Dell Adds Updated EqualLogic Arrays to New-Product News

The new VMware-ready 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 virtual machines.

SAN FRANCISCO-Dell had a busy day March 25, launching a flotilla of new products that included five snazzy new midrange storage arrays from its EqualLogic division, three new towers for high-performance workstations and a new server.
When Michael Dell announced that his company was acquiring EqualLogic and its second-generation iSCSI storage system for $1.4 billion in November 2007, he said at the time: "We now have the rocket fuel to put us in front" in the increasingly competitive data storage business.
A mere five days after closing the acquisition, Dell began worldwide delivery of EqualLogic's SAN (storage area network) arrays in the form of the Dell EqualLogic PS5000 series. Thirteen months later, five new models of the new PS6000 generation array have been launched, and the "rocket fuel" continues to be in evidence.
The new storage packages-built specifically for virtualized systems-include EqualLogic's SAN HeadQuarters software, which features "single pane of glass" monitoring and event reporting at no additional cost, Dell officials said.
Other new PS6000 features include:
--Optional SSDs (solid-state drives). PS6000S arrays each have dedicated controllers for the SSD drives (no other vendor does this) and can be combined together to scale performance linearly.
--Support for up to 500TB of storage per PS Series group.
--Much faster (Dell claims 91 percent faster) performance for sequential write workloads and up to 29 percent faster performance for sequential read workloads when compared with the PS5000 line.
--Snapshot integration with Microsoft Hyper-V, for rapid restore of virtual machines. 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 PS6000 series is VMware vStorage-ready.
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," Asthana said.
"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 virtualized 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 analyst 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. The starting price for the PS6000S, the model with the SSDs, is $25,000. The PS6000 series and associated services are available worldwide from Dell and its global PartnerDirect channel partners.

Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor-in-Chief of eWEEK and responsible for all the publication's coverage. In his 15 years and more than 4,000 articles at eWEEK, he has distinguished himself in reporting...