Hyperconverged Infrastructure (HCI) solutions leverage a software-defined storage (SDS) layer and scale-out cluster topology to create a turnkey compute environment that’s easy to deploy, expand and operate. Most of these SDS technologies combine storage and compute resources into each node, limiting their scalability and flexibility.
PowerFlex (formerly called “VxFlex”) is designed to address this limitation, combining Dell PowerEdge servers and the PowerFlex OS (original developed and sold as “ScaleIO” SDS). PowerFlex can be deployed with storage and compute in dedicated nodes, or combined in the same node, as most other HCIs do. PowerFlex supports multiple operating environments that include bare-metal Linux and Windows, vSphere and KVM hypervisors and container orchestration tools including Kubernetes, OpenShift, Rancher and Google Anthos.
The PowerFlex OS software combines captive storage devices on each server node into a global shared storage pool, expanding to 16PB per cluster with a maximum of 512 storage nodes and 1024 compute nodes. Volumes are split up into ‘chunks’ and then distributed, balanced, and mirrored on all server nodes throughout the cluster. PowerFlex OS manages metadata outside the data path, enabling the cluster to expand without impacting storage performance
PowerFlex supports a “disaggregated architecture”, meaning storage and compute functions can run in separate nodes; however, PowerFlex also supports the option to run storage and compute in the same node. In a “two-layer” configuration these components are installed on separate Storage and Compute nodes in the cluster, improving flexibility, performance and resource efficiency. In the “HCI” configuration, both are installed on all servers, providing the smallest footprint and a lower initial cost. PowerFlex can also be deployed in a storage-only configuration, without compute nodes. A PowerFlex cluster can support the addition of storage nodes, compute nodes or HCI nodes, or a combination.
Dell EMC PowerFlex Product Brief Includes:
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