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Dell speeds EqualLogic arrays: Stuff spindles, let's add some flash

Flash-enhanced storage up against Tintri, Nimble Data

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Spindles are clearly not speedy enough, as Dell is adding flash to two mid-range EqualLogic arrays to speed up VDI, data warehousing and OLTP data access.

The EquaLogic arrays provide iSCSI data access for medium and large enterprises and come in four varieties:

  • PS4100 entry-level
  • PS6100 mid-range
  • PS6500 virtualised and scale-out storage
  • FS7500 unified file and block storage

Two new PS6500 models have added flash. The PS6510ES, supporting 10GbitE access, is a 4U, 48-drive enclosure with both SSDs and nearline SAS drives. We understand that there are 41 x 2TB 3.5-inch drives rotating at 7,200rpm and seven 400GB SSDs. The PS6500ES is a 1GbitE equivalent. Array software provides automated tiering of hot data, such as VDI files, to the SSDs, and cold data back from the SSDs to the disk drives.

Dell introduced tiering across EqualLogic nodes in August 2011, calling it load-balancing. It did not introduce tiering across different types of disk inside the nodes at that time.

Maximum capacity of the flash-enhanced PS6500s is up to 85TB per array and 2PB for a group of arrays.

The flash boost to performance is shown by the PS6510ES having 360 per cent more IOPS than the flash-less PS6510X. Dell says the PS6510ES has 75 per cent lower latency on tiered workloads.

With this flash addition, Dell and its channel have an answer to hybrid arrays from startups such as Tintri and Nimble Storage.

The company has also introduced EqualLogic Host Integration Tools for VMware 3.5, providing centralised management from a vCenter server. This software will be ready in November, with the flash-enhanced arrays coming in the autumn. ®

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