Dell EMC Launches First Midmarket-Focused VMAX Solution At Sub-$100K Price Point

The first new Dell EMC-branded solution in the flagship VMAX all-flash storage line comes with a sub-$100,000 price tag and is aimed at midmarket customers demanding lower costs and increased ability to scale.

Dell EMC launched the VMAX 250F, a 1-PB, all-flash system that brings EMC's flagship enterprise storage line to midmarket customers.

The VMAX 250F starts at less than $100,000 including multicontroller, "always-on" capabilities and VMAX services, the company said.

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"It's all about addressing customers who are asking, 'How do we modernize? How do we transform?'" said Peter Smails, vice president of product marketing at Dell EMC. "All-flash is one of the pillars of our modern data center strategy, and the 250F is VMAX for everyone. It's bringing the enterprise capabilities of VMAX to the midmarket, expanding the addressable customers that can now get that enterprise-level capability."

The system supports up to 2 V-Bricks, allowing for 11 TB of usable flash, and comes with in-line compression and data services.

EMC launched the all-flash line of its bread-and-butter VMAX family last February, and partners were enthusiastic about the opportunities it represented, saying demand for flash storage has increased dramatically as drive capacity increases and prices fall.

Stephen Monteros, senior vice president at Sigmanet, an Ontario, Calif., solution provider that works with Dell EMC, said bringing the VMAX into the midmarket makes sense, but it's critical that partners correctly assess how customers are going to deploy it. "In the new all-flash market, there's big demand," he said.

When the all-flash VMAX was launched, EMC said it would move to all-flash for all future primary storage solutions. At the same time, Dell brought the VMAX line back to its price sheet.

Last spring, EMC launched its Unity line of all-flash arrays hot on the heels of the release of its VxRail hyper-converged infrastructure offerings.

Thus far Unity "is doing exceptionally well," Smails said. Now, Dell EMC is updating the line to optimize for all-flash, cloud integration and mobility. The improvements include seamless, nondisruptive in-line compression to allow for more density and intelligent wear-leveling to extend the life of SSDs.

Dell EMC is also adding Cloud IQ to Unity, a software service that allows users to proactively monitor the health of their Unity systems and keep an eye on important metrics such as availability and capacity. Unity will also now come with file tiering to the cloud in order to free primary storage space. Smails said Unity can back up to Dell-EMC's Virtustream for free, or to either Microsoft Azure or Amazon Web Services.

Dell EMC is hoping Unity will help retain existing customers who need to migrate from older VNX systems by building the migration capability directly into Unity systems, giving users the ability to seamlessly upgrade once they've installed Unity. The process is transparent and minimally disruptive, Smails said.