Dell EMC brings enterprise features to new SC series entry model

The new Dell EMC SCv3000 array, which replaces the old SCv2000, has a different design philosophy. Unlike its predecessor, which was a clear entry-level product, its replacement has high-end software functionality.

The SCv3020 model

Dell EMC has significantly upgraded the entry level offering in its midmarket-focused SC series with the new SCv3000. Its predecessor, the SCv2000 was somewhat of the red-headed stepchild of the SC family, as it lacked the enterprise software features of the higher end models. That has changed with the SCv3000, which has more shared software capabilities with those other models, and thus a clearer upgrade path to them.

“We have introduced a new entry model in the SC series,, but the interesting part is the way in which we have done that,” said Bob Fine, Director of Product Marketing at Dell EMC. “There hasn’t been an entry Compellent [SC] array at this price point before. The SCv2000 did it to some extent, but this has really upped the game. The SCv2000 was more like a cousin of the SC series. Now the SCv3000 looks very similar to all the others.”

The SCv2000 was designed as a low-cost entry model to introduce customers to the SC series, but it was seriously lacking in the features department.

“It didn’t have full tiering,” Fine said. “It could tier within one drive type but not across drive type. It could replicate to itself, to the same model. Now the SCv300 can replicate to ANY of the SC series. You couldn’t use the SCv2000 in the federated architecture. Its licenses and software capability were not upgradeable. It really was a point product that helped customers get into the SC series.”

The SCv3000 arrays still have the low price, with a starting street price of under $USD 10,000. But in addition to now integrating with the higher models – the SCv5000 and the SCv7000 – they share many of their features, functionality and performance

“We have added the extensive federation capabilities that we offer on the rest of the SC series,” Fine said.  “Live Volume is one of these. It allows the customer to have a geographically dispersed federation of systems that provide volume-level failover across a federated architecture in a campus or metropolitan area. That’s very powerful.”

Another new federated feature is Data Progression, which enables true auto-tiering hybrid flash solutions.

“This is a way to way to adapt flash in a way they simply couldn’t before at the low end of the line,” Fine said. “It lets them move to flash quicker than they could before, and takes us to customers that need more performance and scale. So it expands the range where the entry level situation fits in the market.  Smaller customers have largely the same needs as bigger customers. They just don’t have the budget. So by extending the range here, we help more of these customers achieve their goals.”

Other federated features from the higher end arrays now on the SCv3000 include Intelligent Compression, for significant cost savings on both SSDs and HDDs, Live Migrate, which provides seamless data mobility and load balancing, thin provisioning and full replication. The SCv3000 is also now fully integrated with the old Dell PS [EqualLogic] arrays, to allow SC to be added to those environments, extending their lifespan. The SCv3000 Series can now also integrate into the broader Dell EMC hardware and software integrations including VMware vSphere plugin support, and support for VMware Virtual Volumes, as well as other Dell EMC data protection, storage management and availability products like Data Domain, PowerPath, RecoverPoint, VPLEX, and ViPR.

“All the new features in aggregate gives customers much more of a choice, and a clear upgrade path in the SC Series,” Fine said. “Customers will like the efficiency that this provides. Now they know that they are not locked in. It’s no longer a throwaway product. There is a great path going forward.”

Ultimately, Fine said that this matters to customers more than the SCv3000’s low price,

“It’s not just the rock-bottom price that matters to customers,” he said. “If only price mattered, you can always find something cheaper. There are lots of JBODs out there, and some other vendor could offer a great discount. What matters more is the incredible ecosystem of other software, as well as the world-class service and support organization that we have. That goes beyond the sticker price. With this, customers get both a great product and the low price,”

The SCv3000 benefits from an Intel hardware refresh. New 6-core Intel processors provide 2X the memory and 3X greater bandwidth result for a 50 per cent performance boost, with tested maximums up to 270,000 IOPS.

“The performance boost is a combination of the new Intel processors, and our optimization of them in the underlying code,” Fine said. “All customers will get a performance boost from this.”

The SCv3000 is available in two base array models (SCv3000 and SCv3020), and three new optional expansion enclosures (SCv300, SCv320 and SCv360). They can deploy up to 1PB raw capacity per array, using any combination of SSDs and traditional hard drives in 3.5” and 2.5” formats.

With the new SCv3000, the complete refresh of the SC family has been completed.

“Over the last year since the merger, we have had a massive update,” Fine said. “It started with the SCv7000 last fall, and continued in May with the SCv5000. This completes the journey.”

The Dell EMC SCv3000 Series storage arrays will be orderable and generally available in early October.