EqualLogic joins Hitachi, EMC, 3PAR and others in offering trendy new software for SANS and iSCSI systems.
Storage network system provider EqualLogic on May 15 expanded its portfolio of software features currently available in its PS Series storage arrays.
EqualLogic added thin provisioning, which improves utilization and scalability while helping IT shops reduce their total storage costs.
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 pre-set limits, so that IT departments can avoid buying and managing excessive amounts of disk storage.
EqualLogic, based in Nashua, N.H., thus joins other storage companies such as Hitachi, EMC, NetApp, 3PAR and CommVault to offer thin provisioning for either SAN or iSCSI storage systems.
A recent Gartner report advised that "insatiable storage growth, coupled with staff shortages and budget constraints, make thin provisioning a strategically important feature, which is currently offered by only a handful of forward-thinking vendors.
"Thin provisionings profound benefits for IT organizations include improved staff productivity, higher end-user satisfaction rates, increased storage utilization, more accurate capacity forecasts, and smaller environmental footprintsall of which mean reduced costs. For this reason, Gartner recommends including at least one storage system that offers thin provisioning on any shortlist," the report stated.
Thin provisioning extends EqualLogics existing peer provisioning features that automate the key functions needed to configure, manage and scale storage by further cutting administration times for volume and capacity growth.
This makes the buy-as-you-grow storage model of the modular PS Series more seamless for servers and applications. EqualLogics thin provisioning capability provides flexibility and user safety controls. These include the ability to turn thin provisioning on and off as needed for any volume, a company spokesperson said.
This allows users to test the most suitable applications and volumes for thin provisioning, with the knowledge that they can return to "normal" provisioning online. The PS Series includes proactive, user-defined threshold alarms and controls on automatic space allocation that minimize the possibility of a "run" on storage that could fill capacity of a thinly provisioned SAN, the spokesperson said.
EqualLogic also announced a number of enhancements aimed at providing better flexibility and control for customers. These include auto-replication improvements; fast fail-back for testing disaster recovery and for quickly moving services between disaster recovery locations; and manual initial replication for fast deployment of recovery sites with limited bandwidth between sites.
New administrative management features now include roles-based management to limit access to and customize views of particular pools of storage for authorized administrators. This is useful for ISP and ASP hosted services. Historical performance trending analysis, measuring IOPS and latency, is also a new feature, a company spokesperson said.
The new features will be available in Version 3.2 of the EqualLogic PS Series firmware, available in the second quarter of 2007. All PS series customers under valid warranty or support agreement can upgrade their firmware at no extra cost.
Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, reviews and analysis on enterprise and small business storage hardware and software.
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 Salesforce.com 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 DevX.com 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