October 8th, 2013 by Brian Beeler
Dell Compellent Adds MLC SSD Tier - Bests 15K HDDs on Price and Performance
Following up on several announcements at Dell Enterprise Forum earlier this year, Dell has announced the availability of Dell Compellent Storage Center 6.4, and the shipment of Dell Compellent arrays with all flash and hybrid configurations. Storage Center 6.4, amongst other things, unlocks a new MLC-based SSD storage tier. Dell Compellent already supports high-speed SLC SSDs along with 10K and 15K hard drives for applications that need high rates of responsiveness. The new MLC tier adds more performance and flexibility to Compellent systems, while managing to improve the price/performance ratio compared to 15K hard drives. When looking at a typical 30,000 IOPS workload requirement, the MLC drives outperform 15K HDDs while maintaining a lower total cost of ownership.
When flash storage is introduced into Compellent arrays, Dell optimizes the use to best suit each drive type. 400GB SLC drives take the brunt of the workload, all data first gets written to these high-endurance drives. As the SLC drives fill and the data ages, it's moved to a lower tier, which now of course includes MLC SSDs. The MLC SSDs are a huge 1.6TB in capacity each, which besides being faster and more cost effective to operate than 15K drives, gives a nice capacity jump too compared to the lower-capacity hard drives. The MLC tier handles most of the read activity for the Compellent, which is ideal given the design of those drives and responsiveness MLC NAND can provide. Less active data eventually trickles all the way down to 7K 4TB SAS HDDs.
SC280 Dense Enclosure Shipping
To continually address the needs of growing but less active data, Dell has announced the Compellent SC280 is also now shipping. The SC280 is designed to offer a cost-effective way to keep large amounts of data online in a very dense form factor. The 5U SC280 enclosure can handle up to 366TB of hard drive capacity and makes for an ideal location for cold data in the Compellent tiering architecture.
Dell Compellent Storage Center 6.4 is available now at no cost to Compellent customers with an active support contract.