Bringing Windows Server Software Defined (WSSD) to Small and Midsize Businesses

Dell EMC Microsoft Storage Spaces Direct Ready Nodes are now available in configurations tailored to the needs of small and midsize businesses.

For small and midsize businesses, technology is every bit as important as it is to large enterprises, and even the smallest of companies understand this.  In a survey commissioned by Microsoft Corp. and conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs, 86 percent of small businesses indicated that keeping up with technology is important to their businesses. The survey also found that 60 percent of small businesses attribute increased revenue to technology. [1]

At Dell EMC, we listen closely to businesses like those in the Microsoft SMB survey, and then we follow through with the delivery of new products and solutions tailored to their needs. That’s the case with the new SMB configurations in our portfolio of Dell EMC Microsoft Windows Server Software Defined (WSSD).

These right-sized configurations make it easy for SMBs to capitalize on the benefits of Microsoft Storage Spaces Direct, or S2D as the product is informally known. S2D changes the ground rules for storage. It eliminates the need for separate SAN or NAS storage arrays, and instead uses industry-standard servers with local-attached drives to create highly available, highly scalable software-defined storage at a fraction of the cost of traditional storage arrays.

Dell EMC Microsoft Storage Spaces Direct Ready Nodes simplify and accelerate the deployment of S2D. The Ready Nodes are optimally configured with the required amount of CPU, memory, network, I/O controllers and storage devices. The Ready Nodes approach gives IT managers the confidence and convenience that comes with preconfigured, tested and certified configurations designed for S2D and fully supported by Dell EMC. Dell EMC serves as a single point of contact for the entire Ready Solution.

The new Storage Spaces Direct Ready Nodes tailored for SMBs include options with cost-effective Dell EMC PowerEdge™ R440 and R640 servers with Intel® Xeon® processors. These Ready Nodes can easily scale to meet the needs of a growing business.

As with all Dell EMC Ready Solutions, the new S2D offerings give IT managers the confidence that comes with known good configurations. They also provide the convenience of an easy-to-deploy solution. Compared to build-it-yourself solutions, the Storage Spaces Direct Ready Nodes require far less time for setup, testing, management and maintenance, and they are delivered with solution-level customer support. All of those characteristics make life easier for the people responsible for the care and feeding of IT systems in a busy SMB environment.

Let’s consider a customer example. Ewel Inc., a consulting services company in Japan, is among the companies that are realizing the benefits of Storage Spaces Direct Ready Nodes. The company’s IT administrators completed the migration of their existing Windows 2008 environment to S2D in just one week’s time, without any impact to existing users. In an interview with Dell EMC, Ewel’s IT leaders characterized the migration to Storage Spaces Direct Ready Nodes as “seamless.” [2]

Today, Ewel is using its Storage Spaces Direct Ready Nodes to run intranet, database and email applications serving all of its employees. That means a single easy-to-manage and easy-to-scale Ready Solution now carries a significant portion of the IT load for the company’s operations.

If you’re in an SMB environment, now is a good time to check out the benefits of Dell EMC Microsoft Storage Spaces Direct Ready Nodes. These Ready Solutions bring a lot of good things together, in configurations that are right-sized for SMBs.

For a closer look at Dell EMC Microsoft Storage Spaces Direct Ready Nodes, visit Or to learn more about Ready Solutions for Microsoft Windows Server Software-Defined (WSSD), stop by or contact your favorite partner.

[1] Microsoft blog, “Survey shows that most small businesses feel the need to keep up with technology, but many have yet to adopt the cloud,” June 5, 2014.

[2] Dell EMC customer case study, “Health, Happy Employees,” April 2018.