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Dell introduces new Fluid Data architecture

Four new innovations are designed to allow customers to quickly adapt to changing data needs

Dell introduces new Fluid Data architecture
Dell has launched four new innovations and developments for its Fluid Data architecture last week at the Dell Storage Forum held in London.

Dell announced four new innovations and developments in its Fluid Data architecture, at the Dell Storage Forum in London last week.

The products are designed to enable customers to quickly adapt to the changing demands of their organisations and increase automation for management of their primary, backup and archive data. 

The new innovations that Dell introduced were; its first de-duplication backup appliance, which integrates intellectual property from the Ocarina acquisition; a major software release for Compellent storage arrays; a new storage optimisation solution for Microsoft SharePoint; and broader support for Dell Force10, PowerConnect and Brocade storage networking solutions.

The new de-duplication back-up appliance, the DR4000 uses content aware compression algorithms from Ocarina.

According to Darren Thomas, vice president and general manager Dell Storage,  content aware means that Dell does not use a single compression algorithm like its competitors, but writes its own custom algorithms.

“Data has evolved and if we know exactly what kind of data we are looking at, we can tweak the algorithms to be more effective. This product is the first one as a stand-alone appliance and you can reduce your backup times using those algorithms that we write, it can decrease your disk usage by up to 95%, it reduces your bandwidth, so you are transmitting compressed data, it increases your reliability, because it is not tape. It does a great job of making your backups more reliable and trustworthy, another thing is it has the EqualLogic model of all-inclusive software, so when you buy this product, all the software you need is included,” said Thomas.

The solution comes in a 2.7, 5.4 and 9 terabytes in its compressed form, which means that decompressed, the systems are fairly large. The DR4000 is in-line fast, optimised, and is integrated with Dell’s preferred back-up vendors, such as Brocade, CommVault and Symantec.

The product also has innovative licensing and the ability to scale-out.

The second product introduced by Dell is the new Dell Compellent Storage Centre 6.0 software, which includes new 64-bit support, doubling memory size to improve performance and scale.

The software features advanced tiering, thin provisioning and replication features and the modular design of the Dell Compellent SAN is made to enable data centres to improve cost savings by upgrading to the new firmware and implement future product releases without requiring a rip-and-replace process. 

The new Dell Compellent firmware is designed to allow customers to take advantage of future Compellent software advancements while improving performance with existing solutions.

Storage Center 6.0 also expands Dell and VMware’s integration and engineering collaboration to help customers accelerate their move to dynamic data centres and cloud computing environments.

Dell also introduced new VMware specific enhancements for Dell Compellent storage customers including:

Dell Compellent VMware vSphere Storage APIs for Array Integration, Dell Compellent Storage Replication Adapter (SRA) for Site Recovery Manager 5, and Dell Compellent vSphere 5 Client Plug-In and Enterprise Manager-vSphere 5 Integration.

The third new solution Dell introduced at its Storage Forum is the new Dell solution for Microsoft SharePoint infrastructure optimization, which is a new data management system for the DX6000.

“For the DX6000, we have to have an API at the front end that an ISV partner will write the code to, so that you can get the benefit of all that optimised data. In this case the partner was Microsoft, working with SharePoint and AvePoint, and those two technologies combined together with the object store give you a product that is now much faster and much more efficient,” said Thomas.

The new data management system is designed to increase some of the AvePoint performance capabilities by as much as 40% and business continuity by 29x, because the system is able to have the data and move the data available on the object store system.

Recovery times are also very fast, up to 32x, according to Thomas.

The last new innovation introduced at the Dell Storage Forum was expanded support for Dell Force10, Dell PowerConnect and Brocade Storage Networking Solutions.

“We have added some real-time value beyond storage, you saw Dell acquire Force10, we have got two of the Force10 products now certified with our solution, Dell Force10 S4810 10Gb Ethernet switch and the deep-buffer S60 1Gb/10Gb Ethernet switches, which are their deep buffer and equalizer product, great products for us and we are going to continue to develop this auto-recognition and auto-configuration  feature so when you connect the switches to an EqualLogic device, you don’t have to configure them, they auto-configure,” said Thomas.

To help automate Compellent array implementations, the Dell PowerConnect 8024 10Gb switches and M8024-k Blade IO modules provide technology that reduces multi-step switch configuration to a single command.

“In the Compellent array we integrated the PowerConnect 8024 switches both in its rack and blade version with a Compellent device so that they have single command configuration, and then with our partner Brocade we are introducing the 16Gb Fibre Channel switch for the Compellent product, so a lot of technology, a lot of integration brought together,” said Thomas.

According to Dell, the combination of Dell's Fluid Data architecture and Brocade's 16Gb Fibre Channel infrastructure is designed to allow customers to realise flexibility, reliability and simplicity for their SAN environments to support next-generation applications and services within highly-virtualized, cloud-optimised environments.

“It is not just about innovation, it is about innovation and integration and it is about meaningful integration that adds value to your business. We will continue to deliver on this Fluid Data promise, you are going to see more compression, more partner and IP integration and the result is a future in IT filled with customised, adaptable, optimised solutions,” said Thomas.

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