Dell angles for PowerScale SuperPOD validation

Dell is making a supercharged GenAI data delivery pump with the introduction of a second-gen all-flash PowerScale with smart scaleout capabilities, OneFS enhancements, and ongoing PowerScale SuperPOD validation.

The intent is to make PowerScale an optimized storage offering for both general AI and generative AI workloads.

Arthur Lewis, Infrastructure Solutions Group president, stated: “Storage performance is a critical factor for successful AI and generative AI outcomes,” adding that customers want Dell to remove “data access bottlenecks that limit the throughput and scalability of compute-intensive applications. We are addressing these needs by delivering fast, efficient and secure access to data and turning [PowerScale] into a proverbial goldmine of AI and GenAI possibilities.”

The company claims new PowerScale all-flash storage systems, based on latest generation Dell PowerEdge servers, will enable an up to 2x performance increase for streaming reads and writes.

PowerScale will have new smart scaleout capabilities to improve single compute node performance making for enhanced GPU utilization, and leading to faster storage throughput for AI training, checkpointing, and inferencing.

There are forthcoming OneFS software enhancements so customers can prepare, train, fine-tune, and inference AI models quicker. 

Dell is validating PowerScale with Nvidia’s DGX SuperPOD and it is expected to be the first Ethernet storage system validated on the platform.

The company says its APEX File Storage for Microsoft Azure will deliver enterprise-class file performance and management capabilities in Azure, and is suited to the needs of performance-intensive AI and machine learning applications like Azure OpenAI Service and Azure AI Vision.

A Databricks collaboration means customers can choose from a variety of large language models (LLMs) and use libraries from Databricks’ MosaicML to retrain a foundational model with their proprietary data stored in Dell APEX File Storage. This offers flexibility across multi-cloud environments as Dell also has its APEX File Storage in AWS.

Dell is validating PowerScale for Nvidia SuperPOD
18-rack SuperPOD

A SuperPOD-validated PowerScale means customers can ship data to and from SuperPOD GPU factories via Nvidia’s Quantum-2 InfiniBand and Spectrum Ethernet networking, according to Dell. It will also give SuperPOD-loving VAST Data and DDN some competition.

There are no details available on the new PowerScale all-flash system, the OneFS enhancements or the smart scale-out addition. We have asked Dell for further comment.


PowerScale OneFS software enhancements will be globally available this month.

Next-gen all-flash PowerScale systems and smart scale-out features will be globally available in the first half of 2024, as will Dell APEX for File Storage for Microsoft Azure. PowerScale’s Nvidia DGX SuperPOD validation is expected to complete in the first quarter of 2024. 

Dell APEX for File Storage integration with Databricks and MosaicML is available in AWS today and in Microsoft Azure in the first half of 2024. Dell’s open, modern data lakehouse offering will be globally available in the first half of 2024.