Dell EMC rebrands VxFlex to PowerFlex, adds async rep, DR and safe snapshots

Dell EMC has confirmed PowerFlex as the new name for its scale-out, multi-hypervisor, virtual SAN and HCI VxFlex product set, and added data safety features to the OS.

PowerFlex rack.

PowerFlex, sold as a hardware appliance, is Dell EMC’s 3 to multi-thousand node scale-out block storage product providing a virtual SAN or hyper-converged deployment mode. It uses PowerEdge X86 server nodes in a parallel node architecture to provide basic storage, a  scale-out SAN (2-layer), HCI (1-layer) or mixed system, and was available as a VxFlex appliance, VxRack with integrated networking or Ready Node. (Now they are PowerFlex-branded.) Dell EMC has said it’s software-defined but the SW doesn’t appear to be available on its own.

VxFlex itself is the 2018 rebrand of the acquired ScaleIO product, which EMC bought in June 2013 for circa $200m. This was a Dell EMC alternative to VMware’s vSAN. Compared to VxRail, which supports VMware exclusively and with which it overlaps, VxFlex supports multiple hypervisors and bare metal servers, and can be used as a traditional SAN resource or in HCI mode.

PowerFlex appliance.

PowerFlex storage can be used for bare-metal databases, virtualised workloads and cloud-native containerised applications. Its parallel architecture makes for quick rebuilds when drives or nodes fail. 

Dell EMC PowerFlex performance claims.

The PowerFlex OS, Dell EMC said,  now delivers native asynchronous replication, alongside the existing sync replication,  and disaster recovery with RPO down to 30 seconds. It also delivers secure snapshots for customers with specific corporate governance and compliance requirements, including healthcare and finance, the company added.

PowerFlex appliance table.

PowerFlex appliances have all-flash hardware nodes with SATA, SAS and NVMe drive support. Blocks & Files expects more NVMe drive support, along with NVMe-oF and Optane DIMM and/or SSD support in the future to pump up the performance power further.

Feel the power

Dell EMC’s Power portfolio now includes:

  • PowerEdge server portfolio, 
  • PowerSwitch networking, 
  • PowerOne autonomous infrastructure, 
  • PowerProtect data protection,
  • PowerMax high-end primary storage,
  • PowerStore mid-range primary storage,
  • PowerScale unstructured storage,
  • PowerFlex scale-out SDS for virtual SANS and HCI,
  • PowerVault entry-level storage. 

Dell EMC said it has completed its brand and product simplification under the Power portfolio umbrella. VMware-focussed products have a V-something moniker while Dell’s own products use the Power-prefix.