Dell refreshes and enhances scale-out NAS solutions with new hardware, updated software and joint anti-ransomware solution with Superna

New PowerScale solutions continue, but do not quite complete, the retirement of the Isilon brand.

Dell EMC PowerScale H7000

Today, Dell Technologies is announcing a series of enhancements of their scale-out NAS portfolio. They begin with new PowerScale hybrid nodes, the H700 and H7000, which offer up to 75% more performance than their predecessors, as well as new archive nodes, the A300 and A3000, which provide up to 2x more performance than Dell’s past archive nodes. They also continue the de-emphasis of the venerable Isilon brand as part of the company’s rebranding around the Power theme. The company’s PowerScale OneFS and data management-focused DataIQ software have also been enhanced, with new storage management, performance monitoring, auditing and compliance capabilities that include writeable snapshots, faster upgrades, secure boot, Hadoop File Server access control list support, improved data reduction and small file efficiency. Superna Ransomware Defender, a joint solution with long-time partner Superna, has also been introduced, as well as a new offering for Dell EMC PowerProtect Data Manager.

The new PowerScale models officially complete the portfolio refresh of the Dell EMC Isilon product line that began last year.

“What we have done with PowerScale is modernize what Isilon is built on and separate it from a hard tier to proprietary hardware,” said Brian Henderson, Director of Unstructured Data Solutions Product Marketing at Dell Technologies. “We want to remind people how powerful and flexible the new PowerScale OneFS  platform is, as the old Isilon hybrid and archive node equivalents are being replaced by these brand new hybrid and archive nodes. The hardware is a massive upgrade in efficiency in inline and dedupe across the board, with up to 75% more performance from the new H7000 compared to the Isilon H5600, and a 90% for the PS A3000 compared to the Isilon A2000.

“Flash density will keep some models like the Isilon F800 around for a bit, but the goal is to move people to the new PowerScale platforms as soon as possible,” Henderson added. “This will be the first time that you will not see Isilon brands on the front page of our unstructured data website.”

Henderson said that the software upgrades were noteworthy.

“With our OneFS software, the 9.0 version added S3 object access, which is very important for people trying to get into a large data lake through S3,” he indicated. “Writeable snapshots are also critical, and a lot of customers have asked for this. We have added full NFS 4.1 support, including more trunking to get performance out of each connectivity option. Inline dedupe is now complete across the family, with all having inline compression and dedupe and post-process smart dedupe.”

Updates to the DataIQ software include an improved user experience for large file clusters, navigation user interface enhancements and the ability to run reports to analyze volumes by time stamp.

Dell also tightened its relationship with strategic partner Superna, with the introduction of Superna Ransomware Defender as part of the protection pachage around PowerScale.

“We have worked with Superna building software enhancements on the Isilon stack since back in the day, and are now working closely with them to tighten the relationship even further,” Henderson said. “Superna Ransomware Defender detects and protects data from ransomware, using AI to scan for unusual behavior. Our AirGap Cluster also integrates with Ransomware Defender to create a physically isolated vault cluster, which we can put it in a new colo-based cyber vault, in an Equinix data centre, and have the airgapped cluster up and running in 14 days. We can do that for them as a service.”

Dell is also introducing a related offering from the data protection side of the house. Dynamic NAS Protection, now available with Dell EMC PowerProtect Data Manager, now automatically scales to optimize performance, protect and recover any NAS that supports network file system or common internet file system, including Dell EMC PowerScale, PowerStore and Unity.

“Dynamic NAS Protection automates and optimizes the protection of NAS infrastructure with up to 3x faster backups and 2x faster restores,” Henderson said. “People tended to use NVMP for this, which is slow. This uses traditional NFS, and cuts it into manageable slices to get a faster backup copy and a faster restore.”