After a preview at the Microsoft Ignite show and our announcement on May 6, Dell’s DSMS (Dell Storage with Microsoft Storage Spaces) solutions are now available to order.

Based on Microsoft Storage Spaces technology, which is a part of the Windows Server 2012R2 OS that lets you virtualize direct attached storage, DSMS is using Dell’s award winning 13G enterprise class servers and MD storage enclosures. DSMS is ideal for a variety of workloads, including Private Cloud (with Microsoft Azure), VDI, SQL and Hyper-V, or it can be used as a target for backup.

Why DSMS?

The answer is pretty simple. DSMS is using validated and tested component bundles that are fully solution supported, starting with capacity and performance sizing, deployment, maintenance and ongoing support.

What does this mean to the customer?

While customers can build their own storage solutions using Microsoft Storage Spaces technology and hardware, DSMS is making things much easier to deploy, manage and maintain. Most importantly, DSMS makes your storage solutions more reliable at scale. DSMS is using Dell standard hardware, but has unique identifiers that allow Dell’s deployment and support teams to make solution-level decisions when working with these sometimes complex storage systems. For example, this allows us to route support calls to specialized, solution aware support engineers and to provide solution specific deployment services. In addition, fine-tuned management tools allow for solution-level firmware updates of the entire cluster with a single, solution specific payload, eliminating challenging decisions for customers during the update process. DSMS takes the guesswork out of component revision levels, where to obtain updates and orchestration of the sequence and timing during the update process.

What does DSMS look like?

DSMS solutions are based on an SOFS (Scale-Out File Server) architecture, supporting a wide range of compute solutions, including PowerEdge R servers, FX and blades.

DSMS uses Dell MD3060e, MD1400 and MD1420 as storage enclosures and PowerEdge R630 and R730 as storage nodes. The SOFS design can accommodate from 2-4 JBODs in a cluster for a total of up to 240 hard drives (MD3060e)—this translates to over 1PB of RAW storage today. The storage enclosures are connected either via 6G (MD3060e) or 12G (MD14x0) shared SAS (Serial attached SCSI). The storage nodes that run the Windows Server 2012R2 OS with Storage Spaces and Cluster Shared Volumes (CSV) can be configured with 2-4 storage nodes per cluster.

In addition, DSMS offers RDMA (Remote Direct Memory Access) for workloads that require high-throughput and low-latency networking. RDMA over Converged Ethernet (RoCE) and iWARP are the supported implementations.

Bottom line

Dell Storage with Microsoft Storage Spaces is a versatile Scale-Out File Server SDS offering that enables customers to implement flexible storage solutions that meet a variety of performance, capacity and business continuity needs using Microsoft’s Storage Spaces technology. Most importantly, Dell Storage with Microsoft Storage spaces represents a selection of validated and tested components that work in sync, even when deployed in large scale, or with high expectations on performance. Workload and sizing recommendations are in place that streamline the implementation process and ensure that the proposed solution is matched to the business need and actual workload requirements.