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London Launch For Dell Compellent Storage Center Upgrade

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New backup array for SMBs, upgraded storage network software, and improved integration features top Dell’s list of announcements at the European Storage Forum

Dell has announced a spate of new products at the European Dell Storage Forum event, staged in London. They include an update of its Compellent Storage Center software that speeds up its tiering automation and data reduction functions, among other things. Dell acquired Compellent in late 2009 and within a few months realigned its corporate storage strategy around the company’s “Fluid Data” intellectual property (IP).

Dell also announced an optimisation package for Microsoft SharePoint deployments and improvements in its EqualLogic and PowerVault integrations with VMware’s vSphere 5 hypervisor and tools. Dell also launched a storage backup array, the DR4000. It also revealed that all its storage products now work natively with Dell’s own Force10 Ethernet switch routes and PowerConnect networking switches, as well as Brocade’s next-generation 16Gbit Fibre Channel storage area network (SAN) packages.

Internal integration takes time

It has taken a little while for Dell to integrate a rather large amount of new IP from several companies it has acquired in the last few years, but it appears to be moving right along. The whole Fluid Data concept is about the architecture being able to adapt quickly to changing workload demands through automation. This includes management of all enterprise’s storage: primary, backup and archive.

Storage Center 6.0 includes Dell’s first deduplication backup appliance to integrate intellectual property from its 2010 Ocarina acquisition. It includes 64-bit support that doubles memory size; all that extra memory enables much faster processing, leading to significant performance improvements in tiering, thin provisioning and replication features, Mike Davis (pictured) of Dell’s Dedupe Marketing Team told eWEEK.

Dell’s Solution for Microsoft SharePoint Infrastructure Optimisation consists of Dell DX storage, Dell Microsoft SharePoint assessment, design, and deployment services and AvePoint DocAve software. The package is designed to better enable SharePoint lifecycle management and to result in improved capacity use and performance, Bob Fine, Dell director of product marketing for SharePoint, told eWEEK.

In upgrading its EqualLogic and PowerVault application integration for VMware vSphere 5, Dell introduced new Compellent storage APIs for array integration. These feature full copy offload and hardware-assisted locking features that extend Compellent’s existing support for block zeroing, Davis said. These features speed deployment of virtual machines up to 40 percent, Davis said.

Dell’s latest hard disk-based DR4000 backup array, aimed at small and midsized enterprises and remote offices of larger companies, includes all of the Ocarina deduplication and compression capabilities. It is available in 40TB, 81TB or 135TB storage capacities as a single appliance.

Dell has added the Dell Force10 S4810 10 Gigabit Ethernet switch and the deep-buffer S60 1G bit/10G bit Ethernet switches to the validated component list. EqualLogic users can reduce deployment time with the auto-recognition and auto-configuration features contained in most of the Dell PowerConnect switches, Davis said.

All the new products will be available this quarter, Dell said.