Dell announced a couple of new VxRail appliances and a new version of their high-end, software defined storage solution, PowerFlex.
New Dell VxRail appliances
VxRail has always been popular in the data center but Dell have just announced two new VxRail appliance series to broaden deployments outside the data center, the new, ruggedized D series and the new AMD based E series VxRail product families
The new D Series includes D560 and D560F VxRail appliances, which have been developed to MIL-STD-810G and USA DoD STIG standards. This means D-Series VxRails can operate from down to -15C and up to 45C with up to 40G operational shock and at up to 15K ft elevation. The D Series are also 20” VxRail appliances. D560F is an all flash solution while the D560 supports hybrid disk-flash.
The new E Series includes E665, E665F and E665N (NVMe flash) appliances, which use 2nd Generation, AMD EPYC CPUs with up to 64 Cores, in a single socket configuration. E-Series has been optimized for desktop VDI, analytics and CAD.
Dell also announced VxRail support for Optane PMEM and NVIDIA Quadro RTX 6000 and 8000 GPUs. VxRail systems with Optane PMEM would provide an ideal system to run in memory databases activity and VxRail systems with RTX 6000 and 8000 GPUs would be great for any graphics intensive activities such as rendering, ML/DL training and inferencing work.
They also announced a new Dell Technologies Cloud Platform (DTCP) solution with support for VxRail clusters running VCF 4.0 on VxRail 7.0 with full support for Kubernetes clusters alongside VMware VMs. Customers can order DTCP systems in small, medium and large pre-configured clusters which will be delivered within 14 days. DTCP pre-configured systems also come with a single price for hardware, software and services available for a 1- or 3-year contract.
VxRail comes with VxRail HCI System Software for cluster full lifecycle management, Dell Tech Support with a single point of hardware/software problem resolution, and the tightest integration with the VMware ecosystem available. VxRail also comes with different consumption models, pay as you grow, pay as you use and pay as a service.
New PowerFlex software defined storage
Customers familiar with ScaleIO and VxFlex storage will recognize PowerFlex as the next generation of this software defined, high end storage system. PowerFlex offers a true scale out (4 nodes to >500 node) storage solution with highly scalable performance and enterprise resiliency.
PowerFlex is available as an appliance or rack solution. PowerFlex appliance can utilize existing networking, while PowerFlex rack is a fully engineered rack-scale solution with integrated networking. Both PowerFlex appliance and rack use PowerFlex Manager for IT operations management, lifecycle management, automation and,
The previous generation of PowerFlex already supported thin provisioning, inline data compression and encryption but Dell has added some new features with PowerFlex:
• Secure Snapshots –read-only, snapshots with expiration dates that can’t be deleted until the expiration date has for data compliance requirements.
• Native replication –journaled, asynch replication for RPO from 30 seconds to 1 hour, with support for volume consistency groups.
• HTML-5 GUI – more portability and ease of use for management and operations.
• Protected Maintenance Mode – ensures two live copies of all data even during maintenance. Customers can now proactively take a node out of a cluster to maintain it.
• PowerFlex Manager Enhancements — expanded support for more hardware configurations and UI improvements.
PowerFlex requires host software, Storage Data Client (SDC) to connect to Storage Data Server (SDS) systems throughout their storage cluster. PowerFlex also uses from 3 to 5, Metadata Managers (MDM) systems. SDC, SDS, and MDM can operate on the same server or different servers for configuration flexibility.
The new VxRail D-series allows VxRail to go where no VxRail could ever go before, oil rigs, military vehicles, atop mountains, and just about anywhere on earth (or in orbit). The new E-series provides a lot of power in a small package. And the new PMEM and GPU support just makes all those emerging applications easier to run on VxRail.
PowerFlex new functionality and capabilities, hasn’t done anything to its high throughput performance and massive scalability which continue to be its strong points. However, requiring host client software limits its market somewhat.
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Silverton Consulting, Inc., is a U.S.-based Storage, Strategy & Systems consulting firm offering products and services to the data storage community.