Dell EMC ECS Object Storage | The basics about Dell EMC Elastic Cloud (ECS)

Elastic Cloud Storage (ECS) is the new flagship of the Dell EMC object storage offering (which also maintains a pre-existing partnership with Scality).

ECS is offered by the manufacturer as a plug-and-play appliance but also as software deployable on Dell servers (DSS or PowerEdge) and HPE. This software deployment is made all the easier by the fact that all ECS software components are in the form of Docker containers.

If data is the lifeblood of the modern business, ECS is the heartbeat—providing organizations with an object-storage platform capable of supporting both traditional and modern workloads.

ECS unlocks the potential of every business, powering critical use cases such as line-of-business applications, websites, mobile apps, IoT data stores, analytics initiatives, long-term archives, and much more. An enterprise-ready platform, ECS enables organizations to simplify object storage management, visualize information in new ways, and empower the business to do more with data, all at a lower total-cost-of-ownership.

Streamline object storage: Meet any capacity requirements, protect data, and manage ECS with ease using built-in, enterprise capabilities. Gain new insights: Get a deeper look into system health and locate data faster than ever before

Build next-gen solutions: From modern app development to deep archives, leverage the versatility and scale of ECS to power a data-driven future

ECS is distinguished from some of its competitors by a very wide protocol support since the technology supports Amazon AWS S3, OpenStack Swift, and Atmos object protocols, NFSv3 file mode access, as well as HDFS. ECS also provides a compatibility mechanism with the Centera API (for companies that have invested very early in the manufacturer's CAS architecture).

In an ECS system, the data is cut to ingestion into fragments, which by default are replicated to three different nodes to protect the data from disk or node failure. When multiple fragments cross the 128 MB mark, they are processed through a mechanism of erasure coding and distributed across the cluster nodes to improve the storage efficiency of the system. The original fragments and their replicas are then erased. Fragment indexes and metadata are replicated on three different nodes and are not affected by the mechanism of erasure coding to optimize performance.

ECS has a mechanism for encrypting data at rest, and the system includes sophisticated authentication mechanisms for both administration and data access. Active Directory, LDPA and Keystone (the authentication mechanism of OpenStack) are used for authentication to the system. And access to data is protected, according to access protocols by Hash (HMAC), token mechanisms or by Kerberos (for NFS and HDFS access). The whole is complemented by advanced reporting mechanisms.

Finally, let us note that ECS supports multiple modes of deployment including local modes (a datacenter) and geo-protected modes (the data is geo-replicated on several sites).

Dell EMC Elastic Cloud Storage is part of the Magic Quadrant for object storage and clustered file system actors as seen by Gartner (Gartner source, October 2016) where it is cataloged among the leaders.