Automating File Storage Management with Dell APEX and Terraform

Ramp up infrastructure-as-code best practices with APEX Navigator for Multicloud Storage with Terraform for both block and now file storage.

In January, Dell Technologies introduced Terraform on APEX Block Storage for AWS and APEX Navigator for Multicloud Storage. And because of Dell’s API-first strategy, building in file storage with PowerScale support is now available. As previously mentioned, the acceleration of automation across workflows is strategically important for DevOps momentum. Incorporating tools such as Terraform into the storage workflow provides basic and commonly repeatable tasks that lower the burden on developers who need quick and easy access. Additionally, having the ability to run the tasks through APEX Navigator and APEX Block Storage for AWS enables customers to gain high-performance, scale and cost optimization benefits. Having centralized management and less DIY or Bare Metal configurations can alleviate maintenance headaches, while quickly upskilling the organization.

With Terraform, practitioners can build plans or playbooks that provide resources across multisite environments, create, update or destroy configurations based on needs and perform the plans in the order given. Terraform’s easy-to-create human-readable configuration files are versioned, reusable and shareable, meaning the ability to scale across multisite environments is seamless. Additionally, users can commit configurations to version control to safely collaborate with one another, while Terraform state tracks resource changes throughout the deployments. The ability to collaborate across environments without disruption is key to organizational growth and increased product first approaches that business need to be competitive and innovative.

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The introduction of file automation capabilities through Terraform not only rounds out a lot of customers’ storage environment infrastructure-as-code (IaC) needs but also can expedite the onboarding for high value and unstructured workloads whether they be for medical imaging or entertainment media, as examples, or the explosion of generative AI (GenAI). AI requires high-performance computing, networking, high capacity and low-latency storage. The ability to quickly address specific storage needs for new high-value workloads such as GenAI will benefit from having fast access to underlying AI constructs. The dependable deployment and repeatability without disruption of Terraform’s declarative plans bolsters and expediates the onboarding for AI data processing and training.

As of this release, the following management aspects in APEX Navigator are available through the Terraform Provider:

    • Deployment of PowerScale clusters from AWS marketplace and/or APEX File Storage for AWS, provisioning of file shares.
    • Deployment of PowerFlex clusters from AWS marketplace and/or APEX Block Storage for AWS, provisioning of storage volumes.
    • Decommissioning of block and file instances to reduce risk, such as the removal of a cluster from AWS, and deleting storage volumes and file shares.
    • Data mobility between APEX Block Storage for AWS and Dell PowerFlex on-premises.

Learn more about Dell APEX Navigator and how to get started using all these great features today with a risk-free 90-day evaluation

1 Subject to availability. Terms and conditions apply: for Dell APEX Navigator view the Dell Cloud Service Offering Agreement. For Dell APEX Navigator for Multicloud Storage, view the Dell APEX Navigator for Multicloud Service Offering Description. For Dell APEX Block Storage for AWS and Dell APEX File Storage for AWS, view Dell’s Software Evaluation Agreement. Terms apply to Dell offers only.

About the Author: Magi Kapoor

Magi Kapoor is a seasoned product management leader and is driving Dell Technologies Multicloud SaaS strategy. She has 20 years of experience in the storage industry with responsibilities spanning product management, systems engineering, technical marketing, business strategy and product development. Magi has a track record of successfully launching and managing full lifecycle of multiple enterprise storage products and cloud offerings. Magi holds a B.S. in Computer Science from Iowa State University, and an MBA from Babson College. Connect with Magi on X @Magi_Kapoor.