BLOG: Unstructured Data Solutions (UDS) – Dell Technologies

March 3rd, 2021 BLOG: Unstructured Data Solutions (UDS) – Dell Technologies
Bryan Samson
Strategic Alliances Manager


Unstructured data or non-database data like loose files, PDFs, photos, and video clips represent nearly 90% of annual data production with a growth rate of 55-65% each year, according to Forbes. That is an explosive doubling every 11 months! So how do companies keep up with this data growth? Artificial intelligence and machine learning help, but these deep learning technologies can compromise storage performance. Working with Dell Technologies Unstructured Data Solutions (UDS), Mainline subject matter experts can help you select the optimal data solution option(s) for your on-premise, cloud, multi-cloud, or hybrid cloud data center infrastructure, including the latest technology to unlock your unstructured data.

Unstructured data solutions can range from simple file system appliances to a global name space file system to a software-defined on-premise object store to a cloud object storage service. Dell UDS is a portfolio of solutions unique to unstructured data and provides many options depending on data capacity, data types, growth rates, fault tolerance, compute infrastructure, and many other factors. Deciding which solution is right for your business needs is a consultative decision process, but let’s examine the basics.


Dell EMC PowerScale


Dell solutions start with the modular design of the appliance-based PowerScale, formerly Isilon. Mainline Systems Engineer, Keith Thuerk, examines the design detail of PowerScale. But why choose PowerScale over other UDS options? For one, it is the simplest, most efficient, and most scalable solution offered. It is the #1 scale-out NAS solution (Gartner 9/30/19 MQ for Distributed File Systems and Object Storage) and the #1 server technology (IDC x86 server shipments) in the world. The smallest nodes are only 1U and they are multi-protocol capable, handling S3, SMB, FTP, NFS, NDMP, HDFS, SWFT, REST, and HTTP. PowerScale can start small and scale to 10s of PBs. As a footprint grows, there is PowerEdge that address the edge network to provide fast read/write response to users and applications. The solution is also cloud-ready, providing PowerScale in the cloud for greater fault tolerance by storing copies off-site.


Dell EMC Elastic Cloud Storage (ECS)


Dell EMC Elastic Cloud Storage (ECS) is the 3rd generation object platform from Dell Technologies. ECS is designed to unlock data insights from both traditional and next-generation applications with unmatched scalability, flexibility, and resiliency. ECS is truly software-defined, allowing customers to deploy on their own terms: as a turnkey storage appliance or as a software-only solution designed to run on industry-standard hardware through cloud solutions via Virtustream, a federated secure cloud service specific to SAP and EHR applications. This is the modern data lake solution for the largest object store customers. In the appliance flavor, there are four different storage nodes with different density and performance characteristics from NVMe and all-flash to dense drives of up to 11.5 PB per rack, depending on your needs. Dell ECS ushers in a new standard for the unprecedented growth companies are facing today.


Dell EMC Streaming Data Platform


Dell EMC Streaming Data Platform is an out-of-the-box, enterprise-grade software platform that is designed to create a strong, data-first foundation infrastructure for organizations. Out of the UDS portfolio, this is the hardest to visualize as it is a platform for large enterprise customers that builds an ecosystem for engineering and software design to grow. The hardest part of unstructured data, once you figure out how to store it, is how you’re going to use it. Analyzing structured data is, by definition, easier than unstructured data since the metadata is built into the records stored in high performance databases. That’s where solutions like Dell EMC’s Streaming Data Platform come in to provide deeper insights. Supporting PKS Kubernetes, which provides a powerful, scale-out, high-availability platform, Streaming Data Platform is built on open-source technologies, such as Apache Flink and Pravenga, to enable accessibility to a large array of capabilities. These capabilities are core to its ability to analyze streams of unstructured data in real time. This type of technology has been available for structured data for years (think of credit card fraud protection) but again, built on the ability to scan databases. With the huge growth and steady creation of new unstructured data, new systems need to be implemented to gain real-time analytics. Streaming Data Platform is an elastically scalable platform for ingesting, storing, and analyzing continuously streaming data in real time.

More Information

Dell Technologies is well suited to provide breadth and depth in solution options, and Mainline compute and storage systems experts are prepared to help you sift through the vast array of solutions available to determine the best option(s) for your unique data center infrastructure and budget. Please reach out to your Mainline Account Executive to discuss your needs, or contact us here with any questions.

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