Arraya Insights | June 25, 2020
PowerScale, the latest entry in Dell EMC’s storage portfolio and the official successor to the Isilon solution line, reached general availability recently. With this new release, Dell EMC seeks to address the ever-expanding need for help managing and storing unstructured data, particularly in the form of documents, images, and videos. Research firm Gartner anticipates this need will triple by 2024. Should Gartner’s projection hold true, now is the time to look into how to best capture and capitalize on unstructured data sets.
It’s more than just the “power” branding that PowerScale shares with another new Dell EMC offering, PowerStore. The two solutions were also both built to help organizations navigate what Dell EMC has dubbed “the data era,” essentially the data-intensive world we live in right now (Note: You can read all about PowerStore and what it means for organizations in need of a midrange storage solution in our blog post Dell EMC PowerStore: 7 Stats That Set It Apart).
The outgoing Isilon brand has earned a lot of good will amongst data center professionals over the years. Filling those shoes promises to be a big job and we checked with our in-house data center team to see if PowerScale looks up to the task.
4 highlights from Dell EMC’s PowerScale announcement
Here are four reasons our data center team thinks it’s worth keeping a close eye on PowerScale now that it is available in the wild:
- Operating system consistency and improvement. The OneFS operating system should already be familiar to those who’ve used Isilon as it previously powered those servers. PowerScale will continue this tradition by utilizing OneFS version 9.0. Admins who’ve worked with the Isilon line previously will likely see some similarities, however, there are some enhancements coming as well. Supercharged data reduction capabilities will allow organizations to use their storage space more efficiently. New integrations such as Amazon S3 protocol support give customers the chance to build new applications directly in the cloud while Kubernetes and Ansible support can make the app dev process more efficient. Finally, this new version of OneFS has been decoupled from the underlying hardware, opening up new frontiers on the edge and in the cloud while also expanding use cases and shrinking price points.
- More intelligent data management. As the name clearly implies, the inclusion of DataIQ software is all about injecting additional intelligence into data management. It does this by first sniffing out all unstructured data across a landscape that includes PowerScale and PowerStore as well as third party and public cloud storage solutions. Once discovery concludes, DataIQ indexes that data, making it possible for admins to search what they have and apply policies as the need dictates. The resulting comprehensive storage snapshot means fewer data siloes and empowers admins to quickly find the data they need and put it to work. Another intelligence-boosting piece of software – CloudIQ – lets admins keep close watch over the health of their environment. They can see, in real time, performance and capacity analytics (backed by historical data) which make it possible to spot complications before they occur.
- Industry-leading hardware foundation. PowerScale’s hardware profile varies depending on the flavor of the solution an organization elects to go with, e.g., PowerScale F600 All-NVMe or PowerScale F200 All-Flash. No matter the build an organization chooses, they will receive one with an impressive list of credentials and technological capabilities. For example, scale is part of the brand and PowerScale can grow from 11TB of raw capacity up to 50PB by adding more nodes in as little as 60 seconds. This can be achieved through the use of new 1U PowerEdge-based nodes as well as existing Isilon all-flash, hybrid and archive nodes – with no disruption to existing operations and minimal administrative overhead. Those new PowerScale F200 nodes promise 5x the speed of their Isilon forerunners. Meanwhile, the enhanced data reduction we mentioned earlier can make the platform 6x more efficient than legacy solutions. From a throughput perspective, PowerScale can handle nearly 16 million IOPS per cluster. This processing might make the solution well-versed at handling demanding workloads including AI and analytics. Lastly, PowerScale’s failover flexibility enables 85% storage utilization and the ability to survive multiple node outages.
- Public cloud integration. There is one final point about PowerScale that our team wanted to cover in this post. We hinted briefly at PowerScale’s ability to play nice with the cloud earlier, but there’s still room left to explore regarding this topic. PowerScale for multi-cloud allows organizations to leverage all major public clouds, including Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services, as part of a hybrid storage model. Use cases for this capability include any organizations looking to run resource-intensive applications without overburdening their onsite environments. Instead, these applications can be shifted offsite and into the organization’s cloud platform of choice. Efficiency is another topic that has already come up in this post. However, this is just one more way in which PowerScale lets organizations operate as effectively as possible.
Next Steps: Learn more about PowerScale, Data Center Modernization
PowerScale is still a relatively new solution and the above represents only a sampling of what it can do. If you’d like to keep this conversation going – or would like to take a broader look at how you can modernize and refine your own data center, Arraya’s team is ready. Simply reach out today to schedule an assessment or conversation!
Visit https://www.arrayasolutions.com/contact-us/ to connect with our team.
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