Dell adds petabytes with update of PowerVault arrays

Dell has refreshed its PowerVault arrays, increasing power, connectivity, and capacity.

We’re told the ME5s offer twice the performance, throughput, capacity, and memory of its PowerVault ME4 predecessor. That’s not quite true on the capacity front, as we shall see.

PowerVault group

The ME4012 (2RU x 12-slot), ME4024 (2RU x 24-slot), and ME4084 (5RU x 84 slot) make way for the ME5012, ME5024, and ME84 with the same chassis but Broadwell DE-based controllers inside them are replaced by newer Xeon CPUs. The ME5012 and ME5024 can have a single or dual controller setup, with the ME5084 restricted to a dual controller configuration.

The ME4s supported SSDs and three kinds of disk drive at 15,000, 10,000, and 7,200rpm. The 15,000rpm option is no more but the other drive categories remain. However, only the entry-level ME5012 supports 3.5-inch disk drives in its base chassis; the others only have 2.5-inch base chassis bays, which restricts supported disk drive capacity levels.

There can be between 2 and 64 drives for the ME5012, 2 and 76 for the ME5025, and 28 and 336 for the ME5084. They can all have expansion trays, which support 18TB 3.5-inch drives.

Capacities, using expansion trays, have increased nicely:

  • 3.1PB ME4012 —> 4.7PB ME5012 and a 51.6 per cent increase
  • 3.0PB ME4024 —> 4.7PB ME5024 and a 56.7 per cent rise
  • 4.0PB ME4084 —> 6.0PB ME5084 and a 50 per cent uplift

The newer systems still support 12Gbit/s interconnects but 16Gbit/s Fibre Channel is now 32Gbit/s FC (auto-negotiating down to 16Gbit/s) and the ME4’s 10Gbit/s iSCSI is now 10 or 25Gbit/s iSCSI.

The ME5s are managed through PowerVault Manager with an HTML5 GUI featuring intuitive user navigation and support for scripting with either Redfish/Swordfish REST or CLI APIs. They are also supported within Dell’s Open Management Enterprise (OME) framework, which includes Dell networks, servers, and other infrastructure in a data centre. 

Customers with ProSupport Services for PowerVault ME5 can access CloudIQ, Dell’s cloud-based AIOPs service that uses telemetry, machine learning, and other algorithms to provide users with notifications and predictive analytics, remediation advice, anomalies, capacity projections, reclaimable storage, and more.

Dell says it sold 53,000 ME4 PowerVaults so the ME5s have something to live up to. Entry-level configurations start at $12,000. More details here.