Dell DX Object Storage Platform dumped in favor of software-only model

Dell no longer selling its DX Object Storage Platform as integrated bundle; will make Caringo CAStor object software available as download.

Dell is discontinuing its DX Object Storage Platform appliance, which includes software from Caringo integrated with select PowerEdge servers. Dell will instead sell the Caringo CAStor object-based software as a digital download that customers can run on any of the vendor's servers.

Sales of the Dell DX Object Storage Platform began in 2010 through an OEM deal with Caringo. The DX consisted of Caringo CAStor software bundled with Dell PowerEdge r500 and r700 servers, and was used mainly for archiving and compliance.

The news of Dell's DX object storage replacement first came in a press release from Caringo announcing the software-only model.

In an email response, Dell spokesperson Lon Levitan confirmed the DX integrated appliance will be discontinued. He said customers have been asking for more flexible hardware options to deploy object storage.

Brandon Canaday, Caringo's vice president of strategic accounts, said customers often wanted different hardware configurations than the PowerEdge r500 and r700. Canaday said the integrated DX software and hardware storage nodes were limited to a 2U form factor, supporting up to 12 drives and 36 TB of capacity. However, Dell has other chassis with higher density.

The Caringo CAStor object storage software is designed to work on standard x86 architectures.

"Many customers have a broader set of configurations that are not supported by the r500 and r700," Canaday said. "The appliance model is built on the assumption that one size fits all and in the market we serve, that is not the case. We need to be more flexible to meet our customers' needs."

Dell and Caringo currently are working on a timeline for the transition, which is expected to be completed on July 31.

"In the future, our software will be configured based on the use case," Canaday said.

Dell will continue to support DX systems sold, which apparently is not a high number.

"If you're interested in how many DX6000 customers we have, I'd say it's a fraction of one percent of our Compellent and EqualLogic customer base," Dell's Levitan wrote.

Dell's storage division has gone through recent management changes. Former Storage Chief Darren Thomas left the company in December. Alan Atkinson, vice president and general manager of Compellent, and Pete Korce, vice president and general manager of EqualLogic and NAS Storage Solutions, are leading Dell's storage business. Michael Dell and Dell's directors are also attempting to take the company private.

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