Dell EMC PowerStore is a next-generation midrange data storage solution targeted at customers who are looking for value, flexibility, and simplicity.

  • PowerStore provides our customers with data-centric, intelligent, and adaptable infrastructure that supports both traditional and modern workloads. We accomplish this through:
  • Purpose-built all-flash Active/Active storage appliance that supports the new Non-Volatile Memory Express (NVMe Non-Volatile Memory Express (NVMe) is a communications protocol specifically developed for SSDs.) communications protocol.
    • Supports NVMe Solid State Drive (SSD) and NVMe Storage Class Memory (SCM) media types for storage
    • Supports NVMe NVRAM media type for cache
    • Supports SAS SSDs by expansion
  • Consolidates storage and virtual server environments. The PowerStore platform design includes two major configurations:
    • PowerStore T
      • Can be configured for Block only or Unified (Block and File) storage
        • Block uses FC and iSCSI protocols for access
        • File uses NFS and SMB protocols (SDNAS) for access
    • PowerStore X
      • Block only storage with hypervisor installed on the system
      • Capability to run customer applications on native virtual machines (VMs) with a separate VMware license. (Built-in ESXi hypervisor deployment)
    • Both configurations support VMware virtual volumes (Vvols)
  • Flexible scale-up/down and scale-out capabilities
    • Scale up: Base Enclosure and up to three Expansion Enclosures
    • Scale out: Two (up to four) Appliances (PowerStore T only in version 1)
  • Integrated data efficiencies and protection

PowerStore provides our customers with data-centric, intelligent, and adaptable infrastructure that supports both traditional and modern workloads. We accomplish this through:

  • Data-centric design that optimizes system performance, scalability, and storage efficiency to support any workload without compromise.
  • Intelligent automation through programmable infrastructure that simplifies management and optimize system resources, while enabling proactive health analytics to easily monitor, analyze, and troubleshoot the environment. 
  • Adaptable architecture that enables speed and application mobility, offers flexible deployment models, and provides choice, predictability, and investment protection through flexible payment solutions and data-in-place upgrades. 

    Use Cases for PowerStore

PowerStore Platform Configurations

PowerStore consist of two major configurations also called modes or personalities: PowerStore T and PowerStore X.

PowerStore T is storage centric and provides both Block and File services. The software stack starting with a CoreOS is deployed directly on bare metal hardware.

PowerStore X is designed to run applications and provide storage. PowerStore X systems are Block-only storage with a hypervisor (ESXi) installed on the bare metal and the software stack is deployed on the hypervisor. This design enables the deployment of customer VMs and custom applications.

The basic hardware on both configurations is called a Node. A node contains the processors and memory and is the storage processor or storage controller. Two nodes are housed in a Base Enclosure. The nodes are configured Active-Active (Each node has access to the same storage.) for high availability. You can build an Appliance that is based on a Base Enclosure. You can add Expansion Enclosures to each appliance for more storage capacity.

PowerStore Clustering

One, two, three, or four PowerStore T appliances can be connected in a cluster. The cluster can be made up of different PowerStore T models. For example, a PowerStore 1000 and a PowerStore 3000 can be combined in the same cluster.

In this initial release, PowerStore X can only have a one appliance cluster.


Each PowerStore configuration and model provides different performance. PowerStore can be scaled up and scaled out.

Scaling up is adding more storage. An Appliance can be a single Base Enclosure or a Base Enclosure with up to three Expansion Enclosures. Each Appliance can accommodate up to 100 drives. Depending on the model, each appliance has either 2 or 4 NVMe drives used for cache, leaving 98 or 96 drives maximum available for data.

Scaling out is to add more Base Enclosures. Scaling out increases processing power and storage. One up to four Appliances can be grouped to form a four appliance cluster. PowerStore T supports up to four appliances in a cluster. In this initial release, PowerStore X only supports one appliance.

PowerStore Models

There are ten different models available within the PowerStore platform: Five PowerStore T models and five PowerStore X models. The higher the model number, the more CPU cores and memory per appliance.

he PowerStore series midrange storage solution includes:

  • PowerStore T, configured for block only or block and file storage.
  • PowerStore X, configured for block storage with hypervisor.
  • Both PowerStore T and PowerStore X come in 1000, 3000, 5000, 7000, and 9000 models. The bigger the number, the faster the processor and better performance.
  • PowerStore appliances are made up of a base enclosure and up to three optional expansion enclosures.
    • For PowerStore T, up to four appliances may for a cluster.
    • For PowerStore X, only one appliance is allowed in a cluster.

One of the most significant and exciting attributes of PowerStore is that it enables customers to continuously modernize their infrastructure over time as requirements change, without limits and on their terms. This allows IT organizations to eliminate future cost uncertainties to plan predictably for the future. ​

With PowerStore, customers can deploy the appliance and consolidate data and applications to meet their current needs. The scale up and scale out architecture allows them to independently add capacity and compute/performance as their workload requirements change over time. ​

​But we don’t stop there. PowerStore goes one step further to provide data-in-place upgrades, enabling the infrastructure to be modernized without a forklift upgrade, without downtime, and without impacting applications. This Adaptable architecture effectively spells the END of data migration.​

PowerStore appliances offer deep integration with VMware vSphere such as VAAI and VASA support, event notifications, snapshot management, storage containers for Virtual Volumes (vVols), and virtual machine discovery and monitoring in PowerStore Manager. By default when a PowerStore T or PowerStore X model is initialized, a storage container is automatically created on the appliance. Storage containers are used to present vVol storage from PowerStore to vSphere. vSphere then mounts the storage container as a vVol datastore and makes it available for VM storage. This vVol datastore is then able to be accessible by internal ESXi nodes or external ESXi hosts. If an administrator has a multi-appliance cluster, the total capacity of a storage container will span the aggregation of all appliances within the cluster.

Claim Details:
The only purpose-built array with a built-in VMware ESXi hypervisor (AD #: G20000055​) – Based on Dell analysis of publicly available information on current solutions from mainstream storage vendors, April 2020.

The advantage of PowerStore’s Anytime Upgrade program is significant. Customers have multiple options to upgrade and enhance their infrastructure.

  • They can upgrade to the next higher model within their current family (for example, upgrading with more powerful nodes to convert their PowerStore appliance from a 1000 to a 3000 model)
  • Or they can upgrade their existing appliance nodes from the current generation to the next generation of nodes.
  • Both the next-generation and higher model node upgrades are performed non-disruptively while preserving existing drives and expansion enclosures, without requiring new licensing or additional purchases.
  • Alternatively, a third option allows customers to scale-out their existing environment with a second system equal to their current model. In short, the customers receives a discount towards their second appliance purchase (e.g. they have to pay for the media in the 2nd appliance).

The three big differentiators from other upgrade programs in the market are:

  • Flexible upgrade options, beyond just a next-gen controller swap.
  • The upgrades can be done anytime in contract as opposed to waiting three years or more.
  • No renewal is required when the upgrade is performed.

Finally, Dell Technologies On Demand features several pay-per-use consumption models that scale to align spending with usage – and optimize both financial and technological outcomes.

  • Pay As You Grow: This model was designed for organizations that have stable workload environments and predictable growth. It enables organizations to match payments for committed infrastructure as it is deployed over time. So, for example, customers can opt for a deferred payment that starts on the date the equipment is deployed or provide a step payment structure that is aligned with their forecast of future usage or their deployment schedule. The key here is the payment flexibility provided around a committed infrastructure.
  • The next two offerings are Flex On Demand and Data Center Utility. Both of these provide metered (or measured) usage and are applicable across our ISG portfolio.
  • Flex On Demand: First, with Flex On Demand, the customer selects the desired total deployed capacity – consisting of Committed Capacity plus Buffer Capacity – to create the right balance of flexibility and cost. Then, they can scale elastically up and down within the Buffer Capacity, as needed. The key here is that capacity is paid for only when it is consumed.
  • Data Center Utility: Delivers the highest degree of flexibility to address business requirements within and across the IT ecosystem. Customers can scale up or down as required. Capacity is delivered as needed. Procurement is streamlined and automated. Billing is simplified. Reporting is standardized. And a delivery manager is assigned and dedicated to the customer’s success. And managed services are most often delivered as part of the total solution.

All of these OPEX-structured flexible consumption solutions help organizations more predictably budget for IT spending, pay for technology as it is used, and achieve optimal total cost of ownership over the full technology lifecycle.

** Payment solutions provided by Dell Financial Services L.L.C. (DFS) or its affiliate or designee, subject to availability and may vary in certain countries. Where available, offers may be changed without notice.

** Payment solutions provided by Dell Financial Services L.L.C. (DFS) or its affiliate or designee, subject to availability and may vary in certain countries. Where available, offers may be changed without notice.

you can download the spec sheet from here

and the data sheet from here

you can lunch a virtual hands-on lab from here

and an interactive demo from here

you can also download a technical primer, by clicking the screenshot below

in the 2nd post ( we are going to cover some of the hardware aspects of the PowerStore family


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