Dell upgrades storage portfolio and plugs it into multi-cloud theme on Day Two of Dell Technologies World

On Day Two, Dell  emphasized storage enhancements in their PowerStore, PowerMax and PowerFlex portfolios, but also stressed these were not standalone announcements, and were part of the company's multi-cloud vision laid out on the previous day.

Jeff Clark onstage at Dell Technologies World 2022

LAS VEGAS — The first day of Dell Technologies World featured a keynote address that explained Dell’s multi-cloud strategy and unveiled the new announcements being made that helped to drive that strategy further. On Tuesday, the second day of the event, the focus shifted to software innovation on the storage front, particularly the PowerStore, PowerMax and PowerFlex portfolios. There was however, a clear connection between the two sets of announcements, as Dell vice chairman and co-chief operating officer Jeff Clarke explained that the company’s ultimate goal is to use the multi-cloud universe as a huge shared pool of storage.

The theme of Clarke’s keynote was the new culture of unstoppable innovation.

“Technology will disrupt whatever status quo we have today and make it very different,” he told the audience. “That’s a big theme, and it’s how we made it through the last 26 months of the pandemic. Today we will dive into more details and announce exciting new products and talk about what they do.”

Those announcements centred around a trifecta of storage-driven innovation, delivering over 500 new high value features.

“Our storage portfolio offers the most comprehensive support for developers and hyperscalers,” Clarke said. “What is really important about what we are announcing today in storage is the advancements we are making around software.”

The Dell PowerMax high-end array for mission-critical storage adds new cyber resiliency advancements including cyber vaults for traditional and mainframe deployments, and CloudIQ ransomware capabilities to help detect cyberattacks earlier.

“This is the next generation of PowerMax, which is fully mission-critical with Zero Trust architecture,” Clarke said.

PowerMax now also provides double the performance with up to 50% better response times in demanding application and mainframe environments on two new NVMe-based PowerMax models. Anytime Upgrade customers are eligible for non-disruptive upgrades.

“This is the industry’s only automated NVMe end to end deployment, and provides a new 4 to 1 data reduction guaranteed, and arrays that are twice as fast,” Clarke added.

PowerMax now offers up to 65 million secure snapshots to improve cyber recovery. Additional software-driven updates help organizations increase productivity with automated storage operations such as multi-array smart provisioning, workload optimization, and health monitoring and remediation.

Dell Power Store, the company’s mid-range product, also received upgrades which will deliver up to a 50% mixed workload performance boost and up to 66% greater capacity.

“PowerStore is still the fastest ramping new architecture in Dell’s history,” Clarke said.  “OS 3.0 software enhancements provide native replication for any workload, native file replication and support for third party monitoring and end-to-end VMware capability.” The deeper VMware integrations include improved VMware vSphere Virtual Volumes (vVols) latency and performance plus simplified disaster recovery with vVols replication, VM-level snapshots and fast clones.

Finally, Clarke announced that the Dell PowerFlex software-defined infrastructure will consolidate traditional and modern workloads with new file services that allow for unified block and file capabilities on a single platform.

“This software-defined infrastructure product knows no bounds from bare metal to cloud native,” he said. “It now supports file, block and bare metal hypervisors on a single platform, which is unique in the industry.” The file and block support include all major Kubernetes and container orchestration platforms from Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Red Hat, SUSE and VMware.

While Dell placed a great deal of emphasis in the advancements in its storage software, Clarke also emphasized this is a key part of the larger puzzle involving their multi-cloud strategy.

“There are four things to really think about here,” he said. “Yesterday Michael Dell and Chuck Whitten talked about a wide range of announcements in building out our public cloud ecosystem. This includes Project Alpine taking our storage assets and making them available in the public cloud, as well as cloud-based testdev and containers. Our Snowflake partnership is really about letting customers use this on-prem, which is another form of support for multi-cloud.”

Clarke emphasized that even their APEX as-a-service play, which at its heart is a control plane, is a broad cybersecurity move that ties into the multi-cloud strategy.

“Now we can create one common single storage pool for developers that lets it all work as a distributed platform,” he stressed. “That’s where we are going.”