Jan 062011

One of the first questions I get from clients who look into the Dell EqualLogic PS6000 series is “Why is it so expensive…?” (get a self-service EqualLogic price quote here if you want to compare yourself).

This question is normally posed shortly after they strive to recover from a five-minute bout of sticker shock as I aid them in readjusting their jaw (which has fallen to the floor by this time…). But this question is a valid one…I mean, you can get the same capacity in the EqualLogic PS4000 for about 30% less cha-ching…so what’s the difference…?

First, I tell my clients to look at their company’s needs and answer a few questions:

  • How much growth are you experiencing year-by-year?
  • How much data do you acquire year-by-year?
  • What (database) applications are you running?
  • Are you looking to do Disaster Recovery or deploy an iSCSI SAN in multiple locations?
  • How many Gigabit Ethernet ports do you really need from your EqualLogic SAN?
  • What are you looking to accomplish long-term with your iSCSI SAN?

Here’s the bottomline…and maybe even a rule of thumb: 1) If your organization is not going to be growing and / or adding tons of data over the next 3 to 5 years, 2) don’t need anymore than two (2) Gigabit Ethernet ports for management into your EqualLogic iSCSI SAN, 3) don’t foresee pooling anymore than two physical EqualLogic arrays into one logical SAN for each location, then I’d say go for an EqualLogic PS4000E (or PS4000X or PS4000XV, depending on your applications and IOPS).

The EqualLogic PS4000 series is going to have about 30% to 40% less horsepower than the EqualLogic PS6000 series will produce, so if you can settle for that and tuck away the pride (cough, cough…), the EqualLogic PS4000 series will not only be more cost effective but will probably meet your requirements as well. Plus, it still has all the bells and whistles the big boy (PS6000 series) has.

If you have the slightest doubt about any of the above criteria, then don’t compromise your organization’s storage needs and consider the EqualLogic PS6000. Which do we recommend…? The PS6000 series, of course…it’s more money…I mean, it’s more flexible and more powerful and you don’t have to worry about any limitations. But, hey, it’s your budget and storage area network…figure out your needs and go from there…

Tony Gonzales
Sales & Technical Manager