Dell announces entry-level iSCSI array line

EqualLogic PS4000 SAN arrays said to bring enterprise-class features to SMBs

Dell Inc. today announced the latest in its line of iSCSI storage arrays -- entry-level models aimed at small to medium-sized businesses and enterprise branch offices, and for backing up virtualized server environments.

Dell said the EqualLogic PS4000 Series of virtualized iSCSI storage area network (SAN) arrays bring enterprise-class features contained in higher-end PS-series arrays to SMBs and remote offices. Such features include thin provisioning, tighter integration with server virtualization software and advanced management capabilities to link remote data replication back with central data centers.

Dell also announced the NX3000 array, which is a PowerVault 3000 server for sharing files across Windows and Linux clients. The array comes with deduplication software and can be used as a gateway device to convert an EqualLogic storage array into a network-attached storage array.

The EqualLogic PS4000 Series integrates with existing EqualLogic PS series arrays, which allows it to be integrated with other storage arrays. "It's investment protection. The PS4000 has less scalability than the PS6000, so should you outgrow it, you can add PS6000 and continue to grow or can do conversion of PS4000 to PS6000, which will be offered later this year," said Travis Vigil, senior manager for EquaLogic Product family at Dell.

Because the PS4000 arrays are managed by the same software as the other PS-series arrays, all of the boxes can be managed through a single, central administrative interface, Vigil said.

The array comes in three models: the PS4000E, which uses 7200 RPM SATA II drives available in 250GB, 500GB or 1TB capacities; the PS4000X array, which has 10000 RPM SAS drives available in 400GB, and will in July offer 450GB and 600GB capacities; and the PS4000XV arrays, which have the best performance in the PS4000 line with 15,000 RPM SAS drives available in 300GB and 450GB capacities. The PS4000 series can be configured with single or dual controllers and RAID 5, RAID 6, RAID 10, and RAID 50.

The PS4000 series arrays start at US$10,000 for a PS4000E with eight 250GB drives and a single controller. By comparison, the PS6000 series array starts at $17,000.

The Dell EqualLogic PS4000 series includes integration with Advanced Multi-Path I/O functionality in vSphere 4.0, offering load balancing of storage requests between the virtual machine host and Dell EqualLogic PS Series storage arrays.

The array also comes with auto-snapshot Manager/VMware Edition 2.0 software, a data protection feature of Dell EqualLogic PS Series iSCSI SANs that enables online backups and restores of VMware virtual machines and VMware Virtual MachineFile systems. The software also offers secondary disaster recovery sites to be brought on line automatically in the event that a primary site goes down.

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