Dell EMC upgrades PowerMax storage systems with NVMe over fabric, dual port Intel Optane drives

The upgrades also add integrations that'll help in multi-cloud deployments.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor on

Dell EMC overhauled its PowerMax storage systems to include dual-port Intel Optane drives, NVMe over Fabric across the portfolio and integrations with VMware, Ansible and Kubernetes.

The company's PowerMax line launched a year ago to target industries such as banking, cloud service providers and healthcare that need low latency and resiliency.

In addition, the new Dell EMC PowerMax systems are validated for Dell Technologies Cloud, architecture and platform designed to bridge multi-cloud deployments. Dell Technologies is systematically adding building blocks for multi-cloud deployments that can connect to private clouds as well as AWS, Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure.

The biggest takeaway is that Dell EMC PowerMax systems use non-volatile memory express (NVMe) interconnects over fiber across its portfolio. NVMe has gone mainstream and multiple storage makers--HPE, Pure Storage and others--have been rolling out systems.

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According to Dell EMC, the updated PowerMax systems are the first to market with the dual-port Intel Optane drives and use of Storage Class Memory (SCM) as persistent storage. Dell and Intel partnered on the development.


PowerMax 2000 can fit standard 19-inch with its two available bricks. The PowerMax 8000 can house up to four bricks in a single cabinet and eight bricks on two-floor tiles.

The coupling of NVMe and Intel Optane on dual port give the new PowerMax systems up to 15M IOPs, or 50% better than the previous system, with up to 50% better response times and twice the bandwidth.

Meanwhile, the Dell EMC PowerMax systems come with a machine learning engine that places data on SCM or NVMe depending on its IO profile. PowerMax can analyze and forecast up to 40 million data sets in real-time.

As for the integrations, Dell EMC added a VMware vRealize Orchestrator plug-in to automate tasks like provisioning and data protection. There are also pre-built modules for Red Hat Ansible to manage data workflows and a Container Storage Interface plug-in. Both the Red Hat Ansible and container tools are available on GitHub.

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