New 'Container-Based' Dell EMC Midrange Storage Debuts In 2019


Dell EMC has its "best minds in storage" currently working on a new flagship midrange product aiming to leapfrog the competition with a container-based architecture, according to Jeff Clarke, vice chairman of products and operations at Dell.

"It is going to be a modern file system and modern software stack – better described as, it's going to be a microservice-based architecture and a container-based architecture," said Clarke, in an interview with CRN. "Once we get that foundation in, my ability to iterate new features and new capability is going to be absolutely faster than we've ever done."

Clarke, a 32-year Dell veteran, is driving massive market share gains for the global infrastructure leader in storage by revamping its product portfolio. The company is expecting to have the new midrange product, part of Dell EMC's 'Next-Generation' storage strategy, by the end of next year.

[Related: Michael Dell On Going Public And Its 'Best Year Ever']

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"I have a lot of work to do, it's roughly a year away, but that foundation and that lift of a new file system and a new modern software stack is going to be a platform for us to go from NVMe to NVMe over fabric to storage-class memory to memory persistent architecture over time," said Clarke. "I like my chances there."

Robert Keblusek, CTO of Sentinel Technologies, a Downers Grove, Ill.-based Dell Technologies partner, said a new container-based midrange product will be "extremely welcomed" by the channel.

"Decoupling some services where we can do NVMe over Ethernet – those services would be really appealing in the midmarket," said Keblusek. "Our storage numbers could use a boost from some new innovative technologies that improve agility and can scale on demand. NVMe over Ethernet ready infrastructure sounds extremely appealing to us."

Clarke said he's making sure that the transition for partners and customers from legacy Dell EMC storage products to the new container-based midrange solution will be "seamless."

"My promise is that my new product -- that we call 'Destination New Product' -- for every existing midrange product, I will have a data migration capability to the new platform that is seamless," he said. "We understand what the requirements of the market will be, what our customers need and the technology available at that time. … For our midrange storage, we put our very best minds in storage working on this. We need to deliver it and deliver it timely."

Dell has been on a storage market share tear in 2018, overthrowing Hewlett Packard Enterprise to become the worldwide leader in each quarter throughout the year.

Dell Technologies founder and CEO Michael Dell recently told CRN that 2018 was his company's "best year ever."

"It's been a fantastic year. Best year ever. The momentum in the business is quite strong," said Dell, in an exclusive interview with CRN. "If you look at our data center business, we are the largest and we're bigger than Cisco. Bigger than IBM. Bigger than HPE. If you look at the growth in the first nine months through the end of October, our data center business grew plus-22 percent. So we’re the biggest and growing at 22 percent. Then you say, 'Well what did Cisco grow?' Cisco grew like 5 [percent] or 6 percent. HPE grew 4 percent, and IBM was negative. So we're larger and growing a lot faster."