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May 02, 2016


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What happened to deduplication? Will it be added later?

Mark Burgess

Hi Chad,

It certainly looks impressive.

I had a couple of questions around compression and de-dupe:

1. You say Inline Compression will be available in Q2 (i.e. by the end of June), did you mean Q3?

2. What is the story around block de-duplication (either carrying forward the post-process VNX2 technology or something new (i.e. inline))?

I have heard that the focus will only be on compression, which does not seem ideal, especially for Unity all-flash as I would have thought it would benefit from de-dupe (most competitor AFAs have de-dupe).

Many thanks


Will Unity offer block dedupe or will it still be File only?


What does Lifetime* mean?


How about online data in place storage processor upgrades? What is the Unity all flash option using under the covers to help protect against SSD wear if your using traditional RAID?

Chad Sakac

[UPDATE: 5/7/2016 - I went back to the engineering team directly for corrections on what did/did not get carried over, and it's even more "clean sheet" than I thought - some of my comments here were to quick and in error - please read the full comment thread - and yes, I make mistakes :-) ]

[UPDATE - this response was wrong] @Moez - thanks for the comment! Dedupe was an omission (or insufficiently clear) on my part. There is dedupe for both block and file in the GA release (was GA on 5/2/2016). Indeed, there's also compression. However, they are both post-process implementations. The comment about compression coming is that there will be an inline compression implementation.

[UPDATE - this response was wrong] @Mark - thanks - see my comment above. Dedupe exists - but it is post-process (improved materially over the VNX2 implementation, but still post-process) for NAS and block. Double checking on the date for inline compression. We've found that when customers are looking at the $/GB economics, they (understandably) will consider inline implementations of data reduction (both compression and dedupe) in their economic model, but not post-process. We're expecting 1.5-2x from compression, and are willing to put our money where our mouth is (in customers pricing models).

[UPDATE - this response was wrong] @abj - thanks for the question - see above.

@PT - thanks - "Lifetime" means for the service life of the platform (EOSL). That means that customes can count on maintenance/support costs not going up, and that we are responsible for the full lifetime of the SSDs for wear and tear (WPD/wear-levelling)

@Frank - re: online data in place storage processor upgrades, stay tuned. We have this cracked on VMAX all-flash and you'll see the same on Unity. Re flash abatement see above. We're confident, and putting our money where our mouth is (lifetime media guarantee). Write abatement isn't as strong as in XtremIO for example, but there's now a lot of data coming in on WPD, wear leveling and write abatement effects (including the effect of caching, both in DRAM, and by leveraging high WPD media as a primary write stage).

Mark Burgess

Hi Chad,

Thanks for the feedback.

We have been told that de-dupe has not been carried forward from the VNX2 and we have looked in the Unity VSA and there is no sign of either post-process compression or de-dupe - is it definitely there?

Are we likely to see inline de-dupe in the not too distant future?

Quite important I would have thought.

Many thanks as always


Nice to hear that the post-process dedup/compression is still there - documentation doesn't really mention it at all!

Is the inline compression coming for AllFlash only or Hybrid too?
And can you check the timeline again, is it really on Q2?



I'am seeing mixed replies now.
You stated that Unity has post-process deduplication, but in the Ask the Expert forums they replied that there is no deplication at all.

Chad Sakac

All - let me triple check - I could very well be wrong. Will go straight to the source for the authoritative answer.

Chad Sakac

@Mark, @SK, @Sami - thanks for staying on me for the final, correct, authoritative answer.

1) YOU ARE RIGHT - I went to the engineering team directly, and the decision was made NOT to carry over the block dedupe in VNX2.

2) ILC (inline compression) is 2H 2016, not Q2 2016.

3) They are prioritizing ILC over dedupe right now, but lots of internal dialog how to bring the best cost efficiency we can bring to bear (including dedupe). Will bring that dialog to a close and share as much as I can.

Thanks - and highlights the power of the community to get to the right answer fast (and that I'm FAR, FAR from perfect!)

Brock Solutions

Where is the Cloud integration?
Doesn't EMC own TwinStrata? Seems like a no-brainer, especially with EMC/DELL's new Cloud initiatives.



I've been working the the UnityVSA lately and have some feedback / questions:

1) Analytics - they suck unless you use the CLI (and read the 471 page manual). It seems like EMC is pushing Unity customers (or vVNX/VNXe3200) to buy EMC Storage Analytics w/vROps. That means I have to rewrite all my scripts and/or purchase additional software and learn VROps! Also as far as I know the REST API doesn't support analytics, just provisioning/configuration. Analyzer was a pain to use sometimes, but it gave me everything I need, not dumbed down stats. For a midrange array, I would expect all of the analytics available via EUMCLI to be available in Unisphere.

2) What about migration from CX4/VNX/VNX2 (and Celerra / VNX for File)? Does Unity support Mirrorview, SANCopy, or Celerra Replicator? Does it support Virtual Data movers? I doubt one could do a data in place upgrade from VNX -> Unity, so data migration would be the only option. Would I have to purchase RecoverPoint to migrate LUNs from CX4/VNX/VNX2 to Unity? Does Powerpath work with Unity?
It seems like Unity is geared towards VMware, making S-vMotion the obvious choice for migration - but what about shares and stand alone server LUNs?

3) Is there a UPS in the Unity system? I've always liked the idea of the Celerra/VNX for file having data movers dedicated for NAS, 1-2 control stations, and storage processors. They performed great and never let me down. More complex yes, but always predictable.

I'm currently using UnityVSA to learn the new operating environment, but I doubt I'll buy Unity until all the issues are worked out. Rewriting all my scripts, and migrating NAS I see as a big pain. As far as VMware environments go, I think it could be a good fit.

I'm not an EMC hater, I've been a loyal customer for 10 years, but this new surprise platform seems to be (atleast, at launch) a beefed up VNXe3200....

Brian Henderson

On behalf of the product team, thank you for trying out our Virtual Storage Appliance and sharing your feedback on Chad’s blog.
We’d much rather hear the feedback than have complaints go unsaid and not have a chance to address it and/or fix it - so thank you for that.

I will respond to each of your points below:

1. Analytics
2. Migration
3. UPS


Unisphere has dozens of performance metrics available. These charts can be manipulated as desired, such as breaking down metrics by SP or read/write, viewing certain timeframes, and exporting to a CSV file. In order to leverage metrics via CLI, there is no need to read the entire manual. There are only two commands needed to view metrics, one for historical and one for real-time:

uemcli /metrics/value/hist
uemcli /metrics/value/rt

REST API can be leveraged not only for provisioning and configurations. In addition, REST API can be used to extract metrics information such as the ones mentioned above.
The EMC Storage Analytics plugin for Unity is included for free with the system. This allows customers to leverage vRealize Operations Manager for additional topology, metrics, and analytics information. No scripts need to be rewritten as everything is done automatically by the plugin. ESA provides additional information to complement what’s already available on the array (see above) for VMware environments, but is not required to view performance information.


There are a number of options for migrating both block and file data to Unity. For block, Unity supports SAN Copy push from CLARiiON/VNX1/VNX2. Unity also has integration/support with a number of migration tools and software, including RecoverPoint, PPME, and VPLEX. For file, traditional tools like EMCopy, Robobcopy, and rsync are supported, and we also offer a solution from our select partner Datadobi. This migration software, DobiMiner, performs file system migrations to the Unity platform. DobiMiner is compatible with many different source EMC storage systems, including a set of third-party storage arrays. Lastly, for virtualized environments, RecoverPoint for VMs and Storage vMotion is also supported.

On the topic of replication, Unity uses NAS servers, which are similar to VDMs. A NAS Server, which is required before creating file systems, allows for multi-tenancy in that each contains its own distinct set of configuration information and file interfaces. Because each NAS Server is logically separate, it is possible to segregate access so that clients of one NAS Server are not able to access data on another NAS Server and vice versa. Each NAS Server may contain up to 10 interfaces and a variety of configuration information including naming services, sharing protocols, active directory domain settings, a UNIX directory service, user mapping configuration, data protection settings and more.

As far as replication is concerned, native block asynchronous and synchronous solutions are included. If you want to replicate block resources between Unity and VNX1/VNX2, RecoverPoint can be leveraged. For file, native asynchronous replication is included. File replication between Unity and Celerra/VNX1/VNX2 is not supported, as Unity uses an all new 64bit file system technology with new space efficient snapshots and increased limitations.

We have some really cool things coming soon to make migrations even better and more seamless.


There is no UPS unit with Unity, but you can certainly use a UPS of your choice with the array. Unity doesn’t use separate Standby Power Supplies, but instead leverages a Battery Back-up Unit (BBU) in each SP. The BBUs are designed to supply enough power to the enclosure temporarily, in order for the SPs to flush the write cache contents to the internal M.2 SSD, which is non-volatile. When power is restored, the M.2’s contents are restored to the SPs.
Since Unity is built from a redesigned OE, we are able to fully integrate hardware components. There is no longer a concept of “passive” hardware which would be consuming valuable rack space and power resources. Both the control stations and datamovers have been replaced with an updated File architecture that utilizes the SP hardware and completely integrated management stack. Unity utilizes an active/active controller model – both SPs can be used simultaneously so no dedicated standby hardware is required. The peer SP acts as a hot standby, which actively services I/O but is also ready to take over additional resources if necessary.
We think we have done something quite different here and I’m glad you were able to try the product for yourself for free in advance of a purchase. The entire product team has seen the post and we’re making sure we are taking your feedback into consideration for our upcoming releases.

Thank you,
Brian Henderson
and the Unity Product Team

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