Virtualization Key in Updated Dell EqualLogic Storage Line
Dell is furthering its commitment to the channel and the expanding needs of the IT market with an update to its EqualLogic storage solutions that include firmware updates and deeper VMware integration. Travis Vigil, executive director at Dell Storage, provided the low-down on the new updates and Dell’s storage channel.
Vigil noted the increase in customers Dell’s EqualLogic channel has experienced. “In the last three and a half years, we have eight times the number of customers for the EqualLogic product line,” said Vigil, “I think [it’s because] we have a message that resonates. We have modern architectures and we don’t force customers to forklift upgrade.”
The jewels of Dell’s upgrades this time around are the two new EqualLogic storage platforms, which are an ongoing extension of Dell’s Fluid architecture vision. The PS4100 series is designed for SMB businesses and supports 2.5-inch drives with up to 36TB in a single unit. The EqualLogic PS6100 Series is designed for larger customers, with a capacity that can fit up to 72TB and scale to 1.2 PB per storage group. Dell sees the PS6100 as a real winner for the virtualization data center environment.
“For the EqualLogic product line, it’s the first major hardware refresh since the acquisition,” said Vigil, adding the hardware platforms Dell has developed are geared toward truly elevating Dell’s storage prowess while giving customers what they’re looking for. Those items include increased storage density and more aggressive price points, including some configurations that start at $9,499, Vigil said.
In addition to those hardware updates is version 5.1 of the EqualLogic firmware update, which includes enhanced infrastructure management tools, tiering and load balancing, plus “thin provisioning awareness” when using VMware vSphere. “… Historically, VMware has been a big focus for the EqualLogic product line. Approximately 90 percent of EqualLogic customers do some sort of server virtualization,” Vigil said.
Dell has a plethora of enhancements that integrate with firmware 5.1 in addition to more VMware tools, including …
- Dell EqualLogic Host Integration Tools for VMware 3.1
- Dell Compellent Storage Replication Adapter for VMware vCenter Site Recovery Manager 5
- Dell PowerVault Integration with VMware vSphere 5
Vigil also noted opportunities exist for both Dell and traditional EqualLogic channel partners. “We’re [still] bringing together two channel communities; legacy EqualLogic and legacy Compellent. [But] VARs can have a deeper relationship with Dell by picking up another product in the portfolio.” Dell is committed to ensuring differentiation for its channel partners, and with the ongoing integration between the two storage platforms, Vigil said Dell partners could cash in from expanding their own offerings since it’s all under the Dell umbrella now.
With storage and virtualization technology a hot ticket item, Dell seems to have its pulse on the channel.