Sharing our storage vision

This is an exciting year for Dell storage customers because this is the year you will begin to see the results of our recent storage acquisitions – including Exanet, Ocarina and Compellent –  and how they combine to support our Dell storage vision. Most importantly, you will see how this strategy will help you use technology to support your business and get a competitive edge. This strategy builds on the commitment made last year to help you build a more efficient enterprise that can quickly respond to the opportunities presented by the Virtual Era. 

Dell's Fluid Data ArchitectureWhat you are seeing here is the transformation of Dell from a storage reseller to a storage company. This means that we have become a leading creator of new storage technology.   The companies we’ve purchased not only have great products, but have great development teams, teams that are consistently pushing forward the frontiers of storage technology. People have been asking about what Dell plans to do with all these companies.  Each one contributes not only an industry-leading product, but also some key technology that fits into Dell’s Fluid Data vision. Our strategy is to dramatically improve the way storage supports your business objectives at the same time that we dramatically improve the economics of buying and deploying storage.

The foundation of the Dell Fluid Data Architecture started three years ago with the wildly successful acquisition and integration of SAN provider EqualLogic. At the time, people said Dell was taking a risk on the unproven iSCSI market.  Today, Dell Equallogic is the market leader in iSCSI, the fastest growing segment in storage over the last 5 years. Exanet adds a scalable, fault-tolerant file system that we will roll out across all our product lines, starting with the launch of the PowerVault NX3500.  Ocarina will give us consistent and compatible dedupe across every product – which means that you get the benefits of data reduction not only on disk, but in every storage workflow that moves data. Compellent brings us an enterprise-scale storage platform, as well as industry-leading technology for dynamic storage tiering.  Compellent also contributes the term “Fluid Data”  – they’ve been using it to describe some of the breakthrough elements of their array, and it turns out to be a very good term to describe what we are doing with the whole product line. Your business is dynamic, your data needs to be fluid – it needs to flow to the right place at the right time to get the job done.

Dynamic storage tiering is a great example of Fluid Data. Today, many companies put all their data on fast, expensive storage, because they are not sure which data is active, and which data is not that active.  Better to be on the safe side.   But being on the safe side is expensive and inefficient. By collecting statistics on usage, Fluid Data can determine in real time where data needs to be.   If you can deploy a mix of fast storage and less inexpensive disk, knowing that dynamic storage tiering will make sure your data is in the right place at the right time, then you can not only save money but improve performance as well.  This is just one example of the Fluid Data Architecture in action.

One of our most gratifying proof points is that customers like you see the value in our offerings. We’re helping many customers worldwide, including Websense, Infinity Pharmaceuticals, South West Community Care Access Centre, Carnival Cruise Lines, AccuWeather and many others.

Our storage vision has always been, and will continue to be, making storage more capable and more affordable for our customers. This vision guides our development strategy and every acquisition we make. It is truly a joy sharing how all of the pieces are coming together to provide a consistent and compatible experience – directly impacting how you manage your information and grow your business.  I look forward to telling you more about what we are doing.  In my next blog post, I will go through the 6 key tenets that define the Dell Fluid Data Architecture..

See what others are saying about the Dell vision at Computerworld and as well as more on our announcement last week to invest $1B in technology solutions and services.

Do you have a question or comment about our storage vision? Share it here and join the conversation.

About the Author: Carter George