Dell launches new storage OS; and a peep inside the bunker

In the context of the proposed Dell-EMC purchase, Dell has announced an upgrade to its (Compellent-derived) Storage Center operating system (OS), to version 7.

Noteworthy in it is the ability for SC arrays and PS series (ie, EqualLogic) arrays to asynchronously replicate between each other and to be managed via the same screen in Dell Storage Manager.

Also notable is quality of service setting that allow volume-level configuration for latency, IOPS and throughput, as well as integration with VMware VVOLs that extend these attributes to virtual machines.

Most interesting, however, was what the Dell exec I spoke with said that seemed to indicate a level of uncertainty in the future and a steeling for competition among a potentially much expanded storage portfolio when the Dell purchase of EMC is finalised.

I asked UK storage business manager Paul Harrison about a point in the press release that spoke of “one Dell storage ecosystem”. I questioned to what extent this was true, with the prospect of the many storage platforms that would be present in a merged Dell-EMC.

Harrison said: “We’re Dell, not Dell Technologies yet. We can’t write about what hasn’t happened yet. The SC series is an outstanding performer. While IDC was saying in Q1 this year there had been something like an 8% decline in array sales we were getting double digit growth with Compellent arrays.”

“The official line from Michael Dell is that we will be governed by customer choice, that we’re not going to turn off any customers. And this [release of a new OS version] is a really good show of intent as we continue with the SC series and on the back of the SC9000 arrays launched last autumn.”

His reply seemed to say that Dell storage execs are preparing for competition with EMC storage, now inside the tent rather than outside, and rallying around a strong market performance by their product lines.