Oct 252013
 

Yup, that time has come again to take part of Dell World 2013. And of course no Dell World would be complete without some discussion on storage, including EqualLogic. The event will be taking place in Austin, TX from Dec. 11th to 13th, so register now.

If you’re like me, you’re more interested in what storage breakouts and discussions will be taking place at the event. Luckily, I’ve spec’d that out for you already, so here’s what will be discussed by way of storage (taken directly from their agenda):

MT3: Cloud client computing infrastructure: The first virtual desktop infrastructure aligned to your software strategy

Learn from the experts the breadth and depth of Dell’s leading server, storage and networking solutions for desktop virtualization. From reference architectures, appliances and components to complete racked-and-stacked converged infrastructure, Dell’s solutions are aligned specifically with virtual desktop software from Citrix, Microsoft, VMware and Dell to reduce risk, streamline implementation and ensure faster time to value.

MT15: Automate and simplify your IT management operations

Dell OpenManage leverages the industry’s only agent-free embedded server management tool, iDRAC with Lifecycle Controller, to enable automated IT management operations in both physical and virtual environments, across enterprise servers, storage and networking. And it delivers those same capabilities in popular third-party management frameworks so you experience the same simplicity of management on both Dell platforms and your existing infrastructure investments.

HOL8: Efficient enterprise deployments with SupportAssist proactive support

Learn how to configure and deploy an infrastructure fast while enabling the performance you require. Learn from the experts using a mix of Dell hardware, such as PowerEdge servers, EqualLogic arrays, Force10 switches, and VMware software. Plus, see a live demonstration of Dell’s automated proactive support capability, SupportAssist.

Special Note: HOL stands for Hands-On Lab. MT stands for a Session (don’t ask me what the acronym stands for…heck if I know…).

Oct 182013
 

A few years ago, Dell (finally) caught onto the importance of integrating and consolidating one’s file servers into one of the more enterprise-level SANs they already have, such as EqualLogic. As the fastest-growing iSCSI SAN in history, EqualLogic does what EqualLogic does best: Storage Area Network. However, many of its clients wanted to see a more holistic approach to its overall storage infrastructure to include their file servers and NAS protocol traffic such as NFS / CIFS / SMB.

In Dell’s effort to appease this demand, it created the EqualLogic FS7500 (and FS7510). The next generation of this solution saw the FS7600 / FS7610…in fact, previous blog posts have already been written to this effect.

However, as part of Dell’s next version – the FluidFS v3 – the Dell EqualLogic FS7600 / FS7610 will now begin to carry additional features that will further position itself as a market leader in not only SAN technology but also NAS technology to interface with its award-winning EqualLogic iSCSI SAN. These features include compression and deduplication.

Customers will have the choice to set up certain policies for their EqualLogic FS7600 / FS7610 NAS in regard to deduplication as well, such as: 1) dedupe only – address high redundancy and read performance sensitivity, and 2) dedupe and compression – offers the best savings and is the default recommendation.

The Dell EqualLogic solution will also include a discussion around FluidFS FDR – Fluid Data Reduction. So, based on technology from Ocarina, this will allow you to incorporate common file type compressors at no additional charge (FDR won’t work on active files…nor will it work with file-level cloning). But on average, customers using FDR as part of their FluidFS solution will see an average of 50% savings on their Home Shares, about 64% savings on Engineering files, and about 3% on Internet Media.

This is all slated to take place next month for the EqualLogic NAS…and of course all of these new features are included in EqualLogic pricing.

Oct 122013
 

Yup, you read that title right: EqualLogic CAN be used with Oracle databases and in Oracle environments. In fact, EqualLogic can be used for any relational database system. But because many – if not most – of the Oracle transactional workloads are IOPS-bound, EqualLogic SAN arrays are constructed to scale with this demand.

EqualLogic SANs have a “scale-out” architecture, so as you add additional EqualLogic arrays to an existing SAN group, you are also increasing cache memory and spindle count within the SAN. Plus, with features such as automated load balancing, which will see the “data volumes of the pre-existing workloads…automatically and non-disruptively distributed across the additional spindles, helping provide linear increases in performance and capacity.”

In addition to this, because Oracle is one of the largest technology partners with Dell, EqualLogic’s architecture also enables Oracle’s partitioning to be combined with EqualLogic’s online volume migration, “allowing Oracle partitions to be optimally placed and non-disruptively migrated between storage tiers.” Furthermore, the EqualLogic SAN also “automatically migrates hot blocks to solid state drives providing real-time automated tiering of Oracle workloads within partitions, in effect, at the sub-volume (sub-LUN) level.”

Bet you didn’t know that, did you…? And bet you didn’t know that the EqualLogic PS6000XVS hybrid SAS-SSD array was the winner of the InfoWorld 2010 Technology of the Year award…? Other vendors try to pull off a “hybrid” with Nearline SAS (NLSAS) or even SATA drives…yeah, SATA drives with SSD…? C’mon, give me a break. EqualLogic uses SAS with SSD to give you what you need. Really. EqualLogic pricing will reveal both the PS6100XS-13TB (1GigE) and the PS6110XS-13TB (10GigE) available for purchase right now. So before you go out and “look” at other options, realize that EqualLogic already has it all here…

More information on this topic can be found in the Dell EqualLogic Solution Brief entitled, “Affordable, powerful storage for Oracle database with Dell EqualLogic.”

Oct 042013
 

The Dell EqualLogic iSCSI SAN has always had a very strong relationship with all of the major technology partners in the industry, including Microsoft. It’s no wonder that the Dell EqualLogic SAN continues to build off of and enhance Microsoft environments. Today let’s take a look at what the EqualLogic SAN can do for Microsoft in regard to leveraging it using the EqualLogic Auto-Snapshot Manager / Microsoft Edition (aka EqualLogic ASM/ME).

Let’s face it: Every organization has varying levels of standards they need to meet, and some organizations even have SLAs in place – service level agreements. If you have Microsoft – and chances are you do – you want to make sure the iSCSI storage solution you have in place can easily and quickly protect and backup your Microsoft SQL, Exchange, and Hyper-V applications in a spur of the moment. According to Dell’s website, using the EqualLogic Auto-Snapshot Manager (Microsoft edition) can provide:

  • “Streamlined operations through a simple, intuitive wizard that can run on a physical server or virtual machine
  • Accelerated deployment via full integration with Microsoft VSS, Hyper-V integration services, MCSC, CVS and Live Migration
  • Streamlined backup and rapid restoration of Microsoft Hyper-V virtual machines, Microsoft SQL and Exchange server applications
  • Reduced server overhead and enhanced performance using SAN-based snapshots
  • Simpler operations with easy-to-use, built-in snapshot scheduler that provides ongoing protection while minimizing required disk space
  • All-inclusive software features with Dell EqualLogic iSCSI SANs — no additional software license required to implement Auto-Snapshot Manager/Microsoft Edition”

The interoperability between Dell EqualLogic and Microsoft has been tested and certified, and it is also one of Dell’s Business Ready Configurations. The cost? No additional cost…it’s all part of the complete EqualLogic pricing model.

 

References:

Equallogic auto snapshot manager/microsoft edition | microsoft vss framework. (2013). Retrieved from http://www.dellstorage.com/data-protection/data-protection-and-recovery/microsoft-vss/asm-me.aspx