Five reasons why we love Unity from Dell EMC

Who remembers the floppy disk? Revolutionary when they were introduced as an 8-inch medium in the mid-1970s, the floppy disk made portable data storage truly accessible for the first time.

26 October 2017

Later also available in 5.25-inch and 3.5-inch versions, due to much smaller file sizes than we see today there was no need to be able to store huge amounts of data; indeed, the capacity of the typical 5.25-inch floppy disk was a mere 110 KB. Fast-forward to 2017 and it’s now not unusual to have a USB device of at least 1GB within arm’s reach – and for those fact lovers amongst you, if you wanted your 5.25-inch disks to equal 1 GB of storage, you would need approximately 9,532 of them!

However, now our 1GB removable devices are becoming the 21st century’s equivalent of the floppy disk – advances in technology have increased the size of files, software and applications to the point where a single Gigabyte of storage space is almost redundant. Even many of our mobile phones have 32GB or 64GB of internal storage, and external hard drives of several terabytes are available easily and relatively cheaply for consumers. Not only that, but IT experts are beginning to speak in terms of yottabytes, brontobytes and gegobytes. To put things into perspective, a gegobyte is a 1 followed by 31 zeros – that’s a lot of storage!

From a business perspective, data storage now needs to be easily accessible and scalable at an affordable price in order to keep ahead of the competition. Enter Dell EMC, whose Unity range is the market leader in terms of midrange storage. We’re big fans at GCI; the range not only has up to 99.9999% availability, but offers the flexibility of unified storage with the performance and scalability of flash to support a full portfolio of application workloads on a single architecture. Those are just two of the many benefits on offer; read on to discover more!

1. Unmatched simplicity

The Dell EMC Unity range represents the ultimate in in storage simplicity. These systems are simple to set up – within a few hours you’re configured and ready to go. It’s simple to use, with an intuitive HTML5 Unisphere™ interface and improved, powerful VMware, Microsoft and OpenStack virtualisation integration. You also get CloudIQ - a free, Software as a Service management portal that proactively monitors and measures the overall health of Dell EMC storage systems through intelligent, comprehensive and predictive analytics, plus features and capabilities that easily help you resolve issues faster than ever before.

2. Products specifically designed for All-Flash

Unity arrays implement linear multicore scaling, inline compression for block and file, and intelligent wear levelling software. With the Broadwell Intel chip, Dell EMC Unity All-Flash offers incredible flash performance and supports a density of 500TBe per U, thanks to the 80-drive enclosure and high-capacity 15.36TB flash drives. Additionally, dynamic pools enable you to add a single drive at a time, resulting in faster rebuild time and higher space utilisation. 

3. Flexible and scalable file system

Choice is key, and Unity is offered as a software-defined virtual storage appliance or as a purpose-built all-flash or hybrid configuration. It is also delivered as part of a converged infrastructure solution with Dell EMC VBlock™ for when IT prefers to purchase servers, networks and storage together at the same time. Impressively, Unity All-Flash can scale up to a huge 16PB of raw system capacity. So what’s that in real terms? Bearing in mind that 1 PB is a cool million (and a bit) GB, Computer Weekly have provided this useful statistic: “If the average MP3 encoding for mobile is around 1MB per minute, and the average song lasts about four minutes, then a petabyte of songs would last over 2,000 years playing continuously.”

4. Fully-loaded with goodies

Your Dell EMC Unity storage includes all the software you need to easily consolidate and manage virtualised application workloads, including HTML5 Unisphere Management Suite, inline compression, deduplication and zero detect for file and block…amongst many others. Combined with AppSync to deliver integrated copy data management, these efficiency technologies abstract the copy operations as a metadata operation without intruding on back-end resources. The integration of AppSync and Unity allows instant, high performance copies of any data set for many small-to-medium business applications, with data services like inline compression and thin provisioning, and no impact on production or other copies.

5. Tiering to the Cloud

Your IT department can improve business efficiency by seamlessly tiering inactive files and archiving block snapshots to public Cloud platforms such as Microsoft Azure. CTA also supports the same block archiving and file tiering capabilities to the Dell EMC private Cloud – Elastic Cloud Storage (ECS). Customers can take advantage of CTA's ability to automate repository migrations among these Cloud providers as business and platform requirements change.

Kelvin Papp
Product Manager

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