Dell will implement an array of new features for its storage platforms aimed at “cloud-ifying” its systems and improving support for hybrid environments, unveiled during its annual Dell Technologies World event in Las Vegas.
Dell touted more than 500 software advancements in three key platforms: PowerStore storage appliances, PowerMax mission-critical storage and PowerFlex software-defined storage framework.
The main updates for PowerStore are improved support for native file replication and third-party file monitoring and ransomware protection, along with improved networking speeds, NVMe support, and deeper integration for VMware vSphere Virtual Volumes (vVols) virtualised SAN/NAS arrays and disaster recovery.
“Organisations all over the world look to Dell to help them move faster while turning their data into a competitive advantage,” said Jeff Clarke, vice chairman and co-COO at Dell. “We’re delivering major software innovation across our portfolio to help customers make the most of their data and resources.”
PowerMax is getting new features such as multi-array smart provisioning, new workload optimisation, and the ability to quickly move snapshots of data to and from public cloud services for backup and recovery.
Finally, PowerFlex’s existing integrations with cloud and container orchestration will be broadened, allowing customers to consolidate physical storage with cloud in a single logical framework.
Dell also announced a new collaboration with cloud data analysis firm Snowflake, with the aim of allowing data stored in Dell’s family of enterprise storage to be processed in Snowflake’s cloud without raising data sovereignty concerns.
Sid Nag, vice president of technology and service providers at research firm Gartner, said that the manifold updates all point to a tighter integration of cloud and on-site storage, and that customers in heavily regulated industries – like healthcare and finance – are the likeliest to have interest in the new features.
The cloud has long posed data sovereignty and governance concerns for industries subject to tight regulations; HIPAA and Sarbanes-Oxley are two of the major laws limiting use of the cloud.
“What they’ve basically done is taken the things in the storage space and tried to ‘cloudify’ them, for lack of a better term,” Nag said.
“If I have a workload that requires me to leverage analytics, but the data cannot travel through the cloud, they’re partnering with Snowflake, and the analytics engine is running in the cloud, but the data itself is sitting in an estate on the premises.”
The new storage technology is also thematically related to Dell’s centralisation around its Apex line of -as-a-service solutions, Nag added. Unifying different types of data storage into a smaller number of frameworks follows the pattern.
“Apex is the big aha that Dell has been pushing for a year now – taking all their solutions and offering them in a cloud-like consumption model.”