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10GigE jetpacks strapped on EqualLogic underlings

Plucky Dell arrays gets faster chips and ports

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Dell has added 10Gbps Ethernet cards to two of its 1GigE EqualLogic iSCSI arrays, bumped up their controllers and built in greater Linux and Windows host integration.

The range starts at the 1GbitE PS4100 entry level, and then rises up through the 1GbitE PS6100, the virtualised and scale-out PS6500, the 10GbitE PS6010 and PS6510 versions of these, and FS7500 unified file and iSCSI block array. The two new boxes are the PS4110 and PS6110.

Dell says there were 8,000 EqualLogic arrays in the field four years ago and more than 80,000 now.

The two new arrays have had a full controller refresh with an Intel CPU upgrade. They pack their disks and other components into less physical space, taking up a smaller data centre rack footprint. A 2U 6110 enclosure can hold a dozen 3.5in drives or two dozen 2.5in drives. That's a 69 per cent density increase at the 3.5in (near line SAS) drive level and 350 per cent at the 2.5in (10K SAS) level.

Dell PS6110 array

Dell EqualLogic PS6110

The PS6110 tops out at 72TB with a single PS6110 group holding 1.2PB. The PS4110 maxes out at 36TB with a single group storing up to 72TB.

The disks use a 6Gbit/s SAS interface. The 10GbitE ports, both optical and copper, enable twice the PS6010 throughput with one quarter of the ports and Dell exec marketing director Travis Vigil is "very bullish about iSCSI on 10GbitE". This is the first time entry-level PS4000 arrays get 10GbitE connectivity.

The PS6110 is up to 69 per cent faster compared to the PS6010, showing the performance boost from the latest Intel processors, and twice as fast as the 1GigE PS6100. The PS4110 is probably about as faster than the 4010, generally speaking.

We imagine that this controller refresh will now be spread to the PS6500 and 6510.

Version 4.0 of the host integration tools for Windows mean customers can manage several hosts from a single Auto-Snapshot Manager instance, and protect and recover all virtual machines in a Clustered Shared Volume (CSV) with a single snapshot, for the first time.

On the Host Integration Tools for Linux side there is now an Auto-Snapshot Manager for Linux file system protection and recovery. EqualLogic users can integrate with more Linux distributions, including CentOS, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) and Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL).

Dell hope for an EqualLogic sales increase, Compellent array sales having outgrown EqualLogic ones recently, although Compellent enjoys the enormous boost to sales coming from Dell's channel reach.

The two new PS systems are available now. Pricing for the PS6110 starts at around €39,400, a 10 per cent or so premium over the PS6010. Pricing for the PS4110 starts at around €23,800. Both include a three-year support agreement. ®

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