The Dell EMC PowerMax family was specifically created to fully unlock the performance benefits that NVMe offers to applications. NVMe is a set of standards that defines a PCI express (PCIe) interface that is used to efficiently access Non-Volatile Memory (NVM) storage media. PowerMax NVM media includes both NAND-based flash storage and dual-ported Storage Class Memory (SCM) drive technology such as Intel Optane.
In the PowerMaxOS Q3 2019 release, PowerMax added support for SCM drives together with Machine Learning (ML) algorithms for data placement when both NAND and SCM drives are used. The update also introduced end-to-end FC-NVMe (NVMe over Fiber-Channel Fabrics) to optimize data access between server and storage, and 32 Gb front-end modules that allow faster connectivity speed per port.
In the PowerMaxOS Q3 2020 release, PowerMax added support for SRDF/Metro Smart DR to add disaster recovery capabilities to SRDF/Metro HA clusters. SRDF/Metro Smart DR allows combining high availability (HA) and disaster recovery (DR) by providing an Active/Active infrastructure with synchronous replications for Microsoft failover clusters and allowing async replications to extended distance data center. Previously, this solution required each of the SRDF/Metro storage systems to have its own remote copy of the data. SRDF/Metro Smart DR introduced the ability to combine the DR targets to one copy of the data. With SRDF Metro Smart DR, both HA and DR solutions are combined into a powerful business strategy that is easy to deploy, delivers high scale and performance, and avoids database overhead.
More and more data centers are now highly virtualized for consolidation, ease of management, and to support the growing trend to transition applications to hybrid clouds. Microsoft failover clusters are also commonly deployed across virtual machines running on HA clusters. Both VMware ESXi servers and Microsoft Windows servers support such use cases. SRDF/Metro can also protect multi-layer clusters by providing HA for Microsoft applications deployed on virtualized environments.
At the same time, the PowerMax family continues to provide all the features required by enterprise applications such as six-nines (99.9999%) availability, encryption, replications, data reduction, and massive consolidation. These features are now delivered with I/O latencies that are measured in microseconds.
This white paper explains the benefits and best practices of deploying Microsoft failover clusters and SQL Server failover clusters on physical and virtual environments that include Dell EMC PowerMax storage systems using SRDF/Metro with the optional addition of Smart DR.