Inside Dell’s Next Generation PowerMax

On July 19th 2022, Dell Technologies officially began shipping the next-generation PowerMax, the world’s most secure mission-critical storage platform, based on the PowerMaxOS 10 release. This release delivers over 200 new software features with industry-leading storage automation and advanced cyber resiliency to help IT organizations accelerate their digital transformation.

By increasing performance, scalability, density, and functionality for users, this release extends the PowerMax’s design goal to provide leading-edge mission-critical storage that remains continuously modern over time. PowerMaxOS 10 software is powered by a new and highly flexible NVMe scale-out architecture based on Dynamic Fabric technology and two new models, the PowerMax 2500 and PowerMax 8500. This breakthrough release extends Dell’s leadership position in enterprise storage, providing IT with exciting new capabilities to deliver unmatched enterprise class storage infrastructure.

Introducing the new PowerMax 2500 and 8500

Two new models, the PowerMax 2500 and 8500, include a number of significant hardware based enhancements. Here’s a quick cheat sheet of the new features.

More official details on the new PowerMax 2500 and 8500 can be found here.

Secure, Intelligent, and Always Modern Storage Infrastructure
Organizations continue to choose PowerMax for their mission-critical applications because
of its track record of being always on and always performing. The software-driven
innovations in this release take enterprise storage to a whole new level. Here are the major

  • Designed for Zero Trust security architectures; This release extends our cyber security capabilities to offer multifactor authentication, continuous ransomware/malware anomaly detection, and a native air-gapped cyber vault for open systems and mainframe.
  • Greater efficiency; Customers can take advantage of a higher 4:1 data reduction guarantee for open systems, as well as the industry’s first 3:1 DRR guarantee for mainframe storage.
  • More automation and intelligence; With new multi-array smart provisioning and workload optimization, along with automated NVMe/TCP networking discovery and configuration.
  • Integrated file services and replication; It enables additional workload consolidation for block, file, and mainframe environments and adds full SRDF replication resiliency to File storage.
  • Data in place upgrades; PowerMax is now part of the Anytime Upgrade program, making it easier and more economical than ever for customers to stay continuously modern.

Unmatched Levels of cyber Resiliency Detection and Protection Innovation

PowerMax is the most secure mission-critical storage platform designed for Zero Trust
security architectures; users can now innovate securely with the industry’s most resilient
mission-critical storage optimized for block, file, mainframe, and virtual environments.

  • Intrinsic cyber resiliency; This provides advanced security within the system to prevent malware attacks through built-in hardware Root of Trust support, secure boot, and digitally signed firmware updates.
  • Multi-factor authentication; MFA incorporates RSA SecureID two-factor authentication for secure access to the Unisphere 10 management interface.
  • Malware and ransomware anomaly detection; Continuous machine learning and pattern recognition identify cyberattacks through anomaly detection and notifies IT management of suspicious activity via CloudIQ alerts.
  • Most granular cyber recovery at scale; Maximize data recovery (RPO) in the event of a cyberattack using SnapVX policy-based secure snapshots. SnapVX software, included with all PowerMax arrays, supports up to 65 million secure snapshots per system enabling the industry’s most granular cyber recovery.
  • Native cyber recovery/vault; This implements SRDF data replication to an isolated vault with orchestrated recovery from a cyberattack (open systems and mainframe storage options are available).
  • Cloud Mobility enhancements; New multi cloud capabilities adds more bandwidth for faster snap synchs and restores, higher resiliency with built-in HA to recover and access critical workloads, and enables restores of cloud-based object storage to block to any PowerMax array.

Intelligent Automation Delivering New Levels of “Symm-plicity
PowerMaxOS 10 software brings storage automation to the next level. Here’s a list of new capabilities included in this release.

  • Multi-array smart provisioning; This provides customers with real-time workload suitability and migration recommendations across multiple PowerMax arrays.
  • Built-in multi-array mobility; It orchestrates migration automation from Dell and non-Dell storage arrays to PowerMax with a single workflow and point-of-control for heterogeneous storage migrations.
  • Industry’s first automated end-to-end NVMe/TCP deployment; This can provide up to 44% less time to configure NVMe/TCP resources compared with iSCSI networks.
  • DevOps automation and containers; It enables users to consume storage infrastructure as code in a variety of development and automation environments using powerful APIs, SDKs, and plugins for VMware automation tools like vRO, and vRA.
  • Fully unified block/file management and new data services for File; This adds high availability SRDF/S/A remote replication, secure snapshots, data reduction, data-at-rest encryption (D@RE), and non-disruptive upgrades for file-based workloads.

Delivering Continuously Modern Storage
PowerMax 2500/8500 are designed to be continuously modern throughout their lifecycle
with Dell’s Future-Proof Program and Anytime Upgrade offer.

  • Future-Proof Program; Qualifies PowerMax users to receive a 3-Year Satisfaction Guarantee, Hardware Investment Protection, 4:1 Data Reduction Guarantee for open systems, and 3:1 Data Reduction Guarantee for mainframe storage (an industry first).
  • Anytime Upgrade; This offers users non-disruptive data-in-place upgrades to next generation technology where PowerMax nodes can be upgraded while preserving existing drives and expansion enclosures, without requiring additional purchases. With PowerMax, infrastructure can be modernized without disruption, without downtime, and without impacting applications.

An “Insiders” Perspective on the New PowerMax

For those who want the “insiders” view of all the the coolness and new capabilities of PowerMax, here’s my overview presentation. This content was developed and presented to an invitation only user prelaunch event and provided the “301 level” technical deep dive on the new platform. The presentation includes several sections that go deep into the new features, target use cases, and why it matters to users.

Here’s the outline and time codes for the sections:

  1. Architecture Strategy and Highlights (0:00)
  2. Platform and Packing Overview (30:38)
  3. New PowerMaxOS 10 Efficiencies (40:07)
  4. Tech Refreshes and Data Mobility (48:55)
  5. Security and Zero Trust Infrastructure (53:32)
  6. PowerMaxOS 10 Integrated File (1:02:51)
  7. Strategy Summary (1:06:29)

Next Generation PowerMax Summary and Use Cases

The latest PowerMax models achieve new levels of performance at scale combined
with industry-leading cyber resiliency, intelligent automation, and operational
simplicity to unlock the power of data. Based on PowerMaxOS 10, a new NVMe
scale-out architecture, and the latest global inline data reduction, PowerMax delivers
predictable performance, enhanced flexibility, and the highest levels of efficiency to
increase your competitiveness.

The PowerMax scale-up and scale-out architecture is designed to consolidate the most
demanding and diverse mixed workloads. It is ideal for traditional databases running high-demand OLTP, decision support, and virtualized applications. Enterprise features and connectivity also make it ideal for large scale storage consolidation that include block, file, mainframe, and IBM i workloads. New file data services include block and file replication integration and make it an ideal platform mission-critical workloads with Unified block and file management and protection.

Simply put, the new PowerMax should be at the top of storage tech refresh list whose requirements include a truly modern infrastructure and operating model strategy.

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