Partners Call Dell's 'Baby Compellent' SC4020 Release A Catalyst For New Business

The introduction of the new Dell Storage SC4020 array may lack the panache of other Dell news from this week's Dell User Forum, but it has generated the most buzz among partners that say it fills a storage gap between the company's EqualLogic and more expensive Compellent hardware.

Dell Tuesday said the Dell Storage SC4020, nicknamed the "Baby Compellent," is the first of a new Dell Storage SC4000 family, which Dell characterized as a scaled-down version of Dell’s flagship Compellent SC8000 storage array.

Where the SC8000 features a 6U footprint, the SC4000 has a 2U chassis inside of which are dual processors and support for flash and spinning disks. The SC4020 features 20 drives.

[Related: Hyper-Converged Infrastructure Blockbuster: Dell To OEM Nutanix Software]

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The SC4020 is priced staring at $25,000 to $50,000. It is already available in Asia and is slated for an August North American release, said Travis Vigil, executive director of product management for Dell Storage.

The new SC4020 scales to up to 120 hard drives with more than 400 TB of capacity, with bandwidth reaching to about 120,000 IOPS, Vigil told CRN.

There are two primary use cases for the Dell Storage SC4020, Vigil said.

"First, it can be part of a distributed solution, with an SC8000 at the core replicating data with SC4000 arrays in remote offices," he said. "Customers can also combine SLC and MLC flash memory and 7,200-rpm disks to offer a flash-optimized solution at a more attractive price point."

’The SC4020 will be huge for us,’ said Scott Winslow, president of Winslow Technology Group, a Boston-based solution provider and Dell partner. ’It puts us in a position to grab deals that we couldn’t have with traditional SC8000-series Compellent solutions. I think we are going to sell a lot of them.’

Winslow told CRN that the SC4020 fills a big gap in his storage business, and has the potential to crack open greenfield accounts with more affordable solutions that deliver enterprise-level functionality.

’I can think of campaigns that we have had where the only issue was the price point on the Compellent," he said. "These customers were never going to get above 120 drives, and this would have been a perfect fit.’

NEXT: Finding The Channel Sweet Spot For The SC4020 "Baby Compellent"

Dell is rolling out some interesting and innovative solutions at the Dell User Forum, Winslow said. "But ask me what is going to boost my bottom line and I’ll tell you it’s the SC4020. Nutanix is sexy, but VARs know who butters their bread and it’s Compellent. That’s what my customers want.’

Jim Marcucci, senior systems engineer at Flagship Networks, a Shelton, Conn.-based Dell partner, told CRN that the Dell Storage SC4020 has Compellent's thin provisioning, replication and data progression technology with a price tag not too far north of that of EqualLogic.

’The smaller footprint allows us to fit into existing data centers where space is limited,’ Marcucci said.

The SC4000 series is the biggest news for the channel, said Michael Pearson, president of DSA Technologies, an Elk Grove, Calif.-based solution provider and Dell partner.

"It provides what we would have to pay for an 8000 series to get, but we are going to get this in a 2U device with relatively few limitations on us," Pearson told CRN.

The Dell Storage SC4020 eliminates the "tweener" gap between the EqualLogic and Compellent arrays, Pearson said.

"This fills in a gap where a client might have said, 'I think an EqualLogic implementation is going to struggle a little bit here, but I’m not quite ready for an SC8000,' " he said. "For us, the data progression and the tiering is huge and something EqualLogic doesn’t mesh well with."