Dell and Partners Accelerating SDS Innovation

While it’s true that software-defined storage is being deployed with increasing frequency – industry analysts estimate it to be growing more than 20 percent annually with HCI growing even faster at nearly 60 percent – vendor offerings and delivery models are diverse and need to be aligned with the customer’s use case, environment and other requirements. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution for SDS and successful deployment is largely dependent on picking the “right tool for the job.”

That’s why over the last four years, Dell has taken a forward-looking approach to software defined storage by partnering with leading companies like Microsoft, Nexenta, Nutanix, Scality and VMware. This is the same tailored choice strategy we employ for hyper-converged infrastructure. In case you missed it, recently we made a big Hyper-converged Infrastructure (HCI) announcement where we expanded our already industry-leading portfolio of HCI solutions with new additions including VCE VxRail appliances and VxRack systems, enhancements to our XC Series of Web-Scale Converged appliances powered by Nutanix and flexible VMware Virtual SAN Ready Nodes.

This approach enables us to leverage our proven PowerEdge server platform, storage expertise and best-of-breed SDS software to offer workload-specific solutions that are configured, validated, and tested with a single point of support for our customers.

We’ve developed a very open SDS portfolio providing tailored choice by partnering with leading storage software providers to jointly-engineer agile, open solutions that reduce capital and operating expenditures, simplify deployment and management, and maintain flexibility for future growth. Here are a few recent examples of our collaborative relationships and how our customers are deploying software-defined storage solutions in their environments.

Customer Momentum

One SDS solution customers favor is the Dell XC Web-scale Converged Appliance powered by Nutanix. Dell XC Series appliances install quickly, integrate easily into any data center, and can be deployed for multiple virtualized workloads including desktop virtualization, database and private cloud projects. Dell recently became the industry’s first Nutanix-based hyper-converged infrastructure solution to incorporate the latest Intel Broadwell processors.

  • CarePoint Health, which operates three hospitals and more than 55 medical practices in New Jersey, upgraded its outdated IT infrastructure with Dell XC Series Software-Defined Storage. Now CarePoint Health has the ability to scale systems and eliminate other infrastructure. “Our goal is to provide our medical professionals with ‘invisible IT’ that makes it easier for them to care for patients. The Dell XC Appliances give our staff a highly-available, reliable storage solution and the hyper-converged form factor reduces complexity for our IT generalists. Additionally, the XC appliances allow us to scale as our needs grow in the future.” – Joel Taylor, chief information officer at CarePoint Health

Customers are also choosing our Dell Nexenta solutions that enable enterprise data centers to meet large-scale capacity requirements cost-effectively and to upgrade as needed, without disruption.

  • U2 Cloud, a hosting provider in Florida, needed large-scale, affordable content solutions. U2 adopted software-defined networking (SDN) and SDS from Dell and Nexenta, including NexentaStor SDS software, as well as Dell servers and storage. “The Dell Nexenta solution gave us the performance and cost-per-user we needed. Now we can add new users quickly and efficiently.” – Pete Valentine, executive president at U2 Cloud

Dell Storage for Microsoft Storage Spaces provides an effective storage building block and a simple, effective architecture that enables end-to-end architectures for workload-specific solutions such as private cloud deployments (using Microsoft Azure), SQL, Hyper-V or as a storage target for backup and recovery.

  • Fasthosts, a United Kingdom-based domain web hosting service, selected a Dell Storage for Microsoft Storage Spaces solution using Dell MD series storage and PowerEdge servers, all backed by Dell ProSupport. Fasthosts needed a storage system for its SMB customers that provided an easily accessible cloud platform. As a result, Fasthosts’ customers have noticed the performance improvements for their websites and applications. “With SDS, we created a solution to rival other large, out-of-the-box cloud solutions. Microsoft and Dell demonstrated that this offers better value, meaning we can concentrate on what we do best: hosting and automating high-quality technology.”- James Brown, product manager at Fasthosts

Expanding Dell Collaboration with Scality

Today, Dell and Scality announced that we have combined engineering efforts to offer the Dell SD7000-S for Scality RING environments – the industry’s densest object storage platform with 172TB of raw capacity per rack unit.

The Dell SD7000-S storage server is configured, validated and tested for Scality RING software. It provides an effective solution for capacity-intensive file and object storage in content distribution, active archives, media and entertainment, and web and cloud environments. The SD7000-S with Scality RING can expand to multiple petabytes and billions of objects with near-linear performance scaling, offering joint customers a single source for acquisition, deployment and support. This ultra-dense storage server provides several benefits to customers, including:

  • Reduced datacenter power, cooling and rack space;
  • More efficient deployment; and
  • Less hardware to manage and maintain for RING deployments

These are just a few examples of how Dell is working with customers and partners on a global level to offer the industry’s most comprehensive and tailored portfolio of SDS solutions. We are focused on the needs of our customers and will continue to accelerate the pace of innovation to offer SDS solutions that meet the unique demands of their workload requirements and deliver lasting business value.

Travis Vigil

About the Author: Travis Vigil

Travis Vigil is Senior Vice President leading Portfolio and Product Management for Dell’s Infrastructure Solutions Group (ISG). He and his team are responsible for Dell’s Server, Storage, Data Protection, CI/HCI, Networking and Solutions businesses. He has over 20 years of Product Management, Marketing and Business Operations experience with technology companies including Intel and Dell. In previous roles at Dell, he served as Senior Vice President for Storage and Data Protection Product Management, and Senior Vice President for Business Operations focused on Dell’s Server, Storage and Networking Businesses. He has a B.S. from Stanford University and an M.B.A. from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.