Dell EMC upgrades both SC and Unity midrange storage

Dell EMC has made strengthening its position in midrange storage a priority, and in addition to the new product upgrades has also introduced a customer satisfaction guarantee.

Michael Sharun, President of Dell EMC Canada’s Enterprise Division

Dell EMC is the market leader in midrange storage. Their share has been slipping slightly however, and the company has been making aggressive moves to try and reverse that. Earlier this year, they introduced a series of channel incents to move more of these products. Now, in addition to updating both their SC and Unity lines, they are also introducing what they are calling a new loyalty program for customers.

“We are really excited about this announcement,” said Michael Sharun, head of the enterprise business at Dell EMC Canada. “The overarching theme is simplicity. We have made the products simpler to deploy and simpler for partners to order them. That will result in them having faster sales cycles, since they won’t have to worrying about configuring things. When we talk to customers and partners we find that they both want that. The channel are really integrators now. Partners don’t sit and do a bunch of plumbing. It’s not high value work. Deploying apps faster, with scalable and easy to manage architecture, is where they want to be. It’s better for their bottom line and better for their customer.”

While both SC and Unity are targeted at the midmarket, they have somewhat different use cases.

“We position SC as a solution for organizations looking for high quality and simplicity,” Sharun said. “Unity is aimed at the same level of customer, in the mid-market, but if they have multiple protocol environments, Unity is very well suited to those.”

On the SC side, Dell EMC is introducing two new All-Flash storage arrays, the Dell EMC SC5020F and the Dell EMC SC7020F. Both are 3U appliances with dual active/active controllers, 8-core Intel Xeon processors, and multiprotocol support for 10GB iSCSI and 16/32GB FC network connections.

“The software in these make sure performance is at the highest level possible, and will do all the features from a flash perspective,” Sharun said.  The All-Flash performance scales up to 399,000 IOPS per array and 3.9 million aggregate IOPS per multi-array federated cluster.

“It really scales much higher than it did in the past,” Sharun said. “The features like RAID tiering also happen automatically.”

These systems start with as little as four SSDs and can grow from there.

“The partner can put something in place that grows as the customer grows, so they don’t have to re-architect as they grow,” Sharun indicated.

Sharun emphasized the significance of Dell EMC making these systems simpler on the partner side than in the past.

“The technology stuff aside – which is industry leading – what I think is very important here is the ability for partners to go out with confidence and order and deploy these easily,” he said. “I think partners will gravitate to this, embrace this, and move our market share up. We made it as easy as possible for them to order and deploy these because we need the channel community for these to be successful.”

The Dell EMC Unity enhancements are software ones, and like the new SC models are designed to make things simpler. The new Unity v4.3 OS upgrades include the addition of inline deduplication and synchronous file replication.

“The addition of inline dedupe will be really important for overall performance, and will simplify and lower the cost of existing infrastructure,” Sharun said. “Customers get these enhancements without cost as part of their maintenance agreements with Dell EMC. They don’t generate more revenue from existing customers.”

The new Future-Proof Storage Loyalty Program for Dell EMC Unity and SC Series comes free as part of a new Dell EMC Unity or SC Series purchase, with a valid maintenance contract.

“This is a very robust loyalty program for the midrange,” Sharun said. “While we have a similar program at the high end for VMAX, this kind of program is new in this space and unparalleled in the industry.”

The program starts with a Three Year Satisfaction Guarantee, that assures that the products will perform as advertised or customers get their money back. A 4:1 All-Flash Storage Efficiency Guarantee is also provided.

Online and non-disruptive migrations are provided for seamless upgrades if the customer purchases new Dell EMC storage.

“The simple migrations mean that the customer and partner won’t have to spend time re-architecting, and positions the customer with the partner for the long term,” Sharun said.

Hardware investment protection is provided with flexible credits towards storage controller upgrades or trade-in credit towards the purchase of any new Dell EMC products.

Finally, Dell EMC is offering a free year of Virtustream Storage Cloud integrated into the products

“Including Virtustream Storage Cloud lets customers automatically put files and storage snapshots in the cloud at no cost for one year,” Sharun said.

SC All-Flash will be available in December. The new Unity OS v4.3 will be available in January 2018 to Dell EMC Unity customers with a valid support contract. The Dell EMC Future-Proof Storage Loyalty program is available now with the purchase, either direct or through a partner, of any new SC Series or Dell EMC Unity data storage array.