EMC Unity platform was announced at EMC World this year. With 2016 named “the year of all flash”, the Unity platform is the first midrange flash offering from the storage giant. This may raise a few questions if you’re a current EMC user trying to figure out what the Unity release means for your environment. Let’s answer some of those questions.

1. What is EMC Unity?

EMC Unity is the newest line of arrays meant to optimize flash as a primary storage approach. These models include hybrid flash configurations Unity 300, Unity 400, Unity 500, and Unity 600 and the all-flash configurations include Unity 300F, Unity 400F, Unity 500F, and Unity 600F.

2. Besides the model numbers, what’s new about Unity?

Unity is essentially a re-engineered and upgraded VNX storage array. That being said, flash is the big difference here. EMC has historically catered to enterprise data centers especially when it came to flash. This exposed a gap for EMC in the midrange market. The Unity platform offers midrange hybrid and all flash configurations, allowing more options for significantly faster performance and increased efficiency.

3. What’s going to happen with VNX and VNX2 now that EMC Unity is out?

Don’t throw out your array just yet - the existing VNX models aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. VNX storage arrays are some of the best systems on the market today. If you have a VNX5200, 5400, 5600, 5800, 7600, or 8000 it’s probably still under OEM support, so staying with your current model is a great option. And even though VNX 5100, 5300, 5500, 5700, and 7500 arrays are End of Life (EOL), you can keep those too by utilizing third party support to maintain it without an EMC warranty renewal.  Third party support contracts can be up to 70% less than the OEM renewal, allowing you to extend the life of your hardware for as long as you need it.  .

4. Is a Unity platform the only EMC option for all-flash or  hybrid-flash?

SSDs have actually been available for CLARiiON CX4, VNX, VNX2, and VNXe models for some time now. VNX7600-F is an example of an existing all-flash array. VNXe also offers hybrid flash configurations for smaller storage environments. Adding more SSDs in your current array can provide a performance boost to the applications that need it without having to completely upgrade.

5. EMC Unity platforms are optimized for speed. What about capacity?

Yes, the Unity platforms are optimized for performance. (The Register reports EMC Unity being able to deliver up to 300,000 IOPS) However, Unity platforms contain 1.5PB of capacity for Unity 300 and 300F while scaling up to 5PB for Unity 600 and 600F. These capacities may also continue to rise based on drive size availability, so capacity should not be a concern.

6. I’ve already decided to upgrade to EMC Unity - what do I do with my existing system?

Anytime you make a change to your storage environment, you should consider what you’ll do with your surplus IT hardware.  Consider selling your existing equipment to recoup funds in your budget.  Remember to keep data security in mind - a partner like Reliant Technology can securely wipe your drives when decommissioning your existing hardware.

Now What?

No matter how you look at it, data demands are increasing while IT budgets don’t always  follow suit. But despite what your budget is for this year, it is important to know that you don’t have to upgrade just because a new system has been released.  And when you do decide to move to a newer system, there are many paths to consider, depending on your equipment needs, budget, and applications.  If you have questions about how to upgrade your current storage environment or third-party support options, reach out to one of our storage specialists with any questions about your EMC hardware at 1.877.227.0828.