Dell EMC PowerFlex – Providing the Latest in Software-Defined Storage

Aug 21, 2020

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As the world becomes increasingly interconnected and data multiplies at an exponential rate, opportunities abound for the development of dynamic new applications and services that can harness this data to drive improved business outcomes. Technology providers that want to capitalize on data are looking for the technology required to complete their solutions and keep ahead of their competitors. This is an important reason why so many organizations today are looking to modernize with a software-defined approach.

Software-defined infrastructure offers the ability to deliver better outcomes by combining industry-standard hardware components and protocols with software to pool and manage resources. Many organizations are finding that such an approach gives them the best opportunity to embrace and capitalize on the momentous degree of change happening daily in the world. To meet the needs of forward-thinking organizations, the Dell EMC PowerFlex Software-Defined Storage solution was recently released. PowerFlex offers extensive flexibility, high-end performance at scale, and significantly enhanced operational efficiency in modern infrastructure.

Flexibility for Any Architecture

Flexibility is a critical component to consider in software-defined storage solutions. The Dell EMC PowerFlex delivers on this front by allowing organizations to use it in single-layer/hyper-converged (HCI), two-layer, or storage-only deployments. These various architecture options enable benefits in different ways, and with PowerFlex, they can even be mixed within a single deployment.

With HCI architecture, compute, and storage is combined into a single node that hosts both applications and datasets. The nodes act as pre-defined building blocks that can be replicated over and over. The two-layer architecture separates application performance from the datasets. It is an excellent choice for data-intensive workloads or any deployment where the ability to scale compute, and storage separately is necessary. Organizations often take advantage of two-layer architecture to reduce application costs for business-critical applications, such as Oracle. For organizations seeking a more incremental approach to the software-defined paradigm, a storage-only deployment is an excellent option because compute workloads can remain on existing servers. With PowerFlex, these workloads still benefit from the services provided by the software-defined storage platform.

The full architectural freedom afforded by PowerFlex empowers tremendous flexibility to scale and evolve infrastructures as new needs emerge and additional services are deployed.

Performance and Resiliency

A software-defined storage solution must provide reliable performance to business-critical workloads and can scale-up as new services are brought online. With PowerFlex, organizations can start with as few as four nodes, each that run software that aggregates data and other resources across the entire pool. From a data perspective, up to 100Gbps network infrastructure is supported.

This combination of large resource pools and uniform data distribution without a network bottleneck allows PowerFlex to deliver millions of IOPS at sub-millisecond latency along with unrestricted throughput, which is critical for analytics applications and other data-intensive services. Importantly, scaling from four PowerFlex nodes to thousands can be done on-demand to support incrementally increasing application needs over time without disrupting business operations. Any specific workloads deemed particularly mission-critical or performance hungry are also easily isolated with protection groups to ensure their resiliency and availability.

Efficient Operations and Deployment

The flexibility and high-performance offerings of the PowerFlex platform do not come at the expense of management simplicity. In fact, PowerFlex offers a comprehensive set of tools for efficiently operating the entire infrastructure. PowerFlex Manager is an operational and lifecycle management tool that updates PowerFlex and allows for the automation of infrastructure workflows from BIOS and firmware to nodes, hypervisors, and networking. Additionally, the PowerFlex software licensing model is all-inclusive and provides a range of critical data services, including high-availability with quick rebuilds, native data replication and snapshots, integrated hardware-based encryption, and data reduction.

Organizations that choose to deploy PowerFlex have options when it comes to their consumption model, depending on their unique needs. PowerFlex rack is a rack-scale engineered system offering compute and high-performance storage with integrated networking that provides linear scalability to hundreds of nodes and racks. It is engineered, manufactured, managed, supported, and sustained as one system for exceptional end-to-end support. Another option is the PowerFlex appliance, a pre-configured and validated appliance that can scale from a minimal footprint to hundreds of nodes. The PowerFlex appliance fits into the “bring your own” consumption model as it can be easily added to an organization’s existing networking environment.

Capitalize on the Value of Data with Cutting-Edge Storage Solutions

To succeed in today’s era of big data and relentless innovation, organizations must be ready to adapt to change quickly. New technologies offer tremendous advantages by addressing the workload, scalability, and performance requirements of the solution. By harnessing the power of software, Dell EMC PowerFlex allows businesses to embrace the challenges of modernization head-on to deliver consistent, high-quality outcomes.

UNICOM Engineering understands the tremendous value of data in today’s economy. We have partnered with industry leader, Dell Technologies, for decades to provide our customers with the best data storage solutions for their applications. To learn more about Dell EMC PowerFlex and see how UNICOM Engineering can streamline your software-defined storage solution, watch our Build on Dell video, or visit contact us today to schedule a consultation.

Category: Technology