Dell EMC upgrades Unity mid-range storage arrays

Dell Technologies World Dell EMC’s new Unity XT arrays add drives, memory and CPU power, with the hybrid models getting a stronger upgrade punch than their all flash cousins.

Unity arrays are unified midrange file and block arrays, positioned between entry-level PowerVaults and high-end PowerMax arrays.

They are available as all-flash and hybrid SSD/disk drive systems, with four products in each category. The current all-flash models are the 350F, 450F, 550F and 650F and the hybrid models are the 300, 400, 500 and 600.

The new all-flash Unity XT models are the 380F, 480F, 680F and 880F, and Dell EMC said the 880F is twice as fast as its predecessor, the 650F. They are also 67 per cent faster than their closest un-named competitor.

A table gives a snapshot of how they differ from the old Unity all-flash arrays:

Sticking the memory and maximum drive numbers in a chart makes the differences between old and new readily apparent:

The blue line connects the old old Unity AFAs which are positioned in a 2D space defined by memory capacity and the maximum number of drives.

The green line connects the new models and it is obvious that they have more drives and more memory.

We can do the same for the hybrid models, with a table first:

A second 2D scatter chart shows a larger difference between the old and new hybrid arrays than between the flash Unity arrays:

The blue line connects the old systems, with the green line connecting the new systems. In terms of maximum drives and memory, one configuration is common between old and new. The old 500 has the same memory and maximum drive count as the new 380. This is now the entry-model instead of upper mid-point in the range.

The new hybrids have the same max drive count and memory capacity as the new Unity AFAs.

The new Unity arrays are SAS-based but are said to be ready for NVMe adoption. NVMe support had been expected…but not yet.

Unity arrays are validated as building blocks for the Dell Technologies Cloud. Unity XT Series arrays will be generally available in July 2019.

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