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5 minute readStorage Vendor Showdown: EMC vs. Pure Part:1

Storage giants like Dell/EMC and NetApp have stood the test of time, remaining constant leaders in a changing IT landscape. But the days of only having a handful of storage vendors to choose from are long gone.

Newcomers to the field like Cohesity and Pure Storage continue to disrupt long held data storage practices. Comparing storage vendors can feel like a daunting task with each vendor seeming to have their own language. We’re here to give you some insights on the most frequently compared storage vendors.

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock for the past couple of years, you know the question “EMC or Pure?” has been a common one since Pure was founded in 2009. The thing about choosing between vendors is, there’s no correct answer. Instead, our aim is to give you some use cases and pros and cons to each of these brands.


Founded in 1979, EMC has kept itself relevant in an ever-changing IT landscape. Known for their ability to offer a great deal of storage solutions to many different customers, EMC has expanded their product offerings to an even wider audience thanks to the record breaking merger with Dell to become Dell/EMC, a part of the Dell Technologies family.

Some other benefits include:

Flexible Storage Offerings

Leveraging HDDs and SSDs to enhance performance and capacity within a storage environment isn’t a new practice, but it is something that Dell/EMC does well. Even with the price of solid state drives coming down, end users still like having the option to not go head first into an all flash configuration. And for those who do wish to go the all flash route, Dell/EMC offers several different ways to configure an all SSD array.

Various Product Lines

As previously mentioned, Dell/EMC has a number of different product offerings designed to cater to any given need in your storage environment. This is especially true for larger shops that are constantly growing.

EMC users can choose from lines like Unity, XtremIO, and VMAX to continue to grow both their capacity and performance in a linear fashion.

Longer Track Record

EMC is still largely considered a leader in data storage and continues to grow as a part of the Dell Technologies family. And while some users are more willing to venture into the unknown and purchase from a newer storage vendor, some may not.

If you prefer the traditional upgrade and purchase path, Dell/EMC may be a better fit.


Founded in 2009, Pure Storage has found themselves competing and winning top spots on ‘Top Storage Companies” lists, even moreso after going public in 2015. While many storage environments have opted to champion hybrid arrays as a way of life, Pure decided to stick to all flash products early on.

Benefits of choosing Pure include:


Data deduplication and compression aren’t new terms by any means, but newcomers like Pure, Nimble, and XtremIO have built their customer bases off of it. Pure uses several versions of deduplication to achieve a Data Reduction Ratio (DRR) of 5:1. The ability to take any amount of data and reduce it considerably is what makes Pure a more viable competitor when it comes to price.


Pure uses a scale-up storage architecture. This allows for a more cost-effective upgrade path for most users.


Pure’s aforementioned scale-up model not only makes it easy to grow when needed, they also have programs to future proof your investment. This is due to Pure offering the ability to roll controller upgrades into your maintenance contract meaning you never have to repurchase capacity you’ve already paid for.

Stay Tuned for Part 2

These are just some of the benefits to choosing Dell/EMC or Pure. Make sure to check back for the next installment of this blog series. Learn more about leading storage competitors by following our weekly Reliant Reading List and check out some of our other vendor comparison blogs such as: NetApp vs. Nimble and Brocade vs. Cisco.

Want help planning your next storage project? Reach out to one of our dedicated storage specialists at 1.877.227.0828 or fill out the chat form on this page.

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Reid Smith-Vaniz

by Reid Smith-Vaniz

Reid is the founder and CEO of Reliant Technology and for 14 years has pursued his mission to remove the pain associated with maintaining IT infrastructure. Reid writes on common challenges related to maintaining, servicing, tracking, budgeting, and upgrading technology.

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As Data Center and storage experts, Reliant Technology is available to provide consultations and solutions to your server backup needs. Our experienced engineers and IT specialists are ready to help you determine the best option for your Data Center. If you have a topic you would like to see discussed, or if you would like to submit an article for possible publication, please, get in touch with us.