Dell EMC – Future Direction for Mid-Range Storage

Dell and EMC became one company, Dell Technologies, on September 7th, 2016. This made it the largest data center infrastructure supplier in the world. It also brought together a wide range of different and in some cases, competing storage technologies.

What does this mean to current Dell and EMC storage customers and what does the future roadmap look like. As a Dell and EMC partner, Abtech Technologies has been given first hand access to this information and our engineers have also given their viewpoint on which technology fits which application.

Unity and SC (Compellent) – The way forward.
Dell has been putting much more emphasis on its SC range of storage arrays recently. The SC4020 and the new SCv2000 range are both aimed squarely at the affordable end of the midmarket for block and file storage applications. For larger environments, the new SC7000 and SC9000 platforms will scale in terms of both capacity and performance.

EMC has recently released its new Unity platform of unified storage. Designed entirely from the ground up, Unity offers a solution for both block and file data in a single array platform that is easy to configure and manage. Unity is best suited to customers with mixed block and file storage requirements and those that require maximum scalability (up to 10PB).

Here is an excerpt from the mid-range storage presentation at DellEMC World, which shows how DellEMC is positioning the two platforms:

The following table compares the maximum specs and features of the two platforms currently:

Legacy Dell EqualLogic Customers
The PS-Series platform is still available but Dell has made no secret that it is moving customers to the SC platform. The SCv2000 and SC4020 series are priced competitively and offer future-proof options to replace legacy EqualLogic arrays. The SC interface is similar to the current PS (EqualLogic) series and replication between PS and SC is now available. This makes migration and training less of an issue for existing Dell customers. Dell has also introduced a number of discount programs through their channel partners to incentivize EqualLogic PS customers to upgrade to SC Series.

Legacy PowerVault Storage Customers
As with the PS-series customers, PowerVault customers are encouraged to look at the entry level SC storage. The PowerVault will continue to be made available and is still the platform of choice for low cost, but high performance, scalable mid-range storage. However, the SC series will eventually take over this role and customers should consider this route to be completely future proofed. Channel only promotions are currently available on additional trays for PowerVault MD arrays including flash configurations.

Legacy EMC VNX and VNXe Customers
The VNX and VNXe have been EMC’s mid-range platforms for several years. They offer a wide range of controllers options and both SAN and NAS capabilities. However, EMC took the decision to completely re-engineer the platform to create Unity. Like customers on the Dell side, legacy VNX and VNXe customers should consider the new Unity platform if they are looking to refresh their storage.


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