Advanced Computing in the Age of AI|Tuesday, July 7, 2020
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Dell EMC Looks to Scale File, Object Storage 

Infrastructure vendors are increasingly turning their attention to hyper-storage systems enterprise customers require to organize and leverage mountains of unstructured data.

Comes now the latest offering from Dell Technologies (NYSE: DELL) that meshes hardware and software-defined storage designed to help manage file and object data stored either on-premises, in public clouds or the network edge. The hybrid storage framework is predicated on forecasts that unstructured data volumes stored as files or objects will triple by 2024.

The company’s PowerScale approach announced this week is built around Dell EMC servers running an upgraded version of the operating system used for its Isilon network-attached storage platform. Referred to as “the glue,” the OneFS operating system has been upgraded with capabilities such as Amazon Web Services S3 object storage access and support for the Ansible software provisioning and the Kubernetes cluster orchestrator.

The combination of PowerEdge servers and the upgraded file system software is designed to scale as needed, with the ability to spin up new storage nodes in as little as a minute. That scaling ability along with file and object data storage across hybrid infrastructure is touted by Dell as handling “any data at any location.”

Dell EMC said Tuesday (June 16) its PowerScale family is built around new PowerEdge-based all-flash and NVMe nodes as well as existing Isilon all-flash, hybrid and archive nodes running the PowerScale OneFS 9.0 operating system.

Along with quickly adding new storage nodes, the framework handles upgrades and decommissions old nodes, with “no nodes left behind,” the company said.

The PowerScale family that includes all-flash and full NVMe versions tops out at 15.8 million input-output operations per second per cluster. Those clusters can scale up to 60 petabytes while handling “millions of file operations,” the company said.

The F200 all-flash version is touted as five times faster than its predecessor.

Dell is aiming PowerScale at enterprise storage applications increasingly relying on unstructured data, ranging from AI, streaming data and data analytics to Internet of Things and healthcare workloads.

Dell EMC also joins a growing list of storage vendors seeking to incorporate business intelligence and infrastructure monitoring tools into scalable storage platforms. To that end, PowerScale adds DataIQ software designed to provide a unified view of file and object data scattered across Dell EMC and third-party platforms as well as in public clouds.

Meanwhile, a CloudIQ tool includes infrastructure monitoring and analytics software to provide real-time performance and capacity analysis.

The PowerScale platform, including the OneFS 9.0 operating system, PowerScale nodes and DataIQ, are available immediately, Dell EMC said.

Elsewhere, other storage options for big data and HPC workloads also emerged this week, including at least one based on OpenIO framework. U.K-based storage vendor BSO launched a public cloud version of its object storage platform compatible with the Amazon S3 API. The on-demand model combines BSO’s hardware layer with a software layer managed by OpenIO, the partners said this week.

About the author: George Leopold

George Leopold has written about science and technology for more than 30 years, focusing on electronics and aerospace technology. He previously served as executive editor of Electronic Engineering Times. Leopold is the author of "Calculated Risk: The Supersonic Life and Times of Gus Grissom" (Purdue University Press, 2016).

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