pricing. Dell EMC comes to us and gives us a price. We are like, "Well, this doesn't even compare to what we got on the last project." We say, "No, you should bring it down to this level." Then, they come back again and we are sort of in the middle again. I am like, You already sold us other stuff at a better price. We are not going to just say, 'Yes,' because we are out of time.""
  • "I liked the price point when we purchased it."
  • "We looked at HPE Nimble but the price of the Unity XT was very good compared to the competition."
  • More Dell EMC Unity XT Pricing and Cost Advice →

  • "It depends on how you look at things, but they are in a higher price range."
  • "All features are included in the license, whereas with an EMC solution, you have to pay separately for extra terabytes."
  • "The price of NetApp is very expensive, but we don't know how much Pure is, so we can't compare."
  • "We benefited from implementing all-flash by reducing our data center footprint. We took it from 30 racks to just over five. This is one of the biggest savings for us."
  • "The licensing and pricing are fine. As a reseller for the product, we need to make the differentiation in the minds of the customer. They are not just buying some tool that does only one thing, e.g., showing a LAN for a customer. The pricing is fair for what it is."
  • "In addition to simplifying the management across a mix of solutions, AFF simplifies the cost. That was one of the main reasons we purchased AFF."
  • "NetApp AFF is an expensive product, although not compared to other vendors."
  • "The pricing is pretty reasonable for what we get. But if you have to buy any more disk space, it can be quite expensive."
  • More NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS) Pricing and Cost Advice →

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    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: 
    Dell EMC PowerStore is a unified storage platform that has the added benefit of being scalable. The automated management… 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: 
    The most valuable features include snapshots, Thin Clones, and deduplication and compression.
    Top Answer: 
    It simplifies data management for NAS environments with its ease of management, ease of share creation, and Active IQ… more »
    Top Answer: 
    The pricing is pretty reasonable for what we get. But if you have to buy any more disk space, it can be quite expensive… more »
    Top Answer: 
    There is room for improvement in terms of support. I have noticed that if I sometimes call their customer care for a… 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 Company29%
    Comms Service Provider22%
    Government7%
    Manufacturing Company6%
    REVIEWERS
    Financial Services Firm21%
    Healthcare Company17%
    Manufacturing Company13%
    Energy/Utilities Company7%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Computer Software Company30%
    Comms Service Provider26%
    Government6%
    Manufacturing Company5%
    REVIEWERS
    Healthcare Company16%
    Financial Services Firm12%
    Energy/Utilities Company9%
    Retailer7%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Computer Software Company27%
    Comms Service Provider24%
    Manufacturing Company10%
    Government5%
    Company Size
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business72%
    Midsize Enterprise3%
    Large Enterprise26%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business27%
    Midsize Enterprise24%
    Large Enterprise49%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business18%
    Midsize Enterprise18%
    Large Enterprise64%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business12%
    Midsize Enterprise13%
    Large Enterprise75%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business22%
    Midsize Enterprise12%
    Large Enterprise67%
    Find out what your peers are saying about Dell EMC Unity XT vs. NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS) and other solutions. Updated: January 2022.
    564,643 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    Dell EMC Unity XT is ranked 5th in All-Flash Storage Arrays with 19 reviews while NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS) is ranked 2nd in All-Flash Storage Arrays with 15 reviews. Dell EMC Unity XT is rated 8.8, while NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS) is rated 9.0. The top reviewer of Dell EMC Unity XT writes "We can do both block and file storage on one unit without purchasing a separate device". On the other hand, the top reviewer of NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS) writes "Provides us with quick options when restoring things for customers". 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, Dell EMC PowerStore, HPE Nimble Storage 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.