Dell EMC PowerStore brings enterprise class to mid-range storage
New heights of performance and flexibility from data-centric design, intelligent automation and adaptable architecture
6 May 2020 | 0
Dell EMC has introduced a “ground up” new infrastructure platform that brings enterprise class capabilities and features to the mid-range segment, leveraging “superior technology and expertise” to address the challenges of the data era.
According to the maker, the Dell EMC PowerStore is up to seven times faster and three times more responsive than previous Dell EMC midrange storage arrays, while also providing improved flexibility in both workload deployment and upgrade paths, as well as 99.9999% up time.
“Customers tell us a main obstacle keeping them from achieving their digital transformation initiatives is the constant tug-of-war between supporting the ever-increasing number of workloads–from traditional IT applications to data analytics –and the reality of cost constraints, limitations and complexity of their existing IT infrastructure,” said Dan Inbar, president and general manager, storage, Dell Technologies. “Dell EMC PowerStore blends automation, next generation technology, and a novel software architecture to deliver infrastructure that helps organisations address these needs.”
This has been a major product milestone, in the history of Dell Technologies, said Travis Vigil, senior vice president, product management, storage and data protection, describing it as an innovative new solution, and a major step in streamlining the storage portfolio. Vigil said it has been a strategic priority of more than 1,000 dedicated engineers across multiple areas of business, including VMware, over the last few years.
The mid-range is largest and fastest growing market segment, and this strengthens Dell Technologies position, said Vigil.
The PowerStore infrastructure, says the maker, is built on a modern infrastructure for the data era, allowing organisations to accelerate decision making, data access and application performance, and is designed for six-nines availability.
Furthermore, PowerStore simplifies IT infrastructure by supporting a wide range of traditional and modern workloads with scale-up, scale-out architecture for block, file and VMware vVols.
Dell’s performance claims for PowerStore come from its end-to-end NVMe design and support for Storage Class Memory as persistent storage powered by dual port Intel Optane SSDs.
Reduced cost and effort
Despite these impressive performance and capability specifications, the maker says that users can save on IT budget and capacity with always-on deduplication, compression and a guaranteed 4:1 data reduction. Management and deployment resources are further saved through machine learning and intelligent automation that allows for faster delivery of applications and services with up to 99% less staff time to balance volumes.
This is all about automating those storage processes, eliminating manual steps that reduce time, cost and risk, said Caitlin Gordon, vice president of product marketing for Dell Technologies.
PowerStore’s programmable infrastructure streamlines application development and reduces deployment timeframes from days to seconds, says Dell, with VMware integration and support for management and orchestration frameworks, such as Kubernetes, Ansible and VMware vRealize Orchestrator.
Built-in machine learning delivers and autonomous infrastructure capability, as it automates labour-intensive processes, such as initial volume placement, migrations, load balancing and issue resolution.
Storage monitoring and analytics software, via Dell EMC CloudIQ, combines machine learning and human intelligence for real-time performance and capacity analysis and historical tracking for a single view of Dell EMC infrastructure. Dell Technologies said it will integrate CloudIQ across its full infrastructure portfolio for even greater insights.
“As organisations modernise their IT infrastructure, they must embrace technology that streamlines operations, eliminates complexity and can scale in the face of exponential data growth,” said Eric Burgener, research vice president, Infrastructure Systems, Platforms and Technologies Group, IDC. “By developing Dell EMC PowerStore through an infrastructure-centric lens, the company has created a platform that can tackle today’s IT challenges while being flexible and scalable enough to meet future IT needs.”
Data centre operations
Flexibility for new workloads and evolving needs was a key design goal for PowerStore, which the maker says “transforms data centre operations”.
This is achieved through a container-based architecture. PowerStoreOS, the system’s software architecture, enables feature portability, standardisation and rapid time-to-market for new capabilities.
This is supported by AppsON, the only purpose-built storage array that includes a built-in VMware ESXi Hypervisor. This allows administrators to deploy apps directly on the array for greater flexibility. An industry-first, says the maker, AppsON is ideal for data-intensive workloads in core or edge locations and infrastructure applications.
Migration is also made easier, as new native tools within the PowerStore Manager wizard allow customers to automate entire migrations in fewer than 10clicks, says Dell. Users can take advantage of a number of non-disruptive options to migrate from existing storage, such as Unity, SC, PS Series, VNX and XtremIO.
With Dell Technologies On Demand (DTOD), PowerStore users can respond to workload spikes and new service requests with elastic capacity and cloud economics. Organisations can choose between two flexible pay-per-use consumption models with short-and-long term commitment options, including a new one-year term for flexible consumption. Global support, deployment and managed services can be included to help simplify IT infrastructure management.
Deployment flexibility is further enhanced as Dell said PowerStore is covered by the Dell EMC Future-Proof Program, which provides greater choice, predictability and investment protection through new Anytime Upgrades, claimed to be the industry’s most flexible controller upgrade programme. Users can expand or enhance their PowerStore performance and capacity after 180 days. The combination of Anytime Upgrades and Dell EMC PowerStore’s adaptable architecture effectively ends disruptive platform migrations, says Dell.
Dell said that users can deploy PowerStore in the way that best meets their cloud strategy and business needs, through Dell Technologies Cloud Validated Designs for PowerStore, covering demanding workloads in hybrid cloud environments.
Dell EMC Cloud Storage Services can directly connect PowerStore to all major public clouds, including Amazon Web Services (AWS), Azure and Google Cloud as a managed service. Cloud Storage Services provide Data Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) to VMware Cloud on AWS.
PowerStore can be deployed as a storage option within Dell EMC PowerOne autonomous infrastructure, which accelerates an organisation’s shift to cloud-like operations.
Dell EMC PowerStore is now generally available globally, and as an option for PowerOne autonomous infrastructure this summer (2020).
While pricing was not available at the time of the announcement, Gordon said the PowerStore infrastructure was built to be competitive in the all-flash, mid-range space.