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Dell EMC injects PowerEdge into ScaleIO Nodes, DSSD

Dell EMC uses Dell PowerEdge x86 servers for new ScaleIO Ready Nodes -- including an all-flash model -- and adds DSSD D5 flash array cards to PowerEdge rack servers.

The Dell-EMC merger is barely a week old, and the combined company has already merged Dell servers into two EMC storage products.

Dell EMC today launched ScaleIO Ready Node, a software-defined block storage system that will ship on Dell PowerEdge x86 rack server. The flagship Dell EMC ScaleIO Nodes system is an all-flash configuration.

The new ScaleIO Nodes comes three days after the launch of the Dell EMC DSSD D5 Rack-Scale Flash system that combines PowerEdge R730 servers with EMC's rack-scale flash array.

ScaleIO among several Dell EMC 'Server SAN' products

ScaleIO software runs on server clusters to provide the benefits of a storage network. ScaleIO SANs require a minimum of three nodes, and Dell EMC claims it can scale to thousands of server nodes. Customers can also download ScaleIO software and run it on their servers of choice.

Jyothi Swaroop, Dell EMC head of product marketing for software defined storage, converged infrastructure, called the move to Dell PowerEdge servers "a natural progression."

EMC previously made ScaleIO available as part of a VxRack configuration on Quanta servers. Swaroop said Dell EMC will no longer sell the VxRack product but may add a new VxRack lineup with Dell servers.

The new ScaleIO Nodes can include hypervisors to run as hyper-converged systems. They support VMware vSphere, Microsoft Windows Servers 2012 and Hyper-V, KVM and OpenStack.

We're going after the whales. We're going after Fortune 500 companies.
Jyothi Swaroophead of product marketing for software-defined storage, converged infrastructure, Dell EMC

Dell EMC also sells VxRail hyper-converged systems built on VMware Virtual SAN (VSAN) software. Dell Technologies acquired VMware as part of the $60 billion-plus EMC deal.

Swaroop said ScaleIO is designed for much larger installations than VxRail. The target ScaleIO Nodes customer is a large cloud provider or telecom company looking to build a large storage installation based on commodity hardware.

"We're going after the whales," Swaroop said. "We're going after Fortune 500 companies. We're going after deals in the millions of dollars as opposed to just five-node or 10-node deployments at small to medium businesses. The key focus area for us is large-scale customers who want to start small and grow to thousands of nodes."

Dell EMC will install DSSD cards in PowerEdge boxes

Dell EMC rolled out its DSSD D5 flash with PowerEdge at the SAS Analytics Experience conference Monday. The DSSD D5 is a rack-scale server-based flash system designed for analytics and other extreme performance applications.

The DSSD integration with Dell servers isn't as deep as with ScaleIO Nodes. The goal is to make it easier to set up 2S/2U PowerEdge R730 servers with DSSD, which requires customers to use proprietary adapter cards with their servers. Dell EMC will factory install DSSD client cards with the PowerEdge servers to facilitate implementation.

Matt McDonough, senior director of product management and marketing for DSSD, said there are no plans for similar arrangements with other server vendors.

"Dell was a big focus because roughly 65% of our existing customer base was buying PowerEdge rack servers with DSSD," he said. "It was a natural fit."

Next Steps

ScaleIO Node models get SDS on commodity hardware

Learn the difference between EMC's ScaleIO, VMware VSAN software and ViPR

Consulting form boosts performance with EMC DSSD D5 arrays

Dig Deeper on All-flash arrays