PowerFlex rack is a software-defined infrastructure platform that delivers flexibility, elasticity, and simplicity with predictable performance and resiliency at scale by combining compute as well as high-performance storage resources in a managed unified network. This rack-based engineered system, with integrated networking, enables customers to achieve the scalability and management requirements of a modern data center.
PowerFlex appliance is a PowerEdge server which has been configured to be a node in a software-defined infrastructure deployment that runs PowerFlex software components. This offering allows customers the flexibility and savings to bring their own compatible networking.
PowerFlex Custom Nodes are validated server building-blocks configured for use with PowerFlex. They are available with thousands of configuration options and are available for customers who prefer to build their own environments.
PowerFlex software can also be deployed in the public cloud and is available in the Amazon Marketplace as Dell APEX Block Storage for AWS (formerly known as PowerFlex cloud storage). PowerFlex on AWS offers the same on-premises benefits of high-performance, linear scalability, and high resilience as in cloud. PowerFlex also adds cloud-specific benefits, such as large volume sizes, extreme performance based on NVMe drives, and predictable scalability. With PowerFlex on AWS, you can also get higher multi-Availability-Zone (multi-AZ) resiliency when PowerFlex Fault sets are distributed across multiple AWS Availability Zones. For more information, see Dell APEX Block Storage for AWS.
An important component outside of PowerFlex that enables a flexible consumption model for Kubernetes is the PowerFlex CSI driver, developed as a part of the Dell Kubernetes strategy. After loading the CSI driver for PowerFlex into Kubernetes, it can be used to provision persistent volumes from the underlying PowerFlex storage resource. If the Kubernetes deployment is running low on PowerFlex storage resources, you can add PowerFlex storage nodes to increase the system capacity and performance.
The CSI driver connects the PowerFlex system and Kubernetes deployments. It is a storage broker which dynamically provisions volumes from PowerFlex through the PowerFlex API gateway to the Kubernetes cluster. Once the volume is available on PowerFlex, it is immediately mapped to the requesting pod. If a pod is destroyed or rescheduled, the CSI plug-in ensures that the volumes are remapped upon rescheduling of that pod.
These modules include snapshot, observability, authorization, application mobility, and resiliency.
PowerFlex supports multiple operating systems, different deployment options on-premises and public cloud deployment model (available in AWS). PowerFlex is validated with the leading Kubernetes distributions as shown in the following figure: