Dell upgrades entry-level block-storage array

PowerVault ME5 doubles the performance and capacity of Dell's ME4 storage platform and is optimized for SAN and DAS.

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Dell’s newest entry-level block-storage array is the PowerVault ME5 series, aimed at price-sensitive customers with a focus on ease of deployment and affordability.

The array’s predecessor, the PowerVault ME4, was released in 2018. So it was overdue for an upgrade—and Dell delivered.

The ME5 features significant performance and capacity improvements compared to the ME4. Between the hardware and software upgrades, Dell says the PowerVault ME5 offers twice the performance, throughput, capacity and memory of the ME4. The ME5 has newer Xeon processors with twice as many cores as the ME4, and controller memory has been increased to 16GB per controller.

The PowerVault ME4 line consists of three models: the ME5012 and ME5024, both of which are capable of up to 4.7PB of capacity; and the ME5084, with support for up to 6PB of capacity. All three come with multiple protocol support for SAN and DAS, 12Gb SAS backend connectivity, and premium software.

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The PowerVault ME5012 and ME5024 base arrays come in a 2U form factor, while the ME5084 base array starts at 5U. The ME5 can be deployed with either SSDs or more affordable HDDs, or a hybrid mix of both. It all depends on the business needs.

The ME5s are managed through PowerVault Manager with support for scripting with either Redfish/Swordfish REST or CLI APIs. The ME5 line is also supported by Dell’s Open Management Enterprise (OME) framework, which covers the span of Dell products, including networking, servers, and other equipment. 

The ME5 comes with intelligent automated tiering software, so in a mixed media environment, it has the intelligence to determine in real-time if data is best stored on an HDD or SDD. The tiering software recognizes incoming data patterns and automatically moves data to the appropriate stores level. “Hot” data, which is frequently accessed, is put on the fastest drives, such as SSDs. “Cold” data that is infrequently accessed is put on hard drives, where access is less critical.

Customers with ProSupport Services for PowerVault ME5 also have access CloudIQ, Dell’s cloud-based AIOPs software that uses telemetry, machine learning and other algorithms to provide users with notifications and predictive analytics on the health of the array. CloudIQ also offers remediation advice, capacity projections, reclaimable storage and more.

The PowerVault ME5 is available now at a starting price of $12,000.

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