Dell EMC Storage Announcements for May 2018

In Dell EMC, PowerEdge R840, PowerEdge R940a, PowerMAX, XC640, XC940 by AdministratorLeave a Comment

This month at DTW2018 Dell® and Dell EMC® announced a number of new products with more announced at Nutanix Next conference the following week.

Dell EMC new PowerMax and XtremIO storage

Dell EMC updated their VMAX storage to incorporate NVMe SSDs and NVMeoF ready interfaces as well as new real time machine learning IO optimization algorithms.
PowerMax systems are also architected to support new storage class memory (SCM) that’s coming out.

Performance of the new PowerMax was touted at 10M IOPS which Dell EMC claims is 2X any current competition IO performance. PowerMax will use FC for their NVMeoF.

The real time, machine learning algorithms are used for predictive maintenance and improving performance of the storage system in anticipation of SCM. Dell EMC is currently analyzing over 425B datasets every second across their current all flash storage base. Information derived from training on such data could be embedded into PowerMax to operate in real time to optimize data placement (tiering for SCM SSDs and NVMe SSDs).

PowerMax now joins the other Dell EMC storage systems as an option in the new VxBlock V1000 converged infrastructure system.

Dell EMC released asynchronous replication support for XtremIO X2. XtremIO asynchronous replication is data reduction aware, that is only unique data would be replicated to the remote XtremIO system. Moreover, Dell EMC introduced a new entry-level, XtremIO storage system.

Dell new servers

Dell introduced two new servers targeted for AI/ML based workloads with 4 sockets for more compute, more graphics/FPGA slots and faster storage.

• The new PowerEdge R940xa comes in a 4U configuration and has 4 sockets and support for 4 double wide/full height (DW/FH) GPUs or 8 FPGA cards with support for 4 NVMe SSDs and 32 disk drives. The R940xa is targeted for workloads that need a more balanced, 1:1 compute:graphics processing environment.
• The new PowerEdge R840 comes in a 2U configuration and has 4 sockets, 48 DIMM (with up to 12 NVDIMMs), 24 NVMe drive slots, and support for 2 DW GPUs or 2 FPGAs. The R840 is designed for high IO performance with GPU/FPGA support and is targeted for more real-time analytics processing.

Both systems support larger memory space (up to 6TB of DRAM) as well as support for NVDIMMs to accelerate customer workloads.

Dell EMC HCI updates

Dell EMC also announced new PowerEdge 14th Generation servers are now available for both VxRail and VxRack SDDC systems. The new 14th generation servers support NVMe SSDs for VMware vSAN caching drives, higher performing Intel® Xeon® Scalable processors and more DRAM/microprocessor (1.5TB/socket or 3TB/server) for their VxRail HCI appliances and VxRack SDDC systems.

The new servers also add faster Ethernet networking (25GbE) for more networking bandwidth and new NVIDIA P40 GPU accelerators to support 50% more graphics intensive VDI users or 2X the AI/ML graphics processing workloads

At the Nutanix Next conference in New Orleans, Dell also announced two new XC series systems:

• The new XC940-24 is the first, 4 socket Nutanix appliance that includes support for up to 6TB of DRAM with 10GbE or 25GbE networking and all flash or a mix of SSDs and disk drives.
• The new XC640-4i is targeted at ROBO or small office environments that make use of 1-, 2-, or 3-node HCI solutions. The XC640-4i is slated for non-data center deployments in remote sites, retail outlets, or other environments without dedicated IT support.


At DTW2018, Dell also discussed their continuing significant investment in R&D. Indeed, they announced 11 company exits out of their Venture portfolio, including 3 unicorn (>$1B valuations). They mentioned that Dell is currently invested in 81 companies, 24 concluded in the past year of which 1/3 are in AI/ML arenas.

Dell’s new servers address the confluence of AI/ML and data analytics that’s taking off in IT and business, in general. Their new HCI systems seem extremely popular and are updating to new server technology. As for storage, the new PowerMax renews a venerable storage system that has arguably led the market for over 20 years now. There were more announcements at DTW but the updates to their high-end servers, storage and HCI seemed of most interest to enterprise data centers.

Silverton Consulting, Inc. is a Storage, Strategy & System consulting services company, based in the USA offering products and services to the data storage community.

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