by Mark Kidd

Dell Announces Big Data Retention Solution for Consolidated, Scalable Storage

Dell's new Big Data Retention Solution combines Dell object storage with optimized RainStor database technology to provide consolidated and scalable storage for structured, semi-structured, and unstructured data. The solution optimizes RainStor for Dell’s DX Object Storage Platform, allowing customers to add capacity in amounts as small as 2TB, scaling to petabytes and billions of objects.

The Big Data Retention Solution integrates with analytics platforms as a frontend big data repository for large datasets or a backend archive. It can also serve as a standalone repository or as an analytics platform with Hadoop. Dell’s solution uses commodity hardware and a flexible peer-scaling architecture with non-disruptive upgrades that allows storage to scale to billions of objects and petabytes of data without managing LUNs and RAID groups.

Dell is positioning the Big Data Retention Solution towards mid-sized enterprise and organizations that are just starting to build out Big Data infrastructure. The solution includes Dell professional services which are available to help develop and deploy the solution from the ground up. Big Data customers may start with Dell’s Big Data Retention Solution before scaling into its more complex analytics offerings like the Dell Cloudera management platform, Force 10 networks, Apache Hadoop Solutions on Dell PowerEdge servers, and Dell Crowbar deployment toolkit.

DX Object Storage Platform
The Dell DX Object Storage Platform is an integrated hardware and software solution designed to handle storage of files and metadata on disk-based storage nodes. The platform scales to handle billions of objects through the use of unique file identifiers created from a single flat, non-hierarchical address space.

A basic Big Data Retention Solution configuration consists of one DX Cluster Services Node, two of the same type DX Storage Nodes and an optional DX Cluster File Server which provides CIFS/NFS gateway functionality, allowing applications using file-based protocols to consolidate data on the DX storage nodes as well.

DX Object Storage utilizes standards-based x86 server hardware, with power optimization features, such as drive spin-down, to meet specific use-case and cost priorities. The modular design makes it possible to add, replace, or retire nodes without manual migration.

The platform offers simple HTTP and Native API integration and is supported by independent software vendors which leverage the common object-storage pool for multiple applications. Dell has announced that it is developing integrations with partners in areas including medical archiving, file, email and sharepoint archiving, eDiscovery and enterprise content management.

RainStor Database
RainStor features deduplication algorithms that can attain 40:1 compression ratios, based on RainStor’s benchmarks, and handles ingestion rates in the billions of records per day and petabytes per month. Configurable rules dictate the retention and expiry periods of sensitive data with guaranteed read-only immutability and audited access.

RainStor employs massive parallel processing (MPP) with a logically shared everything architecture. Through shared metadata, multiple RainStor service managers can work together to implement import and query functions. Each service manager imports part of the dataset and each service manager can query the entire archive.

The RainStor database can self-manage the integrity of stored objects to detect and repair errors. The database responds to standard SQL‐92 over ODBC/JDBC queries, simplifying integration with existing platforms and applications. The Big Data Retention Solution leverages Dell’s Fluid Data Architecture, including its scalable Dell Fluid File System and virtualization and embedded system intelligence. MapReduce access is available when deployed on Hadoop.

Dell's Big Data Retention Solution is currently available in the U.S.

Dell Big Data Retention

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