New Dell EMC PowerVault ME4 SMB Storage Array

Dell EMC PowerVault ME4084
Dell EMC PowerVault ME4084

Today Dell EMC announced a new entry-level storage array it says can compete in the SMB space. The Dell EMC PowerVault ME4 is intriguing as it utilizes standard SAS3 12Gbps infrastructure to provide starter units in the $13,000 range. The ME4 series is expandable topping out at around 4PB of data stored and dual RAID controllers. Beyond the raw specs, the Dell EMC PowerVault ME4 has a lot of software that comes standard with the appliances including replication, snapshots, 3-level tiering, VMware integrations, encryption (SED), distributed RAID, simple management tools including an HTML5 management interface and more. Dell EMC quotes a 15-minute installation which is important in the SMB segment it is targeting.

We think this is a really interesting development for a few reasons. Not the least of which is that at $13,000 for the base configuration, Dell EMC is nearing the upper end of the SMB NAS vendors like Synology and QNAP. These companies have rackmount offerings in the $5,000 to $8,000 range without the ability to scale to multi-petabytes, and same support options. The Dell EMC PowerVault ME4 has ProSupport base and an option for ProSupport Plus as well as ProDeploy. We see this as a major move by Dell EMC since the PowerVault ME4 is going to make a lot of the higher-end SMB NAS customers look towards a more robust solution.

Dell EMC PowerVault ME4 Base Units
Dell EMC PowerVault ME4 Base Units

Dell EMC PowerVault ME4 Specs

Here are the key specifications for the Dell EMC PowerVault ME4 series:

PowerVault ME4 Series Specifications

Chassis Overview

Chassis format

All-in-one (single/dual controllers, internal drive bays, networking) with expansion options

Rack size

2U or 5U


2 hot-swappable per chassis (dual active) Single/dual controller support for 2U

Dual controller support for 5U


Intel® Broadwell-DE Processor 2 cores 2.2GHz

Internal storage

ME4012: 12 x 3.5” drive bays (2.5” drive carriers supported)

ME4024: 24 x 2.5” drive bays

ME4084: 84x 3.5” drive bays (2.5” drive carriers supported)

System memory

8GB per controller

Expansion Capacity

Expansion enclosures

ME412: 12 x 3.5” drive bays (12Gb SAS)ME424: 24 x 2.5” drive bays (12Gb SAS)ME484: 84 x 3.5” drive bays (12Gb SAS)

Min/Max drive count

ME4012: 2/264ME4024: 2/276ME4084: 28/336

Max raw capacity

ME4012: 3.1PB (with ME484 expansion)ME4024: 3PB (with ME484 expansion)ME4084: 4PB

NAS Support

Supported with NX Series Windows NAS appliance

Storage media

SAS and NL-SAS drives; different drive types, transfer rates, rotational speeds can be mixed in the same system:

  • NLSAS 7.2K 3.5” – 4TB, 8TB, 12TB, 12TB SED

  • NLSAS 7.2K 2.5” – 2TB, 2TB SED

  • SAS 10K 2.5” – 1.2TB, 1.8TB, 2.4TB, 2.4TB SED

  • SAS 15K 2.5” – 900GB, 900GB SED

  • SSD – 480GB, 960GB, 1.92TB, 1.92TB SED

  • SDD and HDD: FIPS-certified SEDs

Network and Expansion I/O

Host interface

FC, iSCSI, SAS (supports simultaneous multiprotocol FC/iSCSI)

Max 16Gb FC ports

8 per array (support auto-negotiate to 8Gb)

Max 10Gb iSCSI ports

8 SFP+ or BaseT ports per array (BaseT only support auto negotiate to 1Gb)

Max 12Gb SAS ports

8 12Gb SAS ports

Max multi-protocol ports

4 ports 16Gb FC SFP+

4 ports 10Gb iSCSI SFP+

Max management ports

2 per array (1Gb BASE-T)

Disk expansion protocol

12Gb SAS

Disk interface expansion ports

2 12Gb SAS (wide-Port) per array (1 port per controller) Up to 9 2U expansion enclosures per 2U base array

Up to 3 5U expansion enclosures per 2U base array Up to 3 5U expansion enclosures per 5U base array


Array configurations

All-flash, hybrid or all HDD arrays

Storage format

Native SAN or DAS

Data Optimization


Up to 3 primary (media-based) tiers

RAID support

RAID 0, 1, 5, 6, 10, 50 or Adapt; any combination of RAID levels can exist in single array


Distributed erasure coding that reduces rebuild times when drive failures occur

Thin provisioning

Active by default on all volumes, operates at full performance across all features


1024 maximum snapshots per array

Data Mobility and Migration


Replicates with other ME4 Series Arrays Asynchronous block via FC or iSCSI

Target/source relationships may be one-to-many or many-to-one

Volume copy

Copy complete standalone volumes

Data Protection, Disaster Recovery, Security

Business continuity

VMware Site Recovery Manager

Data-at-rest encryption

Self-encrypting drives (SEDs) in SSD or HDD formats Full Disk Encryption (FCE) based on AES-256

Drives certified to FIPS 140-2 Level 2

Key manager

Internal controller key management



ME Storage Manager (MESM) HTML5 GUI, CLI, REST

VMware vCenter

Support VMware vCenter plugin to manage the ME4 arrays through vCenter.



Microsoft PowerShell API RESTful API

Supported host OS

Windows 2016 and 2012 R2

RHEL 6.9 and 7.4

SLES 12.3

VMware 6.5 and 6.0

Virtualization integration

VMware vSphere (ESXi) vCenter; SRM

Microsoft Hyper-V

Physical Base System

Rack size

ME4012 (2U), ME4024 (2U), ME4084 (5U)

Base system height

ME4012: 8.79 cm (3.46 inches)

ME4024: 8.79 cm (3.46 inches)

ME4084: 22.23 cm (8.75 inches)

Base system width

ME4012: 48.30 cm (19.01 inches)

ME4024: 48.30 cm (19.01 inches)

ME4084: 48.30 cm (19.01 inches)

Base system depth

ME4012: 60.29 cm (23.74 inches)

ME4024: 60.29 cm (23.74 inches)

ME4084: 97.47 cm (38.31 inches)

Weight (max configuration)

ME4012: 32.00 kg (71.00 lbs)

ME4024: 30.00 kg (66.00 lbs)

ME4084: 135.00 kg (298.00 lbs)

Weight (empty)

ME4012: 4.80 kg (10.56 lbs) without drivesME4024: 4.80 kg (10.56 lbs) without drivesME4084: 64.00 kg (141.00 lbs) without drives

Physical Expansion Enclosure

Rack size

ME412 (2U), ME424 (2U), ME484 (5U)

Expansion height

ME412: 8.79 cm (3.46 inches)

ME424: 8.79 cm (3.46 inches)

ME484: 22.23 cm (8.75 inches)

Expansion width

ME412: 48.30 cm (19.01 inches)

ME424: 48.30 cm (19.01 inches)

ME484: 48.30 cm (19.01 inches)

Expansion depth

ME412: 60.29 cm (23.74 inches)

ME424: 60.29 cm (23.74 inches)

ME484: 97.47 cm (38.31 inches)

Weight (max configuration)

ME412: 28.00 kg (62.00 lbs)

ME424: 25.00 kg (55.00 lbs)

ME484: 130.00 kg (287.00 lbs)

Weight (empty)

ME412: 4.80 kg (10.56 lbs) without drivesME424: 4.80 kg (10.56 lbs) without drivesME484: 64.00 kg (141.00 lbs) without drives

Base System Power


ME4012: 580W

ME4024: 580W

ME4084: 2200W

Heat dissipation

ME4012: 1980 BTU

ME4024: 1980 BTU

ME4084: 7507 BTU


ME4012: 100-240 VAC

ME4024: 100-240 VAC

ME4084: 200-240 VAC


50/60 Hz


ME4012: 7.6-3.0A (x2)

ME4024: 7.6-3.0A (x2)

ME4084: 11.07-9.23A (x2)

Expansion Power


ME412: 580WME424: 580WME484: 2200W

Heat dissipation

ME412: 1980 BTU

ME424: 1980 BTU

ME484: 7507 BTU


ME412: 100-240 VAC

ME424: 100-240 VAC

ME484: 200-240 VAC


50/60 Hz


ME412: 7.6-3.0A (x2)

ME424: 7.6-3.0A (x2)

ME484: 11.07-9.23A(x2)

Environmental Operating Conditions

Operating temperature

41 – 95°F (5 – 35°C)

Non-operating temperature

-40 – 149°F (-40 – 65°C)

Operating humidity ranges (non-condensing)

10% to 80% with 29°C (84.2°F) maximum dew point

Non-operating humidity (non- condensing)

5% to 95% with 33°C (91°F) maximum dew point

Service & Warranty


Dell ProSupport with deployment and consulting services. Optional ProSupport Plus is available offering proactive and preventative services to improve performance and stability. Dell Optimize is available for additional ongoing strategic counsel and guidance from a highly-trained system analyst.

System sizing

Dell EMC Midrange Sizer Tool

Drive warranty

All SSDs and HDDs are warrantied for full lifetime wear-out replacement with valid service agreement


  1. Seems not, based on that it would be a Intel® Pentium® Processor D1508, a low-power low-cost 25W hyper threaded chip

  2. @schonzen: sure that’s why they need upto a 2200 Watt redundant powersupply. To me this looks like the better copy/paste work with the drawback of also copying the faults.

  3. @Misha: They don’t need 2.2kW power supply for controllers, but for drives (2200W is in 5U unit, if I got it right). Dual core @ 2.2GHz should be enough if software is properly designed.


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