Dell EMC SC5020 Storage Array

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Accelerate workloads, automate savings

Self-optimizing SSD, HDD or hybrid configurations provide an affordable high-performance solution for mixed application environments

Dell EMC SC5020 Storage Array


Expansion Capacity

  • Supported expansion enclosures
    Dell EMC SC420: 24 x 2.5” drive bays (12Gb SAS)
    Dell EMC SC400: 12 x 3.5” drive bays (12Gb SAS)
    Dell EMC SC460: 60 x 3.5” drive bays (12Gb SAS)

    Maximum drive count
    222 per array (30 internal, plus 192 external), more in federated systems*

    Max raw capacity
    2PB per array (SSD or HDD), more in federated systems*

    Max raw capacity (NAS)
    2 PB per array with optional FS8600 4PB in single namespace (with FS8600 and multiple SC Series arrays) 

    Storage media
    SAS and NL-SAS drives; different drive types, transfer rates and rotational speeds can be mixed in the same system.
    SSD: write-intensive and read-intensive drives
    HDD: 15K, 10K, 7.2K RPM

Data Optimization

  • Auto-tiering method
    Policy-based migration based on real-time data usage, customizable 512KB-4MB page size

    Auto-tiering structure
    Up to 3 primary (media-based) tiers total, up to 2 SSD tiers (write- and read-intensive SSDs)

    Tiering customizations
    User-defined profiles, option to “pin” volumes to any tier

    RAID support
    RAID 0, 1, 5, 6, RAID 10, and RAID 10 DM (Dual Mirror); any combination of RAID levels can exist on a single array

    RAID tiering
    Auto-provisions and dynamically restripes multiple RAID levels on the same tier; no need to pre-allocate RAID groups

    Thin provisioning
    Active by default on all volumes, operates at full performance across all features

    Thin snapshots
    Records changes only, snapshots auto-migrate to lower-cost storage

    Intelligent deduplication and compression
    Selectable option per volume on SSD and/or HDD tiers in hybrid configurations
    Compression-only option also available on any configuration

    HDD optimization
    FastTrack moves frequently accessed data to outer tracks for quicker response times


  • Rack size: 3U
    Height: 13.33 cm (5.25 inches)
    Width: 44.5 cm (17.52 inches)
    Depth: 78.5 cm (30.9 inches)
    Weight at maximum configuration: 24.22 kg (53.4 lb)
    Weight empty: 15.15 kg (33.4 lb)

Chassis Overview

  • Chassis format
    All-in-one (dual controllers, internal drive bays, networking and expansion ports)

    Rack size


    2 hot-swappable per chassis (active/active)

    Intel® Xeon® Processor E5-2630 v3, 2.4GHz, 8 cores

    Internal storage capacity
    30 x 2.5” drive bays

    System memory
    128GB per SC5020 array (64GB per controller)

    Operating system
    Dell Storage Center OS (SC OS) 7.2 or greater

Network and Expansion I/O

  • Front-end-network protocols
    FC, iSCSI, SAS (supports simultaneous multiprotocol)

    Max 32Gb FC ports
    8 per array (SFP+)

    Max 16Gb FC ports
    8 per array (SFP+)

    Up to 16 SFP+ or BaseT ports per array.
    Up to 8 SFP+ or BaseT ports per array

    Max 12Gb SAS ports
    Up to 8 12Gb SAS ports*

    Management ports
    2 per array (1Gb BASE-T)

    Back-end expansion protocols
    12Gb SAS

    Max back-end expansion ports
    4 per array
    Up to 16 expansion enclosures per array


  • Array configurations
    All-flash, hybrid or HDD arrays

    Storage format
    Block (SAN) and/or file (NAS) from same pool*

Data Mobility and Migration

  • Replication
    Synchronous/Asynchronous via FC or iSCSI
    Target/source relationships may be one-to-many or many-to-one
    Supports all SC data services on source and target volumes
    Change replication types and topologies on demand
    Supports cross-platform replication with PS Series/EqualLogic arrays (either direction)

    Volume mobility
    Live Migrate (included in base product) enables host-transparent data movement among arrays; see also Federation section

    Federated multi-array systems
    Live Migrate (included in base product) enables host-transparent movement of volumes among arrays
    Snapshots maintained/preserved during migration

    Thin Import
    Space-efficient, non-disruptive data migration from PS Series (EqualLogic) arrays

    Thin Clones
    Clone standalone volumes with zero duplication of data
    Clones maintain independent snapshots and replication
    Ideal for VDI, test/dev, other applications that require discrete instances of common data
    More efficient than dedupe for database copies

Environmental Operating Conditions

  • Operating temperature: 50 - 95°F (10 - 35°C)
    Non-operating temperature: -40 - 149°F (-40 - 65°C)
    Operating humidity ranges (non-condensing): 10% to 80% with 29°C (84.2°F) maximum dew point
    Non-operating humidity (non-condensing): 5% to 95% with 33°C (91°F) maximum dew point
    Inlet type: NEMA 5-15/CS22.2, n°42


  • Power/wattage: 2 hot-swappable 1485W power supplies; 1485W maximum power
    Heat dissipation: 5,067 BTU/hr maximum
    Voltage: 200-240 VAC
    Frequency: 50/60 Hz
    Amperage: 1485/100 – 14A, 1485/240 – 6.2A


  • Management interface
    Dell Storage Manager
    Multi-array, multi-site, cross-platform management from single interface*

    Create large multi-array systems under unified management, with seamless workload migration between arrays via included Live Migrate feature. Add arrays non-disruptively, efficiently utilizing their combined capacity and performance. Volume Advisor monitors federated arrays to suggest optimal data placement and load balancing. Volume movement does not impact snapshots or replication data protection.*

    Scripting support
    Microsoft PowerShell API
    RESTful API

    Host OS support
    Microsoft® Windows Server®, Oracle® Solaris, HP®-UX, Oracle Linux, IBM® AIX®, Novell® NetWare, SLES, Apple, HPTru64, VMware®, Citrix® XenServer®, RedHat®

    Third-party application integration
    VMware, Microsoft, IBM, OpenStack, Oracle, Symantec, Commvault, Foglight, Docker (see SC Series Management spec sheet for more details)

    Coexistence with PS Series arrays
    Replication in either direction
    Day-to-day management from a single interface
    Thin import: space-efficient, non-disruptive data migration from PS Series arrays
    VMware vSphere Metro Storage Cluster, VMware SRM, Veritas Storage Foundations Suite, IBM VIOS Recognized, Oracle Validated Infrastructure (OVI); see Dell Storage Support Matrix for additional certifications and details

    Support assist (phone home), remote diagnostics and performance monitoring, automated alerts, reports and notifications, departmental chargeback

    Workload management
    QoS, VVOLs
Dell EMC SC5020 Storage Array - Crank up the performance

Crank up the performance, crank down the cost

SC5020 makes storage cost savings automatic with a modern architecture that optimizes your data center for economics while delivering transformational SSD, HDD or hybrid performance.

SC Series provides the lowest effective price/GB for flash and hybrid flash*, giving companies of any size the technology advantage they need to compete in today’s fast-changing markets. Highlights include:

  • Data Progression – Achieve IOPS goals with the least expensive mix of storage media, even as performance needs evolve
  • Deduplication & Compression – Dramatically reduce the raw capacity required to store your data
  • RAID tiering – Eliminate manual provisioning, increase efficiency and utilization
  • Federation – Simplify multi-array environments with quick and seamless data movement, plus proactive load balancing assistance via Live Migrate and Volume Advisor
  • ProSupport Services – Reduce deployment costs with remote installation options that ensure your project goes right the first time.
  • Persistent software licensing – Future-proof your investment, minimize the cost of upgrades and expansions
All new hardware platform

All-new hardware platform

Designed as the next-generation successor to the popular SC4020 array, SC5020 is a performance powerhouse. With dual 8-core Intel processors, 4x more memory and a 12Gb SAS back end, the SC5020 delivers

  • Up to 45% more IOPs*
  • Up to 3X higher bandwidth (GB/sec)*
  • 2X greater max capacity

The new 3U “all-in-one” chassis includes 30 drive bays plus dual hot-swappable controllers, providing up to 460TB raw capacity in a single compact unit. A variety of expansion enclosures lets you scale up to 2PB per array – with even larger scale-out potential in federated multi-array systems.

But the advantages don’t stop with fast hardware. SC5020 includes all the Storage Center Operating System (SCOS) features you’ve come to expect from SC Series storage.
Intelligent advantage for modern workloads

Intelligent advantage for modern workloads

Based on actual use and application performance requirements, SC Series Data Progression dynamically tunes multiple drive tiers and manages RAID levels for performance and cost savings. By default, all new data is written to fastest Tier 1 drives at RAID 10 performance levels, then converted to economical RAID 5/6 (on the same drives) for subsequent reads.

As data ages, it’s moved to less expensive storage until it becomes more active again. Data is precisely where it’s needed, when it’s needed – the perfect combination of high IOPs and cost savings.
0-100% Flash architecture

0-100% Flash architecture

Target specific price/performance ratios with any mix of SSDs and HDDs – then modify the mix as your needs change. Add more flash to boost performance, or “cheap and deep” spinning disk as cold data volumes grow. Hot data will always be written to your fastest drives at the fastest RAID levels.
Intelligent Data Reduction

Intelligent Data Reduction

Like many SC services, Deduplication and Compression are applied dynamically at a sub-LUN level to optimize performance and reduce capacity needs throughout the data lifecycle. Fully integrated with Data Progression, SC data reduction saves money on SSDs, HDDs – or both in hybrid systems.
Low Cost Business Continuity

Low-Cost Business Continuity

Keep mission-critical apps running during unexpected outages and disasters with seamless volume-level auto-failover between local and remote arrays. Innovative Live Volume feature is native to SCOS – no extra hardware or software is required to create your “always available” storage environment.
Reliable SC Series investment protection

Reliable SC Series investment protection

Despite its low initial and lifecycle costs, SC5020 includes all the advanced tools and integrations you need to be sure your array continues to provide value as your business grows.

  • Dell Storage Manager – Intuitive control and monitoring of one or multiple systems with powerful features like multi-hop replication, departmental “chargeback,” QoS, VVols support and more.
  • Thin clones – Easily create thousands of discrete volume copies for VDI, test/dev and other applications, without consuming additional storage space.
  • Data-at-rest encryption – Supports optional FIPS 140-2 certified self-encrypting drives (SEDs), auto-lock on power down or removal
  • File and block in same storage pool – via optional FS8600 scale-out NAS appliance
  • Integration with PS Series (EqualLogic™) arrays — Unified management and bi-directional replication lets you combine two platforms in a single solution.
  • Dell EMC ecosystem support – PowerPath, ViPR, VPLEX, RecoverPoint, Connectrix, Data Domain and more.
  • Broad 3rd-party integration – VMware, Microsoft, Oracle, OpenStack, IBM, CommVault, VERITAS, Foglight and more.
4:1 All Flash Storage Efficiency Guarantee

4:1 All-Flash Storage Efficiency Guarantee

SC Series arrays are efficient in ANY configuration (all-flash, hybrid and HDD) – but we know many businesses are especially concerned about expense when deploying all-flash arrays. That’s why we’re taking the risk out of AFAs by guaranteeing 4:1 efficiency for all-flash SC configurations. Dell EMC promises our all-flash arrays will provide an effective logical storage capacity at least four times the physical capacity of your purchased drives – or we’ll give you more drives at no charge.*

Dell EMC offers complete end-to-end services

Optimizing the IT lifecycle is vital. Dell EMC has expert services* for all lifecycle phases that save you time and resources, reduce effort, and improve your IT experience.
ProSupport Enterprise Suite

ProSupport Enterprise Suite

Gain the freedom to focus on your business transformation with the support expertise and insights Dell EMC is known for across the globe. Choose the right support based on the criticality of specific systems with available automated predictive analysis, collaborative third-party assistance and service account management.


ProDeploy Enterprise Suite helps you get more out of technology starting on day one. Trust Dell EMC experts to lead deployments from basic hardware installations through planning, configuration and complex integrations. Our complete suite of deployment services and professional certifications helps you achieve business outcomes today and tomorrow.


Education Services offers an expansive suite of training services with multiple delivery methods, including instructor-led, self-paced online and virtual instructor-led training. With comprehensive and flexible training programs, we make it easy to ensure your staff has the skills they need to successfully manage and utilize your new technology to its full potential.


Consulting services give expert guidance to help you grow, optimize and transform your IT environment at your own pace and budget. We employ a broad range of certified consultants and engineers, backed by program management teams, who can deliver deep technical expertise. We give you the confidence that your project will be done right and on time.