How Flexibility is Redefining NAS for the Data Era

A new IDC research report, Meeting the New Unstructured Storage Requirements for Digitally Transforming Enterprises, surveyed over 400 enterprise IT decision makers and identified the top drivers and challenges for managing unstructured data. IDC found, based on feedback from respondents, an “uber” trend in file-based storage is the need for flexibility – the ability to easily support a mix of enterprise file-based workloads and be ready for any workload including demanding and modern workloads such as AI/ML/DL or traditional use cases like file consolidation and archives. Key requirements of flexibility noted in the report include mixed media support, nondisruptive scalability, ease of public cloud integration, multiple access methods and an availability of different deployment models.

To address the continued demand for flexibility, today Dell Technologies announced new innovations for Dell EMC PowerScale, the world’s most flexible scale-out NAS solution.¹ These new enhancements provide more flexible consumption, management, protection and security capabilities to eliminate data silos and help you effectively use unstructured data to innovate with confidence.

Enhancements to the PowerScale portfolio that enable organizations to support any data workload, manage it easily and keep it cyber resilient, include:

    • New PowerScale hybrid (H700 and H7000) and archive nodes (A300 and A3000) deliver up to 75% more performance than comparable hybrid nodes² and up to 2x more performance than comparable archive nodes.³
    • New PowerScale OneFS and DataIQ software enhancements expand storage management, performance monitoring, auditing and compliance capabilities to simplify file storage at scale.
    • Enhancements to our API-integrated ransomware protection capabilities keep data protected from cyberattacks and now offer cloud deployment options in addition to on-premises.
    • Dynamic NAS Protection, available with PowerProtect Data Manager, delivers a simple, modern way to protect NAS systems through enhanced backup for file data enabling up to 3X faster backups4 and up to 2x faster restores.5

Built to cover all workload needs

With the new PowerScale hybrid (H700 and H7000) and archive nodes (A300 and A3000), we have completed the refresh of the Isilon product line that started last year with the release of the PowerScale all-flash F200 and F600 nodes and continued with the announcement of the PowerScale F900 all-flash nodes. These new, more powerful hybrid and archive nodes offer more cores, memory and cache, additional networking options, and deliver complete node compatibility with your existing PowerScale and Isilon clusters. For example, the A300 and A3000 archive nodes support active and deep archive workloads with faster CPU than the previous generation. Inline data reduction, now available across the entire PowerScale portfolio, provides additional opportunities to deliver up to 2.2x increase in storage efficiency.

“Dell EMC PowerScale provides multiple nodes for transferring unstructured data at superhighway speeds across our HPC environment and scaling quickly to support our exponential data growth,” said Nassos Galiopoulos, Chief Technology Officer, Deputy CIO at the University of Texas, San Antonio. “We now handle billions of records, along with big data analytics, AI, and machine learning, with tremendous velocity, variety, and volume.”

In addition to our node refresh, enhancements to OneFS (available later this quarter), the operating system software that serves as the foundation of PowerScale, deliver writable snapshots, faster upgrades, secure boot, HDFS ACL support, and improved data reduction and small file efficiency. The latest release of DataIQ, our data management software, delivers an improved user experience for large scale clusters, UI enhancements for ease of navigation​ and the ability to run reports to analyze volumes by time stamps.

Any data workload – from the edge, to the core, to the cloud – can be handled by our industry leading PowerScale portfolio of scale-out NAS solutions easily. For example, our:

    • All-flash nodes are performance optimized with optional NVIDIA GPUDirect support to provide the extreme performance needed by modern workloads such as AI, ML, analytics, genomic sequencing and EDA workloads. We have proven in labs – not theoretical numbers – that we can scale linearly up to 252GB/sec of read throughput.7 And since PowerScale, part of the NVIDIA GPUDirect Storage Partner Ecosystem, can scale up to 252 nodes in a single namespace, it doesn’t stop there and can scale far beyond that if needed.
    • Archive nodes are capacity optimized and are very well suited for faster active archive workloads as well as deep archive workloads.
    • Hybrid nodes are ideal for the best price/performance results needed by mixed workloads, such as media and entertainment, healthcare, life sciences, analytics, automotive – leveraging SmartPool technology to intelligently deliver performance required based on previous usage patterns.
    • Cloud storage solutions for unstructured data offer multi-cloud and hybrid cloud deployments for demanding HPC data-driven workloads where, without a need to do any application re-platforming, they can be combined with the native services of cloud providers such as Azure, AWS and Google Cloud.

With Dell EMC PowerScale underpinning our HPC system, we can derive results and insights faster than ever before.” – Nassos Galiopoulos, Chief Technology Officer, Deputy CIO, @UTSA

Data protection flexibility and dynamic NAS protection  

As IT environments become increasingly complex due to the exponential growth of unstructured data, organizations continue to be overwhelmed by the challenge of protecting their data and NAS infrastructure from ransomware attacks and unplanned outages. We are further strengthening our data protection offerings for PowerScale with enhancements to our cyber protection offering with Superna and a new Dynamic NAS capability, enabled by our Dell EMC PowerProtect portfolio.

Ransomware attacks are now taking place every 11 seconds. The Cyber Protection and Recovery solution from Superna for PowerScale has been designed to help organizations prevent, protect, and recover from ransomware attacks now includes hosting the Superna Ransomware Defender solution for multi-cloud deployments within Multi-Cloud Data Services enabled by Faction. With this solution, customers can recover their data from a cybersecurity event leveraging the public cloud. A new Superna AirGap Enterprise provides more advanced automation to the air gap feature. Additional new productivity features to Superna’s Search and Recover and Easy Monitor capabilities also further expand PowerScale’s exceptional management and control capabilities. 

For organizations looking to easily manage, incremental-forever NAS data protection with rapid recovery at the file level, today we announced Dynamic NAS Protection, a simple, modern way to protect your NAS systems. Available with Dell EMC PowerProtect Data Manager, Dynamic NAS Protection intelligently and automatically scales to optimize performance, enabling protection and recovery for any NAS that supports NFS or CIFS, including Dell EMC PowerScale, PowerStore and Unity. By providing up to 3x faster backups4 and up to 2x faster restores5, Dynamic NAS Protection helps achieve improved SLAs through simple, efficient management of NAS backup and recovery.

“Currently, USC Australia has multiple policies using a variety of backup methods to protect files on our NAS and Windows File Clusters. With PowerProtect Data Manager, Dynamic NAS Protection automatically slices shares, filesystems and volumes into multiple streams that run in parallel within the same policy,” said Drew Hills, Infrastructure Analyst, IT Systems, Information Technology, USC Australia. “It also automatically balances and scales across resources, simplifying management while accelerating backups faster than ever before.”

Whether it’s managing demanding GPU or public cloud workloads, retaining critical data at the lowest cost, or protecting data from cyberattacks, enterprises need a storage infrastructure that provides a supporting management and protection strategy that can handle the most demanding and critical data-rich file workloads, without creating storage silos. Your scale-out file storage solution needs to consolidate your unstructured data into a single data lake where it is easy to keep the data connected, managed, protected and secure, ready for the most demanding enterprise workloads.

To learn more on today’s PowerScale announcements and hear how leading organizations, such as the University of Texas, San Antonio, are instituting best practices for a winning data management and protection strategy for all types of workloads, tune into today’s webinar, How Flexibility is Redefining Scale-out File Storage for the Data Era at 11 a.m. CT. And don’t worry if you missed the live session, you can watch the recording at the same link.

1 Based on Dell analysis, August 2021.

2 Based on Dell internal testing comparing PowerScale H7000 nodes with Isilon H5600 nodes, August 2021. Results may vary with different performance tools.

3 Based on Dell internal testing comparing PowerScale A300 nodes with Isilon A200 nodes, August 2021. Results may vary with different performance tools.

4 When comparing PowerProtect Data Manager 19.9 with Dynamic NAS Protection backup performance to NDMP backups with Avamar. Based on Dell internal testing, August 2021

5 When comparing PowerProtect Data Manager 19.9 with Dynamic NAS Protection restore performance to NDMP restore performance with Avamar. Based on Dell internal testing, August 2021

6 When comparing an increase in storage efficiency with the comparable Isilon nodes. Based on internal Dell Technologies testing, August 2021.

7 Based on Dell analysis, September 2021.

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