by Bill Valle

Dell Fluid Cache Overview

Dell's Fluid Cache software has enabled Dell to begin offering solid state PCIe drives as flash memory to increase overall performance. This software comes in concert with the recent development that saw Dell acquire RNA technologies, which enables Dell to access new software that enhances flash memory performance. PCIe Application Accelerators, such as the Micron-based Express Flash SSDs inside the Dell PowerEdge R720, are known to offer much lower latency than more traditional storage options, and when combined with the new software Dell recently secured in the aforementioned RNA deal, performance increases are sizeable. Adding to the performance enhancements, the Fluid Cache software offers simplicity for users since they aren't required to tune their systems to utilize the drives.

Dell's recent tests established the results showing solid performance gains. Testing utilized 2 Express Flash SSDs in the cache pool to handle online transaction processing (OLTP) loads for anywhere from 500-4500 users.

The results were strong:

  • 60% more Transactions Per Second (TPS) as compared to baseline
  • 95% better response time for 3100 users over the baseline configuration
  • 34% more user load as compared to baseline

Dell Fluid Cache accepts a maximum of 4 Express Flash SSDs per server. Each drive can have a capacity up to 350GB for 1.4TB total cache available as a flash array. The cache pool established by the SSDs supports read and write caching, the acceleration of writes, read-after-writes and re-reads. The cache pool data is also preserved even through reboots. Dell Fluid Cache technology allows provisioning of cache and is fully integrated with Dell storage management for compatibility and performance. Users who want to upgrade can do so easily on the fly by installing hot pluggable Dell express flash drives.


Dell Fluid Cache is available on select 12th generation PowerEdge servers.

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