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Dell EMC PowerStore and Connectrix B-Series are ready for the new data era

By AJ Casamento posted 05-07-2020 07:05 PM


Dell EMC PowerStore and Connectrix B-Series are ready for the new data era

By now you have seen the announcement of the new Dell EMC PowerStore storage array, a modern storage appliance designed for the new data era.  You’re also probably aware that Brocade’s Fibre Channel products are sold and serviced as Dell EMC Connectrix B-Series storage networking. The combination of Dell EMC PowerStore and Connectrix B-Series storage networking provides enterprises the technology to transform their storage infrastructures for the new data era.

But, what’s that mean?  What’s coming to the storage network in the data era? 

Data is the lifeblood of so many businesses, and as this current pandemic accelerates the migration to an on-line society, companies are reminded that fast and reliable access to the data is critical to their survival and success.  Or as one tech CEO puts it, “Speed is the new currency”.

PowerStore is Data-Centric with the ability to support multiple workloads and scale up and out to support expanding businesses.  The Dell EMC Connectrix B-Series products are purpose-built for storage and data, provide high performance and availability for enterprises dependent upon fast and accurate access to their data, and scale easily (one can start from an entry switch of 8 ports, up to thousands of ports with Ports-on-Demand on switches and Inter-Chassis Links (ICL) on Directors which maximize port utilization as businesses grow). Connectrix B-Series products provide the connectivity to help power PowerStore and this new data era.

The data era will be running on new, faster storage types. 

As flash has rapidly replaced spinning disk, NVMe is now replacing SCSCI as a storage protocol, and will be replacing far slower traditional persistent storage components such as SSDs and HDDs.  Since storage is only one part of the data path, it’s important that the entire data path is optimized for the improved performance unleashed by these new storage protocols.  Balance, as ever, becomes key.  The network should not be the bottleneck between the application and the data.

Implementing Dell EMC’s PowerStore storage with Connectrix B-Series today positions enterprises to fully unleash the power of PowerStore’s end to end NVMe capabilities as future needs arise with a simple software update on PowerStore’s storage controller. Today, Enterprises can run SCSI and NVMe concurrently on the same Connectrix B-Series network with no required rip-and-replace or costly and complex upgrades.  This becomes critical because the conversion to NVMe will be an evolutionary transition.  Yes, customers will see a huge benefit from the performance of the NVMe software stack but they won’t simply throw away their existing environments.  So, when enterprises are ready, they simply implement a software update to the PowerStore storage, when available, and they can run FC-NVMe over their existing Connectrix B-Series 32 Gb/s Fibre Channel network.

It’s the era of Automation

PowerStore is designed to make management simple and more intelligent with automation tools and machine learning.

The Connectrix platform augments those capabilities with Automation and RestAPI capabilities, and the ability to drive automation from orchestration tools such as Ansible.  With 90% of network problems traceable to configuration errors, automation simplifies common tasks while improving the performance of the storage network.  Automation streamlines IT and DevOps, enabling faster application deployment with pre-configured services.

 It’s the era of simplified IT powered by analytics

Analytics, on the Connectrix B-Series platform, provides actionable intelligence, and when combined with Brocade’s Fabric Vision technology and next-generation SANnav Management Portal and SANnav Global View, can simplify management of the storage infrastructure, increase visibility and lower operational costs.  That’s no small benefit.  As rule #4 of IT states: “If you can’t measure, you can’t manage.”  And as applications become ever more performant the ability to “see” what is happening in the infrastructure becomes critical.

It’s the era of flexible business models

PowerStore is designed to modernize the core, as well as edge.  An interesting use case for PowerStore is running analytics on IoT traffic at the edge, for example in a remote office, and then replicating that data to the core for broader use by the enterprise.  The Connectrix B-series extension products enable organizations to replicate data over long distance using IPEX over a WAN connection.    And in particular, since so many WAN connections are problematic, the B-series extension products compensate for these network behaviors and help meet the replication demands.

It’s the era of data-centric, intelligent and adaptable infrastructures

If speed of data access is indeed the new currency, and if the next generation of applications are going to be even more expansive and performance-driven, then the infrastructure connecting the consumer to the application data must NEVER be the limiting factor.  The combination of Dell EMC PowerStore and the Connectrix B-Series fabric provides the data-centric, intelligent and adaptable foundation that the next generation of application developers will demand.

For more information on Dell EMC PowerStore, please click here