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Dell Triples Equallogic Storage Scalability, Enhances Data Protection for Virtual Infrastructures


* Expands EqualLogic Line With a Larger Virtualized Array for Tiered Storage Applications
* Introduces VMware Integration for Snapshots Across Entire EqualLogic Series
* Delivers Additional Availability, Protection and Virtualization Features

Dell today added to its EqualLogic product line a new, highly-scalable array - the PS5500E - and introduced advanced software features, including the EqualLogic Auto-Snapshot Manager/VMware edition to improve data protection for virtual server environments.

“We’re seeing tremendous response from customers worldwide for the all-inclusive, enterprise-class software features that the Dell EqualLogic PS Series delivers. It’s a clear choice for those seeking a full-featured, intelligent, easy-to-manage storage solution,” said Darren Thomas, vice president and general manager of Dell Enterprise Storage. “Last quarter, our EqualLogic product line was the fastest-growing part of our storage portfolio, and helped make Dell the number one iSCSI storage provider in the world"

The PS5500E builds upon Dell’s EqualLogic family with 24 or 48 terabytes (TB) of raw capacity in a 4U array – more than doubling the density and tripling the capacity of its predecessor model, the PS5000E, with equivalent hard disk drives. With the PS5500E, an EqualLogic SAN can scale up to 576 TB under a single management interface. This new array can be combined in the same SAN group with the existing EqualLogic systems. It provides an ideal solution for consolidating common tiered business data and applications such as file services, moderate I/O email, databases and virtual server environments. It can also be deployed for capacity-intensive near-line storage tiers and for disaster recovery sites.

Hosting company Sequestered Solutions Alaska recently launched Data Center Vault, an online client backup application for commercial and federal organizations, on an EqualLogic SAN. The company plans to expand the SAN with the new PS5500E, which it has tested thoroughly with its Microsoft SQL Server-based Data Center Vault application.

“By housing up to 48 TB of raw capacity in a single 4U space, the PS5500E leaves us lots of rack space to support other clients and other revenue-generating services,” said Lara Baker, chief technology officer at Sequestered. “Provisioning new storage is simple with EqualLogic -- just a few clicks – allowing us to be more responsive to our clients. Also, other storage vendors sell similar features piecemeal. By working with Dell, we can eliminate those hidden costs and get everything we need up front.”

Dell is also simplifying and enhancing data protection for virtual infrastructures with a new feature included on all EqualLogic SANs: Auto-Snapshot Manager/VMware Edition (ASM/VE). The unique ASM/VE software integrates EqualLogic snapshots directly with VMware Infrastructure 3 (VI3) environments to provide fast online backups and quick restores of VMware virtual machines and VMFS file systems. The company expects to have ASM/VE available by the end of the month as a free download for customers with valid support contracts.

ASM/VE provides an easy-to-use graphical interface that coordinates the creation, recovery and scheduling of EqualLogic snapshots with VirtualCenter and VMware’s native snapshot technology. This offloads snapshot processing from the ESX Server and enhances protection, storage utilization, and performance of VMware-based virtual infrastructures. The resulting hypervisor-aware snapshot (Smart Copy) can be easily and rapidly recovered.

“A data-protection plan is only as good as your ability to restore,” said Cody Page, IT director of Peterson Sullivan, a Seattle-based CPA firm. “With EqualLogic’s Auto-Snapshot Manager/VMware Edition, I can automate the virtual machine backup process and recover a lot faster with a simple, integrated feature. I was up and running in about an hour with this tool. The whole restoration process was extremely easy.”

EqualLogic Product Line Enhancements

In addition to ASM/VE, Dell also announced several new features to products across the EqualLogic lineup.

* 50 percent more capacity in the Dell EqualLogic PS5000XV, the highest performance iSCSI SAN from Dell, with 450GB 15,000 rpm Serial Attached SCSI disk drives. Expected availability for these drives is October 2008.
* Support for RAID 6 to provide an additional fault-tolerant RAID configuration choice to customers. Expected availability for this feature is January 2009 on all new EqualLogic arrays. It will be available at the same time for adoption by existing customers with active EqualLogic array support or warranty agreements.
* New versions of EqualLogic array and Host Integration software that provide a number of scalability, availability and data protection enhancements are currently available for download:
Up to four times the number of iSCSI host connections per SAN, up to 2,048.
Support for Microsoft Windows Server 2008, including the newly-introduced Hyper-V.
Auto-Snapshot Manager/Microsoft Edition Smart Copy for NTFS on Microsoft Windows Server 2008 and SQL Server 2008.
EqualLogic Auto-Replication improvements for ease-of-setup, failback, manual re-synch of replicated volumes and thin replicas for space efficiency.
* Direct integration of Citrix XenServer with EqualLogic SAN and volume management, including SAN-based snapshot and clone capabilities from the XenCenter Management Client. This integration will be provided by Citrix.

Pricing and Availability

The Dell EqualLogic PS5500E is available immediately through all worldwide Dell sales channels including a growing list of PartnerDirect channel organizations. List pricing for the PS5500E starts at $78,000 USD.


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