Dell has released an update to the Storage Centre Operating System (SCOS) that drives many of its enterprise storage products, adding new capabilities to better support flash storage, along with enhanced deduplication and compression and support for VMware's VVol feature designed to better serve the needs of virtual machines.
Dell SCOS 7 is the latest version of what was formerly the platform powering its Compellent storage array systems. However, the firm set out a couple of years ago to gradually unify its various storage lines by integrating features from its EqualLogic platform to eventually create a single architecture.
With this release, the firm is aiming to redefine the economics of enterprise storage with a platform able to adapt to the industry shift to modern, flash-based architectures, according to Dell Storage product marketing director Bob Fine.
"We see the general purpose array market at a threshold. Over the past few years, the biggest single change to the industry has been the adoption of flash. And while this can give a new level of performance to every app, there's still a cost barrier," he said.
In SCOS 7, Dell has added capabilities that use flash more intelligently, so it can be used in situations where the cost would otherwise have been prohibitive, he claimed.
A new combination of Intelligent Deduplication and Intelligent Block-Level Compression is able to deliver a data reduction level of between 5:1 and 10:1 across flash and traditional hard drives, according to Fine.
The upshot is that customers should get storage costs below $0.45 per gigabyte for flash and $0.1 per gigabyte for spinning disks on Dell Storage arrays, and the dedupe technology is claimed to have zero impact on write performance.
A new Live Migrate feature in SCOS 7 provides greater flexibility for issues such as load balancing by enabling multi-array storage federation. It provides the ability for a volume to be migrated between Dell Storage arrays without downtime, and is supported initially on the SC9000, SC8000 and SC4020 arrays.
This works hand-in-hand with a new Quality of Service feature that enables an administrator to be alerted if a specific workload is experiencing a spike in demand, enabling them to rebalance the workloads across their environment.
Dell has also added support in SCOS 7 for VMware's VVol technology, which provides capabilities to manage storage resources at the virtual machine level in a VMware environment, and offloads some storage management functions like snapshots and cloning to the storage array.
A new Dell Storage Manager (DSM) tool now provides a single pane of glass management console for administering all of Dell's storage arrays, whether these are SC, PS or FS series products.
Dell has added support for bi-directional replication between SC or PS arrays, formerly the Compellent and EqualLogic portfolios. This enables one array to serve as a replication target for backing up data from another array, regardless of whether either is SC or PS.
"It also provides an easy way to use both systems together and perhaps make a future choice to move off a PS array by simply moving the data to an SC array," Fine said.
Dell SCOS 7 will be available as free upgrade for Dell customers with current support contracts for Compellent SC and EqualLogic PS arrays.
The new features will be available first for the SC9000 arrays, according to Fine, then rolled out across the rest of the portfolio during the third quarter of 2016.
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