Dell EMC Launches PowerVault ME4 Series To ‘Fill The Gap’ For SMBs


Dell EMC's aggressive storage charge is pushing forward as the company unveils its new entry-level PowerVault ME4 storage arrays on Wednesday enabling channel partners to better attack the SMB market.

The PowerVault ME4 series is Dell EMC's next-generation of entry-level storage arrays purpose built for simplicity with a starting list price of under $13,000. The ME4 provides significant enhancements compared to previous Dell EMC entry level systems in performance, features and capacity, such as 75 percent more drives to increase raw storage capacity by 122 percent.

"We're seeing huge Dell EMC growth in the higher end market, so we're excited about the new PowerVault because there hasn't been a lot of easy solutions in the low-end market," said Bill Smeltzer, executive vice president and CTO of Focus Technology Solutions, a Burlington, Mass.-based Dell EMC partner. "We've been sort of forcing an upsell in the lower end market to get them to look at hyper-converged because there really wasn't a great story. This is now going to fill the gap. … It's a lot less complicated than the legacy EMC product."

[Related: Dell EMC Storage Dominating Over HPE And NetApp Worldwide]

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The PowerVault ME4 offers three models – the ME4012, ME4024 and ME4084 -- with flexible array configuration from 12 to 84 storage drives which can be configured to support any mix of SSDs and HDDs. The arrays contain all-inclusive software for management as well as built-in data protection. Other features include thin provisioning, remote replication, snapshots, volume cloning and integration with VMware vCenter and SRM.

The PowerVault ME4 is optimized for SAN and direct-attach storage to Dell EMC PowerEdge servers to support a wide range of business applications. "For niche applications, the fact that they can do direct-attach off of that is huge," said Smeltzer. "A lot of people might have a single standalone application with unique needs and they're still using direct attach storage for that."

The arrays can be configured and ready for data center operations in 15 minutes and be managed from anywhere thanks to a new HTML5 user interface, according to Dell. The ME4 is ideal for a wide range of block-based storage use cases such as video surveillance, virtualization, NoSQL databased, direct attach and high-performance computing. It can expand up to 4PB and drive up to 320,000 IOPs.

Craig Bernero, senior vice president and general manager for Dell EMC Midrange & Entry Solutions, said the ME4 is the company's "most affordable SAN/DAS storage array."

"This new storage family has been developed with a 'set-it up and forget-it' approach, flexible scale and connectivity options, cloud-like management simplicity, and a very impressive price-performance ratio," said Bernero. "The PowerVault ME4 represents the quintessential entry-level storage product that accelerates and supports business growth."

Last week, the Round Rock, Texas-based infrastructure giant reported second fiscal quarter storage sales of $4.2 billion, up 13 percent year over year as the company's "refuse to lose" and product simplification strategy is paying off big time. Additionally, Dell EMC has widen its worldwide storage market share gap over competitors like Hewlett Packard Enterprise and NetApp by capturing 19.1 percent of the global storage market in the second quarter of 2018, according to new data from IDC.

Smeltzer said his Dell EMC storage sales are up nearly 25 percent in 2018 compared to last year thanks to large enterprise wins around Dell's PowerMax, VxRail and VxRack solutions.

"Definitely in the higher-end market we're seeing the efficiencies of Dell and now we can streamline it down market," said Smeltzer. "Simplifying the storage portfolio is working very well in the high end, so I'm optimistic that this strategy will play out well in the entry level."