Dell Refreshes EqualLogic Storage, Upgrades VM Firmware

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2011-08-22 Print this article Print

Two models of virtualization-aware storage arrays get upgrades, as does its VMware-related firmware.

Dell launched a refresh of its virtualization-aware EqualLogic storage systems Aug. 22, and at the same time tightened integration with VMware's latest hypervisor, vSphere 5, for cloud-system management.

In fact, Dell's got some other news to come in the virtualization realm, and it's not all about storage. The company is expected to make a major announcement next week during VMworld around cloud services.

Dell, which unveiled its high-end EqualLogic PS7500 network-attached storage system (NAS) last June and is now shipping it (pricing starts at $32,700), has updated its lower-end SAN (storage area network) offerings with a pair of new systems for both its PS4000 and PS6000 lines.

The PS6100 series, which can store up to 72TB in one array and 1.2PB in a cluster, is designed for midrange businesses. Pricing starts at $30,700.

The PS4000, aimed at remote offices in large companies, and small and midsize businesses, can hold as much as 36TB in a single array of machines. Pricing for the PS4100, the new machine in the 4000 line announced Aug. 22, starts at $9,500.

The launch marks Dell's first use of higher-performance 2.5-inch drives in the EqualLogic product line, which, Dell Executive Director of Storage Travis Vigil told eWEEK, provides greater density that enables users to store more in less space.

Additionally, customers can gain up to 60 percent performance improvement on typical workloads with the EqualLogic PS Series, compared with the previous-generation EqualLogic arrays, Vigil said, basing his statement on Dell's internal metrics.

Vigil said that EqualLogic firmware version 5.1 now includes thin-provisioning awareness for VMware vSphere to help users save recovery time and help mitigate the risk of potential data loss. Dell is one of VMware's largest global resellers.

Thin provisioning is a method of storage resource management and virtualization that lets IT administrators limit the allocation of actual physical storage to what applications immediately need. It enables the automatic addition of capacity on demand up to preset limits so that IT departments can avoid buying and managing excessive amounts of disk storage.


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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