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Part III Dell Technology World 2018 Storage Announcement Details

Part III Dell Technology World 2018 Storage Announcement Details

This is Part III Dell Technology World 2018 Storage Announcement Details that is part of a five-post series (view part I here, part II here, part IV (PowerEdge MX Composable) here and part V here). Last week (April 30-May 3) I traveled to Las Vegas Nevada (LAS) to attend Dell Technology World 2018 (e.g., DTW 2018) as a guest of Dell (that is a disclosure btw).

Dell Technology World 2018 Storage Announcements Include:

  • PowerMax – Enterprise class tier 0 and tier 1 all-flash array (AFA)
  • XtremIO X2 – Native replication and new entry-level pricing

Dell Technology World 2018 PowerMax back view
Back view of Dell PowerMax

Dell PowerMax Something Old, Something New, Something Fast Near You Soon

PowerMax is the new companion to VMAX. Positioned for traditional tier 0 and tier 1 enterprise-class applications and workloads, PowerMax is optimized for dense server virtualization and SDDC, SAP, Oracle, SQL Server along with other low-latency, high-performance database activity. Different target workloads include Mainframe as well as Open Systems, AI, ML, DL, Big Data, as well as consolidation.

The Dell PowerMax is an all-flash array (AFA) architecture with an end to end NVMe along with built-in AI and ML technology. Building on the architecture of Dell EMC VMAX (some models still available) with new faster processors, full end to end NVMe ready (e.g., front-end server attachment, back-end devices).

The AI and ML features of PowerMax PowerMaxOS include an engine (software) that learns and makes autonomous storage management decisions, as well as implementations including tiering. Other AI and ML enabled operations include performance optimizations based on I/O pattern recognition.

Other features of PowerMax besides increased speeds, feeds, performance includes data footprint reduction (DFR) inline deduplication along with enhanced compression. The DFR benefits include up to 5:1 data reduction for space efficiency, without performance impact to boost performance effectiveness. The DFR along with improved 2x rack density, along with up to 40% power savings (your results may vary) based on Dell claims to enable an impressive amount of performance, availability, capacity, economics (e.g., PACE) in a given number of cubic feet (or meters).

There are two PowerMax models including 2000 (scales from 1 to 2 redundant controllers) and 8000 (scales from 1 to 8 redundant controller nodes). Note that controller nodes are Intel Xeon multi-socket, multi-core processors enabling scale-up and scale-out performance, availability, and capacity. Competitors of the PowerMax include AFA solutions from HPE 3PAR, NetApp, and Pure Storage among others.

Dell Technology World 2018 PowerMax Front View
Front view of Dell PowerMax

Besides resiliency, data services along with data protection, Dell is claiming PowerMax is 2x faster than their nearest high-end storage system competitors with up to 150GB/sec (e.g., 1,200Gbps) of bandwidth, as well as up to 10 million IOPS with 50% lower latency compared to previous VMAX.

PowerMax is also a full end to end NVMe ready (both back-end and front-end). Back-end includes NVMe drives, devices, shelves, and enclosures) as well as front-end (future NVMe over Fabrics, e.g., NVMeoF). Being NVMeoF ready enables PowerMax to support future front-end server network connectivity options to traditional SAN Fibre Channel (FC), iSCSI among others.

PowerMax is also ready for new, emerging high speed, low-latency storage class memory (SCM).  SCM is the next generation of persistent memories (PMEM) having performance closer to traditional DRAM while persistence of flash SSD. Examples of SCM technologies entering the market include Intel Optane based on 3D XPoint, along with others such as those from Everspin among others.

IBM Z Zed Mainframe at Dell Technology World 2018
An IBM “Zed” Mainframe (in case you have never seen one)

Based on the performance claims, the Dell PowerMax has an interesting if not potentially industry leading power, performance, availability, capacity, economic footprint per cubic foot (or meter). It will be interesting to see some third-party validation or audits of Dell claims. Likewise, I look forward to seeing some real-world applied workloads of Dell PowerMax vs. other storage systems. Here are some additional perspectives Via SearchStorage: Dell EMC all-flash PowerMax replaces VMAX, injects NVMe

Dell PowerMax Visual Studio
Dell PowerMax Visual Studio (Image via Dell.com)

To help with customer decision making, Dell has created an interactive VMAX and PowerMax configuration studio that you can use to try out as well as learn about different options here. View more Dell PowerMax speeds, feeds, slots, watts, features and functions here (PDF).

Dell Technology World 2018 XtremIO X2

XtremIO X2

Dell XtremIO X2 and XIOS 6.1 operating system (software-defined storage) enhanced with native replication across wide area networks (WAN). The new WAN replication is metadata-aware native to the XtremIO X2 that implements data footprint reduction (DFR) technology reducing the amount of data sent over network connections. The benefit is more data moved in a given amount of time along with better data protection requiring less time (and network) by only moving unique changed data.

Dell Technology World 2018 XtremIO X2 back view
Back View of XtremIO X2

Dell EMC claims to reduce WAN network bandwidth by up to 75% utilizing the new native XtremIO X2 native asynchronous replication. Also, Dell says XtremIO X2 requires up to 38% less storage space at disaster recovery and business resiliency locations while maintaining predictable recovery point objectives (RPO) of 30 seconds. Another XtremIO X2 announcement is a new entry model for customers at up to 55% lower cost than previous product generations. View more information about Dell XtremIO X2 here, along with speeds feeds here, here, as well as here.

What about Dell Midrange Storage Unity and SC?

Here are some perspectives Via SearchStorage: Dell EMC midrange storage keeps its overlapping arrays.

Dell Bulk and Elastic Cloud Storage (ECS)

One of the questions I had going into Dell Technology World 2018 was what is the status of ECS (and its predecessors Atmos as well as Centera) bulk object storage is given lack of messaging and news around it. Specifically, my concern was that if ECS is the platform for storing and managing data to be preserved for the future, what is the current status, state as well as future of ECS.

In conversations with the Dell ECS folks, ECS which has encompassed Centera functionality and it (ECS) is very much alive, stay tuned for more updates. Also, note that Centera has been EOL. However, its feature functionality has been absorbed by ECS meaning that data preserved can now be managed by ECS. While I can not divulge the details of some meeting discussions, I can say that I am comfortable (for now) with the future directions of ECS along with the data it manages, stay tuned for updates.

Dell Data Protection

What about Data Protection? Security was mentioned in several different contexts during Dell Technology World 2018, as was a strong physical security presence seen at the Palazzo and Sands venues. Likewise, there was a data protection presence at Dell Technologies World 2018 in the expo hall, as well as with various sessions.

What was heard was mainly around data protection management tools, hybrid, as well as data protection appliances and data domain-based solutions. Perhaps we will hear more from Dell Technologies World in the future about data protection related topics.

Where to learn more

Learn more about Dell Technology World 2018 and related topics via the following links:

Additional learning experiences along with common questions (and answers), as well as tips can be found in Software Defined Data Infrastructure Essentials book.

Software Defined Data Infrastructure Essentials Book SDDC

What this all means

If there was any doubt about would Dell keep EMC storage progressing forward, the above announcements help to show some examples of what they are doing. On the other hand, lets stay tuned to see what news and updates appear in the future pertaining to mid-range storage (e.g. Unity and SC) as well as Isilon, ScaleIO, Data Protection platforms as well as software among other technologies.

Continue reading part IV (PowerEdge MX Composable and Gen-Z) here in this series, as well as part I here, part II here, part IV (PowerEdge MX Composable) here, and, part V here.

Ok, nuff said, for now.

Cheers Gs

Greg Schulz - Microsoft MVP Cloud and Data Center Management, VMware vExpert 2010-2018. Author of Software Defined Data Infrastructure Essentials (CRC Press), as well as Cloud and Virtual Data Storage Networking (CRC Press), The Green and Virtual Data Center (CRC Press), Resilient Storage Networks (Elsevier) and twitter @storageio. Courteous comments are welcome for consideration. First published on https://storageioblog.com any reproduction in whole, in part, with changes to content, without source attribution under title or without permission is forbidden.

All Comments, (C) and (TM) belong to their owners/posters, Other content (C) Copyright 2006-2018 Server StorageIO and UnlimitedIO. All Rights Reserved. StorageIO is a registered Trade Mark (TM) of Server StorageIO.

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Greg Schulz is founder of the Server and StorageIO (StorageIO) Group, an IT industry analyst and consultancy firm. Greg has worked with various server operating systems along with storage and networking software tools, hardware and services. Greg has worked as a programmer, systems administrator, disaster recovery consultant, and storage and capacity planner for various IT organizations. He has worked for various vendors before joining an industry analyst firm and later forming StorageIO.

In addition to his analyst and consulting research duties, Schulz has published over a thousand articles, tips, reports and white papers and is a sought after popular speaker at events around the world. Greg is also author of the books Resilient Storage Network (Elsevier) and The Green and Virtual Data Center (CRC). His blog is at www.storageioblog.com and he can also be found on twitter @storageio.