Dell EMC new AFA SC series, new Unity code & new Future Proof program announcements

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This month Dell EMC® launched two new SC all flash storage systems, the SC5020F and SC7020F, updated Unity software functionality and began offering a Future Proof Guarantee program for all their midrange storage.

New Dell EMC SC All-Flash storage

The new SC5020F and SC7020F expand the current SC portfolio with two new all flash offerings. The SC5020F supports a dual controller (active-active) storage system using an 8 core/2.4Ghz processor with 128GB of cache per controller and up to 2PB (222 SSDs) of raw capacity. The SC7020F supports a dual controller (active-active) system using 2-8 core/2.5Ghz processors with 256GB cache per processor and up to 3PB (500 SSDs) of raw capacity.

The new flash SC All-Flash arrays offer all-inclusive software licensing, with no extra cost for compression, deduplication, multi-array snapshot mobility, replication and federation, sync replication, metro DR, D@RE data security with external key manager and RecoverPoint for VM. Both systems also support FC or iSCSI host network connections. CloudIQ and Unisphere will also support SC series storage in an upcoming release.

The two new all flash SC systems have the ability to be federated in a multi-array cluster with zero impact application movement using Live Migrate online data migration, Volume Advisor load balancing wizards and Live Volume online auto failover for disaster recovery. Mixing SC series all-flash and hybrid storage is supported in the same federation so customers can now take advantage of these tools to run their higher performance applications on all flash storage and use hybrid storage for less demanding workloads.

Performance for the new SC all flash storage is up to 399K IOPS per a single array and up to 3.9M aggregate IOPS in an all-flash federated cluster. Granted these are the typical sequential read ‘brag numbers,’ but even for more ‘real-world’ mixed workloads, performance is high at 270,000 and 255,000 IOPS for SC7020F and SC5020F respectively.

Dell EMC UnityOE 4.3 software update

Dell EMC has shipped over 12K Unity systems since launch in May 2016 and has over 6K Unity storage customers today. The UnityOE software update includes the following enhancements:

  • File data synchronous replication – bi-directional, synchronous replication of NAS server data across two Unity systems within metro distances for 0 RPO DR;
  • Enhanced inline data reduction –enhanced file and block data reduction while residing in memory before being written to backend storage;
  • Online Data-in-Place upgrades – upgrades to Unity hardware can now be performed by customers or partners while the storage remains online to host access; and
  • Forever snaps – snapshots can now be archived using policy management to public or private cloud.

Previously Unity only supported compression inline, but with UnityOE 4.3, Dell EMC adds zero-detect and deduplication to their inline data reduction. Synchronous file replication completes Unity’s replication offering which now includes native synch and asynch support for both file and block. Data-in-place upgrades can now be done by customers. Using automatic policy management, Unity snapshots can now be replicated remotely as well as archived to the public cloud (VirtuStream, AWS, & Azure) or private cloud (Dell EMC ECS).

CloudIQ, Dell EMC’s midrange SaaS cloud based data analytics engine, has also been enhanced with new use cases for Unity storage proactive management.

Midrange Future-Proof program

The new Future-Proof program for Dell EMC midrange storage includes a 3-year money-back guarantee, 4:1 All flash storage efficiency guarantee, hardware investment protection. And never worry data migrations. Other vendors have similar programs but to our knowledge the 3-year money-back guarantee is the longest in the industry.


Dell EMC continues to invest in both of their midrange product lines. The new SC all flash storage is a logical extension but more can be done. The updated Unity software also indicates a continued support and investment. As a result, both product lines are being positioned for continued market engagement.

More details on the Future-Proof program will be rolled out over time, including possible expansion of the program to include more of the storage portfolio. There’s plenty of opportunity in CloudIQ to help proactively manage Dell EMC midrange storage and we expect to see lot’s more here over time.

[This storage announcement dispatch was originally sent out to our newsletter subscribers in November of 2017.  If you would like to receive this information via email please consider signing up for our free monthly newsletter (see subscription request, above right) and we will send our current issue along with download instructions for this and other reports. Dispatches are posted to our website at least a quarter or more after they are sent to our subscribers. Also we have recently updated (May 2019) our SAN Storage Buying Guide so if you are interested in purchasing block or file primary storage, please checkout any of our Buying Guides available for sale on our website. ]  

Silverton Consulting, Inc., is a U.S.-based Storage, Strategy & Systems consulting firm offering products and services to the data storage community

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