Because I can do maths?
Let's put Netapp to one side because HAHAHAHA Netapp. (I would never sell a company so clearly on its way out to a customer.) So that leaves me comparing Unity to HPE, Dell, HDS and the startups. (We all know nobody can afford IBM.)
Unity doesn't have extra software purchases. This was the very first thing that the EMC product manager told me. They heard this one loud and clear. In theory, upgrades will come out and shouldn't be something you have to buy. Without pay to play then Unity becomes something you can more directly compare to competition.
Unity starts around the $10K mark for hybrids. I don't remember the exact number, but I mentally put it in that box. It isn't a hell of a lot of storage at that price, but if you scale up as a hybrid it doesn't cost too bad.
As an all flash array it can be - is - pretty expensive. Still, it's cheaper than many of the startups, about where I'd expect 3PAR to be. Raw flash to raw flash, Compellent is probably cheaper in the mid range and higher. HDS is definitely cheaper in the high end. (But then again, isn't it always?)
So then in order to be "cheaper" than Unity you have to start comparing Unity's raw flash to the "usable flash" numbers provided by vendors. This is where I start getting into a lot of problems.
Many of my clients are photographers and videographers. A lot of GIS data and other "not really very compressible things". I don't get 2:1 ratios. At best I have seen 1.6:1, and that was with SimpliVity, where the file storage was in a VM.
Now, if Unity was "finished" - and EMC should rightly get the shit kicked out of them for releasing Unity a year too early - and had the forthcoming data efficiency tech, we could start taking about "fake storage versus fake storage".
Is unity going to get its ass handed to it by a solution that does full in-line data efficiency where the workload is VDI? Sure. But VDI is a niche. On the other side of that spectrum is me, storing VMs, videos, pictures, and Windows user data all on the same device (something, I point out, that many of the startups don't support!) and getting my 1.3:1 average data efficiency ratios.
So for me, when I run the numbers I use the ratios I see in the real world. 1.3:1. And I just don't see Unity losing to too many competitors with that ratio. And what about when the update comes down the pipe? How does this change in January when the data efficiency has been out for a few months, the arrays have been kicked around and most of us are ready to start actually considering Unity for production?
At that point competitors don't really get that extra 30% capacity boost, and Unity is even cheaper.
By all means, let's trot out competitors who are cheaper and do more for the same price. Not just at the extreme high end, but at the minimum entry cost and at the middling sizes of the 20TB-40TB range! I have zero love for or loyalty to EMC. Let the price and feature wars truly begin!