Research Library

Dell EMC PowerFlex – Product Brief

Last updated August 21st, 2020 for product updates and name change. Concise overview of the Dell EMC PowerFlex. Product Brief includes EvaluScale Reviewing Methodology, highlights, overview and more.

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 VxFlex 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. VxFlex OS runs on each node in the cluster as a VM on VMware ESXi,
Microsoft Hyper-V, Citrix Xenserver or RedHat KVM hypervisors, or “natively” on a server running Linux or Windows.

VxFlex OS

The VxFlex OS software combines captive storage on each server node into a global shared storage pool, expanding to 16PB with no limits on node count. Volumes are split up into ‘chunks’ and then distributed, balanced, and mirrored on all server nodes
throughout the cluster. VxFlex OS manages metadata outside the data path, enabling the cluster to expand without impacting
storage performance.

PowerFlex has a “disaggregated architecture”, meaning storage and compute functions are separate. 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.

Dell EMC PowerFlex Product Brief Includes:

  • Overview
  • Highlights
  • Usage
  • EvaluScale Table
  • Evaluator Group’s Opinion

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