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As part of the company's broader converged IT infrastructure strategy, Dell this week announced that the company had begun shipping its EqualLogic blade arrays.
Dell's blade arrays represent the storage piece of the server and storage provider's strategy to simplify IT management and combat data center sprawl. The half-height EqualLogic Blade Arrays slot into a 10U Dell PowerEdge M1000e blade chassis and can reside alongside PowerEdge M-Series servers, PowerConnect or Dell Force10 MXL switches for compute, storage and networking within one enclosure.
The result, according to Dell, is massive consolidation, easier manageability and faster deployment and configuration tasks. By the company's estimates, data center operators "can support up to 48 percent more Microsoft SQL, Microsoft Exchange and Microsoft SharePoint users and up to 42 more users per watt of power" than competitive solutions, says Dell.
Dell's EqualLogic PS-M4110 line of 10GbE iSCSI storage blades are available in several configurations, including single- and dual-controller varieties and a mix of SAS hard disk drive (HDD) or hybrid HDD-SSD storage capacity. Storage capacities range from up to 4.2 TB per array (8.4TB per group) for the high performance PS-M4110XV model outfitted with enterprise-grade 15,000 RPM SAS HDDs, all the way up to a possible 14 TB per array (28 TB per group) for the budget PS-M4110E version with 7,200 RPM SAS HDDs.
Each EqualLogic PS-M4110 blade array can be ordered in either a single- or dual-controller configuration, except for the hybrid HDD-SSD PS-M4110XS model, which is a dual-controller design. Network connectivity is provided by two 10GbE ports, one of which serves as a dedicated management port.
Each array has 14, 2.5-inch hot pluggable drive bays. For the PS-M4110XS drives, 9 are reserved for 10K SAS HDDs and 5 for SSDs. The arrays can handle up to 256 volumes per array and up to 512 volumes per "blade array-only group."
On the storage management front, the included EqualLogic Array Software provides SAN management and automated storage virtualization and data protection. Also included are Host Integration Tools for SAN management in Microsoft, VMware and Linux environments and SAN HQ for centralized monitoring of geographically distributed virtualized EqualLogic SAN groups.
All told, Dell says that its blade arrays usher in a new era of storage management ease, courtesy of the included EqualLogic storage automation software, along with the simplified cabling, power and networking provided by the Dell PowerEdge M1000e blade chassis. Storage administrators should be able to get an EqualLogic storage blade up and running in less than 20 minutes, claims Dell.