Dell Announces a Load of New Storage Products

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2012-01-11 Print this article Print

New backup array for SMBs, upgraded storage network software and improved integrations with other products top the company's list of announcements at London event.

Dell, which acquired Compellent in late 2009 and within a few months realigned its corporate storage strategy around that company's "Fluid Data" IP, on Jan. 11 announced a spate of new products. They include an update of its Compellent Storage Center software that speeds up its tiering automation and data reduction functions, among other things.

The Austin, Texas-based IT giant's storage development folks have been working overtime. The company also announced a new optimization package for Microsoft SharePoint deployments and improvements in its EqualLogic and PowerVault integrations with VMware's vSphere 5 hypervisor and tools.

Dell launched a new storage backup array, the DR4000. Finally, 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.

Dell made the announcements at its first European Dell Storage Forum event, staged in London.

Internal Integration Takes Time

It's 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 everything appears to be moving right along. All this interaction should be good news to a number of Dell storage shops.

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 of Dell's Dedupe Marketing Team told eWEEK.

Dell's new Solution for Microsoft SharePoint Infrastructure Optimization 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 utilization 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.

New Array Aimed at SMBs

Dell's new hard disk-based DR4000 backup array, aimed at small and midsize 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.

Chris Preimesberger Chris Preimesberger was named Editor-in-Chief of Features & Analysis at eWEEK in November 2011. Previously he served eWEEK as Senior Writer, covering a range of IT sectors that include data center systems, cloud computing, storage, virtualization, green IT, e-discovery and IT governance. His blog, Storage Station, is considered a go-to information source. Chris won a national Folio Award for magazine writing in November 2011 for a cover story on and CEO-founder Marc Benioff, and he has served as a judge for the SIIA Codie Awards since 2005. In previous IT journalism, Chris was a founding editor of both IT Manager's Journal and and was managing editor of Software Development magazine. His diverse resume also includes: sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News, covering NCAA and NBA basketball, television critic for the Palo Alto Times Tribune, and Sports Information Director at Stanford University. He has served as a correspondent for The Associated Press, covering Stanford and NCAA tournament basketball, since 1983. He has covered a number of major events, including the 1984 Democratic National Convention, a Presidential press conference at the White House in 1993, the Emmy Awards (three times), two Rose Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl, several NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, a Formula One Grand Prix auto race, a heavyweight boxing championship bout (Ali vs. Spinks, 1978), and the 1985 Super Bowl. A 1975 graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., Chris has won more than a dozen regional and national awards for his work. He and his wife, Rebecca, have four children and reside in Redwood City, Calif.Follow on Twitter: editingwhiz

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