Late Post

The place now for storage? Dell EMC, NetApp and HPE

On this first article of two, we take a look at Dell, HPE and NetApp. All three are making a giant play in the direction of the cloud – with Dell EMC and HPE’s consumption fashions very distinguished – and NetApp, the one pure play storage provider of the three, being noticeably vocal about issues like containers.

IDC forecasts that greater than 50% of core datacentre infrastructure and 75% of edge infrastructure can be bought as a service by 2024.

That pattern is pushed by the cloud and its as-a-service mode and it doubtlessly hits storage suppliers onerous, with their historic dependence on the sale of {hardware} merchandise.

So, we’ve seen the massive gamers in storage adapt to the brand new world by providing consumption fashions of buy, through the cloud and on-premise, and through hybrid modes that straddle the 2.

However that’s not the one pattern. We even have the tendency in the direction of the sting, and to analytics-based IT actions, typically mixed. There may be additionally the rise of containers, as a quickly scalable technique of utility deployment.

And naturally the storage array isn’t lifeless but. However it’s – for main storage use instances not less than – nearly at all times flash-based and almost at all times obtainable with NVMe for very excessive efficiency. Elsewhere, even in secondary use instances, flash is making inroads, specifically through the most recent, bulk storage-focussed flash era, QLC NAND.

The most important storage gamers manifest these tendencies, and additional traits past, in line with their historical past, dimension and attain in IT and past. Right here we take a look at we take a look at Dell, HPE and NetApp. 

Dell EMC

Dell’s large push is in the direction of making all the things in IT infrastructure obtainable as a service.

That’s to not say there have been no storage {hardware} developments. There have. However in case you needed to characterise Dell Applied sciences’s predominant thrust, it’s summed up by Venture Apex.

Venture Apex was launched final summer season on the digital model of its annual shindig. It affords prospects an Opex mannequin of consumption for Dell Energy-branded merchandise through native datacentre, edge and cloud.

Venture Apex providers are coming on-line this yr, beginning with storage-as-a-service and Dell EMC storage. Additional Venture Apex rollouts will embrace hyper-converged infrastructure, Dell PowerEdge servers and PowerOne networking, then ultimately workstations and laptops.

Having stated all that, final yr Dell EMC did launch its new PowerStore midrange array, PowerScale NAS, PowerFlex software-defined storage, and rugged variations of its VxRail hyper-converged infrastructure and PowerEdge XE2420 server. Later the XE7100 storage server got here alongside, focused at real-time analytics within the hybrid cloud.

Through Dell’s internet portal – Cloud Console – prospects can order IT sources for supply on premises as a service. Prospects specify sort of storage, capability, efficiency, SLAs and pricing necessities within the Cloud Console.

Dell EMC additionally nonetheless has the SC and PS collection storage arrays – previously Compellent and EqualLogic – on their books.


Like others, NetApp has struggled with prospects migrating from on-premises storage to the cloud. NetApp’s technique subsequently centres on providing its storage software program as cloud-native providers. These subscription providers embrace NetApp Cloud Volumes on AWS and Google Cloud Platform, and Azure NetApp Recordsdata.

NetApp additionally sells Cloud Volumes OnTap via AWS, which is an Amazon Machine Occasion that makes use of Amazon Elastic Block Storage (EBS) to function the equal of an on-premises OnTap storage node.

In the meantime, NetApp launched Venture Astra final April. This centres on a containerised model of OnTap and is an information administration service that manages, protects, and strikes Kubernetes containerised workloads in public cloud and on-prem.

NetApp made different strikes into containerisation in 2020. NetApp Spot Storage and Spot Ocean summary the compute and cloud storage wanted to run a Kubernetes farm whereas Spot’s steady optimisation platform combines analytics and automation and brokers cloud pricing to assist organisations management prices.

Earlier container-focussed work included NetApp’s Trident open-source driver for provisioning container storage. Final yr, NetApp additionally purchased Talon Storage which introduced world file caching and information sync capabilities and CloudJumper to offer supply of digital desktops for patrons.

NetApp launched Keystone because the consumption mannequin for its {hardware} storage merchandise in 2019. Prospects decide to a minimal storage capability and timeframe and choose from three efficiency ranges and repair choices, corresponding to file, block or object. NetApp installs and helps the tools.

NetApp’s FAS array line-up expanded in 2020 with the FAS500f high-capacity mannequin outfitted with quad-level cell (QLC) NAND solid-state drives (SSDs). In comparison with earlier NAND generations, QLC flash has a restricted endurance and efficiency profile, with the trade-off being a decrease price per gigabyte. 


HPE – with its Greenlake consumption mannequin – has stated it desires all the things to be obtainable within the cloud by 2022.

It additionally locations significance on actions on the edge, in addition to in containers and analytics.

In his keynote on the firm’s 2020 Uncover occasion CEO Antonio Neri stated new HPE providers would tackle the wants of consumers to adapt edge and on-prem workloads to work with the cloud.

New components within the portfolio embrace the Ezmeral Container Platform and Ezmeral ML Ops which can be delivered as cloud providers via GreenLake.

On the occasion HPE additionally unveiled HPE Cloud Volumes Backup, which converts proprietary backup information units to a typical information format. That permits a number of information units drawn from backup to be obtainable in a single format to secondary workloads – together with analytics – working from the general public cloud.

Previous to the 2020 occasion HPE had additionally launched the Primera storage platform, which is able to probably substitute its 3PAR vary.

Primera is an all-flash enterprise storage array bought as Tier 0 enterprise storage. Primera makes use of HPE InfoSight to offer an clever storage platform that comes with AI and machine studying to foretell and forestall storage disruptions.

HPE Primera makes use of customized chips to allow massively parallel transport of information throughout devoted PCI specific lanes. It’s outfitted to assist NVMe flash and protracted storage reminiscence used to coach large AI information units.

Elsewhere HPE made its InfoSight predictive analytics useful resource administration capabilities obtainable on its HPE SimpliVity hyper-converged infrastructure platform.

On the container entrance HPE has its Container Platform, which mixes the provider’s BlueData and MapR acquisitions with an open supply Kubernetes layer. BlueData gives persistent information shops that may assist stateful legacy functions. MapR is a distributed file system.

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