Dell places multi-cloud storage navigation in its APEX

Dell is providing automated deployment and monitoring of its public cloud block storage with the APEX Navigator for Multicloud Storage, and has file storage support coming.

APEX is a set of services from Dell where it supplies its compute, storage and networking gear through a public cloud-like subscription model. Navigator is a software agent, an automation engine, for setting up things like a VMware cluster or multi-cloud storage. They can be automatically deployed and managed. 

Magi Kapoor, director, Product Management at Dell Technologies, said in a blog that B&F saw pre-publication: “This is just the beginning. We’re also previewing the integration of Dell APEX Navigator with Dell APEX File Storage for AWS (integration availability expected in the first half of 2024). Dell is committed to expanding our support for more storage offerings, more public cloud providers and more regions.”

APEX Navigator for Multicloud Storage is a SaaS tool providing centralized management of Dell storage software across multiple public clouds. It enables ITOps and storage admins to deploy, configure, and manage Dell storage in public clouds, with monitoring and data mobility across on-premises and public clouds.

Dell says deployment is a four-stage process with simple configuration and automated provisioning of underlying public cloud resources, and automated deployment of its storage software.

The multicloud storage Navigator has a zero trust-based security approach with role-based access control (RBAC), single sign-on (SSO) and federated identity, featuring control over roles, permissions, groups, certificates, and keys. It provides APIs so it can integrate with other automation tools such as Terraform. The software uses Dell’s CloudIQ to monitor storage health, with a traffic light status display.

APEX Navigator for Multicloud Storage health metrics screenshot

Data placement within the on-premises and multi-cloud environment can be adjusted as needs demand.

APEX Navigator for MultiCloud Storage is initially available with APEX Block Storage for AWS with a 90-day evaluation. It will be available for quoting on November 30 and will be generally available in December in the US. Dell will show it off at the AWS re:Invent conference starting on November 27 in Las Vegas.

Dell AWS file storage

Dell APEX File Storage for AWS, based on Dell’s PowerScale scale-out OneFS software, has a Dec 13 update coming, with:

  • Increased storage capacity within a single namespace, from 1PiB (1.126PB to up to 1.6PiB (1.8PB) of hot data per cluster. This expanded capacity supports workloads such as AI and analytics, cloud burst, file sharing, disaster recovery and more.
  • Expanded geo availability with additional AWS EC2 compute instance types available in more AWS regions.
  • Added support for the Hadoop Distributed File System (HDFS) protocol, enabling the expansion of analytics use cases in AWS and for QoS.

The main competition for APEX File Storage for AWS comes from NetApp and Qumulo, with APEX Navigator  providing functionality that overlaps with NetApp’s Blue XP and the Qumulo One control plane. HPE, OEM’ing VAST Data software, has multi-cloud file storage and HPE GreenLake will no doubt face up to APEX Navigator in the multicloud file storage management area as well.