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October 2017

Competitive Selling Guide: Dell EMC Unity vs. IBM V7000/5000/3700

IBM Storwize Messaging Overview Why Dell EMC Unity Family Over IBM?
The IBM V7000U was introduced in October 2011 as a system that is “block The new Dell EMC Unity Family delivers industry-leading innovation and
based at its heart” with file modules to deliver a unified platform. It is based enterprise capabilities for file, block, and object storage. Powered by MCx
on the SVC architecture and uses the XIV management GUI. A June 2014 Technology, Dell EMC Unity provides true scalability - not silos - and is
software update added hardware acceleration for Real Time Compression as designed to take advantage of either all flash SSDs or advanced flash hybrid.
well as additional processing power and disk capacity per system. Dell EMC Unity also delivers industry leading VMware integration for
IBM positions the V7000U as an enterprise-class system for mid-size virtualized applications.
customers. (The XIV, by contrast, is targeted at mid-to-high customers with • An integrated unified architecture scalable performance for enterprise
the need for continuous performance and competes primarily with EMC block and file services from a single platform—saving footprint and
Symmetrix VMAX.) The V7000 allows customers to “start small” with a 2U resources.
enclosure unit; Up to 4 V7000 dual controllers can be clustered under a • Leading performance - up to 3X the speed of the VNX2 platforms.
single management GUI to obtain up to 1,056 drives. However, each V7000
controller acts as its own system, so storage behind it is captive and cannot • Optimized for Flash to boost performance and minimize cost – chose All
be shared between controllers. Flash for maximum performance or Dell EMC Unity Hybrid with FAST VP
and FAST Cache for blended performance and lowest TCO.
Messaging for the IBM V7000U focuses on the following:
• New Inline Compression available for new and existing Dell EMC Unity
• Unified block and file storage with easy-to-use management interface platforms, extending the benefits of new high-density drives for all-flash
• Optimized application performance by up to 200 percent through pools.
automated tiering (EasyTier) • A single easy-to-use management interface — Unisphere, now with
• Policy-based file tiering across systems including tape (Active Cloud advanced CloudIQ data aggregation and reporting capabilities.
Engine) • Tight integration of Unisphere, vCenter Ops, VMware vCenter plug-ins,
• Virtualized storage system with dynamic migration and VAAI provides an end-to-end view of the virtualized environment.

IBM V3700 Questions To Ask—Setting for IBM

Announced in November 2012, the block-only V3700 uses the technology IBM claims the V7000 is performance-optimized, but ask them how they
from V7000 extended to the entry storage segment. In line with this market handle unplanned I/O activity. EasyTier supports up to 3 tiers in a pool,
segment, snapshots and thin provisioning are included with the base product, requires dedicated Flash drives, and moves data only once every 24 hours.
while additional software is licensed at the array level rather than tiered by - The Dell EMC Unity Family is optimized for Flash technology, delivered
enclosure. with 3D TLC flash drives for the highest application performance at the
lowest system cost. For hybrid deployments, FAST Cache provides a
IBM V5000 real-time performance boost with up to 8 TB of extendable read/write;
The V5000 was announced in July 2013 as a SAN platform positioned below FAST VP optimizes storage pools with continuous movement on
the V7000, with more limited disk and cluster scalability but retaining the customizable cycles.
enclosure-based software licensing model of the larger V7000 system. The
Gen2 V5030 now supports Real-time Compression as offered on the V7000
(but without hardware offload), while the V5020 and V5010 do not.

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October 2017

Ask how IBM will scale to handle future growth. The V7000 is now Ask IBM how they deliver storage efficiency, and specifically how the
expandable to 750 drives per array, but a 4-node cluster support a maximum V7000 meets performance requirements when using Real-time
of only 2,016 SFF drives. The V5030 supports 504 2.5” drives, or 736 3.5” Compression, which requires multiple dedicated CPU cores to support it, and
drives per array, creating a large amount of overlap in the product line. results in performance impact.
Although V7000 and V5000 systems can be clustered, each system is a - Dell EMC Unity achieves predictable, scalable performance with MCx
distinct storage silo behind the management interface. A V7000 with 2,016 technology, so users can be confident in achieving high IOPS with
drives means 4 controller enclosures acting as storage silos, each with 264 consistently low latency. Real-time Compression, available only on the
drives, with a common management interface but lacking the fundamental V7000, must be done in-line, meaning that performance can suffer
ability to move data dynamically between these controllers for workload and significantly under high system load.
capacity balancing. Customers looking for NAS support will discover that the
V7000U can only support file from the first node in a cluster, and that file Ask IBM if they provide end-to-end virtualization support that provides
support features are limited and dated (no SMB 3.0 support). VMware administrators a view into storage resources and allows storage
The V5000 and V3700 use unique expansion enclosures, so upgrading administrators to see the virtual server infrastructure.
controllers to a larger system with the same storage is not an option for - Dell EMC Unity is optimized for virtual applications with VMware and
customers if their requirements grow. Hyper-V integration. Unisphere automatically discovers all virtual
machines managed under VMware vCenter Server and provides storage
- The Dell EMC Unity series can grow easily, up to 1,000 drives and data-
in-place upgrade capability provides the option for performance and administrators with end-to-end mapping of the virtual environment.
capacity growth with investment protection. The VPLEX solution Ask IBM to explain the cost of storage virtualization of 3 party arrays.
provides customers with an extensible multi-controller platform, offering Users must purchase multiple licenses for Base Software and Feature
unique application and VMware availability that can extend between support for each enclosure added to the V7000 or V5000. This is addition to
datacenters with its global memory architecture and active/active paying for any ongoing maintenance required on the storage.
support between sites. VPLEX provides non-disruptive data movement
between backend storage, and enables hardware upgrades and
replacement without application or system downtime.
Ask IBM to explain the cost and performance impacts of real-time
compression. IBM has claimed that enabling real-time compression on
V7000 does not impact performance, and has added hardware offload to the
Gen 2 platform along with additional CPU cores and memory. However the
reality is that the Storwize system still dedicates CPU cores and up to half
the system memory to the task of data compression, resulting in fewer
system resources being available for other tasks. System performance
remains highly variable with compression enabled. IBM does not offer
compression on the V5000 and V3700, since these systems have less
processor performance and memory than the V7000. IBM also requires
compression to be licensed, at additional cost to the user.
- Dell EMC Unity achieves competitive storage cost by combining the most
effective auto-tiering technology for hybrid platforms with advanced 3D
TLC flash drives for all-flash pools and arrays. Data compression
provides a typical 2:1 efficiency benefit for all-flash arrays or all-flash

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October 2017

Which Dell EMC Unity Series Model to Position against IBM Storwize — A Mapping Summary
Position this Maximum Drive
…When Supported Protocols Main Software Suites/Features Positioned
Dell EMC Count
Positions… Unity Storwize Unity Storwize Unity Storwize
Management: Unisphere, Software:
V7000 or 3,040 LFF CloudIQ V7000 (SAN Volume Controller)
Unity 600/650F V7000U 1,000 2,016 SFF (up All-Inclusive Software: includes Easy Tier, FlashCopy;
clustered * to 4 nodes) FC, iSCSI, Snapshots, Sync/Async V7000 Unified (file services)
CIFS, NFS, Replication, includes Active Cloud Engine
736 LFF RecoverPoint Basic, ESA Optional: (licensed by enclosure)
V7000 or adapter, VVols, Real-time Compression, Remote
Unity 500/550F 500 504 SFF
V7000U D@RE, Anti-virus, Mirroring and Virtualization of
(1 Node)
QOS, IP Multi-tenancy, external storage
IBM V5000 software, thin
Per Node:
provisioning, Two-way clustering,
736 LFF
FC, iSCSI, FC, FCoE, iSCSI, Data migration
Unity 400/450F V5030 250 504 SFF
CIFS, NFS SAS Optional: (licensed by enclosure)
Two Nodes
FlashCopy, Easy Tier, Remote
mirroring and Virtualization of
external storage
IBM V3700 software, thin
provisioning, FlashCopy Base
Optional: (licensed by system)
FlashCopy, System Storage Easy
V5010 268 SFF FC, iSCSI, FC, iSCSI, FCoE, Tier, Remote mirroring
Unity 300/350F 150

* V7000 clustering functionality and performance scalability is limited, and is easily matched by the Dell EMC Unity 600. Don’t over-spec by bidding larger Dell
EMC Unity or VNX2 platforms.

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October 2017

Dell EMC Unity Series/Storwize Comparison IBM FUD, Facts, and U-Turns
Capability Unity IBM IBM IBM FUD or Claim Fact and U-Turn
V7000/ V5000 /V3700 Fact: IBM’s XIV/Storwize interface is showing it’s age, and
Simple now appears dated.
Unified (file, block Dell EMC Unity’s new HTML5 GUI and exceptional ease of use
/object) promote operational efficiency. Unisphere is integrated with
VMware APIs to provide automatic discovery of virtual
Unified IBM Storwize has a very
machines and ESX servers, and end-to-end virtual-to-physical
management easy GUI based on the
mapping, and automated virtual infrastructure reporting with
renowned XIV GUI
Unified replication U-turn: Demo Unisphere to eliminate FUD about ease-of-use;
then ask IBM if multiple V-Series systems can be managed
Efficient from a single GUI, how they support VMware for file storage
and if they have VM-aware storage management tools.
Auto Tiering Fact: Older arrays must be maintained separately and usually
SSD Hybrid Cache consume more power and floor space. Additionally, IBM
requires separate virtualization licenses for each drive
Compression IBM V7000 and V5000 enclosure.
can virtualize older U-turn: Ask IBM how they minimize the performance and
Deduplication storage and protect cost-of-management trade-offs of adding legacy systems
Thin provisioning 3rd party investments under a virtualization layer that’s in the data path and
explain how Dell EMC Unity consolidation combined with
Controller-based VPLEX allows greater capacity and performance scalability
D@RE with superior application availability and painless migrations.
High-density 2.5
Inch Enclosure
IBM Storwize provides Fact: V7000 and V5000 systems retain expansion-based
advanced data software licensing which taxes growth. EMC offers a
Optimized for
protection with robust comprehensive portfolio of local, remote, and application
snaps, FlashCopy, availability technologies, packaged in Essentials.
Extendable write
Metro/Global U-turn: Ask IBM about the performance impact of their snap
cache w/SSD
mirroring, Tivoli Storage technology in real-life deployments. Address customers’ data
Scalable Flash
FlashCopy Manager protection requirements with the Essentials pack.

In closing: Focus on Dell EMC Unity All Flash and Hybrid versatility, management simplicity, performance, scalable Unified and integration with VMware.

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