There is no question that we live in an ever-changing world – especially for you in IT.

According to Dell’s own research [The Global Data Protection Index (GDPI) Snapshot a survey of 1000 IT decision makers from organizations around the world], almost half (48%) of organizations have suffered a cyber attack in the last 12 months.

Click to access global-data-protection-index-key-findings.pdf

And ESG research further confirms that of the companies they surveyed that had suffered an attack, 50% paid a ransom, but only 40% of them were able to cover more than 75% of their data.

Then there’s sustainability. IDC reports that 83% agree that sustainability is one of the most important criteria for IT buying decisions.

And finally, ESG has found that 9 out of 10 IT organizations must now move faster than three years ago, and nearly half of them more than 50% faster.

With software-driven storage innovations from Dell Technologies – so you can strengthen IT security and supercharge efficiency.

When it comes to powering your innovation, we believe that you need

  • The cyber resiliency to secure and protect data everywhere
  • And the breakthrough efficiency required to lower operational and energy costs

Only Dell provides the unique combination of immutability to protect against deletion, a cyber vault for air-gapped isolation, and AI and machine learning to speed data recovery. These innovations accelerate Zero Trust adoption, to protect an organization’s data from the threat of cyberattacks.

And for efficiency, our software innovations continue to push intelligence and automation to new levels. From eliminating time-consuming tasks with ML, to making our technology more energy efficient with each new generation.  For example, we certify that our systems use industry standard benchmarks including ENERGY STAR and EPEAT. And Dell guarantees up to 4:1 data reduction across our broad storage portfolio.

Breakthrough Efficiency:

First, under the umbrella of ‘Breakthrough Efficiency,’ we’ve made significant strides in improving the product’s capabilities.

  • Expanded CloudIQ Integration:
    • Our integration with CloudIQ has been enhanced, which further simplifies storage management and gives our customers even more powerful insights into their infrastructure. 
    • With a comprehensive view of all systems, hybrid monitoring covering both PowerFlex and APEX Block Storage, and real-time license management, our customers gain greater control. It allows them to make informed decisions, proactively address issues, and optimize their infrastructure for maximum performance.
  • Improved Serviceability and Maintenance:
    • We have taken steps to improve the overall serviceability and maintenance aspects of PowerFlex. As you can see from the number in the middle, there are more than 75 new features and improvements over Tokyo. Individually some of the improvements may not be something we shout about, but collectively, these improvements signify our commitment to constantly improving PowerFlex to make the user experience as seamless and efficient as possible.
  • Extraordinary Scale with PowerFlex file services:
    • We have made remarkable improvements to enhance the scalability of our file services. There’s been an increase in the number of NAS servers, Filesystems, snapshots, etc. all of which give our customers greater flexibility and allow them to meet their growing storage demands.

Multicloud World:

Moving on to our second pillar of the ‘Multicloud World.’

  • APEX Block Storage for Microsoft Azure:
    • Earlier this year, we pre-announced APEX Block Storage for Public Cloud at DTW. Now, with in this latest release, we are extending PowerFlex technology you’ve come to know and love to the cloud with the availability of APEX Block Storage for Microsoft Azure.
    • This brings to life Dell’s ground-to-cloud strategy to help organizations in their multicloud journey
    • In the 2nd half of this training we’ll talk more about how the world’s the most scalable, flexible, and reliable cloud block storage can now be consumed across both AWS and Microsoft Azure environments
  • AWS Outposts:
    • We further demonstrates the versatility of PowerFlex with the announcement that PowerFlex has received Amazon Web Services (AWS) Outposts Ready designation.
    • Fully tested and supported as part of the AWS Service Ready Program, AWS Outposts users can now deploy PowerFlex storage in two on-premises ways: as a physical deployment for AWS Outposts or as a software-only inside AWS Outposts. We’ll dive deeper into the details later on in this session.

Breakthrough Efficiencies

3. Increases in File Scalability Items:

  • We have made remarkable improvements to enhance the scalability of our File Services. Here are some key numbers to highlight:
    • We have increased the number of NAS Servers per system by a factor of 400%. This expansion allows for greater flexibility and the ability to support a larger number of NAS Servers within a single system
    • The maximum number of file systems has been increased by a factor of 400%. This expansion allows our customers to handle a significantly higher volume of file systems, meeting their growing storage demands
    • Lastly, we have raised the limit on maximum snapshots by a factor of 22X. This means our customers can capture and preserve more snapshots of their data, providing them with greater control and flexibility in managing their file systems

1. Single Name Space:

  • One IP address for NAS/File Services; the ability to create and virtualize a single namespace. This means that multiple NAS Servers and their filesystems can be created, all being accessible through a single namespace

The Global Namespace is defined on one node, but holds the information about all NAS servers and their filesystems on a separate nodes.

  • Requests for non-local filesystems are redirected to the appropriate host
  • Invisible to the client (requires NVFv4 or SMB with DFS redirection)
  • Additional NAS servers & filesystems can be added to the global namespace at a later time
  • It provides a significant boost in exposed capacity – up to 8 times greater than a traditional single namespace setup. This scalability enables us to handle larger workloads and accommodate future growth
  • Requires NFSv4 or SMB with DFS namespace redirection.
    • The Global Namespace is implemented based on client redirection.
    • An NFSv4 referral allows servers to redirect clients from one server’s namespace to another. This facilitates the creation of a global namespace while maintaining the data on discrete and separate servers.
    • Similar for DFS redirection.
  • This is a great operational improvement and enables the addition of new NAS servers and filesystems to the GNS without having to explicitly map them to clients.

2. Deploy and Provision Block and File using a single storage pool:

  • In 4.0 We added classification tags to the storage pools. A special class (“nas”) was required to create the software-defined NAS cluster and its management volumes.
  • In 4.5 this restriction is dropped, and users can easily manage and deploy both block and file storage using a single storage pool.
  • If an existing SP has the “nas” class information assigned, during NDU to 4.5, the classification will be reverted to “default”.

Auditing capabilities on the file objects (viewing or changes or modifications), the common functionality in the NAS space.

  • CEPA delivers SMB and NFS file and directory event notifications to a server, enabling them to be parsed and controlled by third-party applications.
  • This can be used for use cases such as detecting ransomware, managing user access, configuring quotas, and providing storage analytics.
  • The event notification solution consists of a combination of the PowerFlex, Common Event Enabler (CEE) CEPA software, and a third-party application.
  • We configure CEPA in the PowerFlex UI and define which events to deliver. But we don’t view these in the PowerFlex UI.
  • Viewable in Customer-owned Common Event (CE) Server

PowerFlex File Services offer a range of benefits, including a single namespace for improved capacity, simplified management through a single storage pool, and impressive increases in file scalability. These enhancements provide significant value to our customers, allowing them to efficiently manage their data, maintain high performance, and accommodate future growth.

  • System Alerts – Under Monitor > Alerts, PowerFlex systems are now listed showing any alerts that may have happened on the PowerFlex system. Identify the alert and see further details in CloudIQ.
  • Connectivity
    • Under Admin > Connectivity, gateway status shows persistent SCG (Secure Connect Gateway) Connectivity status.
    • PowerFlex systems show the SCG connectivity status and links to click into the SCG serial numbers for more details. Includes details such as Remote access, API access, Gateway connectivity, and MFT connectivity statuses.
  • Resource Tab – PowerFlex systems will show the MDM details for a system on the Resource Tab on the Inventory Tab of the system. MDMs are divided into Primary, Secondary, Tiebreakers, and Standby MDMs.
  • Block Tab – PowerFlex systems will show the Block Storage Objects details on the Inventory Tab of the system. There are multiple views such as Protection Domain, SDS, Storage Pools, Devices, and Volumes.
  • Configuration update frequency is increased to once-per-hour

  • Product Model – All PowerFlex systems are now identified with PowerFlex software, PowerFlex appliance, and PowerFlex rack in CloudIQ.
  • Link out to PowerFlex manager – From within the single system view in CloudIQ there is a link to the PowerFlex manager UI for that system.

CloudIQ lets you see all your associated PowerFlex licenses and the details for each.

This covers evaluation, subscription, and perpetual licensing.

It will show the purchased, activated, and available TB’s.

But to man

Support Contract – PowerFlex systems will show when a system will have it support contracts expire on Perpetual licensed systems.

age the licenses you will have to visit Software Licensing Central.

New 16G custom nodes are available :

R6625: Two  socket, 1U, up to 192 cores, AMD EPYC Processors, Up to 4TB RDIMM

25Gb or 100Gb network connectivity, Optional GPU: Nvidia A2, L4, 2-Layer support: Compute Only (no storage disks)

R7625: Two  socket, 1U, up to 192 cores, AMD EPYC Processors, Up to 4TB RDIMM

25Gb or 100Gb network connectivity, Optional GPUs: Nvidia H100, A100, A40, A30, A16, A2, L40, L4, 2-Layer support: Compute Only (no storage disks)

R660: Two socket, 1U, up to 112 cores. 10x SAS/SATA or NVMe Solid State Drives .Up to 4TB RDIMM with SDPM

(Software Defined Persistent Memory)

25Gb or 100Gb network connectivity. Optional GPU: Nvidia A2, L4. 2-Layer support: Compute Only and Storage Only

R760: Two socket, 2U, up to 112 cores. 24x SAS/SATA or NVMe Solid State Drives

Up to 4TB RDIMM with SDPM. 25Gb or 100Gb network connectivity

Optional GPUs: Nvidia H100, A100, A40, A30, A16, A2, L40, L4. 2-Layer support: Compute Only and Storage Only

  • We are increasing the pace of our support for new OpenShift Container Platform releases.
  • NVMe/TCP in ESXi 8 increases the number of volumes that can be mapped to an ESXi host = from 32 to 256
  • It also increases the maximum number of data paths between the NVMe host and the PowerFlex cluster (SDTs) = from 8 to 32
  • Other NVMe/TCP improvements in 4.5, but they’re concerned with Linux NVMe hosts and these OSes are still considered tech preview. We won’t cover these updates here.

PowerFlex Manager now enables SSO support with SAML2, to integrate with the Corporate IdP for seamless login.

  • This diagram shows the typical 4-step SSO process-flow with the SAML protocol. As we see with SSO processes, the User has already logged into their IT environment and the login process operates in the background to give the User access to the Application.
  • If a company policy requires that Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) is used for access to PowerFlex Manager (or any particular application), then additional steps would prompt the User for their token or additional login-code before enabling the login. For this MFA support with SSO, the MFA policy and operations are configured when setting up the SSO-SAML support for PowerFlex Manager

Dell Technologies further demonstrates Dell PowerFlex’s versatility with this announcement that PowerFlex has received Amazon Web Services (AWS) Outposts Ready designation. Fully tested and supported as part of the AWS Service Ready Program, AWS Outposts users can now deploy PowerFlex storage in two on-premises ways: as a physical (storage adjacent) deployment for AWS Outposts or as a software-only (virtual) inside AWS Outposts.

AWS customers choose on-premises AWS Outposts when they need low-latency access to on-premises systems, local data processing, data residency or application migration with local system interdependencies using AWS services. And, AWS

Outposts deployed with Dell PowerFlex enhance AWS Outposts-only implementations with higher performance, larger storage capacities, linear scaling and enterprise-grade availability, delivering a hybrid cloud solution capable of meeting the most stringent application demands for operational simplicity, agility and cost

An additional benefit of this unique product combination is that customers can simultaneously implement either of these two deployment options separately or together. By providing several combinations, Dell delivers utmost flexibility for achieving and exceeding AWS Outposts’ data protection or application mobility goals.

You can download the PowerFlex software and the documentation, using the link below

The Solution brief for Dell PowerFlex 4.5

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