Boost performance, efficiency, and scalability with Dell Compellent Storage Center 6.3

  Posted on behalf of Dan Bock, Storage Product Manager

As we celebrated America’s Independence Day, I thought back to when I was a kid and people watched parades and fireworks while talking to their family and friends instead of taking pictures on their smartphones to upload for immediate worldwide viewing. Things moved a lot slower then and no one expected instant responses and access to years of data within seconds, 24×7.  Today, organizations like yours are forced to balance the management of excessive data growth and fast data access with shrinking data center budgets.  Your organization now requires a storage solution that offers fast performance, cost-and-time efficiency and the flexibility to easily scale and adapt as your data center needs change.      

Dell Compellent Storage Center is designed to help you save resources by supporting increased data growth and providing the ability to run large-scale, data-hungry applications without upgrading your storage platform.  Dell Compellent Storage Center array software, SC 6.3, is now available with new systems or at no additional cost for existing customers with a current support contract.

Storage Center 6.3 can boost system performance up to 2x for typical database workloads [1] and doubles bandwidth as the first storage array to deliver 16Gb Fibre Channel end-to-end from server to switch to storage that accelerates access to business-critical applications and data. It offers up to a 2.5x increase in virtual desktops per array [2], and a 45% performance increase [3] in messaging workloads with an 87% latency reduction [4].

Storage Center 6.3 improves authentication and authorization efficiency with LDAP/Active Directory to simplify administration, and SNMP enhancements to ease monitoring from third-party applications. Advancements to synchronous replication can result in more robust DR and reduced RTO and RPO while support for USGv6/IPv6 helps improve security. Compellent has been field-tested to deliver 99.999% availability across 26M+ hours of uptime [5].

Storage Center 6.3 greatly enhances Dell Compellent’s flexible, persistent hardware platform, which scales easily without the need to rip and replace existing hardware. You can depend on Dell Compellent’s long-term record of driving down TCO with reliable and economic block and file storage. Up to 92 percent of all Compellent systems ever shipped (or configured) are still in use [6].

 As I remember the past, I have to admit there are benefits to technology advancements, like being able to write this blog from a remote location while fishing on the Missouri River in north central South Dakota with my extended family. Despite pros and cons of the simple days of the past, businesses today have to keep up with the latest technology improvements to stay competitive. Dell Compellent customers can realize Storage Center 6.3 benefits today and will soon be able to take advantage of improvements [7] in the upcoming Storage Center 6.4 release including support for new flash-optimized solutions with industry leading tiering and an ultra-dense enclosure. Learn about all of our Dell Storage updates on Facebook and Twitter, and communicate with us about your data center challenges and goals via our @Dell Compellent handle.

(1) The performance increase with Storage Center 6.3 is significant. System size determines the performance gains. The larger the disk pool, the greater the performance gains up to 2X. Customers with drive counts above 200 drives will see the biggest performance improvement. Consult a Dell Storage Architect to determine expected gains with a particular configuration.

(2) As measured by the number of virtual desktops with less than 50 ms latency threshold.  Testing conducted by Dell Engineering, February 2013.

(3) As measured by averaging database write and read latency reduction. Testing conducted by Dell Engineering, October 2012

(4) As measured by reduction in write latency with 50,000 mailboxes each with 2GB quotas and .15 IOPS/mailbox.  Testing conducted by Dell Engineering, October 2012

(5) Results based on March 2013 internal Dell testing with actual MTBF calculated from a run time total of 26 million+ hours (accumulated by 6724 systems). Run time and availability impacting failures for a 6 month period from 8/2012 thru 1/2013.  Estimated weighted average MTTR of 6.6 hours for 12 hour part SLA. Actual performance will vary based on configuration, usage and manufacturing variability

(6) Based on April 2013 internal Dell testing. Based on controllers in active service life.

(7) Dell Compellent customers with a current support agreement can upgrade their software without a fee.  Additional hardware is required for flash and the dense enclosure solutions.

About the Author: Michelle Richard