Dell: Storage Hardware Portfolio Review

Dell Technologies aims to enable the digital transformation of their customers — partly through its range of storage hardware offerings.

The company’s Infrastructure Solutions Group (ISG) streamlines and automates cloud operations in products optimized for public and private clouds as well as on-premises storage infrastructure. Dell’s storage portfolio includes all-flash arrays, scale-out file, object platforms, and software-defined solutions, all with a focus on data protection and security. 

ISG’s revenue for the fourth quarter of the 2021 fiscal year was $8.8 billion, flat year over year. Their storage revenue was $4.4 billion, down 2% from the previous year, with servers and networking revenue up 3% at $4.4 billion. 

Read on for a closer look at how Dell’s storage hardware stacks up in the market:

Dell storage hardware portfolio

PowerStore

This family of all-flash storage appliances aims to transform modern workloads with more data-centric and flexible infrastructure combined with adaptable modern software. It offers features including:

  • End-to-end NVMe 
  • “Always on” data reduction with 4:1 guarantee
  • Built-in VMware hypervisors
  • Ongoing upgrades

PowerMax

This product is called the world’s fastest storage array, designed with a multi-controller, active/active scale-out architecture and inline, global dedupe and compression to offer a faster, more efficient model. It also offers:

  • End-to-end NVMe
  • Real-time machine learning (ML)
  • Seamless cloud mobility
  • Up to 350GB/sec sustained bandwidth
  • Proven 6 9s availability

Unity XT

This unified storage array is built for a multicloud environment. It’s meant to be cost-efficient and simple, with:

  • Dual-active controller architecture
  • All-inclusive enterprise-class data services
  • Easy install/configuration within 30 minutes
  • Multicloud alignment for public and private cloud resources

PowerVault

Storage consolidation optimized for entry-level SAN and DAS environments. It supports:

  • Workloads such as HPC, surveillance/CCTV, virtualization with VMware and Microsoft, and server expansion
  • A variety of drive types, including SEDs
  • A variety of multi-protocols
  • Choice of two 2U or a high density 5U base systems

XtremIO

Scalable architecture designed to meet heavy performance demands and provide efficient support to manage whole virtual workload lifecycles. It offers:

  • Multi-dimensional scalability
  • In-memory metadata
  • Rich application integrated copy services
  • Metadata-aware replication

PowerScale

This product offers organizations greater flexibility when dealing with unstructured data, regardless of data type, location, or size. Users can choose between:

  • All-flash nodes 
  • Hybrid nodes
  • Archive nodes 

And OneFS security provides built-in:

  • Availability
  • Redundancy
  • Data protection
  • Replication 

ECS

Dell’s leading object storage platform offers scalability and resilience with S3-compatibility on a globally distributed architecture. It supports enterprise workloads, such as:

  • Cloud-native
  • Archive
  • Internet of Things (IoT)
  • Artificial intelligence (AI)
  • Big data analytics 

Streaming Data Platform

This platform offers a single solution for all-edge data processing in an open-source and auto-scaling streaming storage solution. It allows organizations to:

  • Reduce app development time
  • Empower stream processing engines and connected applications
  • Derive real-time business insights
  • Eliminate storage and operational inefficiencies

ObjectScale

Enterprise object storage designed for Kubernetes to offer scalability and connect edge to core for DevOps teams. The product runs on:

  • Red Hat OpenShift
  • vSphere with Tanzu on VMWare
  • vSphere with Tanzu on Dell EMC’s VxRail

Dell storage hardware partners

Dell offers the Dell Technologies Partner Program in order to provide higher levels of engagement and support to their customers by training industry partners. The program has four tiers, Authorized, Gold, Platinum, and Titanium, based on an organization’s level of training and engagement with the program. 

All partners have access to a specialized portal and training academy and can use Dell partner logos on their products. Partners can progress as they complete more trainings in specialized areas and increase their market share, gaining new benefits as they grow.

In the storage space, Dell’s partner network has over 100 partners in the U.S. alone. 

Dell storage hardware use case

Dell storage products have many noteworthy use cases across industries. For example, the company reported recent success in the hospitality sector with a digital transformation of Westgate Resorts, a timeshare company. 

With 27 properties and over 10,000 employees, the company had more data than they could reasonably manage and secure. They upgraded their data protection solution to Dell EMC Data Protection, using Data Domain Cloud Tier to Microsoft Azure. They radically decreased their operational costs and the time it takes to perform data backups by using Dell’s cloud-compatible services. Considering the prevalence of cyber attacks on the hospitality industry, secure data storage is more critical in this sector than ever. 

User reviews of Dell storage hardware

Dell’s storage products perform well according to multiple technology rating websites, such as:

Users list competitive pricing and ease of management as some of the best aspects of Dell’s storage products. Some users, however, report criticisms in their reviews.

Industry recognition of Dell hardware storage

An IDC report also found that Dell Technologies is number one in high performance computing (HPC) and is in the top tier when it comes to using infrastructure to power AI-based systems. The company was also recognized as a leader in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Distributed File Systems and Object Storage. Finally, the company was also honored by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences with a Technology and Engineering Emmy Award for its development of hierarchical storage management systems. 

Dell hardware storage in the market

Dell Technologies was the biggest supplier of external storage systems in the world in 2Q 2021, above NetApp and Huawei, according to the IDC.

Dell accounted for 26.8% of all external storage systems revenue worldwide, with NetApp at 9.9% and Huawei at 8.9%. Global market revenue for external storage systems grew $9.7 billion over the last year as well. 

Nahla Davies
Nahla Davies is a software developer and tech writer. Before devoting her work full time to technical writing, she managed—among other intriguing things—to serve as a lead programmer at an Inc. 5,000 experiential branding organization whose clients include Samsung, Time Warner, Netflix, and Sony.

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