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Data Center Primary Storage
4 minute read

Building a Modern Data Center with Dell EMC PowerFlex

Learn what PowerFlex is, how it can modernize your data center, and what new features come from the PowerFlex 3.6 release.

In This Article

As IT organizations move away from outdated, siloed infrastructures to modernized data centers, they must find solutions that allow them to be flexible, resilient and agile to continue thriving in an ever-changing world.

That’s where Dell EMC PowerFlex comes in. 

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PowerFlex for the modern data center

PowerFlex is a software-defined infrastructure platform that combines storage, compute and networking resources to provide massive performance, flexibility and scalability — all while simplifying IT operations and infrastructure. According to the International Data Corporation (IDC), PowerFlex customers have reported the following key business outcomes: a 47 percent reduction in total costs of operations, a five-year return on investment of 321 percent, and a 70 percent decrease in staff time spent on IT infrastructure management.

Flexibility

Depending on the organization’s scaling and business needs, PowerFlex offers the flexibility to mix and match storage, compute and HCI nodes in a dynamic deployment, allowing you to scale storage and compute resources together or independently, one node at a time, and as your needs dictate. It also can support heterogeneous workloads — from bare-metal operating systems to hypervisors and container platforms — simultaneously, eliminating the need for infrastructure silos. 

Agility 

PowerFlex offers flexible consumption models that allow the infrastructure to be rapidly reconfigured. Resources can be moved around as needed, empowering organizations to embrace change and quickly meet evolving workload requirements. 

  • PowerFlex rack is a fully engineered system with integrated networking. It is designed to simplify deployments and accelerate time-to-value.
  • PowerFlex appliance offers flexible networking options and massive scale potential, allowing organizations to start small and scale as needed.

PowerFlex Manager provides both models with a comprehensive lifecycle and IT operations management toolset that automates infrastructure operations across storage and compute, significantly reducing admin time and errors. 

Deliverability 

This software-defined platform enables organizations to meet critical service-level agreements through I/O (input/output) and throughput performance, linear and non-disruptive scalability, and minimum latency. Further, PowerFlex’s self-healing architecture eliminates downtime for outages, maintenance and upgrades, resulting in 99.9999 percent availability. 

Predictability 

PowerFlex is validated and optimized for a wide range of enterprise workloads and cloud automation tools that can integrate with the infrastructure, applications and DevOps workflows, resulting in increased automation and predictable workload outcomes. Because of the increased automation and predictability, IT teams can focus on other business strategies and initiatives.  

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PowerFlex 3.6 release brings new features

The PowerFlex 3.6 release comes with updated automation capabilities, enhanced security and compliance, improved resiliency, and more. It also comes with expanded GPU options to further execute complex artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML) and virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) workloads, such as image recognition and speech processing.

And for database customers, this release introduces Oracle Linux KVM which broadens hypervisor support, while complementing Oracle databases for improved support and cost effectiveness. The release also brings Dell EMC AppSync integration, which simplifies and automates Copy Data Management (CDM) while delivering reliable data protection. 

New features

  • Expanded GPU options, giving further support to demanding AI/ML and VDI workloads and beyond
  • Dell EMC CloudIQ integration simplifies deployments through monitoring, machine learning and predictive analytics for core, edge and cloud
  • Dell EMC AppSync integration, providing CDM and reliable data protection
  • More hypervisor support: added support for Oracle Linux KVM.
  • vSphere 7 Update 2 support (requires manual upgrade of vCenter)
  • RHEL CoreOS and Fedora CoreOS, SDC support through Kubernetes CSI plug-in
  • API reference documentation on the Dell Technologies Developer Portal
  • Replication enhancements, including RPO (recovery point objectives) as low as 15 seconds
  • Network resiliency improvements through proactive network error detection and network path correction
  • Higher SDC (system development changes) count (support for up to 2048 SDCs per system)
  • Hardware awareness improvements for PowerEdge nodes
  • PowerFlex GUI (graphical user interface) enhancements

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Explore what PowerFlex has to offer

Both PowerFlex Rack and PowerFlex Appliance are available in WWT’s Advanced Technology Center, offering customers hands-on access to the storage platforms. To get access to these technologies, connect with a solutions architecture expert