Dell brings affordability to enterprise storage for midmarket

Dell is ramping up its storage product line with high-performance enterprise capabilities, including all-flash and hyper-converged appliances.

Dell said its next line of storage products will be focused on servicing two broad customer deployment scenarios: Traditional and new IT.

In line with this strategy, the company announced on Wednesday that it will be adding three new products to its storage portfolio.

Storage
Dell helping businesses find the balance between traditional IT and new IT. Image: Screenshot by Aimee Chanthadavong/ZDNet

The first will be the Dell storage SC420 entry-level all-flash array configuration for $25,000. It is aimed at assisting organisations gain better performance out of their storage arrays, so they can address the growing demands of their applications — whether that's virtualisation, database, private cloud, or VDI — on the server.

"We believe with this offering, Dell will be the most affordable all-flash array solution provider for mid-range storage array as a major vendor in the market," Dell storage executive director Travis Vigil told ZDNet.

"If you look at the history of our storage portfolio, we've really focused on redefining economics of enterprise storage, and this is just another example of Dell making sophisticated technology easier to use by lowering acquisition costs and focusing on how to reduce total cost of ownership for customers deploying storage in their datacentre."

Vigil added that the company's design points continue to be focused on bringing high-performance enterprise features, which were previously costly, to a scale that is affordable by mid-market customers. This strategy has been ongoing, and was further boosted when Dell acquired Compellent for $960 million back in 2010.

The second release will see Dell add to its Dell Storage PS series of entry-level storage arrays with the Dell Storage PS4210. It will be the latest addition to what has traditionally been a smaller entry level for Dell EqualLogic iSCSI-based storage array series.

Vigil said the PS4210 will supersede the PS4110 and the PS41100, which are existing models in the portfolio.

"We're offering a model that offers twice the cache, twice the number of 10GB ports, and up to six times the performance improvements versus the predecessor array. This is going to be the first time for the PS4000 series that we bring to market which has hybrid support, so there's the ability to offer a tiered SSD and spinning media configuration to get that right blend of performance and capacity," he said.

The product line was initially introduced when Dell acquired EqualLogic in 2008, and, since then, IDC has rated Dell as the "worldwide leader" in iSCSI arrays.

"We've attributed this to having a good value proposition around the ease of use of enterprise storage capability, affordability, and scalability," Vigil said.

"I'm glad to report that we've seen great continued interest in the PS series. We've shipped more than 150,000 EqualLogic arrays, and when you talk about storage array, that's a pretty big number, and out of 50,000 of those were shipped in the last two years."

Dell XC Series Front Angle
Dell XC series Image: Supplied

Dell is also expanding its software-defined data storage portfolio, announcing the availability of the Dell XC series of web-scale converged appliances powered by Nutanix. This announcement comes following Dell inking an OEM relationship with Nutanix back in June. As part of that deal, both companies were going to bring to market a Dell-branded version of the Nutanix software running on Dell hardware.

To be shipping globally as of November 11, the XC series is Nutanix's OEM software running on five different configurations of Dell's x86 PowerEdge platform. Five different models that will be offered will vary pending on the workload that users are targeting, and each will differ on CPU types, SSD capacity, and HD capacity.

"With XC series, you're able to have a hyper-converged compliance that allows you to run compute and storage on the same physical hardware. We're seeing this is a new IT approach to deploying infrastructure," Vigil said, noting that this approach is well suited for VDI workloads, private cloud, remote office brand, and disaster recovery.

Aimee Chanthadavong travelled as a guest of Dell to Dell World 2014.

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