Dell FluidFS NAS, the Emerging Leader in Unstructured Data

Dell’s NAS solutions have continued to attract the attention of customers around the world. This doesn’t come as much of a surprise to us as our Fluid File System (FluidFS) is one of a select few that is a true scale-out NAS architecture. Over the short 2 and half years since the introduction of our FluidFS, customers have benefited from the significant price-performance advantages and our ability to deliver integrated solutions that encompass servers, storage, networking, and deployment services.

Since the introduction of our NAS solutions, we’ve experienced a rapid increase in customer adoption, especially in enterprise IT environments, as well as in certain vertical segments with file-intensive workflows such as media and entertainment, healthcare and education. With FluidFS version 3 for Compellent FS8600, launched back in October, customer growth continues to accelerate. But we aren’t stopping there. FluidFS version 3 is now available for the EqualLogic FS7600 and FS7610 NAS appliances.

One trend we’re seeing among our enterprise customers is the need for file storage solutions that address specific needs: file server consolidation, virtualization deployments and big data archiving among others. For these types of projects, more and more customers are interested in a single vendor for an integrated solution, something only Dell and a few other vendors can deliver. For customers, this approach provides better support, faster deployment and lower acquisition cost on a $/TB basis.

Media and entertainment is another file-based storage market in which FluidFS solutions offer customers several unique advantages. For these types of workflows, customers often need petabytes of cost-effective capacity that can expand as their requirements increase. They also need highly scalable performance for files – sometimes extremely large – that are shared among production teams. FluidFS delivers both, and that’s why leading producers and content providers such as Important Looking Pirates, Keek and GloboTV are using Dell NAS solutions.

In healthcare, clinical imaging is an area where Dell has established a strong value proposition and market position with providers around the world. Recent PACS ISV qualification with GE, Afga and Merge Healthcare expands the range of solutions that we can deliver, including on-premises file storage with FluidFS, EHR/EMR data stored on Compellent and EqualLogic SANs and  cloud image archival with Dell Cloud Clinical Archiving. We also offer Dell Services to enable EMC Centera migration, making it easier for customers to adopt more flexible and cost-effective solutions.

File storage requirements among higher educational institutions span a broad spectrum of users, including students, faculty, staff and researchers. Many of these institutions, especially the larger ones, have seen their IT environments grow organically and rapidly, and are now managing multiple petabytes of file storage for user shares and research data. In some cases, several petabytes of capacity can be consumed by a single research program. Cost-optimized capacity coupled with high performance are key, as is the ability to scale either one independently. It’s not surprising to see why FluidFS solutions are being deployed by major universities around the world to meet these needs. One recent example is the Advanced Computing Center at Arizona State University, which deployed a FluidFS solution with Compellent SAN storage to provide multi-petabyte file storage for researchers affiliated with both the university and other private organizations.

Stay tuned, because we’re not slowing down any time soon.  FluidFS version 3 for Compellent and EqualLogic introduces policy-based deduplication and compression, expanded protocol support, and more third-party certifications, underscoring our commitment to deliver innovative solutions across the entire Dell portfolio. We’re continuing to push the envelope of file storage technology, constantly evolving our NAS offerings to help our customers address their most challenging file storage needs, both today and in the future.

About the Author: Mike D