Dell EMC Powerstore

In this blog some info about Dell EMC Powerstore

The background of Dell storage

The PowerStore is a very important product for Dell EMC. At the time Dell acquired EMC, the joint portfolio of mid-range storage was quite confusing. At that time, EMC VNX, Unity and XtremIO and Dell SC series (Compellent) were sold side by side, positioning all products as mid to high-end storage. Each line had its strengths (and weaknesses, too, but that wasn’t obvious to everyone).

The VNX was based on the Data General acquisition of EMC in 1999 and was soon completely replaced by the EMC Unity. Which turn is partly based on the VNX-E. But Dell still had multiple product lines to maintain and develop. Because the Unity, XtremIO and the SC series basically offer the same functionality, it is not possible to maintain three products that do not share a single line of code. Dell EMC has been decided to unite all the good features of these products in one new product, the PowerStore.

The Dell PowerStore

The PowerStore started as a Dell in-house project called Trident (a 3 prong fork), and later went on as In the beginning, they looked at whether the code of one of the existing products was suitable for building the new platform. The market’s desire for new functions and integration could not be combined with code of the old platforms.

To write the code, the development departments of the three old products were combined into a large virtual development group that was working on the development of the PowerStore worldwide, 24 hours a day. Writing new code for this platform has introduced a number of capabilities that were previously not possible, including because the platform was written to run on top of a hypervisor and run entirely within containers.

This structure of the PowerStore makes it possible to add functions quickly and also to apply updates per function without the other functions go offline or disrupting the service. You no longer have to worry about issues such as speed, latency, data reduction factor, scalability, integration and data migration. These are issues that were central to the development of this platform.

With the PowerStore Dell EMC has introduced a platform based on years of experience in the mid-range market. Which fits perfectly in any environment. It is also a replacement for your old storage solution or as an extension to your existing storage solution.

PowerStore: simplicity in management

The management of the PowerStore is very simple, and is aimed at keeping the management effort as low as possible. This is done by a webinterface from a single plan of glass.

Performance and scalability

The PowerStore is all flash, based on SCM, NVMe and SSD drives.

The Powerstore is built around a dual controller, the appliance. This appliance can be expanded with additional disk shelves to increase capacity.

Four appliances can be combined in a cluster. The type of appliance can differ in terms of hardware configuration and/or type and number of NVMe disks.

Through the built-in machine learning engine, the cluster of appliances advises on the optimal placement of the data within the cluster. This can be moved without disrupting the service, to achieve an optimal distribution of performance. This is also for the storage capacity in the cluster. New nodes and storage capacity can be added or removed without disruption.

The support model has also been adapted to this functionality. During the support period, you accrue credit for replacing older controllers with newer controller types (all without migration).

The PowerStore supports iSCSI, FC, NVMeF, CIFS and NFS. It used both block-based and file-based.

The PowerStore also introduces the Apps-on functionality. It is also possible to order the PowerStore in a version where the PowerStore function is installed on top of VMware hypervisor. This makes it possible to run VMs on the PowerStore and use the PowerStore as shared storage capacity.

The PowerStore can be used in the same way as the “standard” PowerStore for shared storage capacity. This set-up makes no concessions to performance and latency due to the extensive integration with the VMware layer.

Due to the far-reaching integration with VMware, the PowerStore can be used in any on-premise / cloud setup. The software of the PowerStore is constantly developing, because the PowerStore does not have a licensing model based on functionality. You can also use the new functionality that is added with a software update.

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