Biggest Unity Code Release to Date

Last month Unity’s Falcon code (4.1) went GA and came with a whole bunch of new features we have been waiting for on Unity. Unity OE 4.1 release is the first major update for the Unity product line. The release focuses on improved performance specifically when data services are enabled, inline compression, use of low endurance FLASH drives in hybrid pools, array management via CloudIQ, and native migration capability for file and block from legacy VNX systems.


Unity OE 4.1 adds the following:

  • Inline Compression: Inline compression adds to Unity’s existing efficiency story which includes features such as: file system shrink, thin provisioning, pointer based snapshots and zero space reclaim. Unity 4.1 adds support for inline compression for block based LUNs hosting in all flash pools (i.e. Unity All-Flash array or all-flash pools within a Unity Hybrid array). Compression is set on a LUN basis and savings will vary depending on the use case/workload. For mixed workloads, a good rule of thumb is approximately 2:1 efficiency savings – based on the workload mix, their mileage may vary.
  • 36TB 3D NAND support: Unity All-Flash will now support the new 15.36TB 3D NAND (SAS Flash 4) SSDs. 384TB raw capacity in two-rack Us in a Unity All-Flash system.
  • Increased Drive Count and Maximum Supported Capacity: The maximum supported drive count on the Unity 500(F) and Unity 600(F) is increasing from 300 to 500 and 500 to 1,000 drives respectively. Also increasing is the maximum raw capacity supported for all Unity platforms. The Unity 300(F) goes from 1.5PBs to 4PBs, the Unity 400(F) goes from 2.5PBs to 4PBs, the Unity 500(F) goes from 3.5PBs to 8PBs and the Unity 600(F) goes from 5PBs to 10PBs raw capacity.
  • Intelligent Wear Leveling: This capability now allows customers to mix SAS Flash 2 (200GB, 400GB 800GB and 1.6TB SSDs), SAS Flash 3 (400GB, 800GB, 1.6TB and 3.2TB SSDs) and SAS Flash 4 (3.84TB, 7.68TB and 15.3TB SSDs) drive types within an all flash pool. Unity will further improve the life expectancy of its flash drives by intelligently moving data from drives where there are cells experiencing high levels of wear/activity to other drives that are not experiencing high levels of activity.
  • Integrated File Tiering to the Cloud: Unity now supports seamless, automated policy-based file tiering to the cloud. Using either virtual or physical (Dell Server) deployment options of CTA (Cloud Tiering Appliance), tiering file based data to a Virtustream, Amazon Web Services or Windows Azure based public cloud is possible.
  • CloudIQ: CloudIQ is a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) cloud management platform that provides intelligent and predictive analytics capabilities to proactively monitor and manage the health score of Unity storage systems.
    • CloudIQ is a SaaS hosted service that allows customers to benefit from near real-time intelligence and predictive analytics for improving risk management across Unity systems.
  • Native Based Migrations: Unity now supports migrations from VNX1 and VNX2 systems. For File, these will be non-disruptive utilizing the VDM / NAS Server functionality. For Block, these will be off-line migrations. All accomplished through a workflow user interface in Unisphere.
  • Data-In-Place conversions: Unity now supports data-in-place controller swaps. If a customer starts out with a smaller Unity system (e.g. Unity 300F) they can convert it to a larger platform (e.g. Unity 500F) while keeping all scripts, data and procedures in place.
  • AppSync Multiple Snapshot Support Unity snapshots now allow multiple snapshots to be mounted adding to the use cases for AppSync. AppSync enables copy management of application consistent snapshots for test & dev workloads, database copies and rapid restore use cases.
  • DC Power Support for 15-drive DAE
  • 1G Base-T RJ-45 SFP: CNA ports can use 1G Base-T RJ45 SFP for both Block/File protocols.
    The CNA ports must be persisted as ethernet and once set the SFP is hot swappable with the currently supported 10Gbs or twin-ax SFPs.
  • Single mode 16G FC 10KM W/CDR SFP: a new single mode SFP can be implemented for customers seeking to extend their current capabilities for replication over greater distances.
  • SLIC Replacements: allows I/O modules to be replaced while power is maintained to the SP.
    This applies to I/O module replacement only and does not allow changing the module personality.
    For example, one cannot change from ethernet to Fibre Channel.


For more details, see the full Unity OE 4.1 Release Notes

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