Dell Pushes EqualLogic Storage Into Data Centre

CloudData StorageDatacentreStorage

New generation has a performance boost and gives better support for SSDs

Dell’s server launch included updates to its EqualLogic storage products, intended to drive the company further upwards into enterprise storage.

The new VMware-ready PS6000 storage packages include EqualLogic’s SAN HeadQuarters software, with “single pane of glass” monitoring and event reporting; support for up to 500TB of capacity; optional solid-state drives; and snapshot integration with Microsoft Hyper-V for rapid restore of VMs.

Dell acquired EqualLogic for $1.4 billion in November 2007, with the aim of getting to the top in the increasingly competitive data storage business. The PS5000 was the first fruits of that, and the PS6000 is the follow-up.

The systems – designed for virtualisation – include optional solid-state drives, with dedicated controllers for the SSD drives. This is a canny move, explained Praveen Asthana at the London launch, because it allows It staff to use cheaper SSDs . When the SSDs share a controller with spinning disks, then only a high-performance SSD can get its data through the controller at anything like its full speed.

One PS6000 can now support up to 500TB of storage, and Dell claims it is 91 percent faster than the PS5000 for sequential write workloads and up to 29 percent faster for sequential read workloads.

The box also has snapshot integration with Microsoft Hyper-V, so virtual machines can be restored rapidly. This new support adds to the PS Series’ existing integration with Microsoft Exchange, Microsoft SQL, VMware and Citrix XenCenter and enables rapid recovery of Hyper-V virtual machines.

The EqualLogic line overall has been selling very well, Praveen Asthana, Dell’s vice president for storage, told eWEEK: “A year later we’ve come out with an upgraded, much faster product with a lot more capabilities. We’re being pushed by customers into putting EqualLogic into higher and higher installations. It used to be that iSCSI was an SMB play; now we’re finding larger and larger customers deploying EqualLogic in iSCSI environments because it brings so much value, especially when implementing virtualised servers.”

While storage remains one of the few bright spots across the IT landscape, it is clearly not immune to the realities of the day, said Steve Duplessie, principal analysts and founder of Enterprise Strategy group.

“Cutting operating costs is paramount and gaining efficiency everywhere you can is all that matters. This is exactly why we are seeing accelerated interest in technologies such as iSCSI, and for Dell specifically, as they just keep on adding more and more value to their EqualLogic line while effectively lowering the real cost of owning and operating their systems.

“This is nothing but good for Dell.”

List pricing for the PS6000 arrays starts at $17,000 (£11,700). The starting price for PS6000S, the model with the Solid State Drives, is $25,000 (£17,000). The PS6000 series and associated services are available worldwide from Dell and its global PartnerDirect channel partners.

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