Five high-end storage advantages the new SC4020 creates for organizations of all sizes

Today, the ability to handle huge workloads for applications such as OLTP, virtualization or VDI is a base requirement for nearly every business – so why should the technology enablers be limited to the largest installations?  It’s time for a practical storage solution that packs large-scale operational punch in an “any scale” solution format.

That’s why I’m so excited about the new Dell Storage SC4020 array we announced at Dell User Forum Miami today.  This box is pure enterprise, but it’s delivered in a compact design that can meet the space and budget requirements of both smaller standalone SANs and satellite deployments within a distributed infrastructure. Based on the larger Dell Compellent SC8000, this dual-controller array features a 2U all-in-one chassis with easy expansion via standard Dell SC Series drive enclosures.  You can host up to 10,000 Microsoft Exchange mailboxes in this quick-to-deploy 2U footprint.

But the real story is the top-end SC Series features and management capabilities.  Here are five enterprise features that now make sense even for small- and mid-sized deployments. Each has a distinct business advantage – and if you’re unfamiliar with the details, I encourage you to contact a Dell representative to learn more. These game-changers can make a solid competitive difference for your organization this year.

  • Flash optimization – With the SC4020, you can afford to put 100% of your hot data on flash – not just designated volumes. SC Series arrays leverage both write- and read-optimized SSDs to create pure-flash and hybrid solutions that are uniquely high-performing and affordable. Proven and widely adopted on the popular SC8000 platform (where SSD revenue now exceeds 15K HDD revenue), SC Series flash solutions have been successful in the market because they are cost-effective, fast and work flawlessly in real-world environments.  And now, in classic Dell style, the SC4020 is incorporating them in a broader range of end-to-end solutions, making them accessible to more businesses with pure flash solutions that cost up to 72% less than competing vendors1
  • Exclusive “Write Layer” performance advantage – For both SSD and HDD deployments, the fully-virtualized SC Series architecture directs ALL SC4020 writes – even modifications to cold data – to Tier 1 drives at blazing-fast RAID 10 performance levels. Data writes are never bogged down on slow storage, even if they belong to an infrequently-accessed volume. All volumes are virtualized across tiers and drives, and since the SC4020 treats reads and writes differently – each operation is performance-optimized. To put it in context, the SC4020 can, for instance, deliver 73,827 Oracle OLTP IOPs (70/30 R/W) with less than 1ms latency.  Bottom line, your applications will run faster and your users will stay happier
  • Auto-tiering efficiency – Although speed and low latency are the top priorities, SC Series arrays don’t force customers to simply throw money at the problem by buying the most expensive drives.  After data is written at RAID 10, it is converted to read-optimized RAID 5, saving Tier 1 space while preserving top read performance.  As it cools, data is automatically migrated to cost-optimized SSD or HDD tiers until it heats up again.  Hands-free intelligence, informed by real-time usage metadata, simultaneously tunes your environment for performance and cost-savings. No matter how large you scale with the SC4020, you’ll buy fewer drives overall – and a less expensive mix of drives.
  • Automated RAID provisioning — Other enterprise arrays offer thin capacity provisioning, but few if any also extend the concept to RAID provisioning. SC4020 enables multiple RAID levels per drive, which means there is no need to dedicate or pre-allocate RAID disk groups. Virtual RAID “pools” expand and contract automatically as needed, restriping data automatically when drives are added or removed. Not only will you spend less time managing your arrays – your resources will never be held captive by hard-configured, underutilized disk groups.
  • Integrated NAS option – Like the larger SC8000, SC4020 is fully integrated with the Dell Storage FS8600, powering FC or iSCSI block SANs and scalable NAS solutions simultaneously from the same pool.

And this is just the start. SC4020 has every additional feature you’d expect in an enterprise solution, including snapshots, sync/async replication, FastTrack hard disk optimization and more. True enterprise capabilities at the new SC4020 price points are nothing short of revolutionary, proving once again that Dell is changing the economics of enterprise storage.

1 – Source: Based on Dell analysis of competitive US list pricing comparing $/GB from Gartner Inc., CP Storage, as of May 27, 2014.  (#G14000111)

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.