Dell decouples OneFS software from hardware and puts it in servers with PowerScale brand

Today, Dell Technologies is getting more Power. The company has been rebranding its systems around the Power brand, and is extending that today with Dell EMC PowerScale. PowerScale takes the OneFS software from Dell EMC Isilon, separates it from the hardware, and makes it available on PowerEdge servers and in the cloud. Dell expects it to significantly extend the use cases for the OneFS technology around unstructured data, expanding it below the 4U form factor, and making it much more applicable to the edge and to the cloud.

“The amount of data is expected to triple 3x by 2024, and 50% of that is outside the data centre,” said Brian Henderson, director, product marketing at Dell. “A lot of people are comfortable with Isilon in the core data centre, but as much of that data is moving to the edge, they now want more. People want a singular platform, which is flexible enough to handle protocols for the core, cloud and edge, and they want it to be simple.”

The result, Henderson said, is Dell EMC PowerScale.

“We built a foundation for software-driven architecture and we are now taking it to the next level,” he indicated. “We’ve disaggregated software from hardware in this next generation of the OneFS operating system, and unlocked OneFS to let it run on PowerEdge. It’s the beginning of a journey. OneFS engineers will now focus on software and allow the PowerEdge team to focus on hardware.”

Decoupling the software from the Isilon hardware makes it software-defined, and lets customers put it on PowerEdge servers, and in the cloud. That lets it be used for many more use cases than the past Isilon generation.

“Our smallest system before was a 4U Isilon,” Henderson said. “This is now available on 1U PowerEdge-based nodes which deploy anywhere, and has a very attractive price point that will open up new use cases.”

PowerScale clusters can scale from 11TB to 60PB. New PowerScale all-flash F200 nodes are up to five times faster than its predecessor, and the PowerScale family can deliver up to 15.8 million IOPS per second per cluster.”

“PowerScale also offers simplicity at any scale and all the benefits of OneFS, such as the ability to add a node in 60 seconds, having the system autobalance itself, and being completely migration free,” Henderson added.

Another innovation in the new system is the addition of a single view of file and object data.

“We are adding object access, although we are keeping the file and object platforms separate at this time,” Henderson indicated.

New capabilities for obtaining intelligent insights have been added with the introduction of Dell EMC DataIQ software, which complements their existing CloudIQ software.

“CloudIQ is for IT and monitors if your storage is working well, and if things are going okay,” Henderson said. “IQ.  DataIQ opens up this work to data scientists, analysts and business users. It allows them to discover, understand and act on the data in their environment, to get more insights from the data, even if it is in third party storage or in the cloud. It understands the difference between file and object data. It lets them see what they have, and how old it is, and then group and move it based on a set of tags, so that it can be quickly moved to where it needs to be in the storage environment.”

Technically, DataIQ has been out for a few months, but this is really the first time it is being highlighted.

“DataIQ was published to the Web in March, but never got its day in the sun,” Henderson indicated.

“We have had a very favorable response from partners around DataIQ,” said Scott Millard, Senior Vice President, Data Center Sales, at Dell Technologies. “One is building out a consulting practice around it. It will be a hit around their services capabilities.”

Millard stressed that Dell unstructured storage is already doing well, but that PowerScale responds to specific partner requests and will help drive this business further going forward.

“We’ve had tremendous momentum in our unstructured data business,” he said. “It has one of the highest channel penetration rates. Our channel business grew in double digits in Q1 despite COVID, and the opportunity for partners here is massive. Data is growing very quickly at the edge and in the cloud. We’ve been strong in the data centre, but partners have said we need a lower capacity point for scale-out NAS and expand our cloud capabilities. Decoupling OneFS to make it software defined does this, and makes it easy to put it on servers and in the cloud.”

Dell EMC PowerScale OneFS 9.0, PowerScale nodes and DataIQ are all generally available now.