It's noteworthy that both Hewlett-Packard and Dell, which each bought young, progressive storage companies last year, have taken their prized new IP and made it the centerpieces of their storage strategies only months after closing the deals.
We're not sure exactly what that says about the older storage products those well-established systems makers have been selling for years, but it does indicate the term "freshening up" was probably used by the buyers at some point in deciding to do both transactions.
HP announced this week that it is cross-pollinating software and services from the $2.35 billion 3PAR acquisition into its older array systems. On the other hand, Dell-which paid a mere $940 million for Compellent-is so enthralled with what it got that it is rebranding its entire storage strategy after Compellent's Liquid Storage identifier.
At its first all-storage customer and partner conference in Orlando, Fla., this week (Dell Storage Forum, which continues through June 11) that combined the former Compellent and EqualLogic events, Dell introduced some new systems and a refresh of its old standby, PowerVault.
New-product and other highlights of the Fluid Data Architecture lineup:
- Demonstration of 16G-bps Fibre Channel infrastructure interoperability at the show. Dell demonstrated compatibility of a Dell Compellent Storage Center SAN with a Brocade 6510 16Gb Fibre Channel switch and a Brocade 1860 16Gb Fabric Adapter. Dell said it will have 16G-bps Fibre Channel offerings available this fall.
- Dell PowerVault MD3600f/MD3620f adds Fibre Channel to its menu choices. Key features: eight 8G-bps Fibre Channel ports (four per controller); additional capacity can be added up to a maximum of 96 hard drives via the PowerVault MD1200 and/or MD1220 enclosures; users can mix 3.5-inch and 2.5-inch enclosures behind their base units for drive tiering; and data protection options that include snapshots, virtual disk copy and remote replication services.
- Dell unveiled its first unified Dell EqualLogic platform. The EqualLogic FS7500 adds scalable network-attached storage (NAS) capability to the EqualLogic product line-making it a high-performance, scale-out unified storage for midsize deployments. The FS7500 uses the Dell Scalable File System, which incorporates features formerly found only at the high end-including snapshots, advanced caching, load balancing and multithreading for fast I/O processing. Other features: N-way scalability with automated failover and a single namespace; scale-out CIFS and NFS support; and scale a single share up to 510TB.
- Dell EqualLogic software upgraded to v5.1. Key features: DCB Support is designed to improve quality of service with consistent and even traffic flow in a converged SAN/LAN networking fabric; enhanced load balancing capability provides the ability to automatically balance storage traffic between EqualLogic arrays; and enhanced thin provisioning awareness with VMware vSphere 4.1 reduces recovery time and helps mitigate the risk of potential data loss.
The new products will become available later this summer.