Brian Taylor

June 13, 2012

5 Min Read
Dell Storage: Focus on Blade Array, Fluid File System

Dell (NASDAQ: DELL) hosted its Storage Forum customer and partner event this week, with major announcements including the Dell EqualLogic blade arrays, new migration planning and services, and an updated Fluid File System spanning its current storage platforms.

The “feet on the street” reported the EqualLogic blade arrays garnered a positive response from Dell Storage attendees, but there was a fair amount of conversation whether Dell can produce a high-end, enterprise-grade storage solution. Dell is quite confident about its storage services as an SMB service, but for now, the jury is still out on their enterprise storage chops.

“Dell is redrawing the lines among servers, storage, networking and management to offer customers technology convergence that provides simplicity and improved performance while reducing the operational costs associated with running today’s data centers,” said Brad Anderson, president of Enterprise Solutions Group at Dell, in a prepared statement. “Our holistic approach helps customers cost-effectively manage the physical, virtual and cloud environments that deliver flexible IT services to support their business goals.”

Day 1 highlights from Dell Storage include:

Dell EqualLogic Blade Arrays: Dell’s first storage blade arrays provide the functionality and enterprise-class features of traditional EqualLogic arrays inside a Dell PowerEdge M1000e blade chassis, and are designed to support virtualized environments, data center infrastructure convergence and the storage needs of SMB deployments.

According to Dell, EqualLogic blade arrays can be configured in less than an hour with a fraction of the time required by other blade storage solutions. They also can provide nearly double the usable capacity — up to 96 percent more — than competitive arrays. The new arrays and the Dell Converged Blade Data Center solution are complemented by new releases of EqualLogic software that tightly integrate SANs with hosts and applications.

Dell vStart 1000 for Dell Private Cloud: Dell vStart systems include the servers, storage, networking and management tools to deploy a virtualized IT environment. The vStart 1000 for Dell Private Cloud takes advantage of “Dell’s ability to rapidly provide a pre-integrated, virtualization and private cloud infrastructure while lowering risk from a tried, pre-tested and certified configuration,” according to the company. The vStart 1000 for Dell Private Cloud includes the first Dell Compellent storage and Dell Force10 networking-based vStart solution, based on technology integration from recent Dell acquisitions. Dell vStart 1000 is also validated with Microsoft System Center 2012.

Data Migration Planning and Data Migration Services: Dell announced new Data Migration Planning and Data Migration Services to help customers transitioning to the new EqualLogic blade array and Dell’s storage services reduce risk and data migration time. These services, available worldwide, enables Dell to address a broad range of data migration needs from small projects to large, complex custom engagements.

Highlights from Day 2 of Dell Storage include:

Fluid File Systems — Compellent, EqualLogic and PowerVault: Dell introduced the Fluid File System in 2011, and unveiled the latest release with the new Dell Compellent FS8600 NAS. The integration of the Dell Fluid File System with Compellent is for Dell “the final step” in offering customers file capabilities across each of Dell’s primary storage platforms: Compellent, EqualLogic and PowerVault. Customers now have a common, enterprise-level distributed file system featuring snapshots, replication and built-in data protection features, according to the company.

Fluid File System to Updated EqualLogic and PowerVault: Dell also introduced the second generation of EqualLogic and PowerVault NAS solutions featuring Dell’s Fluid File System: the EqualLogic FS7600 and FS7610 and the PowerVault NX3600 and NX3610. The FS7600 and FS7610 systems integrate with new or existing EqualLogic PS Series arrays to deliver scale-out unified storage for 1GbE and 10GbE environments, respectively. The PowerVault NX3600 and NX3610 are second-generation PowerVault NAS and unified storage systems that offer new support for 10GbE SAN connectivity and expand the capabilities of the earlier NX3500.

Data Availability and Recovery with AppAssure 5: Following its AppAssure acquisition, Dell introduced AppAssure 5 to help customers continuously protect business information and move and recover data anywhere with scale, speed and efficiency. New AppAssure capabilities include greater scalability and performance using a new object based data repository to back up and protect larger data sets. The service also utilizes block-level de-duplication and compression across data sets to reduce the storage capacity required for backups, and decreases WAN bandwidth requirements for replication by sending optimized data.

Brocade 16GB Fibre Channel Switch: Dell introduced the Brocade DCX 6505, an entry-level 16GB Fibre Channel switch to complement the midrange Brocade 6510 and the Brocade 8510 SAN backbone. Certified for Compellent arrays, the switch helps reduce network complexity, management and costs, while maximizing overall port density and space utilization through consolidation of legacy SANs, according to the company.

Here are Dell’s statements on product availability:

  • The EqualLogic PS-M4110 Blade Arrays, Dell Converged Blade Center solution, EqualLogic Array Software 6.0 and SAN Headquarters 2.5 will become available in Dell’s third quarter.

  • EqualLogic Host Integration Tools for Microsoft 4.5 is planned for availability this year.

  • Dell vStart 1000 will be available in the U.S. in July and worldwide this year.

  • Dell Data Migration Planning and Data Migration Services are available worldwide.

  • The Dell Compellent FS8600, EqualLogic FS7600 and FS7610, and PowerVault NX3600 and NX3610 will be available in the second half of this year.

  • The Dell Compellent SC8000 will be available worldwide this month.

  • AppAssure 5 is available in English language beginning today.

  • The Brocade DCS 6505 will be available globally this month.

Talkin’ Cloud readers can click here for an overview of the Dell partner program.

Read more about:

Free Newsletters for the Channel
Register for Your Free Newsletter Now

You May Also Like