Dell EMC PowerMax

Today Dell EMC announced the latest high-end array to our family, the Dell EMC PowerMax. The PowerMax is an end-to-end NVMe solution. It’s powerful and fast, period.

The PowerMax is not a VMAX. It’s a new platform with a new operating system, PowerMax OS. Dual-ported active/active NVMe drives (the only vendor to do so) means we have parallel data access, reducing the host response time. With the PowerMax we now offer inline deduplication in addition to new compression algorithms to reduce your data footprint. In the VMware space because we deduplicate at our track size, 128k, and the VMFS block size is 1 MB, we see almost perfect deduplication for VM clones. If you run a full-clone VDI environment your data savings will be huge.

A customer favorite is also back, Service Levels or quality of service. Our new machine learning SLs will ensure the user gets the performance they ask for no matter what is on the array.

In addition to the array, we have a brand-new Unisphere – Unisphere for PowerMax. It is an HTML 5-based software that offers a clean, fast interface. You’ll see in this screenshot that it will support our VMAX arrays too.

You’ll have access to new dashboards to make performance analysis easier.

Within Unisphere for PowerMax you’ll find a new VMware section where you can add environments at the vCenter level in addition to the host level. I’ll be posting another blog on this later so I’ll leave it at that for now.

I have updated two of my whitepapers so far – for VVols and VAAI. It’s been a crazy year between the two releases of vSphere 6.7 and the PowerMax. Normally I only have to update my papers for one or the other, so both at once has been a challenge. Add Dell Technology World to that and there just hasn’t been enough time. I’ll will get to them, but in the meantime I have used and will use my blog to get important information out which will make its way into the papers.

You can find the VVol paper here and the VAAI paper here.

While updating the VAAI paper I would frequently vacillate between pulling out all the vSphere 5.x and VMAX2 material and leaving it in. While many of our customers are on the cutting edge, upgrading whenever the opportunity arises, other organizations take longer to move to newer releases and removing information from the whitepaper would deprive them of reference material. Of course this means the paper gets longer each time since I have to add the new stuff and keep the old. I therefore decided on a compromise – I have left the material in for now but in August when VMware no longer supports (extended) vSphere 5.1, I am going to remove all 5.x references from the whitepaper.

I’m currently working on the VMAX or now VMAX & PowerMax VMware TechBook updates. It will be some time so if you have a question or need information on a particular PowerMax/vSphere 6.7 topic let me know and I will prioritize it for a blog post.

In the meantime here are the official docs for PowerMax:



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