Dell EMC Improves Its SMB Block-Storage Arrays

ME4s are designed for a range of block-based storage use cases such as video surveillance, HPC, virtualization/VDI, entry SAN, low cost consolidation, video editing, NoSQL databases, direct attached and OEM solutions, Dell said.

DellME4array

Dell EMC continues to push hard to become the go-to storage vendor for small-to-medium-sized businesses and startups that need to have a data center or two in operation.

The company on Sept. 12 launched its PowerVault ME4 Series, the fourth-generation lineup of entry-level data storage arrays designed for SMBs. These machines are aimed at organizations that want to modernize IT and boost application performance lest they fall behind competitors.

Small- and medium-sized businesses have similar needs to larger enterprises but must meet those needs in the face of smaller budgets and fewer IT support staff. Balancing price and performance is a reality for these organizations, along with selecting storage solutions that are simple to use and manage. Dell EMC designed the PowerVault ME4 Series to meet these needs by offering a feature-rich, lower-priced storage array designed to be intuitive to install and use.

Performance Increases, Naturally

Dell claims the new arrays bring significant increases over previous Dell EMC entry systems in capacity, performance, simplicity and features. Dell EMC built the PowerVault ME4 Series with 75 percent more drives to increase raw storage capacity by 122 percent, while also boosting read IOPS performance by 4X, the company said.

ME4s are designed for a range of block-based storage use cases such as video surveillance, HPC, virtualization/VDI, entry SAN, low cost consolidation, video editing, NoSQL databases, direct attached and OEM solutions, Dell said.

Enterprise-class performance data points and features include:

  • Flexible array configurations:  Three models offer from 12 to 84 storage drives that can be configured from 0-100 percent flash and support any mix of SSDs and HDDs. This provides the capabilities to deliver the optimal performance and low response times of flash with the economics of disk.
  • Enterprise-level capacity and performance: PowerVault ME4 Series can expand up to 4PB and drive up to 320,000 IOPs.
  • All-inclusive software: Essential components to manage and protect data to drive the business forward including built-in data protection, thin provisioning, remote replication, snapshots, 3-level tiering, volume cloning, integration with VMware vCenter and SRM, drive-level encryption and others.
  • Single-vendor integration:  Out-of-the-box integration with Dell EMC PowerEdge 13th and 14th Generation servers simplify the challenges of server capacity expansion, providing business applications with high-speed data access in either SAN or DAS environments.

Each aspect of the PowerVault ME4 has been designed for ease of use, Dell said. Dell claims the array is customer-installable in 15 minutes and takes just 15 more minutes to configure and begin storing data as either hybrid or all-flash storage. These estimates will vary.

The PowerVault ME4 Series also has a new HTML5 user interface, which enables users to deploy a web browser from anywhere to handle common management tasks, such as configuring and managing storage profiles and network connections, responding to alerts and others.

Every PowerVault ME4 Series storage controller is powered by a dual-core Intel Broadwell processor. Each array supports multiple protocols including Fibre Channel, iSCSI (and SFP+) and SAS host connectivity.

According to new data from IDC, Dell’s 31.6 percent revenue share lead in the External Entry Storage segment is more than the next six competitors combined. Dell EMC already has an installed base of more than 400,000 PowerVault units worldwide.

Pricing and Availability

Dell EMC PowerVault ME4 Series minimum configurations are available now starting at a list price of about $13,000. Go here for more information.

You can view a YouTube video about connecting an ME4 array to a Windows system here.

Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor-in-Chief of eWEEK and responsible for all the publication's coverage. In his 13 years and more than 4,000 articles at eWEEK, he has distinguished himself in reporting...