October 11th, 2016 by Adam Armstrong
Dell EMC Updates Unity Adding Efficiency & Lower Costs
Today Dell EMC announced free, non-disruptive, data-in-place software updates to its Unity family of storage systems. These updates can really see a gain in capacity as they support both inline compression as well as support for the higher capacity flash drives. With an eye on the modern data center, Unity will now have expanded capabilities for integrated file tiering to the public cloud (including Virtustream), along with intelligent and predictive analytics through the new CloudIQ cloud-based storage analytics platform.
As we previous stated, Unity is designed to be simple. The new solution offers offers cloud-like proactive management and monitoring through a modern HTML5 task-oriented interface that leads the user through daily operations and integrates with VMware and Microsoft ecosystems for easy third-party management. Featuring new Proactive Assist capabilities, Unity is also designed to give IT control, visibility and automated management. Service data from Unity can be viewed within EMC MyService360 also announced today. The all-flash version of Unity has three times the performance of the previous generation VNX arrays, up to 300K IOPS.
The latest update focuses on a few key factors, the first being capacity increase and efficiency. Inline compression will be added along with features such as thin provisioning, snapshots and “file system shrink”. Unity will also have the ability to compress block-based LUNs hosting in all-flash pools. Dell EMC claim that these capabilities will help customers save up to 70% in storage capacity costs.
With the support of the new 3D NAND, 15.36TB SAS SSDs, Unity All-Flash can now provide up to 384TB in a 2U rack. The support of the new high capacity SSDs are twice what Unity supported before. The Unity 600(F) also doubles the amount of drives support bringing the total usable capacity up to 10PB. Unity also offers a new intelligent wear leveling aimed at extending the life of mixed SSDs. Not only does this feature enable customer to mix different types of flash in a storage pool, it can extend the life of drives by moving data off of highly active drives to less active drives in the same array.
Another tiering option that can save customers money is the new seamless, automated policy-based file tiering to public clouds including Virtustream, Amazon S3, and Microsoft Azure. This feature enables customers to move inactive or cold data off to a public cloud versus keeping in on the more expensive Unity. Along with tiering, Unity users can now use CloudIQ for analytics. According to Dell EMC, CloudIQ provides near real-time intelligence and predictive analytics capabilities to proactively monitor, manage, and provide health scores of Unity storage.
Dell EMC is also making the migration path onto Unity simpler. EMC VNX system customers are now able to leverage a new streamlined and simplified workflow user interface that helps with the migration to Unity. The company states that migration is implemented as a built-in, self-service solution from inside the new Unisphere management interface.
Updates to the UnityOE are expected to be available by end of 2016 at no cost as a non-disruptive, data-in-place upgrade.