Dell Decision to Discontinue DX is Disappointing


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Image representing Caringo as depicted in Crun...

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On April 17, 2013, Caringo released a press release that in essence announced the discontinuance by Dell of its DX object storage platform. In part, the release read:

The software appliance model will replace the single hardware DX6000 platform previously offered by Dell.

This is particularly disappointing. Neuralytix believes that recent disruptions to the Dell storage leadership team contributed to this. Neuralytix further believes that Dell should have more actively pursued the acquisition of Caringo itself. Other reports suggest that this transition will be completed by the end of July,

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Presently, object storage solutions are a tough sell to the market. The temporal hype around Big Data technologies including (but not limited to) Hadoop has distracted the market away from object based storage systems. The same hype has had an affect on other storage technologies like parallel NFS (or pNFS).

The challenge that Dell faces, is not unique. Most object based storage system is tightly coupled with an enterprise application such as a document management system (DMS) or a Picture Archiving and Communication System (PACS) system for use in the healthcare industry. So rather than simply doing due diligence on the object based storage system, it is necessary to evaluate the integration of the object based storage system with the application (and in some cases, users would need to evaluate a solution that includes both the storage system and an enterprise application).

There is a second challenge. To fully leverage an object based storage system, users would need to categorize their data. File extensions are helpful, but each file would essentially need to be examined, possibly indexed, tagged before the data is loaded onto an object based storage system. Without this, an object based storage system would simply be, a network attached storage (NAS) system!

So, in the end, it is very disappointing that Dell has let go of its DX series. It represented one of the most aggressive approach by a leading full-line systems vendor to push the object based storage market forward.

That said, companies including EMC, IBM, HP and HDS continue to market their object based solutions under various monikers.

Object based storage systems represents an ideal stepping stone for enterprises to evolve from the fixed traditional storage infrastructure to the more agile approach presented by object based storage architectures and Big Data management of data objects.

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