Dell PowerScale syncs to object storage

Dell is adding SmartSync file synchronization to object storage for PowerScale and Isilon systems with a OneFS v9.4 update.

OneFS is the operating system for Dell’s PowerScale and Isilon scale-out filers. It already has a SyncIQ feature which provides parallelized replication between Isilon clusters for disaster recovery. It can send and receive data on every node in a PowerScale/Isilon cluster. An administrator can choose to sync every six hours for customer data, every two days for HR data, and so on.  

The SmartSync data mover complements SyncIQ, providing off-cluster data moving, such as to object storage targets like ECS, AWS and Azure. It enables flexible data movement and copying, incremental resyncs, push and pull data transfer, and one-time file to object copy. 

Competitor Qumulo has its Shift feature to move files to S3-supporting target systems.

Version 9.4 also adds more features. There is non-disruptive rolling Infiniband to Ethernet back-end network migration for legacy Gen-6 clusters. In-line deduplication will be enabled by default on new OneFS 9.4 clusters, but clusters upgraded to OneFS 9.4 will maintain their current dedupe configuration.

Secure boot support is extended to include the F900, F600, F200, H700/7000, and A700/7000 platforms. The SmartConnect feature now identifies non-resolvable nodes and provides their detailed status, allowing the root cause to be pinpointed.

There is automatic monitoring, download, and installation of new healthcheck packages as they are released. A new CloudIQ protocol statistic has count keys added, allowing performance to be measured over a specified time window and providing point-in-time protocol information

Automated statistics are gathered on CloudPools accounts and there are policies providing insights for planning and troubleshooting CloudPools-related activities.

The OneFS 9.4 code is available for download on the Dell Online Support site, in both upgrade and reimage file formats. Dell says that for upgrading existing clusters, the recommendation is to open a service request with Dell Support to schedule an upgrade. To provide a consistent and positive upgrade experience, Dell is offering assisted upgrades to OneFS 9.4 at no cost to customers with a valid support contract.


Slowly but surely file and object systems are getting integrated. Object suppliers have added file interfaces and filer suppliers are supporting S3 access and data movement. Over in the SAN world we have seen unified block and file systems like Dell EMC’s Unity/PowerStore and NetApps ONTAP.

Are we going to see a grand reunification with combined block, file and object systems? Ceph supporters would say they already enjoy the benefits of such a tripartite storage system.