SC Series SCOS 7.3

Introduction

While I was on vacation the SC Series SCOS 7.3 was announced by DELL to the public at large. Finally, I would almost say as I really expected this to be a bigger thing at DELL World 2018. SCOS updates are free to people with a valid support contract. Bar bug fixes and feature enhancements or additions we really get a lot in this new version. As a matter of fact, we get so much I can only wonder what they have planned for 8.x! SCOS 7.3

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What’s new in SC Series SCOS 7.3

Let’s look very briefly at what is new in the SC Series SCOS 7.3 release:

  • Considerable performance gains for Hybrid or All Flash Arrays. I tend to use 70/30 read/write ratio and random IO for my base lines. So, it won’t be a magical doubling of speed. But hey IOPS/latency/bandwidth measurements are a sport by itself. As long as you can measure real and useful to significant progress for your workloads against a baseline you’re doing well!
  • Easy SC4020 upgrades: you can now migrate the storage enclosure to new controller units.
  • 25GbE &100GbE iSCSI support for SC5020, SC5020F, SC7020, SC7020F and SC9000.
  • CloudIQ support. CloudIQ is a free cloud-based analytics and monitoring tool for Unity that is now available for the SC Series.
  • Management with Unisphere :
    • “Unisphere for SC HTML5 Web UI” – the web UI is back & no more Java.
    • “Unisphere for SC” for managing a single array.
    • “Unisphere Central for SC” when you need to manage multiple arrays.
  • SCv2000 can now federate &replicates with other SC arrays models.
  • Capacity increases for many SC series models.
  • Distributed spares offer up to 500% faster rebuilds. On top of that all drives are now used instead of leaving assigned hot spare drives go to waste when not needed.
  • ALUA support for Live Volumes brings lower latency by reducing/optimizing network traffic
  • Increases the number of Live Volumes supported in the array.

My personal top favorite in SCOS 7.3 is distributed spares. First of all, this allows us to have way better performance overall as we don’t reserve hot spares physically anymore. It just reserves spaces, so all disks add to the total IOPS available.

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Secondly, the speed of rebuilds is now a lot faster due to “many to many” read/writes instead of many to one. Third, more disks help extend the life span of SSD, as do large SSD actually, so this is also an added benefit. With ever bigger SSD in our arrays, I am now leveraging All Flash Arrays (AFA)with 15TB SDDs the latter is very much needed and welcomed. If your read my blog post My first Dell SC7020(F) Array you know this was on my priority list!

Another great benefit to me is the inherent better performance SCOS 7.3 brings us. Even with AFA we can always use more especially at crunch time with transactional workloads, backups, data copies etc. VDI customers will also welcome this.

Conclusion

I really look forward to this SCOS version and I’ll share my upgrade experiences with you here. It fixes my main concern around rebuilds anno 2018. I’m still very happed with SCOS as far as general-purpose traditional SANs go for a variety of workloads. It is on my buy list and I am a repeat buyer. That is actually worth something and means they do things well. Now they should upgrade Replay Manager to really support and understand Windows Server 2016 and 2019 Hyper-V improvements. What they have now is works with (a la Windows Server 2012). I would not call that supported yet. Anyway, the SC Series SCOS 7.3 is definitely bringing a lot to the table. You can read more here.

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