Dell expands Scality partnership, adding ultra-dense SD7000-S to software-defined offerings

The Dell SD7000-S, which is fully supported and serviced by Dell, features 6.9 PB of storage on a rack and is aimed at customers with large amounts of unstructured data.

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Jerome Lecat, Scality’s CEO

Last August, Dell added Scality to its roster of software-defined storage partners with an agreement which combined Scality’s RING petabyte-scale storage software with Dell’s enterprise infrastructure server, storage and networking hardware. Now, the two companies have expanded that relationship, announcing they have partnered on the Dell SD7000-S, an extremely dense storage server for Scality’s RING file and object-based architecture.

Scality has seen significant benefits from the initial partnership with Dell launched last year.

“We had very big hopes for this, and we are very happy with the results,” said Jerome Lecat, Scality’s CEO. “We have been growing very well, in part due to this partnership. It’s a very significant partnership, although our strategy is to have multiple routes to market, and we have other major partnerships and also our own sales force.” Scality’s other vendor partnerships include Cisco and HP, and while they have channel partners of their own as well, these Tier One OEMs and their own channels have collectively become their primary route to market.

Apart from the specific use cases where the Dell SD7000-S will enhance market opportunities, Lecat says this new deal with Dell also sends an important message to the market.

“Some have asked if Dell will continue being committed to Scality now that they are acquiring EMC,” Lecat said. “This announcement answers those questions. It’s also worth noting that while Dell does partner with a lot of leading vendors in the software-defined space, they do not partner today with anyone else who is competitive with Scality.”

The Dell SD7000-S is targeted at high capacity environments with large scale file and object storage requirements. The solution expands to multiple petabytes and billions of objects with near linear performance scaling, producing more efficient deployments, with less hardware to manage and lower power, cooling and space requirements.

“This is the densest box on the market, with 6.9 PB on a rack, which is really great for people with large amounts of unstructured data,” Lecat said. “Any large scale business that is digitizing needs this kind of stuff.”

Lecat indicated Scality sees the market for this as falling into three big buckets.

“One is service providers, which includes many types from telcos to cloud providers, and many traditional companies like GE that are becoming cloud providers. Media and entertainment companies like Netflix can also be included here.

“A second market is large enterprises building private clouds, taking basically the same architecture as the first group, but putting it on-prem. The third group is verticals where which consume a ton of data, especially in entertainment or anything else that uses video. Use cases here include any kind of cloud service, applications over the internet, very large archives and video distribution.”

While Scality emphasizes that they are a hardware-agnostic software vendor, Lecat also stressed that there is a role for this type of solution.

“The large enterprise would rather buy something that’s already pre-packaged, even though they want the freedom of choice in their initial deployment to have choice,” he said. “This announcement brings the best of both worlds in that respect. It’s easy to deploy and you still have all the benefits of a software-based solution.

Dell is also taking the responsibility of support and service for the complete solution, because this is also what the large enterprise wants,” Lecat added.