Dan's Take

New Dell EMC Products Provide Comprehensive Solutions

A raft of releases cover much of the market.

I recently had a chat with Peter Smalls, Dell EMC's VP of Product Marketing/Core Technologies, about the company and its products. The conversation ranged from topics such as "why flash?," "serving enterprises," "serving the mid-market" and "Rack Scale storage." The following bullets are an attempt to summarize the high points of Dell EMC's recent announcements.

We'll start with VMAX 250F high-end storage. Highlights:

  1. Dell EMC broadens its portfolio of all-flash storage with VMAX 250F. The goal was offering an enterprise-class solution with mid-market economics and reaching out to a new customer base.
  2. This announcement also included an updated, enhanced version of the EMC HYPERMAX operating system. It includes inline compression, which EMC claims offers a 4x improvement in storage economics and simple, non-disruptive migrations.
  3. A new version of SRDF (Symmetrix Remote Data Facility) is designed to provide the VMAX with "world-class" disaster recovery capabilities through remote replication.
  4. A new version of EMC VPLEX that's designed to improve performance and allow the configuration to deliver "seven-nines availability." For those interested, 99.9999 percent uptime translates to experiencing no more than 3.15 seconds of downtime in a year. This product was also designed to simplify for all-flash environments.

 Unity mid-range storage. Highlights:

  1. Dell EMC describes Unity as an "All-Flash and Hybrid Flash storage platforms that optimize SSD performance and efficiency, with fully integrated SAN and NAS capabilities. Cloud-based storage analytics and proactive support keep you available and connected."
  2. Free, non-disruptive, data-in-place software updates to the Dell EMC Unity family of storage systems.
  3. New capabilities featuring intelligent inline compression and support for the latest flash drives. The goals are enabling "substantial" gains in storage capacity and efficiency for All-Flash configurations. Unity All-Flash now provides up to 384TB in a 2U rack through new support for 15.36TB 3D NAND (SAS Flash 4) flash drives, doubling Unity’s drive density. In addition, the Unity 600(F) doubles the number of drives supported, increasing total usable capacity up to 10PBs.
  4. An integrated file tiering capability that can access data services in the public cloud (including Virtustream), along with intelligent and predictive analytics through the new CloudIQ cloud-based storage analytics platform.

Data Domain. Highlights: 

  1. Data Domain protection storage systems are flash-enabled to deliver speed and scalability as well as enhanced protection for virtual environments. They also offer efficiency for tiering long-term retention data to the cloud.
  2. Dell EMC claims that Data Domain Cloud Tier "establishes Data Domain as the only protection storage to natively tier de-duplicated data to public, private, or hybrid clouds for long-term retention, including Dell EMC Elastic Cloud Storage and Virtustream Storage Cloud."
  3. Four new Data Domain new models: DD6300, DD6800, DD9300 and DD9800. The DD6300 were announced as turn-key, all-in-one storage appliances designed specifically for small and midrange customers. The DD6800, DD9300 and DD9800 expand the capacity and features such as high availability to minimize downtime and ensure business continuity in the face of a sudden hardware failure.

Several other products were also discussed, but I believe these were the most important.

Dan's Take: Well Positioned
It's been quite some time since I had a chance to speak with someone from EMC; now that they're part of Dell, I can expect to hear from them more often. What impressed me was the extensive and comprehensive product portfolio the company is now fielding in this highly competitive market.

The company faces competition from HP, IBM, NetApp and a host (pun intended) of other vendors. Each is targeting different aspects of the storage market, and all view Dell EMC as the competition. This has forced EMC to move quickly.

Some of these competitors focus on beating EMC's price. Others focus on winning on performance. Still others focus on scalability and expansion potential. These announcements position the company well to win business.

About the Author

Daniel Kusnetzky, a reformed software engineer and product manager, founded Kusnetzky Group LLC in 2006. He's literally written the book on virtualization and often comments on cloud computing, mobility and systems software. He has been a business unit manager at a hardware company and head of corporate marketing and strategy at a software company.

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