#90 – Dell EMC’s Enterprise NVMe Strategy with Vince Westin (Sponsored)

#90 – Dell EMC's Enterprise NVMe Strategy with Vince Westin (Sponsored)

Chris EvansGuest Speakers, Sponsored

This week, Chris talks to Vince Westin, Technical Evangelist within the PowerMax Group at Dell EMC.  PowerMax is the latest in a storage product line with lineage back to the original Symmetrix systems of the early 1990s.  PowerMax is an all-NVMe storage array, reflecting an industry move towards faster, low latency media.  Vince takes us through the rationale for moving to NVMe across the Dell portfolio and PowerMax in particular.

Some of the more interesting aspects of the transition include the ability to simplify code paths with NVMe compared to back-end SAS.  NVMe introduces a shared PCIe fabric and increases parallelism across the infrastructure.  This results, of course, in lower latency for specific workloads like high random I/O.

In 2019 we can expect to see Storage Class Memory being introduced into the PowerMax family.  This brings challenges around how data should be encrypted and whether data optimisation is worthwhile, bearing in mind the additional performance overhead.

You can find Vince’s personal blog at https://applyit.typepad.com/ and the specific post relating to SCM and PowerMax here.  We also recommend viewing the Storage Field Day 16 videos of Vince’s presentation on PowerMax, which helps to fill in the visual gaps missing from the podcasting format!

Elapsed Time: 00:39:59


  • 00:00:00 – Intros
  • 00:01:00 – NVMe primer and recap
  • 00:04:20 – How is Dell and Dell EMC using NVMe?
  • 00:06:00 – SCM will be introduced to arrays this year
  • 00:08:00 – Managing transitions – NVMe internally first
  • 00:09:00 – Moving to NVMe-oF means multi-pathing differently.
  • 00:10:00 – How was VMAX managed at the back end to develop PowerMax?
  • 00;14:00 – Is NVMe scalable at the back-end like SAS was?
  • 00:16:30 – What performance improvements can customers expect?
  • 00:18:30 – PowerMax uses dynamic data reduction for least active data
  • 00:20:00 – What media does PowerMax use? Tiering is back!
  • 00:28:41 – How will customers move to PowerMax?
  • 00:32:20 – Is there a future for SAS in Dell EMC systems?
  • 00:36:30 – Why to customers continue to use platforms like PowerMax?
  • 00:38:00 – Dell Technologies World is around the corner

Related Podcasts & Blogs

Vince’s Bio

Vince Westin is a Technical Evangelist for PowerMax in the Infrastructure Solutions Group at Dell EMC. In this role, Vince focuses on presenting the PowerMax strategy and roadmap to customers, as well as gathering feedback used to set future product requirements. Vince has been with Dell EMC since 1995, holding various positions in pre-sales, engineering, implementations, and product marketing. Prior to joining Dell EMC, Vince worked for technology companies in pre-sales, development, and systems implementation. Vince graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with degree in Electrical Engineering Computer Science.


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