Dell Bulks Up EqualLogic Arrays With All-Flash Storage Option, SAN-NAS And 64-Bit OS


Dell's Fine said that the new Dell EqualLogic offering provides flash storage at the price of disk thanks to the use of new 800-GB SSDs from Milpitas, Calif.-based SanDisk.

"It's a mixed-use SLC drive, positioned between competitive read-intensive and write-intensive SSDs," he said.

A single EqualLogic PS6210 can be configured with up to 24 SSDs, giving it a performance of about 30,000 IOPS, Fine said.

"To get that with spinning disks, you would need 96 15,000-rpm drives on four nodes, which would take much more space and power while increasing latency," he said. "So for the first time, we can bring to customers a cost-per-IOP that is less than that of spinning disks."

Fine admitted that 30,000 IOPS per 24-bay shelf is not the highest-performing flash storage solution available, but said that Dell is very competitive against the all-flash array startups in the market.

"The proof is in the pudding," he said. "With a 30,000 IOPS architecture, the arrays will handle 90 percent of customers' existing applications. And the production volume of the newer competitors is very low."

Dell has over 60,000 EqualLogic and Compellent arrays already installed in the market and is generating 1,000 new customers every month, Fine said. "Customers know we're enterprise-ready, they know we offer the right support, and they know we also have all the software capabilities including replication, snapshots and integration with third-party applications."

Sidepath's Mulvee agreed with Fine that the new Dell EqualLogic PS6210 will hit about 90 percent of the performance storage market.

"And you know that Dell has amazing buying power and will pass cost savings on to customers," he said. "That's all bad news for the smaller flash storage vendors."

Also new from Dell this week is Array Software 7.0, the first 64-bit operating system for Dell EqualLogic.

Array Software 7.0 also allows policy-based access control, Fine said.

"Before, each storage volume needed to be individually configured for policies," he said. "That took a lot of time to do. Customers can now set one profile and assign it to whichever volume they want. It's very easy to configure. And if there are any changes, just make the change once and it is applied to all the volumes.

Dell also unveiled SAN Headquarters 3.0, a new management software that watches the metadata of transactions and automatically reports any potential issues.

Dell is also extending its Fluid File System version 3, or FluidFS v3, which provides high-performance, scalable file (NAS) capabilities, to the Dell EqualLogic line, Fine said.

FluidFS v3 gives Dell EqualLogic a unified SAN-NAS capability along with advanced deduplication capabilities featuring variable block size and policy-based control, he said.

PUBLISHED DEC. 10, 2013