Dell EMC Unity Increases Efficiency And Lowers All-Flash Storage Costs By 4x … For Free

Dell EMC today introduced significant, free, non-disruptive, data-in-place software updates to the Dell EMC Unity™ family of storage systems. The new capabilities featuring intelligent inline compression and support for the latest flash drives are designed to enable substantial gains in storage capacity and efficiency for All-Flash configurations. Expanding Unity’s capabilities for the modern data center, Dell EMC also introduced integrated file tiering to the public cloud (including Virtustream), along with intelligent and predictive analytics through the new CloudIQ cloud-based storage analytics platform.


Previewed earlier this year, CloudIQ is a cloud-based storage analytics platform that will be available later this quarter. CloudIQ provides near real-time intelligence and predictive analytics capabilities to proactively monitor, manage, and provide health scores for Unity storage.


Unity customers will gain inline compression capabilities with the latest version of UnityOE software, further enhancing data storage efficiency with features such as thin provisioning, snapshots and “file system shrink”. With the ability to compress block-based LUNs hosting in All-Flash pools, Unity’s new compression capabilities are designed to help customers save up to 70% in storage capacity costs.

Unity All-Flash now provides up to 384TB in a 2U rack through new support for 15.36TB 3D NAND (SAS Flash 4) flash drives, doubling Unity’s drive density. In addition, the Unity 600(F) doubles the number of drives supported, increasing total usable capacity up to 10PBs.

Extending the life of mixed SSDs, Dell EMC is also introducing intelligent wear leveling with Unity, allowing customers to mix different types of flash drives within an All-Flash pool. This capability is designed to further extend the life expectancy of All-Flash drives on Unity platforms by intelligently moving data off highly active drives over to drives with less activity within the same Unity storage array.


Expanding its capabilities for the modern data center, Unity now supports seamless, automated policy-based file tiering to public clouds including Virtustream, Amazon S3, and Microsoft Azure. With this capability, customers can archive inactive data to a public cloud service. This feature can help reduce capital expenditure on additional physical storage by freeing up primary storage capacity while reducing backup windows and lowering operational expenditures by reducing data management overheads. Furthermore, customers who use Unity cloud file tiering with Virtustream can save up to 60% on their file storage costs.


Since its May 2016 introduction, thousands of customers have simplified and modernized their data centers with Unity, and upgrading to Unity has never been easier. Customers wishing to upgrade to Unity from EMC VNX® systems can leverage a new streamlined and simplified workflow user interface. Migration is implemented as a built-in, self-service solution from inside the new Unisphere management interface. Additionally, customers already using Unity can take advantage of data-in-place upgrades.

“We’re always looking for innovative new ways to help our customers get the most out of their storage environments and bring a new level of simplicity to storage,” said Jeff Boudreau, SVP and GM midrange storage, Dell EMC. “By adding inline compression to our existing data reduction technologies, our customers can achieve up to 4x efficiencies in their storage, helping them to reduce significant overhead within their database and other workloads and maximize the value of their storage investments. With the addition of larger capacity flash drives for Dell EMC Unity, customers will be able to scale their environments up to 384TB in a 2U rack, driving up efficiency while keeping down TCO. And now with the availability of new CloudIQ storage analytics, customers can get proactive Health Scores of Unity systems including recommended remediation based on best practices and risk management procedures – ensuring Unity systems are available, protected, and performing.”


Updates to the UnityOE, including support for 15.36TB flash drives, will be available toward the end of 2016 at no cost as a non-disruptive, data-in-place upgrade.


Brady Snodgrass, storage architect, First National Technology Solutions

“Inline compression in Unity will allow us to more efficiently utilize our midrange storage capacity and, ultimately, reduce costs. Additionally, the ability to create completely isolated environments using IP multi-tenancy will greatly increase security and control, which, as a cloud service provider, is an absolute necessity. The simplicity with which we can perform data-in-place hardware upgrades is amazing on the Unity platform, as is our ability to upgrade an existing Unity array to a new model by swapping out the service processors.”


Ashish Nadkarni, program director, computing platforms, IDC

“Businesses are putting unprecedented pressures on their midrange storage arrays, with ever-increasing sizes and numbers of files that need to be stored and accessed instantly. To get the most out of an array – in terms of value for money and capacity per drive – it’s important for organizations to demand high-capacity drives, data compression and tiering to the cloud. Smart businesses are choosing storage platforms that act as a hub, compressing data and directing it to the best storage target to match its SLOs, whether that’s an internal, high-capacity flash drive for hot data or a more cost-effective option in the cloud for information that’s not used as much.”


Jack Rondoni, vice president of storage networking, Brocade

“To achieve maximum value from the Dell EMC Unity Family of solutions, organizations require a modern storage network that is easy to deploy and manage without sacrificing performance or reliability. Brocade Gen 6 Fibre Channel and IP storage networking helps unleash the full power and efficiencies of Unity. In addition, Brocade Fabric Vision Technology with IO Insight provides deeper visibility into the IO performance of storage infrastructure to further enhance monitoring and maintenance of service levels.”


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