Earlier in July, we looked at how storage options are changing.  This week we asked Dell to talk more about their support for Storage Spaces in Windows Server 2012 R2 and what they’re hearing from customers about this new approach to growing storage requirements. 

How would you explain Storage Spaces to a customer?

Storage Spaces is Microsoft’s entry into the rapidly growing storage technology area called Software Defined Storage.  SDS essentially removes expensive proprietary technology from a storage array and creates a scalable, cost-effective shared storage solution using standards-based, commodity components.  Storage Spaces, one of the leading SDS technologies, is particularly appealing to businesses like hosters and cloud providers looking for deep and cost-effective storage arrays.

Why is Dell committed to supporting Storage Spaces?

Support for Storage Spaces allows us to offer our customers the broadest variety of options from our comprehensive storage portfolio; whether it be a traditional hardware-based, or a software defined storage solution.  We find that many customers utilize both types of technologies, depending on their specific workload, performance, and availability requirements.

What are some of the customer advantages that Dell sees with Storage Spaces?

Acquiring and managing highly available and reliable storage can take a significant part of an IT budget.  Storage Spaces provides an excellent option for customers to gain advanced storage capabilities at a lower price point.  Customers love the fact that they don’t have to pay additional licensing fees for Storage Spaces, and can use commodity compute and JBODs. They also find that it’s not difficult to quickly scale a Storage Spaces storage array, and the performance can be easily ramped up with the addition of SSD hard drives, for example.  Finally, customers really value the idea that they aren’t locked into proprietary hardware configurations. 

How are Dell customers reacting?

Many customers have heard of Storage Spaces and ask us to advise them whether this is an appropriate storage solution for their IT environment.  They typically describe business issues, such as their proprietary stack isn’t cost effective and/or they need a better win rate against their competitors.  We’re happy to work with them to design a solution that is laser focused on their unique performance, reliability, capacity, and SLA requirements.  We’ve found that in nearly all cases, a proof-of-concept Storage Spaces configuration ultimately converts into a production implementation.

To learn more about Dell’s offerings: Dell expands support for Storage Spaces in Windows Server with PowerVault MD3060e