Dell/EMC Innovations Part 2 of 2

As promised, here's part 2 of the post around Dell/EMC innovations that I kicked off last week based on some really interesting things that Brian Whitaker, a fellow storage marketing manager in Dell's Product Group, talked about with me.  This time, we eschewed the water cooler for some good 'ole Texas BBQ as the forum for our discussion.  I was able to keep the brisket drippings enough off my notes to make them understandable. 

Last week I  noted EMC’s new commitment to simplicity by calling out Unisphere, a task based, graphical and simplified management console for both Dell/EMC CX and NS storage. But in the same release, there are three new innovations that are also really interesting. These are:

  • LUN Compression, which pretty much does what it says on the box.  You just identify a LUN, turn on compression and the software quietly compresses the LUN in the background. You can tune the level of compression you want to balance density and performance.
  • Fast Cache (which just happens to be my personal favorite). Many of you are considering the IOPS and throughput advantages of flash disk (aka SSD or EFD). But imagine taking a few flash disks, creating a RAID group with them, and then assigning the RAID group…as cache? We’re talking about flash drives as system cache. It’s a really cool application of SSD, and now CLARiiON can use Fast Cache to support up to 2TB of Level 2 system cache. And since it’s non-volatile storage, it is designed to improve reliability as well as performance. Gone are the days of spreading a small data set over ten spindles – instead, shove it into cache on Flash disk and watch performance skyrocket.
  • And finally, Fully Automated Storage Tiering (FAST), version 2. What is it? Imagine your array, based on demand spikes and slowdowns, migrates data, in 1GB sub-LUN chunks, from Fibre Channel (FC) disk to Flash or SATA, and then back again when needed. So instead of keeping an entire application dataset on relatively expensive SSD, you can leave it on 10K FC disks, and let the array migrate it to Flash when the application needs more performance. Or you can leave an infrequently accessed dataset on SATA and let the array move it to Fibre Channel disk once a month when more performance is needed. It’s an elegant way to more efficiently use the different disks in your array, and with Dell/EMC CX and NS, you can have SSD, SATA and multiple speeds of FC drives all on the same array.

We're excited about how you can take advantage of both the simplicity and efficiency that EMC has delivered with this big release, and Dell/EMC is already taking these enhancements to market as part of our commitment to better value. Check out additional information at and let us know what you think.

About the Author: Greg White