Datacenter Trends

Merged Dell EMC Launches New SDS Solution

The solution provides flexibility for those wanting a combination of cloud, on-prem and hybrid deployments.

The virtual ink on the Dell Inc.'s acquisition of EMC Corp. was barely dry (virtually) before the newly united entities launched their first product earlier in the month. ScaleIO Ready Node is an all-flash, software-defined storage (SDS) solution for block storage for the Dell PowerEdge x86 rack server.

The new product is based on EMC's ScaleIO software-defined storage product, which converts direct-attached storage (DAS) into a server-based storage area network (SAN). The result is a large virtual pool of server-based storage that logically combines SSDs, PCIe flash cards, HDDs or any combination, converging storage and compute resources into a single-layer architecture.

ScaleIO Ready Node is designed to "help customers transform and modernize their datacenters," the company said in a statement. That goal was something of a theme of the merger. The rechristened Dell Technologies became the world's largest storage company following the completion on September 7 of the $60 billion acquisition, which had been in the works for approximately 11 months. The Hopkinton, Mass.-based company now employs about 140,000 people globally and generates about $74 billion in annual revenue. CEO Michael Dell said at the time that trends in corporate computing toward newer technologies and cloud services augured a consolidation in the market for conventional servers and storage hardware. "We know how to win in consolidation," he said.

The new ScaleIO Ready Node solution supports both traditional two-tier and hyper-converged application deployments in any combination in the same software-defined storage service, the company said, enabling an easy path to the software-defined, hyper-converged datacenter. According to a May 2015 report from the Enterprise Strategy Group ("EMC ScaleIO: Proven Performance and Scalability"), the EMC solution makes it easy to achieve millions of IOPS (inputs/outputs per second) for mission-critical workloads by combining the advantages of all-flash with SDS. Dell Technologies points to a June 2016 IDC white paper to support its claim that the new product reduces the five-year cost of operations by 50 percent. And it touts the simplification of the procurement, qualification, and support processes achieved by "going with a single provider: Dell EMC."

And yet the authors of the IDC paper go on to say, "The SDS paradigm will evolve storage buying habits in terms of not only selecting systems based on their capacity, performance, reliability, cost, and ease of use but also further allowing a decoupled acquisition model in which hardware and software are acquired independent of each other."

"The Server SAN market is booming, signifying a rapid shift towards software-defined storage architectures," said Wikibon analyst Stu Miniman, in a statement. "Wikibon's 2016 Server SAN forecast indicates that the EMC ScaleIO platform, which has grown 348% in the past year, is the fastest growing solution in this market segment. Users are increasingly evaluating software-based hyperconverged infrastructure solutions. The shift towards software-defined solutions does not obviate the need for reliable hardware and integration, that allows organizations to simply and rapidly scale operations as needed. Dell EMC is looking to take a leadership position in this shift as evidenced by joining ScaleIO with PowerEdge servers."

ScaleIO Ready Node is hypervisor and OS agnostic. It supports VMware vSphere, Windows Server 2012 and Hyper-V, Linux, and OpenStack deployments. It's also available in storage-only and hyper-converged) deployment models, as well as all-flash and hybrid configurations.

About the Author

John K. Waters is the editor in chief of a number of sites, with a focus on high-end development, AI and future tech. He's been writing about cutting-edge technologies and culture of Silicon Valley for more than two decades, and he's written more than a dozen books. He also co-scripted the documentary film Silicon Valley: A 100 Year Renaissance, which aired on PBS.  He can be reached at [email protected].


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