Dell EMC rebrands PowerFlex with VxFlex

Dell EMC announced PowerFlex as the new name for its product range of scale-out, multi-hypervisor, virtual SAN and HCI VxFlex, and added data protection features to the OS.

PowerFlex, which is marketed as a hardware appliance, is the 3 to multi-thousand node scale-out block storage device from Dell EMC that offers a virtual SAN or hyper-converged deployment mode. In a parallel node architecture, it uses PowerEdge X86 server nodes to provide basic storage, scale-out SAN (2-layer), HCI (1-layer), or mixed system and was available as a VxFlex appliance, VxRack with integrated networking, or Ready Node. (They ‘re now branded as PowerFlex.) Dell EMC said it’s software-defined but the SW doesn’t seem to be available on its own.

VxFlex itself is the 2018 rebrand of the ScaleIO company acquired by EMC for around $200 m in June 2013. It was an alternative Dell EMC to VMware’s vSAN. Compared to VxRail, which primarily supports VMware and overlaps with it, VxFlex supports several hypervisors and bare metal servers, which can be used either as a conventional SAN tool or in HCI mode.


PowerFlex storage can be used for containerized cloud-native applications such as bare metal databases, virtualized workloads, and. Its parallel architecture makes it possible to rebuild quickly if drives or nodes malfunction.

Dell claims for the performance of the EMC PowerFlex.

The PowerFlex OS, Dell EMC said, now provides up to 30 seconds of native asynchronous replication alongside existing sync replication and disaster recovery with RPO. This also offers safe snapshots for customers with clear criteria for corporate governance and compliance including healthcare and finance, the company added.

PowerFlex appliances have all-flash hardware nodes with support for SATA, SAS, and NVMe drive. Blocks & Files expect to see more NVMe drive support in the future, along with NVMe-oF and Optane DIMM and/or SSD support to further pump the performance capacity.

The Power portfolio of Dell EMC now comprises:

  • Networking with PowerSwitch,
  • PowerOne Independent Network,
  • Mid-range, key storage PowerStore,
  • High-end key PowerMax housing,
  • Portfolio PowerEdge server,
  • PowerFlex Virtual SANS and HCI scale-out SDS,
  • PowerProtect Data,
  • Entry-level PowerVault room.
  • Unstructured storage at PowerScale,

Dell EMC said its Power group umbrella has accomplished it’s brand and product simplification. Products based on VMware have a V-something suffix, while Dell’s own apps use the Power-prefix.