What makes Dell EMC Unity XT successful?

read -
Published 18-Nov-2019 11:34:42

The Dell EMC Unity range has always been a popular choice in the midrange storage solution market due to its blend of performance and ease of use. In their latest survey, ESG stated:

“Midrange organisations have the same need for speed as large enterprises, and this hardware refresh adds high performance along with greater efficiency for lower TCO [total cost of ownership]. ESG recommends taking a look at the Unity XT for midrange organisations that want simple management, fast deployment, and enterprise-class speed, efficiency, and software functionality.”

But what makes Dell EMC Unity so successful?

The success or failure of many storage solutions is often determined by an array’s performance across a variety of workloads. When looking at storage arrays there are a few items businesses need to consider:

Storage capacity:

Depending on whether you’re backing up personal information, or if your array will serve as fully-fledged business storage, you may or may not need huge storage capacity. With hard drives ranging from 2TB to 64TB, the Unity range offers plenty of options both for consumer and corporate levels.


Especially when it comes to large files, it’s worth considering the amount of time spent backing up. Look into an array with a good hard drive transfer rate can mitigate this.


Different storage arrays offer different connections to back up your information. From USB and Thunderbolt, to wireless communication, make sure you find an array that will connect in a preferred method and is compatible with your devices.

Ease of use:

While many individuals might prefer a device that has a more difficult configuration but additional perks, some may seek an array that’s going to be more user-friendly and sync with little setup.


Lastly, the size of the storage array itself may need to be taken into consideration. If mobility is a requirement, smaller, more portable devices should be evaluated. If having a sedentary array is a non-issue, you may be able to go for the larger devices.

The Dell EMC Unity product line has already delivered on these capabilities, with increased data reduction rates by ~80% since initial release (December 2016) and memory which enables users to get up to 2X performance with 75% less latency - and with the recently refreshed Unity XT, they’re raising the bar yet again.

In order to quantify all of the enhancements Dell EMC made with Unity XT, they asked Principled Technologies (PT) to independently conduct hands-on performance testing, with and without data reduction, between Unity XT and its primary competitor they called Vendor A. This testing confirms that Unity XT, with its modern architecture and hardware enhancements, beats a leading storage competitor in three different performance and data reduction scenarios.

Scenario 1: Performance with Data Reduction Turned On

In this test, data reduction (compression and deduplication) was activated on both systems to maximise storage efficiency and space. This is especially significant when working with virtual servers, file system data, archival and backup data, or email systems containing multiple instances of the same file attachment. While Unity XT data reduction is always inline to support data-intensive workloads, at a certain threshold Vendor A disables inline deduplication. With data reduction turned on, Unity XT was 24% faster at 8k IO block size/100% Reads and 67% faster at 32k IO block size/100% Reads than Vendor A. If you’re looking for an analysis of workload performance based on a more common scenario, Unity XT also beat out Vendor A by 20% in a 70:30 R/W mix.

Scenario 2: Performance with Data Reduction Turned Off

In this test (8k IO block size and 100% Read), with data reduction turned OFF on both systems, Unity XT’s raw performance for data-intensive workloads was 93% better than Vendor A. Unity XT also proved to be 47% faster at 32k block size and 100% Reads. While most of our customers would enable data reduction, there are primary data sets that are not necessarily impacted by array-based data reduction such as music/audio, photo, and video files along with certain types of Big Data like telemetry and genomic files, which all tend to be compressed by default in software. Therefore, this test is an illustration of the overall raw performance of each system’s ability to handle these data types.

Scenario 3 Results: Data Reduction Under Same Performance Load/Data Set

In this test, both arrays were placed under the same load at 70K IOPS, 8k IO block size and 100% Writes. The goal of this test was to isolate data reduction efficiency and keep all other variables equal. Unity XT 880F’s data reduction rate came in at 7:1 or 129% better than Vendor A’s 3.05:1 rate. During the 3-hour pre-fill process, Vendor A’s system seemed to halt its inline data reduction process to preserve IOPS.

The best in mid range storage

At Vohkus, our customers have long told us they value the partnership we hold with Dell EMC and their Unity solutions for many reasons including:

  • Storage lifecycle simplicity from ordering to support
  • Unified architecture (file and block)
  • Dual-active controllers
  • Investment protection with the Future Proof Loyalty Program

Now the results are in, you can add these significant performance and data reduction advantages to the long list of reasons why to choose the Dell EMC Unity family for your mid-range storage solution.

Visit the Dell Unity microsite to learn more.


Data Centre Solutions Dell EMC Vohkus News latest Dell EMC Unity XT