Nov 252015
 

In Dell’s continuing effort to provide flash-based and hybrid-flash solutions for its ever-expanding client base, it has released additional iSCSI SAN units to meet this demand:

PS6100S-19.2TB

  • Provides 19.2TBs of raw capacity
  • 24 800GB SSD drives
  • 8GB backup cache
  • Four (4) 1GigE ports per controller
  • All-inclusive firmware, software, and advanced features

PS6100XS-26TB

  • Provides 26TBs of raw capacity
  • Contains 24 Drives: Seven (7) 800GB SSD drives and seventeen (17) 1.2TB 10K SAS drives
  • 8GB backup cache
  • Four (4) 1GigE ports per controller
  • All-inclusive firmware, software, and advanced features

These EqualLogic iSCSI SAN arrays, as well as all EqualLogic arrays, are available through self-service EqualLogic pricing. Dell EqualLogic also requires the purchase of a ProSupport agreement (Next Business Day, 4-Hour Mission Critical, etc.) along with Installation (I suggest Remote Installation…only costs $799) and Shipping & Handling. If you’re purchasing something this high-end, you want to make sure you have an iSCSI-optimized network switch (like a Dell PowerConnect 7024 or a Force10 S25N) to go along with it.

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…).

Aug 302013
 

Dell EqualLogic’s software code of Version 6.0 has been out for a while…but how many of you know about SAN HQ 2.6, which now includes SupportAssist? You don’t…? Well, let’s talk about this for a minute…especially if you originally drawn to EqualLogic for its set-and-forget approach.

With SupportAssist, the proactive approach to Dell EqualLogic SANs just got proactive-ier. Dell EqualLogic indicates that SupportAssist is “…designed to proactively collect data and detect failures in your EqualLogic storage infrastructure. When enabled by your Storage Administrator, system log and diagnostic data will be transmitted to Dell Support to help accelerate the detection and streamline the resolution of issues.

“Now, SAN HQ working with SupportAssist can enable certain types of support cases to be opened automatically. For these cases, Dell Support will proactively begin working the issue and advise you that a case has been opened. Dell will continue to build in additional SupportAssist capabilities for EqualLogic to deliver a proactive and automated support process that helps improve productivity and accuracy while helping you gain insight and control.”

SupportAssist has been part of other Dell storage and networking solutions like PowerEdge servers, PowerVault SANs, and PowerConnect switches. Now it’s part of EqualLogic, too. And what’s the EqualLogic price for SupportAssist? Nothing! It’s all part of the embedded and advanced software that comes with each EqualLogic storage array…even legacy EqualLogic arrays can have all of the latest and greatest software features so long as ProSupport is maintained. Not bad, eh…?

References:

Dell equallogic data management software. (2013). Retrieved from http://www.dellstorage.com/equallogic/software/

Aug 232013
 

For many years now, Dell EqualLogic has encouraged its clients to use network switches that will best leverage the iSCSI architecture the EqualLogic iSCSI SANs were meant to produce. To ensure full interoperability and compliance with Dell’s “Level 1: Full Contract Support” policies, it has provided a “Dell EqualLogic Storage: Compatibility Matrix” guide that lists the switches that fall within the Level 1: Full Contract Support category.

In addition to this list, it is also recommended that you seek out the right switch firmware version and array software version to ensure maximum compatibility and interoperability here. For your convenience, the switches are listed here:

1 Gigabit Switches

Brocade: RX

Cisco: Catalyst 3750X-48T-L, Catalyst 4948 10Gb, M3130G, M3130X

Dell: PowerConnect B-Series RX, Force10 C-Series, Force10 S25N, Force10 S50N, Force10 S55, Force10 S60, PowerConnect 6224, PowerConnect 6248, PowerConnect 7024, PowerConnect 7048, PowerConnect M6220, PowerConnect M6348

Juniper Networks: EX4200-48T

10GigE Switches

Dell: Force10 S4810P, Force10 S4820T, Dell Networking S5000, Force10 MXL1, PowerEdge IO Aggregator1, PowerConnect 8024F, PowerConnect 8024, PowerConnect M8024, PowerConnect M8024-k, PowerConnect M8428-k, PowerConnect 8132/8132F, PowerConnect 8164/8164F, PowerConnect B-Series 8000e, PowerConnect J-Series EX4500-40F

Brocade: 8000e, TurboIron 24X, VDX 6720-60

Cisco: Nexus 5010, Nexus 5020, Nexus 5548

Juniper Networks: EX4500-40F

Dell EqualLogic defines Level 1: Full Contract Support as, “For tested devices listed in this Compatibility Matrix, (for the specific version listed), Dell will provide EqualLogic solution support, under an active EqualLogic support contract assuming that all other components in the EqualLogic solution are also under contracted support with their respective manufacturers and that documented recommended design best practices are followed.”

Don’t have one of the switches above…? Not to worry…EqualLogic pricing often contains a compatible switch from the Level 1: Full Contract Support Compatibility Matrix, but any Dell EqualLogic reseller can also help provide full EqualLogic pricing to include a switch here.

Aug 162013
 

Let’s be frank. Every iSCSI SAN in the industry has certain areas and / or environments where it’s going to do extremely well in where there may be certain areas where it can perform “well enough” in but the cost point might be rather high. For example, a very well-known flash-based storage provider in the industry might do very well with certain types of data but falls flat on its face when it comes to Online Transaction Processing (OLTP) data.

Dell EqualLogic is no different by way of its strengths and weaknesses…although in light of the fact that it’s the #1 pure iSCSI SAN leader in the industry might suggest that it has way more strengths than weaknesses. The following is taken from one of its presentations:

Key Differentiators

  • Best total cost of ownership (TCO) in industry
  • 97% of Dell EqualLogic customers would recommend it to their peers
  • Rated number one for virtual servers by IDC

Easy To Manage

  • Enterprise-class iSCSI SAN without the management headaches or expense
  • Continuous resource monitoring, online demand capacity expansion without disruption
  • Tight integration with vendor applications/interfaces (Microsoft, VMware, Linux)
  • Converge blade servers, storage and networking

Easy To Virtualize

  • Highly virtualized, peer storage that scales performance and capacity linearly with automated load balancing for dynamic, virtualized environments
  • 74% of Dell EqualLogic users run VMware
  • Built for and ready to support VDI deployments

Storage That Endures Over Time

  • All-inclusive software functionality
  • Avoid forklift upgrades with multi-generational compatibility that eases migration
  • Environment flexibility that allows mixed and matched arrays to build tiered storage within a single pool or across multiple pools

Looks like a pretty powerful list to me. Now, is the Dell EqualLogic the most powerful and highest performing iSCSI SAN on the planet…? Perhaps…perhaps not. But one only has to look at the facts and weigh in the EqualLogic pricing compared to what you’re getting to realize a Dell EqualLogic iSCSI SAN is a no-brainer.

Aug 092013
 

In April 2012, The Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) completed a five-year study entitled “Dell EqualLogic TCO Analysis – Multi-generational Manageability and Efficiency at a Low Cost” that pitted the Dell EqualLogic iSCSI SAN against the top iSCSI vendors in the industry.

What they found was something that I.T. professionals have been touting for many years now…that their Dell EqualLogic SANs maintain the lowest Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) of any iSCSI SAN in the industry over a five-year period.

The report also said, “When deploying Dell EqualLogic iSCSI SANs, costs are up to 47% less in smaller deployments and 55% less in larger deployments than nearly identical offerings in the market.”

What the Numbers Mean

EqualLogic TCO

Here’s a breakdown of some of the main points and results from the test:

  • Dell EqualLogic has the lowest total cost of ownership.
  • In the small storage solution, Dell ($228,111) costs 41% and 47% less than nearly identical offerings from Vendor A ($384,536) and Vendor B ($429,751).
  • In the large storage solution, Dell ($429,086) costs 39% and 55% less than nearly identical offerings from Vendor A ($699,510) and Vendor B ($958,316).
  • Dell charges no additional license or maintenance fee for any software used with PS series storage systems. Many times, when things are offered for no additional charge in one area, another area increases to make up the difference. Dell has not increased costs in other areas to make up for the free software.
  • The management costs associated with Vendor A and Vendor B are 50% to 60% more expensive than with Dell. This includes the cost of migrating old data, system upgrades after three years, and manpower.
  • With lower hardware costs and no software costs, Dell support costs are also significantly lower than those of both competing vendors.

Clients and interested parties may always obtain EqualLogic pricing and conduct their own studies.

Resources:

ESG Lab Report, “Dell EqualLogic TCO Analysis – Multi-generational Manageability and Efficiency at a Low Cost,” an April 2012 report sponsored by Dell. For the full report see: http://en.community.dell.com/dell-groups/dtcmedia/m/mediagallery/20097135/download.aspx

 

Nov 022012
 

A few weeks ago, Dell EqualLogic released its new EqualLogic pricing sheets. Here’s a quick summary of the major changes and what to now expect for EqualLogic pricing:

Pre-Sales ProSupport
With every EqualLogic SAN, a ProSupport package must be purchased…this much we know. Previous to the recent changes, it was common to have 1, 3, 4, and 5-year ProSupport options at your EqualLogic pricing disposal for all three ProSupport packages (Mission Critical, Non-Critical with Same Day Response, and Non-Critical with Next Business Day Response).

The 1-Year option has been eliminated, so the minimum term can be three (3) years of ProSupport. All ProSupport options have stayed the same, but when getting EqualLogic pricing be sure to ask Dell or your Dell reseller to break out the ProSupport pricing so you know exactly how much you’re paying for that ProSupport option.

PS4100 and PS4110 Reductions
For both the PS4100 series (Gigabit) and the PS4110 series (10GigE), many of the SAS units have been removed from the current price list and are now considered End of Sale. Examples of such units that were removed from the EqualLogic pricing lists include many of the units that were perceived as overlap to the EqualLogic PS6100 and PS 6110 series of arrays, particularly in the SAS side.

The only SAS model that is now available for the PS4100 series is the PS4100XV-7.2TB array (with 3.5” drive size), and the same capacity size also applies to the 10GigE series with the PS4110XV-7.2TB (with 3.5” drive size) being the sole survivor. There still might be inventory for some of these recently End of Sale’d units, but only inquire on these units if you have the ability to procure these units immediately as inventory on these is running out fast.

Sep 272012
 

Dell has just released its new EqualLogic PS-M4110 Blade Array. Yes, they’ve been talking about it for years…but it’s finally here. Essentially what Dell has done is taken an EqualLogic iSCSI SAN array and made it into a blade array that will fit and work in conjunction with other devices such as the Dell PowerEdge M1000e chassis, PowerEdge M-Series Blade Servers, Force10 MXL switches, PowerConnect 10G-KR blade switches, and other EqualLogic PS-M4110 blade arrays.

While many businesses might still have a need or desire for the traditional EqualLogic SAN unit, there may be certain environments where the PS-M4110 Blade Array might have a unique advantage, such as: remote and mobile businesses, growing enterprises low on space, any space-constrained environment, and even some data centers.

No doubt about it, the EqualLogic PS-M4110 is a full enterprise SAN and comes fully redundant. And, yes, it does come with the all-inclusive software and advanced SAN features you’ve come to love and expect to even include SAN HQ. The EqualLogic PS-M4110 comes standard with fourteen (14) 2.5-inch drives and can come in flavors of Near-line SAS, 10K SAS, 15K SAS, and even some hybrid configurations.

EqualLogic pricing on PS-M4110 blade array is now available for quoting and starts at around $25,000. Self-Service EqualLogic pricing on these units will be available soon.

 Posted by at 3:02 pm
Jun 142011
 

Dell announces the release of EqualLogic™ PS Series Firmware version V5.0.7.

This firmware version has important fixes implemented to enhance the stability and performance of EqualLogic arrays. Details of the fixes can be found in the release notes and fix list.

For Customers with Pre-Dell EqualLogic Models PS50E – PS2400E, the Dell PS5000E series and for Customers with PS6010 and PS6510 arrays:

Dell strongly recommends that customers upgrade to V5.0.7 at the earliest opportunity.

For Customers running any array not in the ranges listed above:

Dell encourages customers to upgrade to V5.0.7.

Download Instructions:

The firmware and all associated documentation can be obtained at http://support.equallogic.com/ under Downloads -> Firmware.

Once you have logged in and selected Downloads -> PS Series Firmware, select the hyperlink for the version of firmware that you wish to download. Patches appear within the associated firmware page.

Please be sure to download and review the Release Notes and instructions for updating storage array firmware or applying patches as appropriate for your firmware version prior to attempting the firmware upgrade or patch.

For Technical Support with the download or other issues, please contact: Dell EqualLogic Support (800) 945-3355 (Toll-Free in US and Canada) Click Here for International numbers.

 Posted by at 8:55 am