May 7, 2018

Dell Technologies World 2018 Recap


New edition of the famous conference with a different experience. The conference name changes and now EMC name was dropped, only survives the name of the acquirer Dell with the word Technologies to reflect the holding structure on top of 7 entities: Dell, DellEMC, Pivotal, RSA, Secureworks, Virtustream and VMware.

For several years until 2016, it was EMC World, then last year Dell EMC World and starting now Dell Technologies World to promote the global approach. 14,000 attendees globally from all the planet with 300 press, analyst and influencers, 3500 partners and more than 110 exhibitors and sponsors, among them Aptare, Axway for Syncplicity, Carbonite, Datrium, DefendX formerly NTP Software, DriveScale, Komprise, Liqid, Nexenta, Nutanix, Peer Sofware and Varonis. It was again a huge success.

The difference resides in the nature of companies Dell and EMC, EMC World was a storage centric event, Dell Technologies World is an IT conference covering servers, storage, networking, cloud… to illustrate Dell business. In other words, EMC World was the biggest storage show even from one vendor, we don't have one any more except NetApp Insight probably but the size is really different representing 1/3 of the EMC event size.

The conference theme was around Transformation and Dell leaders have articulated that journey around 4 pillars: IT, Digital, Workforce and Security Transformation, supporting all Dell developments and initiatives in all directions.

Michael Dell was a bit enigmatic about the future options for Dell as a company and decided to not answer a question from a journalist redirecting him to the SEC brochure about it.

Dell unveils PowerMAX, the new EMC high-end storage array

The key storage announcement was about PowerMAX, the “new” VMAX wishing also to invite users to forget the DSSD acquisition and the failure associated with it. PowerMAX represents the new high-end storage array with full NVMe support with dual ported drives, NVMef should arrive later, and a 5:1 inline data reduction. Currently DellEMC uses WDC flash drives but plan to add a second manufacturer soon and as Intel is a key strategic partner we can estimate it will be Intel, just an obvious comment.

DellEMC continues to promote an architecture with dual active controller, the famous Brick, supporting 2x NVMe SSD tray of 24 2.5’ drives. Intel Optane and other Storage Class Memory (SCM) elements will arrive in the future. Starting now, PowerMax exists in 2 models: PowerMAX 2000 and 8000, respectively with 1 or 2 bricks and 96 drives of 1.92, 3.84 or 7.68TB supporting open environments and with 1 to 8 Bricks supporting same drives for open and mainframe.

Both internal connectivity is InfiniBand and external interface is FC or GbE plus FICON for the 8000 model. Both also expose NAS protocols if users wish to consolidate workload on same big iron.

Data protection is RAID only with Raid 5(7+1) the default for both models, Raid6 (6+2) for both and PowerMax 2000 adds Raid 5(3+1) as it starts smaller. Capacity is 1PB effective for PowerMAX 2000 delivering 1.7 M IOPS (RRH 8k) and up to 4PB effective for PowerMax 8000 reaching up to 10M IOPS.

Each brick includes software available in 2 editions:
  • Essentials: SnapVX, Deduplication, Compression, Non-disruptive Migration, QoS, and iCDM Basic
  • Pro: Essentials + SRDF, D@RE, eNAS, PowerPath, SRM, and iCDM Advanced.
The software leverage Machine Learning for data placement, pattern recognition and predictive analytics to sustain high performance processing 40 million data sets in real-time per array, driving six billion decisions per day. PowerMax is available today May 7.

XtremIO offers now an new efficient WAN replication mechanism and is available also with an entry-level iteration with a significant cost reduction.

We also learnt that Isilon will be available very soon on Google Cloud Platform and we invite you to read the dedicated post about this.

On the Hyper-Converged Infrastructure (HCI) side, Dell unveils new VxRail Appliances and VxRack SDDC Systems. The first arrives with NVMe, Intel Xeon Scalable processors, NVidia Tesla P40 GPU and 25Gbps networking and the second leverages the PowerEdge 14th generation of servers.

Dell continues to enhance CloudIQ, the DellEMC answer to Nimble Storage InfoSight now an HPE product. It will support PowerMAX this summer.

The event concluded with a concert of Sting who played several famous The Police songs, amazing again...

Next year it will be at the same place approximately the same date.
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