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Dell in major revamp of storage portfolio

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Mark Davison at Dell EMC World in Las Vegas – It’s only eight months since the formal merger between Dell and EMC, but the combined company has already overhauled its traditional storage portfolio to meet the demands of customers aspiring to digital transformation.

Speakers at Dell EMC World have all stressed that in order to achieve true digital transformation, companies need to first transform their IT, workforce and security. The major updates across its storage portfolio, it says, is designed to provide IT departments with the technology they need to modernise their data centre and begin their journey to transform IT.

As the business drives new digital initiatives, IT must transform to accommodate massive growth in structured and unstructured data, maintain the performance and reliability of key business applications, deploy a new breed of cloud-native applications and support increasingly complex workflows. To satisfy these diverse demands Dell EMC provides a diverse, best-of-breed portfolio – there is no such thing as one-size-fits-all, the company says.

It has announced major platform refreshes to its flagship enterprise storage platform, VMAX, as well as the next generation XtremIO purpose-built All-Flash array. Also announced was the next generation of Dell EMC Unity, its best-in-class midrange All-Flash array and the new SC5020 best-in-class midrange hybrid array, as well as Isilon scale-out NAS arrays.

“With these new offerings in high-end, midrange and unstructured data storage, Dell EMC is bringing best-in-class performance, value and economics to customers’ IT organisations,” says Jeff Boudreau, president, Storage, Dell EMC. “The speeds and feeds are impressive, but more importantly, customers of every size, every budget and every stage of IT Transformation can harness the power of enterprise-class storage to move their business forward.”

VMAX 950F is the newest member of Dell EMC’s VMAX All Flash family, the flagship high-end storage offering that has set the industry benchmark for enterprise storage arrays for decades. With performance that is 68% faster and offering 30% better response times (6.7M IOPS for RRH, 350 microseconds response times for OLTP) than the previous generation, VMAX 950F resets the bar for All-Flash storage performance. In fact, the VMAX 950F is up to 4x faster than its nearest competitor in testing of real-world workloads.

The VMAX 950F array leverages the latest Intel CPUs with software enhancements designed to deliver best-in-class performance at scale. It also allows customers to consolidate with confidence – including open systems, mainframe, IBM i as well as file workloads – on a single platform with a 25% smaller footprint for the same performance as the previous generation.

The new VMAX 950F All Flash array offers all the industry-leading data services of the rest of the VMAX All Flash family – including SRDF (Symmetrix Remote Data Facility), D@RE (Data At-Rest Encryption), non-disruptive migration, inline compression and more. This powerful combination of performance, data services and more than “six nines” availability make the VMAX 950F the ideal platform for consolidating mission-critical applications that demand the performance of flash and can never, ever go down – such as core banking, credit card processing, electronic billing or hospital record systems.

Purpose-built for All-Flash with always-on inline data services, XtremIO delivers unprecedented levels of efficiency to thousands of customers worldwide. With XtremIO X2, Dell EMC has amplified the strengths of the previous generation by enhancing XtremIO’s software design and adding more horsepower to the hardware. XtremIO is the ideal platform for workloads that benefit from deduplication and integrated copy data management (iCDM) for large-scale snapshots, such as VDI and development/test use cases.

With a powerful combination of new hardware and intelligently enhanced software, X2 offers up to 80% lower response times and 25% higher data reduction to support 2x more copies per cluster for iCDM. Dell EMC has engineered X2 to be even more efficient in storage capacity and All-Flash performance, at a price as low as one-third of its predecessor. X2 provides 3x the capacity per X-Brick as well as new multi-dimensional scalability to scale up from as low as 7Tb to as high as 138Tb per X-Brick, scaling out up to eight X-Bricks. Finally, X2’s rack density has been increased by 4x, providing up to 5.5Pb effective capacity and a capacity density of over 100Tb effective per rack unit.

Dell EMC also introduced four new Dell EMC Unity All-Flash models – Dell EMC Unity 350F, 450F, 550F and 650F – providing up to 500Tb of effective storage capacity in a highly dense 80-drive, 3U footprint. Dell EMC Unity delivers best-in-class All-Flash performance and simplicity for the midrange with integrated support for block and file data. All new Dell EMC Unity models include 4x larger file system with inline file compression, iCDM with snapshot mobility, simpler mapped RAID protection and support for external encryption key management via KMIP (Key Management Interoperability Protocol). Additionally, Dell EMC Unity features an 8x increase in density and 8x more effective file system capacity than its predecessor, as well as the ability to install in under 10 minutes, 33% faster than previous generations.

The company has added the SC5020 to its family of economical and intelligent entry- to midrange-level hybrid storage solutions for block workloads. The successor to the popular SC4020 array, the SC5020 offers more power and scale, with up to 45% more IOPS, 2x max capacity (2PB) and 3x the bandwidth in a new 3U format featuring 30 internal drive bays, dual controllers, plus FC, iSCSI and direct-attach SAS connectivity. The SC5020 boasts one of the lowest hybrid storage entry costs in the industry, thanks to the automated efficiency of built-in data progression, intelligent deduplication and compression.

Organisations today are struggling to keep pace with the rapid growth of data, as well as the need to support increasingly demanding applications that are critical to deliver faster business outcomes. To address these challenges, Dell EMC is introducing a new generation of Isilon scale-out NAS systems based on a revolutionary “Infinity” architecture. The new generation of Isilon systems will include All-Flash, hybrid and archive configurations that are designed for demanding file applications across a wide range of industries including media and entertainment, life sciences and financial services.

The “Infinity” architecture brings new levels of performance and scalability to the Isilon platform, delivering up to 6x the IOPS, 11x the throughput, and 2x the capacity of the current generation Isilon platform. It also enables Isilon to provide 9x the IOPs, 18x the throughput and 21x the capacity of the closest competitor. With the new modular design, customers can easily upgrade performance or capacity independently as their needs evolve.

Additionally, the new ultra-dense Isilon platform provides customers increased data centre efficiency by up to 75%, significantly reducing operating expenses relating to data centre power, cooling and space requirements. As with all Isilon platforms, the new generation of Isilon systems is powered by the Isilon OneFS operating system, offering high storage efficiency, robust data protection and strong data management capabilities. This new generation of Isilon systems can seamlessly integrate with existing Isilon clusters, or can be deployed as a new cluster.