Dell Scale-out Unified Storage – If you like what’s new, wait ‘till you see what’s next

This year, the Dell Storage Forum is in Boston. We kicked things off yesterday – Brad Anderson spoke about Dell’s approach to designing end-to-end enterprise solutions. And the proof point is amazing: the PS M4110 – servers, networking, and storage all in a single server blade chassis solution.

This morning Darren Thomas spoke about  additional enhancements to the Dell Storage portfolio. One of the most interesting parts of his discussion was the announcement of Dell Fluid File System 2.0.

Last year about this time we introduced the first generation of Dell unified storage systems based on Dell storage arrays and Exanet technology that we acquired in 2010. These systems were designed to work with Dell EqualLogic and PowerVault platforms and enable file system/file share scalability to 500TB, all within a single namespace. Adoption by our customers has been strong and hundreds have been deployed with EQL and PV storage arrays since then.

We’ve been executing our roadmap strategy. Now we’re introducing the next generation of our file system, FluidFS along with a purpose built NAS hardware platform that’s been optimized for the file system architecture. What’s new is pretty cool.

First of all, we’ve gone even further beyond the 8, 16 and even 100TB volume limits of traditional unified storage solutions. With FluidFS v2, our unified storage systems can manage up to 1PB of file data in a single namespace.  And with support for async file-level replication on EqualLogic, we have an HA architecture with a consistent feature set across all our storage product lines.

The FluidFS hardware is also new this year and now supports 8 Gb Fibre Channel as well as 1 Gb and 10 Gb Ethernet connectivity. With the new 2U platform was designed specifically for FluidFS and it uses fewer cables, less power and 1/3 less rack space.  It also has a PCIe backplane for communication between the controllers and all the primary components are hot swappable.

What’s next? With Ocarina dedupe and compression, AppAssure data protection and other technology IP in our portfolio, this is only the beginning!

About the Author: John Mannix