Dell's new SC4020 storage array is first in the SC4000 series. (Photo: Dell)

Dell's new SC4020 storage array is first in the SC4000 series. (Photo: Dell)

Dell Rolls Out Mid-Tier Storage Arrays, Accelerated Flash Appliances

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Dell announced a new series of full-featured enterprise data storage arrays, bolstering of its software-defined storage ecosystem and plans to broaden its portfolio with new converged server and storage appliances. Announcements were made at the U.S. Dell Forum event in Miami earlier this week.

Advanced features at lower cost

The new Dell Storage SC4000 Series arrays are based on Dell’s SC8000 platform and feature dual redundant controllers, 24 internal drives and eight ports of 8Gb Fibre Channel network access. The SC4020, the first entry in the SC4000 series, is a 24-drive 2U array that can scale up to 413 TB of raw capacity. Designed to provide the same advanced capabilities as enterprise-class arrays, the new series is able to support Fibre Channel and iSCSI connectivity.

Looking to be a blend of price and performance, the new array series is engineered to offer what some of the larger SANs do, but at a mid-sized SAN entry point. While it is an independent offering, it leverages technology from Dell’s Compellent and EqualLogic product lines. The SC4000 series features the same intelligent data placement capability as the Compellent SC8000, as well as write-optimized flash (SLC) and read-optimized flash (MLC) drives.

“Dell has excelled historically as an innovator that brings full-featured storage capabilities to lower price points, helping the vast majority of storage customers to benefit from advanced features previously only available to the largest storage deployments,” said Arun Taneja, founder and president of market research firm Taneja Group. “With the Dell Storage SC4000 Series, Dell brings all of these capabilities, such as intelligent tiering, thin provisioning and snapshots, to a new breed of customers.”

The Dell Storage SC4000 Series will be available worldwide during the third quarter of 2014

Workload-specific enterprise appliances

Dell also announced several appliances and integrated systems to target specific workloads and application optimization opportunities. They build on recent joint partner solutions and reference architectures with Oracle, SAP, Red Hat, Microsoft and SAP Hana.

In a new new agreement with Nutanix, Dell plans to offer customers the Dell XC Series of Web-scale Converged Appliances, which combine compute, storage and networking into a single offering, powered by Nutanix software. Dell’s approach to software defined storage is to offer integration with open source platforms and leading hypervisor vendors to provide a variety of solutions to address various business requirements.

The company also introduced the Dell Acceleration Appliance for databases, a pre-built, pre-integrated appliance designed to accelerate leading database environments including MySQL, Sybase, Microsoft SQL and MongoDB. This solution includes Dell PowerEdge Servers, Dell Storage and Dell Networking, with application acceleration technology from Fusion-io to improve database performance. An integrated systems appliance was also introduced for Oracle 12c databases to help customers migrate to and accelerate current Oracle 12c environments.

Dell is working with Cloudera and Intel to launch new Dell In-Memory Appliances for Cloudera Enterprise aimed at accelerating Hadoop deployments. The appliances will uniquely join Cloudera Enterprise and Intel’s performance and security optimized chipset and ScaleMP’s Versatile SMP architecture to aggregate multiple x86 servers into a single virtual machine to create large memory pools for in-memory processing.

About the Author

John Rath is a veteran IT professional and regular contributor at Data Center Knowledge. He has served many roles in the data center, including support, system administration, web development and facility management.

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