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New Dell Enterprise Solutions Drive Applications and Workload Performance to New Heights

Dell today announced it is enabling customers to redraw the boundaries of IT with new enterprise solutions designed to dramatically speed application response times, strengthen the ties among data center technologies and simplify IT operations.

CIOs are being tasked to enable their businesses to move faster without infrastructure downtime. This includes accelerating application performance and response times and providing high availability to the business – all while often being budget constrained. The new and enhanced Dell solutions help customers make the most of their IT investments by cutting through the silos to improve application performance and make it easier to manage data center operations.

“IT leaders are facing the challenge of balancing costs with the need to provide bleeding-edge IT services to ensure businesses do not risk losing customers, revenue or productivity. The fact of the matter is handling an increased traffic of any kind puts strain on a data center – and many solutions currently in the market only address parts of the problem,” said Marius Haas, chief commercial officer and president, Enterprise Solutions, Dell. “By leveraging organic and inorganic intellectual property, Dell is accelerating the delivery of its enterprise vision and providing businesses with a unique workload acceleration solution that helps increase agility and be more responsive to their customers.”

Dell Accelerates Application Performance by Speeding Most Frequently Used Data

Dell Fluid Cache for SAN brings data closer to the server while improving application performance and reducing response times. Helping address performance issues that customers face with applications requiring fast access to data, such as online transaction processing (OLTP), data warehousing, virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) and cloud, this technology helps organizations speed up access to data by pooling and utilizing Dell PCI Express Flash drives for low-latency data caching inside traditional servers.

Dell Fluid Cache for SAN has achieved 5 million random read input/output per second (IOPS)(1) and can reduce cost per user by up to 71 percent(2). Dell lab tests also revealed improved database average response times capable of 99 percent(3) while allowing a more than six-fold increase in the number of concurrent users – increasing from just 2,200 to 14,000 users.

By providing a single infrastructure for data at both high and low ends of the performance spectrum, Dell Fluid Cache for SAN eliminates the tradeoffs between server performance and full-featured SAN benefits such as reliability, manageability and data protection. Intelligent data placement from the server to SAN can enable customers to significantly improve performance while reducing solution costs by enabling the right data to reside at the right place at the right time. A single management interface and fully integrated SAN capabilities, including automated tiering, cache-aware snapshots, replication and compression, also helps customers save time and resources with the advantages of excellent application performance and Dell’s advanced storage economics.

Bringing the most frequently accessed data closer to compute resources minimizes data travel from storage to the server and enables customers to:

  • Improve performance: Deliver critical results faster, boost transactional performance and reduce response times by leveraging the end-to-end capabilities of Dell PowerEdge servers with Dell Express Flash PCIe SSDs, Dell Networking 10/40GbE switches and Dell Compellent Data Progression intelligent tiering technology.
  • Ensure data integrity: Maintain confidence that the cache pool data is highly available and safeguarded by write-back caching technology, with no single point of failure from server to SAN.
  • Enhance flexibility: Enable database and virtualization performance scalability on demand with a SAN-based solution that allows for the addition of drives and nodes to be added to an active cache pool as needed, allowing business to grow as demand dictates.
  • Maximize storage investment: Extend the power of Dell intelligent data placement from the SAN to the server, allowing data to be managed holistically and reside on optimal drive types based on actual performance needs to lower overall total storage costs.

New Dell Compellent Storage Center Software Release Offers Enhanced Performance, Security and Management

In addition to enabling Flash optimization and the intelligent placement of data between the onboard server cache and traditional storage arrays, new Dell Compellent Storage Center 6.5 array software extends the performance and tiering advancements of previous Storage Center releases while offering new enterprise features for customers.

The Dell Compellent Flash-optimized Solution with Storage Center continues to be the first storage solution in its class with intelligent data placement across multiple types of flash technologies or in combination with traditional disk drives. As Dell continues to redefine the economics of enterprise storage, this helps customers optimize performance across various drive types for a lower total storage environment cost. With Dell’s Data Progression technology, customers also can achieve all flash performance for the price of 15K drive technology while reducing their storage footprint(4).

Relieving customers from the historical tradeoff between low cost capacity and high performance, Storage Center 6.5 supports the ability to achieve, in one SAN, both impressive flash performance and super dense, low cost capacity storage that is enhanced with new block level compression. Additional new Storage Center 6.5 benefits and enterprise features include:

  • Increased efficiency – with the introduction of block level compression technology for allowing SAN customers to store more data with fewer disk drives with a compression ratio of up to 77 percent(5).
  • Enhanced security – with the introduction of self-encrypting drives (SEDs), which offer a highly secure solution for organizations pursuing data privacy or maintaining regulatory compliance requirements, such as those in finance, legal and healthcare industries.
  • Enhanced business continuity – with new synchronous Live Volume capability, customers can restore data non-disruptively, keeping applications running during unplanned outages without the need to remap server configurations.
  • Improved cloud environment support – with multi-VLAN tagging support that lets service providers offer multiple service levels to customers on different secure virtual domains on the same Storage Center.

Systems Management Becomes Simpler

Dell has enhanced its systems management portfolio with new features that automate IT operations and improve efficiency, availability and reliability. The latest release of the Dell OpenManage portfolio includes:

  • Dell OpenManage Essentials 1.3: Designed for monitoring enterprise-class hardware, this systems management console now adds data center protection through integration with Dell AppAssure for scheduled system backups of server data, operating systems, applications, files and databases, as well as discovery and monitoring of Dell SonicWALL security appliances.
  • Dell OpenManage Mobile: Integrated with OpenManage Essentials 1.3, and available to customers as a free software download, this is the industry’s first mobile handheld solution to provide IT administrators one-to-many access to anywhere, anytime data center monitoring of servers, storage, networking and firewall systems.
  • iDRAC with Lifecycle Controller: With new automatic deployment and configuration functionality, administrators can reduce the number of steps required to deploy hardware configurations by up to 97 percent, as compared to capturing and deploying the configurations manually(5).

Dell also has enhanced its full suite of Dell EqualLogic Host Integration Tools software that enables efficient data protection and simplifies management of Dell EqualLogic storage arrays through tight integration with VMware, Microsoft and Linux server virtualization platforms and applications. The new generation of EqualLogic software, available for the new EqualLogic PS6210 Series and other PS Series arrays, offers improved and simplified SAN performance, streamlined management, and improved administrator efficiency to provide customers with a storage environment finely tuned for virtual computing environments.

Making the Network Connection: Advancing Data Center Fabrics and Control for SDN, NFV and Cloud Solutions

Dell also showcased new networking solutions to help customers deliver faster results, maximize efficiency and modernize and transform operations in scale-out and cloud-based environments. New products introduced include:

  • Dell Networking Z9500 Ethernet fabric switch – the densest, highest performing fixed-form factor switch for scale-out data center and cloud workload designs.
  • Dell Active Fabric Controller – purpose-built software for zero-touch provisioning and orchestration of virtualized networking functions and services.
  • Dell NFV efforts – takes leadership role in industry consortium and joins with industry partners to accelerate NFV adoption.


“Dell Fluid Cache for SAN is an ideal solution for customers that have high IOPS and high performance needs,” said Peter Lonis, solution consultant, LeaseWeb. “The time needed for tasks like running database queries and deploying virtual machines is dramatically lower in this environment, which would allow our customers to work faster and grow their infrastructures more quickly.”

“Our team’s model is that of a service provider. Our primary goal is to offer the best level of service possible to all our customers across the various University of North Texas System campuses and organizations – and the Dell Fluid Cache for SAN is another tool in our toolbox that helps us do that,” said Monty Slayton, IT manager, University of North Texas System. “To be able to offer this level of performance at such a reasonable cost is a huge advantage for us. Any organization or institution that has transactional types of data can benefit from the Dell Fluid Cache for SAN solution.”

“Because of our Dell OpenManage solution, we can complete tasks from wherever we happen to be working,” said Olivier Payet, network and systems manager, Saint Jean Industries. “It saves us time and has increased our productivity by around 50 percent.”

“We recently consolidated our server infrastructure and moved to a new backup and recovery strategy built on Dell PowerEdge servers and EqualLogic storage, allowing our customers to receive uninterrupted service and our internal team to deliver new services in hours rather than weeks,” said Brian Collins, IT Manager, H+H UK. “With help from Dell partner Upgrade Options, we found that Dell EqualLogic storage was the best option for our virtualized environment, offering rapid deployment, solid performance, and tight integration with VMware environments for simplified management without any additional costs since all EqualLogic software is included with the initial purchase price.”

Availability and Additional Information:

  • Dell Fluid Cache for SAN and Dell Compellent Storage Center 6.5 will be available worldwide in second quarter of 2014.
  • Dell’s enhanced OpenManage portfolio is available worldwide now.
  • Dell EqualLogic Host Integration Tools (HIT)/VMware 4.0 and HIT/Linux 1.3 are available worldwide now. HIT/Microsoft 4.7 will be available later this month.
  • Dell Networking Z9500 Fabric Switch is available in North America in April and worldwide in June; Dell Active Fabric Controller is available worldwide in the second quarter of 2014; the co-engineered Dell-Red Hat OpenStack-based NFV and SDN solutions are expected to be available in 2014.

About Dell

Dell Inc. listens to customers and delivers innovative technology and services that gives them the power to do more. For more information, visit www.dell.com.

About Dell Enterprise Forum

Dell Enterprise Forum is the premier technical learning event for Dell enterprise customers and channel partners. The conference, held annually in the US and Europe, offers an intensive, interactive learning experience across the data center—from servers and storage to networking and converged solutions.

Dell, Dell Fluid Cache for SAN, Dell Compellent Storage Center, Dell OpenManage and Dell EqualLogic are trademarks of Dell Inc. Dell disclaims any proprietary interest in the marks and names of others.

(1) A 2013 Dell lab test of Dell Fluid Cache for SAN achieved over 5 Million IOPS using a random read workload with a 4 KB sized block with a hardware stack consisting of: eight Dell PowerEdge R720 servers each containing two Dell Express Flash 350 GB PCIe SSDs, one Mellanox ConnectX-3 40GE RoCE card, and Fluid Cache software; all connected to Dell Networking and Dell Compellent Storage solutions. Actual performance will vary based on configuration, usage and manufacturing variability.

(2) Based on Dell Lab testing of a 3 node OLTP cluster on an Oracle® database with Dell Fluid Cache for SAN vs. the same configuration without Dell Fluid Cache for SAN, where the configuration with Dell Fluid Cache for SAN resulted in 1900 concurrent users at one second and costs $360,191 USD, or $189.57 USD per user, at the one second measurement, and the configuration without Dell Fluid Cache for SAN resulted in 500 concurrent users at one second and costs $331,696 USD, or $663.39 USD per user, at the one second measurement. List prices dated March 2014.

(3) On a Dell Lab test configuration using an 8 node cluster of OLTP running on an Oracle database workload simulation, the Average Response Time (ART) was reduced 99% compared to the same Dell hardware stack without Dell Fluid Cache for SAN.

(4) Based on internal Dell analysis in July 2013 based on Dell Compellent flash-optimized and spinning disk Dell US list pricing.

(5) Based on March 2014 Dell Internal testing at Dell Labs.

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