We live in an ever-changing, security-minded, multi-cloud world 

There is no question that we live in an ever-changing world – especially for you in IT. According to IDC, 89% of organizations report autonomous operations are either critical or their most important priority in next two years 1

Skilled labor is at a premium. And data looks different now with “centers of data” (versus data centers) across core, edge, and cloud. In fact, 67% of companies are not very confident that all business-critical data can be recovered in event of a destructive cyber attack2

Moreover, 92% of companies are already multi-cloud – with a combination of private and public clouds3. So, maintaining control is imperative. And DevOps must be supported. With security mandates top of mind. To address these challenges, businesses must manage IT as a strategic differentiator.  

So how will you plan your infrastructure strategy?

We know that there is innovative power in data – but acting on it is a challenge. 

That’s because organizations are faced with headwinds like operational silos, cyber security threats, developer productivity hits, and cloud complexity. But the key to turning those headwinds into tail winds is in our software innovation. And you know how much easier it is to RUN faster and farther with the wind at your back!

Dell Technologies provides powerful solutions to turn headwinds into tailwinds by enabling customers to automate IT operations, innovate securely, and gain multi-cloud control and mobility. In particular, our software-driven storage solutions play a unique and critical role by helping our customers boost productivity and reduce risk, invest with confidence, and get more value from their data – wherever it resides, which ultimately accelerates the time between data creation and customer innovation.

Thirty years ago, EMC introduced Symmetrix, the first high-end enterprise storage array—the Symmetrix 4400. With each new Symmetrix and VMAX array, EMC elevated the industry standard for performance, scale, high availability, and capability of enterprise storage, and continuously maintained its position as the global high-end storage leader. PowerMax continues the engine of innovation that our enterprise customers have come to expect from Dell EMC.

From the very first Intelligent Cached Disk Array (ICDA), to industry-first local and remote replication, to advanced built-in security and data protection solutions, to introducing the industry to enterprise flash drives in 2008, Symmetrix and VMAX have always been trusted to perform in the most mission-critical and demanding environments anywhere, including those in Banking, Telco, Manufacturing, and Government and Defense, to name a few.

And with a proven track record of being both powerful and trusted, Dell EMC high-end arrays are also the smartest. With Intel technology inside, VMAX and PowerMax arrays are again leading the industry with innovations such as built-in machine learning and AI, QoS service levels, encryption with RSA, streamlined Non-Disruptive Migration, and the industry’s best NVMe-based storage for virtual server environments.

PowerMax is the latest addition to the successful Dell EMC high-end portfolio of storage solutions with an end-to-end NVMe design and future-proof architecture. No competitor can match the constant innovation and quality EMC has demonstrated in the enterprise for the past 28 years.

And that is why we are very excited to introduce the Dell PowerMax – next generation storage designed to be secure, intelligent, and always modern with absolutely no compromises.

This release builds on decades of software innovation in enterprise storage to deliver a unique combination of:

Cyber Resiliency, Intelligent Automation, and Continuously modern storage

Before we dive into the details, let’s start with the basics.

PowerMax is the industry’s most secure mission-critical storage platform, and our latest release of software (PowerMaxOS 10) delivers over 200 new features with industry-leading storage automation and advanced cyber resiliency to help companies accelerate their journey through digital transformation. We’re also introducing a brand new, next-generation multi-node scale-out architecture with end-to-end NVMe and 100Gb per second Infiniband (our Dynamic Fabric technology). There are two new models – PowerMax 2500 and PowerMax 8500.

The end-to-end NVMe design increases performance, scalability, and flexibility for customer innovation, providing IT organizations with reliable mission-critical storage that remains continuously modern over time. PowerMax delivers up to 2x faster performance, up to 14x higher storage density, and includes 4:1 data reduction guaranteed for open systems configurations.

PowerMax 2500 : Ultra Dense; 2 nodes with 4 PB in 5UAffordable, efficient entry level scale out. Built in NVMe fabric Node Pair connectivity

PowerMax 8500: Massive scale; 16 Nodes with 18 PB in 1 system. Independently scale compute and media nodes. Dynamic Fabric with RDMA over NMVe

The new architecture offers incredible levels of efficiency and density for your organization with:

  • 4:1 data reduction guaranteed for open systems storage
  • 3:1 data reduction guaranteed for mainframe storage (an industry-first)
  • 7x more capacity per array compared with previous models
  • 5x more capacity per kVA
  • Up to 2x faster per port IOPS


The new PowerMax arrays incorporate multi-dimensional scalability which enables massive consolidation of block, file, and mainframe storage, while offering fully unified management with integrated data services. A single PowerMax 8500 can scale to 64,000 devices (LUNs), 65 million secure snapshots, and provides up to 18PB of effective capacity.

With this release of PowerMaxOS 10, we’re introducing a multitude of file enhancements, including:

  • Next gen 64 bit containerized micro service architecture
  • Single global namespace for file access scalable across nodes
  • Fully unified management through Unisphere 10, with end to end integration CloudIQ reporting, alerting, telemetry
  • Integrated Data Services including SRDF/S & A, Snaps, Service Levels, DRR, FLR, D@RE, NDU upgrades

In addition to file enhancements, the new PowerMax 2500 is designed to make Dell more competitive in the “sweet spot” of the mainframe storage market – customers with far less than one petabyte of storage. It’s ideal for customers that are consolidating mainframe and open systems storage workloads and may be managing storage with a smaller combined (open / mainframe) staff. Dell is also the first and ONLY mainframe storage provider offering data reduction of mainframe data, and additionally, backing it with a guarantee.

PowerMax’s new mainframe capability creates even more advantage over IBM and Hitachi (the only other vendors with mainframe storage). The model 2500 makes Dell Technologies more competitive in smaller mainframe datacenters where customers may only need < 100TBs for mainframe but also need to run open systems workloads and consolidate into a small rack. The up to four engine model 2500 can mix up to 64 server connections (mainframe and non-mainframe). PowerMax now supports IBM’s zHyperlink, the fastest connection to the mainframe for the small percentage of customers that require this application-specific high-performance feature. Additionally, Dell’s 100% IBM-compatible version of cloud tiering has been expanded with several new tape management capabilities to simplify the management of mainframe tape in the cloud.

The new models also simplify concurrent storage of mainframe and non-mainframe data by eliminating the need to define sperate mainframe and non-mainframe storage groups at initial ordering. Customers can now “repurpose” these new models to be either 100% dedicated to either type of data or re-mix capacity types at any time.

Lastly (and most importantly) Dell Technologies is the first mainframe storage vendor to compress mainframe data within a mainframe storage array (DASD device) AND, additionally assure customers that they can achieve at least a 3:1 reduction of mainframe data storage as part of our Future-Proof guarantee.

Let’s take a closer look at the key elements of PowerMax cyber resiliency — used to safeguard your high value data.

PowerMax is designed on a principle of Zero Trust Security Architecture to deliver a robust data security posture for mission-critical data storage. The comprehensive PowerMax’s security posture covers critical admin and user access authentication, authorization, and granular control for the highest access check. Furthermore, PowerMax expands the security probe to the host and application level by leveraging the fastest anomaly detection to uncover malicious activities due to malware/ransomware activities. And finally, PowerMax ensures data integrity by implementing end-to-end encrypted to prevent unauthorized tampering and misuse. With comprehensive tests and verifications, it is established that the new PowerMax system is the world’s most secure mission-critical storage that comes with several industry standards certifications and compliance.

PowerMax is the World Most Secure Mission Critical Storage

We have a very comprehensive approach to security and a very comprehensive set of features to safeguard your data.

Admin security

  • Security Certifications – Common Criteria; STIG Hardening/DoD APL ; FIPS 140 certified
  • Trusted User Access Control – RSA SecureID Multi Factor Authentication – NEW; CAC/PIV certificate support ; RBAC; LDAP support; zDP 2 Actor

Host/Apps Security

  • Cyber Security Resiliency – Solutions with Virtual and Physical Air Gaps; Validated Cyber Solutions for Open & Mainframe; Secure Snaps @ scale with granular RPOs
  • Advanced Threat Detection – Malware Anomaly Detection; Cybersecurity Config Compliance Alerts; Secure syslog alerts and exports

Storage Security

  • Data at Rest Encryption – External key managers; D@RE key rotation – NEW; Self encrypting media
  • Built in Hardware Security – NEW – Immutable HW Root of Trust; Secure Boot Chain of Trust; Digitally signed FW updates

Designed for Zero Trust Security Architectures

  • Dell established the 7 pillars of Zero Trust architectures based on the NIST framework. Systems that meet each of the seven pillars are consider designed for Zero Trust.
  • The seven pillars cover security features for: device trust, user trust, transport trust, apps trust, data trust, visibility/analytics trust, and automation/orchestration trust.
  • The highest security environments, such as U.S. DoD and NSA, require vendors to provide solutions that are designed for their Zero Trust architectures.
  • PowerMax storage meets that requirement and gives our customers confidence in deploying highly resilient storage

PowerMax offers a robust solution to protect the data from malware and ransomware attacks. It safeguards data from unauthorized access via several secure configurations’ settings, detects cyberattacks quickly by monitoring unusual storage utilization and suspicious activities metrics, and protects the data at a very granular level using its most versatile secure snapshots technology. As a matter of fact, PowerMax supports up to 65 million snapshots copy of a single volume giving you a choice of recovering the data instantaneously for your mission-critical applications in case of cyberattacks.

Dell cloud-based CloudIQ AIOps solution provides quick PowerMax storage insights for security health, configuration settings, and anomaly detection status to respond quickly and mend security attacks or malicious activities.

CloudIQ provides intelligent infrastructure insights into PowerMax resources by leveraging Machine Learning to help users Reduce Risk, Plan Ahead and Improve Productivity by helping you answer questions about your data center to enable the optimal health of your environment.

CloudIQ makes it faster and easier to analyze and identify issues accurately and intelligently. Cybersecurity is a new feature in CloudIQ that identifies potential security violations. System configurations are continuously monitored and compared to a user configurable evaluation plan at which point a risk level is assigned to each system. Users can quickly get a visual representation of system security risk by seeing the identified issues and can remediate security violations using the provided recommended remediations.

Aligned to the Zero Trust Security Architecture, PowerMax implements a security-in-depth approach by using multi-factor authentication for resource access. It uses secure token-based access for Unisphere management too to allow only authorized and authenticated access to the storage resources. Multi-factor authentication adds greater authenticity and audit capabilities to ensure safer storage systems use.

PowerMax secure snapshots technology extends data security and protection to the next level. Depending on the business service level objectives (SLOs), you can configure up to 65 million snapshot copies of a single volume on PowerMax to accomplish recovery point objectives (RPOs) for up to a minute. Additionally, secure snapshots allow you to safeguard from unauthorized access and long-term data retention for governance and other compliance requirements. Furthermore, Snapshots allow expanding the data into the cloud and air-gap recovery solution.

Anomaly detection is an elegant way to detect malicious activity in storage systems and take corrective action to prevent security hacking. The best approach to implement anomaly detection is to measure the size of the verified data at the volume level and get the data reduction ratio (DRR). Monitor the DRR ratio frequently, and if any drastic change is detected in the DRR then flag the volume for analysis and inspection. Usually, the DRR rate decreases significantly for the encrypted data, and hackers usually exploit the security vulnerabilities to encrypt the data and demand ransom for releasing the key. Ransomware attacks are on the rise, and monitoring data volume frequently for the anomaly is a great way to prevent and safeguard data from ransomware activities.

Perhaps the most popular data service for PowerMax is SRDF. SRDF software, the gold standard in disaster recovery, offers unmatched flexibility and massive scalability to deliver remote replication over extended distances or across multiple sites. With a penetration rate of close to 70%, it is the disaster recovery protection of choice for most large corporations. It is available in synchronous mode up to 60 miles with no loss of data in the event of a failure, Asynchronous mode over 8k miles, or combinations of each to support 3 or 4 site topologies as required by the worlds most mission critical applications.

SRDF/Metro delivers active-active high availability for non-stop data access and workload mobility – within a data center and across metro distance. And the user experience with all the SRDF options are simpler than ever. And the software is included in the Pro software package.

PowerMax provides ongoing software fixes as well as new feature functionality, so that customers continue to enjoy continued innovation and investment protection. To take advantage of these updates as quickly and easily as possible, PowerMax offer truly non disruptive software upgrades. All controllers are upgraded in parallel and done in memory – IOs from a host will ride through a brief pause as new code is activated  taking less than 6 seconds to upgrade the entire array. There is no impact to the availability of the data, regardless of config, scale etc (no rolling outage upgrade, no failover/failback process, no switching LUN ownership required). The online upgrades for PowerMax do not rely on host multi-pathing or other external support.

This feature is truly unique and highly complex. The VMAX family has had this capability for 10+ years and it is bullet proof. Always online is one of the reasons so many customers trust their most critical data to PowerMax.

Starting at the core, in your data center, there has traditionally been a need to balance capacity with performance. But in this age of data, the limits of both are being pushed and the velocity of data growth is straining infrastructure.

Dell Tech Cloud Storage for Multi-cloud addresses rapid data growth and optimize data center resources with simple and efficient data mobility to and from public clouds. Cloud Mobility for PowerMax offers seamless and transparent movement of data from on-premises to the cloud, enabling customers to leverage public cloud for economical storage, ideal for archiving and long-term retention. This frees up capacity on the On-prem PowerMax array to support more important applications and extending the PowerMax useful life.

Cloud Mobility for PowerMax securely (data is encrypted) and efficiently (data is compressed) transfers snapshot copies at the application level to the S3 compatible object storage offering in the hyper scaler of your choice (Microsoft Azure and AWS supported in first release), and also supports DellEMC ECS for cost effective on prem storage.

The data in the cloud can be either recovered directly back to the PowerMax or, via the AWS resident vApp application data recovery to EBS block storage is possible leveraging EC2 compute infrastructure as a service to run secondary application use cases. PowerMax cloud data can be leveraged in the AWS cloud for secondary processing such as analytics, reporting or testing.

Cloud Mobility for PowerMax is included on all PowerMax models.

Let’s review the key elements of PowerMax automation — used to automate storage operations.

Enterprise Storage Group (ESG) research highlights the challenges inherent in running modern IT environments. Consider that today, 59% of ESG survey respondents identify data as “being their business,” and in two years, the percentage is expected to increase to 81% of respondents. And as these digital businesses require more from IT, the pressure to accelerate operations increases.

ESG found that:

  • More than two-thirds of surveyed IT organizations are under pressure to accelerate IT infrastructure deployment and provisioning to support developers/line-of-business teams.
  • Nine out of ten IT organizations now must move faster than three years ago—nearly half of them by more than 50%.

As demands scale, so too does data and IT infrastructure, leading to storage sprawl. Data growth isn’t slowing down. ESG research shows that, on average, organizations are expecting a 35% growth rate for on-premises capacity and a 39% growth rate for public cloud capacity over the next three years.

Data center investments are expanding, too. Among IT organizations surveyed by ESG, 47% expected to increase their data center infrastructure spending in 2022, and an additional 48% expected to maintain their current spending rate. But as this IT scale and distribution increases, so too does complexity. Among survey respondents, 64% agreed that the complexity of their IT infrastructure is slowing operations and hampering digital initiatives.

Problematic skill shortages across IT are further increasing the burden. Thirty-nine percent of surveyed organizations are experiencing problematic skills shortages in IT architecture and planning in particular, while 76% of respondents agreed that they have taken on added or new responsibilities to support their organization’s digital transformation goals and initiatives or are under pressure to do so.

Lastly, the rising role/influence of developers on IT operations is coming into play as well. Developers are in charge of designing, building, and executing those all-important digital strategies—they are the teams that have the fullest visibility into every process that goes into creating a new digital solution for the business. IT Ops needs to work with and support these DevOps teams to the maximum extent possible.

How many times has your organization said they need to boost productivity, reduce risk and be ready for what comes next?

PowerMax has a long history of automating storage operations and expanding a broad ecosystem to simplify overall storage operation activities. PowerMax offers rich enterprise storage solutions for open systems, virtualized and containerized workloads, and mainframes. PowerMax offers flexibility yet robust security framework to configure and tailor the storage needs for critical workloads. Additionally, it extends API and SDKs for secure automating storage operations. Furthermore, PowerMax offers transparent AIOps capabilities via CloudIQ for real-time telemetry, remediation, and anomaly detection capabilities to realize the DevOps framework.

Unisphere 10 is an HTML5 web-based application that enables the management of the PowerMax storage systems. Additionally, Unisphere REST API enables ecosystem partners to develop tools for configuration, diagnostic, and performance monitoring of PowerMax. Unisphere 10 allows a simple, automated, secure administration,  and effective management of the PowerMax storage systems.

Here some of the Unisphere 10 core capabilities are shown.

  • Enhance reporting – a new Unisphere 10 dashboard gives elegant visualizations, resource telemetry, and planning capabilities.
  • Speed and Scale – The performance of Unisphere and response time to operation tasks have greatly improved with Unisphere 10.
  • SAN Health Monitoring – Unisphere 10 extends the capabilities into SAN fabric health monitoring and reporting critical metrics for improving the overall storage management experience.
  • Multi-factor authentication – To strengthen the storage security posture, the MFA feature adds token-based two-factor authentication.
  • Algorithmic IT Operations – Unisphere 10 supports extensive automation capabilities by using tools such as Ansible, vRO, OpenStack, and CSI/CSM modules.
  • Multi-array Smart Provisioning – Unisphere 10 monitors real-time multiple arrays storage statistics and helps elect the suitable array for the workload.

The PowerMax built-in migration technology provides common data mobility across supported PowerMax and non PowerMax storage arrays. It leverages array-based orchestration and replication services to automatically discover, configure, and migrate data online. The multi-array workload planner analyzes the storage infrastructure and recommends the best place to host the workloads.

The PowerMax SmartFabric Storge Software is the industry’s first NVMe/TCP end-to-end deployment solution for automating NVMe/TCP operations. NVMe/TCP helps with lower deployment costs, reduces SAN design complexity, and allows for building a highly scalable PowerMax storage environment for mission-critical workloads.

Compared to the iSCSI deployment steps, SmartFabric Storage Software saves up to 44% less time to configure PowerMax storage resources and simplifies the overall user experience.

Dell EMC Container Storage Modules (CSM) builds on top of the Container Storage Interface (CSI) foundation to deliver unique, powerful storage and enterprise capabilities. CSM makes enterprise storage real for Kubernetes with simple, consistent integration and automation for DevOps and IT across storage and cloud native stateful apps.

Extend Enterprise Storage to Kubernetes – Accelerate adoption of cloud native workloads with proven enterprise storage

  • Enables a high performing and resilient enterprise storage foundation for Kubernetes.
  • Delivers a full stack of enterprise capabilities such as industry leading replication, authorization, failure recovery and management. These capabilities accelerate deployment testing, resulting in a faster application deployment lifecycle.
  • Allows developers and storage admins to take advantage of the unique benefits of Dell EMC storage systems, such as PowerMax Metro smart DR and PowerFlex’s software-defined storage architecture.

Empower Developers – Improve productivity by reducing development lifecycles

  • Reduces storage management complexity with observability module so developers can indecently consume enterprise storage with ease.
  • It also provides a complete K8s solution stack that delivers an integrated experience for developers and storage admins.
  • Customers will be able to take advantage of consistent monitoring, management and policy enforcement across enterprise storage and DevOps environments.

Automate storage operations – Integrate enterprise storage with existing Kubernetes toolsets for scalable operations

  • Allows customers to realize the promise of infrastructure as code for frictionless data collection and consumption
  • Observability module empowers customers to create storage pools across multiple storage arrays for minimal storage management
  • Delivers an integrated experience that bridges the gap between Kubernetes admins/developers and the traditional IT admins, furthering solidifying enterprise storage’s role as a viable alternative to public cloud while eliminating silos and shadow IT.
  • PowerMax is designed to help your storage stay continuously modern. Let’s explore how this is accomplished.

We understand…even considering a new storage platform may bring up painful memories of complexity and cost from previous forklift migrations.

The traditional platform refresh cycle always begins with an experienced BUSINESS disadvantage. Something no longer works that used to work – and the platform can no longer adapt.

So you begin to look for something new – and as you know, there’s a LOT of work involved before the forklift even shows up. You’ve got to research, forecast and approve a new budget, evaluate different vendor technologies and negotiate pricing.

THEN the forklift arrives and the real work begins. You likely overbuy to maximize longevity. You’ll probably repurchase software licenses, pay for installation, configuration, and data migration. And all this time, you’re not only experiencing the original business disadvantage; you’re also sucking up valuable time for you and your entire IT team. How many opportunities for innovation have you missed?

And the worst part is, it’s a cyclical process, so you’ll need to begin planning for it again almost as soon as you finish. You’re stuck in a loop: 3 to 5 years of platform life, punctuated by periods of significant business disadvantage. It’s a reality IT organizations AND technology providers have accepted for many years.

PowerMax is designed to deliver new technologies and innovation seamlessly as they become available. PowerMax has the ability to “modernize in place,” with zero disruption to workloads and maximum reuse of existing investments.

The transformation occurs in two ways.

First is PowerMax’s inclusive SOFTWARE SUBSCRIPTION

  • Every PowerMax ships with all the software you need to run and optimize the array (with the exception of SRDF).
  • You don’t have to buy licenses to activate individual features – either at the time of your original deployment, or when you upgrade your appliance. Software is always included at no cost.
  • There’s also no charge for new features and high-value updates
    which we’ll continue to deliver at a regular cadence.

But it’s not just the software!

PowerMax also provides data-in-place HARDWARE upgrades, enabling the infrastructure to be modernized without forklifts, downtime, or application impact.

  • Simply swap out your controllers for either next-gen versions, adding the latest performance while continuing to reuse your current chassis – along with your drive media and any expansion enclosures.

You can purchase these node (controller) upgrades as you goor better yet – take advantage of our industry-leading Anytime Upgrade
, which we’ll discuss now.

Dell’s Anytime Upgrade program for PowerMax is hands down the smartest way to stay continuously modern.

Customers who enroll can save significantly compared to buying an upgrade separately on their own!  That alone is a HUGE advantage – but the benefits go much deeper.

With Anytime Upgrade, you won’t need a separate PO for a future hardware upgradeJust pick up the phone and we’ll handle the rest — including deployment services. 

Think about how that compares with the forklift upgrade cycle we discussed at the beginning.

  • It’s basically the opposite of a forklift upgrade – more like storage as a service.  
  • No need to migrate, since it’s data-in-place.
  • No disruption, no effort – including to re-plan and re-approve budget.

You’re really giving yourself and your company a huge gift in the future: the gift of time, and of course business opportunity, since you won’t be WASTING your time on this.   From Day 1, you get the peace of mind that comes from knowing your storage will never become outdated. 

Here’s a quick overview of the process.

Enroll in AU when you purchase your appliance

Redeem your upgrade any time within the contract.

AFTER you upgrade, you decide whether or not to reenroll – unlike competing offers, there’s no lock-in.

This is the true GOLD standard for upgrade programs, and a key PowerMax advantage we recommend for EVERY customer.

To close….

Dell PowerMax is next-generation storage designed to be secure, intelligent, and always modern with absolutely no compromises.

This release builds on decades of software innovation in enterprise storage to deliver a unique combination of:

Cyber Resiliency, Intelligent Automation, and Continuously modern storage

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