Discover the intelligent storage platform to support resilient business
Flexible, reliable and scalable, the new PowerStore storage platform from Dell Technologies helps to address new workloads and demands of remote working
The PowerStore platform’s performance capabilities have made it ideally suited to meet the needs of organisations which have had to switch almost overnight to mass remote working. Photograph: Getty Images
In the new data era, the combination of massive amounts of data and unparalleled technology innovation has given businesses of all sizes the opportunity to become disruptive, digital powerhouses.
But despite this potential, many learn that digital transformation can be complex and challenging. Data has become more diverse than ever before – and it is now being created, processed and stored everywhere, from edge to cloud. Most organisations have found that no single infrastructure can address all their data requirements, so they utilise different architectures, creating siloes of IT resources that are managed and consumed independently.
At the same time, IT is under increasing pressure to deliver greater levels of simplicity and agility on the business side. Enterprise-grade, on-premises storage must now provide the same operational flexibility as cloud, becoming ever more adaptable, automated and easier to integrate with existing management frameworks.
Dell Technologies recognised there was a requirement for a new storage solution with intelligence, automation and adaptability
To meet these conflicting demands, a new architecture and approach to storage is required. That’s why Dell Technologies recently introduced PowerStore – a modern storage appliance designed for the data era. This game-changing new platform unlocks the power of data, regardless of its structure or location, helping you adapt and transform your IT without disrupting current operations.
“There is a massive increase in the volume of data being created globally,” says Jason Ward, Vice-President and Managing Director at Dell Technologies Ireland. “The Gartner Group estimates that by 2025 there will be 460 exabytes of data stored around the world. At the moment, 1.7 megabytes of data are being created every second for every person on earth. That’s putting huge pressure on all organisations.”
To put these figures in context, one exabyte is equal to one billon gigabytes and, according to some estimates, five exabytes would be equal to all of the words ever spoken by mankind.
“Dell Technologies recognised there was a requirement for a new storage solution with intelligence, automation and adaptability and we built PowerStore to meet that,” Ward adds.
Volume is just one issue – the type of data that needs to be stored is another. “PowerStore is a single platform which can manage any workloads,” he continues. “Historically, companies had to invest in different platforms for different workloads. PowerStore is also seven times faster and has three times better response times than our previous midrange storage arrays.”
Another key feature is its autonomous infrastructure. PowerStore includes built-in intelligence to eliminate dozens of time-consuming tasks and decision points. Labour-intensive processes such as initial volume placement, migrations, load-balancing and issue resolution are automated by PowerStore’s onboard machine learning (ML) engine.
That intelligence is also applied to the way data is stored. “The built-in machine learning and AI capability allows PowerStore to look at the different workloads, applications and data being stored and move them to the right place to optimise efficiency and performance,” says Ward.
The technology also constantly analyses the data stored to compress it, store it more efficiently and eliminate duplication to deliver a guaranteed four-to-one reduction in data size.
Of particular interest to organisations with very data-intensive workloads like IoT systems or automated manufacturing environments will be the AppsON feature.
“When PowerStoreOS runs on a VM, administrators can also access the hypervisor to deploy their own applications directly on the appliance, using the same VMware tools and methods they use with external hosts. This game-changing capability, known as AppsON, is ideal for data-intensive workloads in core or edge locations where infrastructure simplicity and density is required, as well as for ‘infrastructure applications’ such as anti-virus or monitoring software,” Ward says.
Ward explains that environments such as oil fields or autonomous production lines which require constant monitoring produce huge amounts of data, which must be monitored and processed almost instantaneously. The AppsON feature allows those tasks to take place on the storage unit located out in the field.
[Discover more about the new PowerStore platform at dellpowerstore.exertisireland.ie]
Benefits for remote working
These capabilities coupled with the platform’s exceptional performance capabilities have made it ideally suited to meet the needs of organisations which have had to switch almost overnight to mass remote working.
“If you think about the layers of infrastructure involved,” Ward notes, adding, “organisations want to deploy virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) for thousands of users. PowerStore can deal with that.”
CIOs are saying they need more automation across all of their infrastructure and this need will only increase with home working
Dell Technologies has long experience of catering for remote working, Ward adds. “Remote work has become the norm for many people. For the last ten years, Dell Technologies has facilitated remote working for its employees. This experience has enabled us to move 90 per cent of our global workforce to remote working practically overnight. Our technologies are designed to support that.”
And the recent upsurge in home working is likely to become permanent for many. “A report from 451 Research estimates that 40 per cent of employees who have moved to home working will continue to work from home after the pandemic has passed,” he points out. “Lots of companies have recognised the productivity and other benefits of home working and we will see more of it in future. This will see the hyperconverged infrastructure supported by PowerStore becoming more popular as well.”
PowerStore’s intelligent automation features also come into play here. “Chief information officers (CIOs) are saying they need more automation across all of their infrastructure and this need will only increase with home working. Automation means less reliance on IT teams, reduced costs and increased flexibility.”
The platform is also highly resilient and dependable, offering what is known in the industry as six nines availability. This means it operates at least 99.9999 per cent of the time. This level of reliability is critically important for companies dependent on large numbers of remote workers being able to access data.
In addition, the system can be installed, upgraded and expanded seamlessly without any interruption to service. “PowerStore has been designed to facilitate that,” says Ward. “Our customers need very high levels of availability and PowerStore’s always-on capability allows them to scale out and up, while continuing to work without disruption.”
This is facilitated by dual node technology which provides constant back-up capacity. “We call this always active,” Wards adds. “This is vitally important for industry sectors like online retail which need to be always on and always up. When they need to upgrade or expand their systems, they can’t afford to shut down their service. They can upscale and expand at the touch of a button with PowerStore while the system continues to run.”
PowerStore also offers significant benefits to Dell Technologies’ reseller partners. “The mid-range storage space is very competitive at the moment,” says Dell Technologies channel sales director, Colm Greene. “Our channel partners have a lot of customers who have bought different storage products from multiple vendors to handle different workloads. This has brought added complexity and cost.”
PowerStore has been specifically designed to address that issue. “With PowerStore, we looked at all the different products and their functions and combined them together in a single product built from the ground up,” Greene continues. “Our partners are able to go to their customers with confidence that they have a complete solution and have the best-in-class product in the mid-range area.
He describes that as the Dell Technologies’ advantage. “Our partners can now go to customers and say Dell is leading the way in this area and that they no longer need multiple boxes in their datacentre or have to deal with multiple vendors. Resellers can confidently go in and do everything for their customers when it comes to storage – one support contract, one vendor.”
Organisations can now avail of these benefits at no upfront cost through the Payment Flexibility Programme from Dell Technologies. “We understand the difficulties faced by many businesses at the moment and we have made a $9 billion fund available globally to enable businesses to acquire the technology they need for their digital transformation,” says Ward.
On the ground, that translates into zero per cent interest and a six-month payment deferral period.
“Companies will be able to address their data issues with no capital implications until next year,” Ward adds. “If they have a lot of legacy infrastructure in place with high maintenance costs they can replace it with PowerStore from Dell Technologies at zero cost upfront and benefit from cash flow savings as a result of the reduced maintenance bill.”
Dell Technologies on Demand meets the needs of customers who prefer not to own their technology infrastructure. “Some customers like to buy technology outright, whereas others like to pay for it as they use it. We provide options to cater for those customers through Dell Technologies on Demand. You might call it infrastructure as a service where you only pay as you use. We can also provide other services such as cloud on a pay as you use basis.”
Discover more about the new PowerStore platform at dellpowerstore.exertisireland.ie. Exertis is an authorised Dell distributor, and any leads and enquiries will be passed on to a relevant Dell Partner to progress.