Today at EMC World, EMC announced the EMC Unity unified storage solution. The al-new Unified storage solution, available in All-Flash and Hybrid variants. As the subject says, Unity is Simple in many aspects from purchase to service. New controllers, no more Java-based UI, new management over the cloud, vVols and container support…
let’s discuss some of these in detail.
When we say the system is a true unified array, the Unity is having the same controller managing the functions of SAN and NAS. Having different controllers for each function was a drawback with the VNX and Celerra systems. This reduces the efforts and complexity in cabling the system, from an implementation perspective. This also reduces the rack space needed for the system to 2U from 12 or 10 Units.
The image below will explain you the models available. The base system will be Unity 300 and the elder ones in the family are Unity 400, 500 and 600. All-Flash systems have the similar models with an F in front.
Let us see how Unity is simplified in various areas.
Purchase and Install : The implementation partners and the EMC employees are well aware of the sizing tools available for designing a new system. With EMC Unity, the implementation engineer can upload a configuration taken from an existing VNX/VNXe or CX array and get the new Unity system configuration. That is designing and ordering a new system, simplified.
For the installations, the racking and cabling are much more simple with Unity as we have fewer modules to rack and stack and very less number of cables to be laid. It takes less than 15 minutes to setup a new system with the configuration wizard.
If the customer wants to have a similar type of configuration (in terms of drive and pool layout etc…), it is made easier with Unity. Customers can clone the configuration to multiple systems with Unisphere Central.
Management and Monitoring : The interesting part as far as the customers are concerned. Java or Flash based management is a real pain for the administrators, yes, HTML is the future. EMC Unity offers HTML 5 based management UI, supported by all the major browsers available. HTML 5 is faster and secure compared to its predecessors. The new Unisphere UI offers customizable cool dashboards, easy navigation from a Unified management perspective, and very good look and feel.
Pool and Thin provisioning – Unity offers a Unified storage pool which can serve space for both SAN and NAS functionalities. The NAS Filesystem is capable of automatically expanding and shrinking. This enables improved space efficiency. The space released by an FS shrink will be sent back to the pool and can be used for SAN provisioning. The FS shrink will be reflected at the target FS if the FS is being replicated to a different system.
CloudIQ – CloudIQ is the cloud-based monitoring solution available with Unity. You can monitor your system from anywhere with CloudIQ. It helps in pro-active alerting and support. CloudIQ also enables better availability and performance with the monitoring and planning. EMC is now providing an early-access for the CloudIQ solution.
Unity introduces new Unified CLI and better integration with Rest API for management functions. The simple HTTP commands make easier integration. Customers can prepare their own scripts based on the APIs and they can access the APIs from CLI, Browsers, and Apps also.
Service : Unity supports embedded ESRS with the help of embedded docker container. This allows the support team to connect to the system and the system to send alerts to EMC. The UDoctor software has been improved to have a detailed log collection from the system. The new UI has a better system view which shows a detailed status and health information of the components.
Flash Optimized architecture : The Unity architecture is optimized for the best performance. The new write-caching with the Unity systems is a key for performance improvements. The new writes will be received by the full system cache and will be served to the disks.
Pricing : The Unity storage systems comes with all-softwares and the starting price is $10K for hybrid arrays and $18K for All-Flash models. You can find more details about the products, compare the products, and place the order for Unity system form the EMC Store. For more details and specifications please check the datasheet here.