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Dell unveils new Fluid Data storage products

Sophie Curtis | Jan. 12, 2012
Dell new DR4000 backup storage platform helps reduce backup data by up to 15 times.

Dell is bulking out its storage portfolio under the Fluid Data architecture umbrella, with the announcement of four new products leveraging its acquisitions of Ocarina, Compellent and EqualLogic.

Fluid data is Dell's concept of having data stored, managed, protected and accessible across its four storage arrays - Compellent, EqualLogic, PowerVault and DX6000. The idea is to enable customers to manage more information, more effectively.

The announcements include the launch of Dell's first deduplication backup appliance integrating intellectual property from its acquisition of Ocarina Networks. According to Dell, the DR4000, aimed at SMBs and remote offices of large enterprises, can decrease disk capacity requirements up to 15 times, and reduce backup storage costs to as little as $0.25 per GB.

The DR4000 is available in 40TB, 81TB or 135TB versions. It features inline deduplication and compression, deduplicated replication, advanced data protection, and non-disruptive deployment. It also has an all-inclusive software licensing model, meaning that customers can leverage future product capabilities without paying additional licensing fees.

"Ocarina has this content-aware compression. Content-aware means we don't use a single compression algorithm like everybody else does. Every one of our algorithms is custom written, and the reason is they compress better," said Darren Thomas, vice president and general manager for Dell Enterprise Storage. "If we know exactly what kind of data we're looking at, we can tweak the algorithms to be more effective."

Dell also announced Dell Compellent Storage Center 6.0 - the first release of a major rewrite of the Compellent code since its acquisition last year. The software includes new 64-bit support that doubles memory size. It offers tiering, thin provisioning and replication features. Dell claims the modular design of the Dell Compellent SAN enables data centres to improve cost savings, because they can implement future product releases without requiring a rip-and-replace process.

Storage Center 6.0 also offers increased VMware and VAAI support. Compellent's Storage Center already supports block zeroing, but the new vSphere storage APIs for array integration make deployment of virtual machines up to 40 percent faster, according to Dell.

"One of the things we've done with Dell is increase the level of integration between our software solutions and their management controls," said Fredrik Sjostedt, VMware's director of product and solutions marketing for EMEA. "Essentially what that means from the customer's perspective is much better performance because we can speed up the deduplication process, we can improve the replication from site to site, so it's really leveraging the capabilities in the hardware."

A Replication Adapter is available for download with support for new Site Recovery Manager 5 features, such as automated failback from a disaster and new work flows for planned migration and downtime. There is also a vSphere 5 Client plug-in and integration between Compellent's Enterprise Manager console and vSphere.

Dell's third announcement was around a new solution for Microsoft SharePoint infrastructure optimisation. The solution consists of Dell's DX Object Storage platform, Dell Microsoft SharePoint assessment, design, and deployment services and AvePoint DocAve software.


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