Deliver your critical data by the “speed of flash” to optimize your data center with Dell Compellent

Editor’s note: This post was co-written with Alan Atkinson, VP/ GM Dell Storage.

How are you addressing your exponential data growth and resulting application workload challenges? Two of the main considerations in choosing an IT solution today are performance and cost. In today’s virtualized application world where I/O access patterns are much more random, flash storage can deliver impressive performance due to the absence of rotational and seek latencies. For your other data, or if your business does not require extreme submillisecond performance, you might be considering traditional HDD drives or even a space-optimized dense storage enclosure.

For an everyday comparison,you are not likely going to ship all your business packages overnight express. Your critical documents that contain smaller amounts of data are likely to receive this preferential treatment, but your larger, less valuable packages also require a way to safely reach your destination with less cost and speed. Therefore, you may be considering a storage solution to address two different data storage scenarios—delivering high performance for OLTP and data-intensive workloads and providing less expensive storage for your less critical data that is not frequently accessed.

Today, at Dell Enterprise Forum (DEF) in San Jose, we announced the upcoming releases for the Dell Compellent platform, including Storage Center 6.4 array software, the new Flash-optimized solution, the new SC280 dense enclosure and the FS8600 with FluidFS v3.

Dell Compellent Storage Center 6.4 continues our legacy of innovation by enabling new tiers of storage to address today’s evolving data center challenges. This software amplifies the power of Compellent tiering by leveraging the performance gains of previously released Storage Center 6.3 to fully exploit high-speed flash storage, extends tiering to cost-efficient dense storage, and integrates management of block and file data while offering high performance at low cost. Storage Center 6.4 is the first storage solution in its class to tier sub-LUN data across traditional rotating drives, write-optimized SSDs, and read-optimized SSDs.1  You can look at tiering like an automated workflow that knows which “packages” of data require “immediate express delivery” and places them on that first tier (in this instance flash) and which “packages” of data can be safely stored on less expensive and slightly slower second tiers.

The new Compellent Flash-optimized solution enables all-flash performance while reducing costs by up to 75 percent compared to other flash-optimized solutions by automatically tiering data across write-intensive SLC and read-intensive MLC SSDs.[2] It improves performance for data-intensive applications and workloads in a high-performance storage solution that can achieve over 300,000 IOPS[3] with full enterprise features. You can choose an all-flash or a hybrid-flash configuration based on your requirements. With the cost-savings from the Compellent flash-optimized solution’s unique tiering, you may choose to use it for your most critical data that is in the “overnight express” category and even your “second-day delivery data” to give you a competitive edge.

In addition to our high-performance flash-optimized solution, we also announced the new Compellent SC280 dense enclosure that provides a cost- and space-efficient capacity-optimized tier for massively growing data requirements. It offers the best rack unit density of any major storage solution with 84 4TB drives equaling 336TB storage in a 5U footprint. This is for your less-critical data that needs to be available for access but not at a “flash-speed” expense and can be considered your “ground shipment” of data.

Storage Center 6.4 also incorporates the new Fluid File System (FluidFS) v3 updates for the FS8600 NAS, offering scale-out performance and intelligent data reduction for file storage. FluidFS v3 will support up to 2PB in a single namespace, approximately 2x increase over FluidFS v2[4].  With the deduplication and compression capabilities of the FS8600 NAS, you no longer have to pay to store the same file multiple times and you can truly maximize the use of your space. Without the benefits of deduplication and compression, it would be like delivering the same package twice or placing a small folder in a large box for shipment.

While attending DEF this week, please be sure to stop by and see our Compellent and FluidFS experts at the expo. We’d like to hear about your challenges and share how we can help optimize your data center. You can also contact your Dell representative to find out how the scalable, next-generation Compellent platform can deliver data at the “speed of flash” for your data-intensive workloads while providing cost-effective data management for all your storage tiers.

Learn about all of our Dell Storage updates on Facebook and Twitter, communicate with us about Compellent via our @Dell Compellent handle.

[1] Based on May 2013 internal Dell analysis, comparing EMC VNX Family, HP 3PAR StoreServ, HP EVA, IBM V7000, IBM XIV, Hitachi Data Systems HUS 100 Family, Oracle Sun ZFS Storage Family.

[2] Based on internal Dell TCO analysis of SSD drive usages and cost comparisons of MLC/SLC drives and spindle count performed in May 2013.

[3] Internal test performed by Dell in March 2013 with Storage Center v6.3.10 on dual SC8000 controllers running workloads using IOmeter with a 100% read, 100% sequential load w/ 4K sector transfer size achieved this IOPS.

[4] This represents approximately 2x increase over the 1PB namespace supported at launch of the Dell FS8600 with FluidFS v2

About the Author: Peter Korce