The Dell EMC PowerStore platform has a flexible design to meet the requirements of various storage applications and support high availability. The platform includes the following model types:
- PowerStore T—A storage-centric appliance that enables you to manage and provision block and file storage to external hosts. During initial configuration, you can choose to configure an appliance for unified (block and file) storage or block-only storage.
- PowerStore X—An application and storage-centric appliance that provides block services and a hypervisor layer. The system software stack is deployed on the hypervisor, which enables deployment of VMs and customer applications within the PowerStore hardware.
The following table compares the PowerStore T and PowerStore X:
Table 2. PowerStore model comparison
- SAN (block)
- vSphere Virtual Volumes
- NAS (file) (optional)
- SAN (block)
- vSphere Virtual Volumes
- Embedded applications (VMs)
Both models are available in different configurations with varying or expanding memory and CPU capabilities. At a minimum, each PowerStore appliance consists of a 2U two-node base enclosure. To expand storage capabilities, you can have up to three expansion enclosures in an appliance. In addition, to expand compute and storage capabilities, you can configure up to four appliances of the same model in a cluster.
Appliances and clusters
A PowerStore appliance is a preconfigured infrastructure component that serves storage or compute resources to external applications.
Figure 4. Base enclosure: Front view
An appliance typically consists of:
- A base enclosure that includes some drives and two nodes for high availability, with data protection implemented across the nodes
- An expansion enclosure that enables you to add more drives to increase the storage capacity of the appliance
A PowerStore cluster is a group of two, three, or four appliances that acts as a single component for resource management, efficiency, and availability purposes.
Note: In the current release, all appliances in a single cluster must be of the same model type—PowerStore T or PowerStore X. You cannot convert one model type to another.
The following figure illustrates the PowerStore cluster components:
Figure 5. Cluster components
A cluster provides the following benefits:
- Reduced management complexity.
- Enhanced performance and resource efficiency. Compute and storage resources are pooled within a cluster, and the resource usage is balanced across all the cluster's appliances. Resources are rebalanced as needed to maintain and optimize cluster performance and resource usage. Rebalancing is based on the storage space usage trends and system performance evaluations occurring in the back end.
- Scalability. You can start with a small cluster and then easily add appliances (up to four total) to increase system capacity and performance as needed.
Cluster management and configuration
For configuring and managing a cluster, use the PowerStore Manager to:
- Monitor and review aggregated metrics for the cluster.
- Review and configure various settings for the cluster.
- Add appliances to the cluster or remove appliances from the cluster.
- Review the overall health of the appliances in the cluster and collect support materials for the appliances to troubleshoot issues.
- Review the capacity metrics, performance metrics, alerts, and health information of an appliance and its components. Power down or reboot individual nodes of an appliance to resolve minor issues.
Rack space configuration
The following figure shows a sample rack space configuration for a two-appliance cluster:
- Appliance 1 consists of a base enclosure (in slots 3 and 4) and three expansion enclosures (in slots 5 through 10).
- Appliance 2 consists only of a base enclosure (in slots 11 and 12).
Figure 6. Sample rack space configuration