PowerVault MD3000 Direct Attached Storage

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Modular Disk Array

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High performance, direct attached storage for high data availability

  • Supports up to four PowerEdge™ servers
  • Ideal for 2 node cluster configurations
  • Up to 45 disk drives and 90TB of capacity
  • Supports both SAS and SATA drives

PowerVault MD3000 Modular Disk Storage Array






Operating System

  • Microsoft Windows Server 2008
    Microsoft Windows 2003 32-bit Standard Server and Enterprise Edition
    Microsoft Windows 2003 64-bit Edition
    Microsoft Windows 2000 Standard and Advanced Server
    Red Hat Linux
    SUSE Linux Enterprise Server
    Microsoft Windows 2003 32-bit 2 node clusters
    Microsoft Windows Storage Server 2003

    Click here for a detailed list of supported operating systems


  • Support for either up to 2 Highly Available (redundant data paths) hosts or up to 4 non-HA (single data path) hosts using SAS 5/E HBA

Environmental Operating Conditions

  • Temperature

    Operating: 10° to 35°C (50° to 95°F)
    Storage: -40° to 65°C (-40° to 149°F)

    Relative humidity

    Operating: 20% to 80% (non-condensing)
    Storage: 5% to 95% (non-condensing)


    Operating: -15 to 3048 m (-50 to 10,000 ft)
    Storage: -15 to 10,668 m (-50 to 35,000 ft)

    Thermal Output

    1430 BTU/hour (Maximum)


  • PowerVault MD3000 Control Module

    Wattage: 478 W maximum continuous; 550 W peak
    Maximum Heat dissipation: 200 W
    Input Voltage Range: 100-240 V rated (actual 90-264 V)
    Frequency Range: 47-63 Hz
    Maximum Input Current at Rated Power: 7.93 A at 90 V, 3.96 A at 180 V
    PowerVault MD1000 expansion module
    Wattage: 488 W maximum continuous; 550 W peak
    Heat dissipation: 200 W
    Voltage: 100-240 V rated (actual 90-264 V)
    Frequency: 47-63 Hz
    Amperage: 7.2 A at 100 V, 3.6 A at 200 V

    PowerVault MD1000 expansion module

    Wattage: 488 W maximum continuous; 550 W peak
    Heat dissipation: 200 W
    Voltage: 100-240 V rated (actual 90-264 V)
    Frequency: 47-63 Hz
    Amperage: 7.2 A at 100 V, 3.6 A at 200 V

    Available Hard Drive Power (per slot)
    Supported continuous consumption Up to 1.3 A at +12 V; Up to 1.5 A at +5 V


  • Management Software: Modular Disk Storage Manager, Java-Based task-oriented UI

    Multi-path (failover) SW provides management of redundant data paths between host and storage

    Optional Premium Software Features:

    Enhanced Snapshots: up to 8 snapshots per virtual disk and 128 per system

    Enhanced Snapshots PLUS Virtual Disk Copy: up to 8 snapshots and up to 8 simultaneous virtual disk copies


  • PowerVault MD3000 Control Module

    Height: 13.11 cm (5.16 inches)

    Width: 44.63 cm (17.57 inches)

    Depth: 48.01 cm (18.9 inches)

    Weight: 35.37 kg (78 lb) (maximum configuration)

    PowerVault MD1000 expansion module

    Height: 13.11 cm (5.16 inches)

    Width: 44.63 cm (17.57 inches)

    Depth: 48.01 cm (18.9 inches)

    Weight: 35.37 kg (78 lb) (maximum configuration)


  • Storage Controllers:

    Dual storage controllers provides failover and redundant enclosure management capabilities 512 MB of battery backed cache (72 hours) per controller
    Both models support both IPV4 and IPV6 addressing

    RAID Levels: Support for RAID levels 0, 1, 10, 5, and 6

    Up to 30 physical disks per disk group
    Up to 256 virtual disks

Back-Panel Connectors

  • Single Port Option:

    SAS connectors (per storage controller)

    1x4 3.0 Gbps SAS (SFF 8470) "IN" connector for connection to the host
    1x4 3.0 Gbps SAS (SFF 8470) "OUT" connector for future expansion capability

    Management Port (per storage controller)

    1 10/100 Ethernet Connection (RJ45) for "out-of-band" enclosure management capability

    Serial connector (per storage controller)

    1 6-pin UART mini-DIN connector (for service technician use only)

    Dual Port Option:

    SAS connectors (per storage controller)

    2x4 3.0 Gbps SAS (SFF 8470) "IN" connector for connection to the host
    1x4 3.0 Gbps SAS (SFF 8470) "OUT" connector for future expansion capability

    Management Port (per storage controller)

    1 10/100 Ethernet Connection (RJ45) for "out-of-band" enclosure management capability

    Serial connector (per storage controller)

    1 6-pin UART mini-DIN connector (for service technician use only)

LED Indicators

  • Front panel

    1 two-color LED indicator for system status
    1 single-color LED indicators for power
    1 LED unused in this system

    Hard-drive carrier

    1 single-color activity LED
    1 two-color LED status indicator per drive

    Storage Controller

    1 two-color LED status indicator per SAS IN/OUT port (total 3 on dual port option, 2 on single port option)
    1 one-color Battery Fault LED for battery-backed cache
    1 one-color Cache Activity LED
    2 one-color Controller Fault and Controller Power LEDs
    2 one-color LEDs for Ethernet link and speed

    Power supply/cooling fan module

    3 LED status indicators for power supply status, power supply/fan fault and AC status
Dell PowerVault MD3000

Effortless Scalability and Availability

Built for high-performance, two-node clusters or direct attached to up to four PowerEdge servers, the PowerVault MD3000 is a direct attached modular disk storage array capable of housing up to 15 3.5-inch SAS or SATA disk drives in a single 3U rack enclosure. The PowerVault MD3000 direct attached modular disk storage array is expandable by simply adding up to two additional enclosures for a total of 45 drives and 90TB of capacity. The entire storage array subsystem is managed from a single software application — known as the Modular Disk Storage Manager — that streamlines the management and maintenance of storage as it scales. With the PowerVault MD3000, storage can be quickly and easily added as needed without disruption to operations.
Active-Active RAID controllers for high redundancy

Benefits of Clustering With the PowerVault MD3000

The Dell PowerVault MD3000 direct attached array is loaded with data protection features to help keep your application up and running. The storage array is architected to avoid single points of failure.

External RAID storage arrays are designed to increase cluster performance and functionality
  • RAID controllers reside in the external storage array, enabling direct communication between them.
  • Cache coherency is maintained through direct mirroring. Both controllers contain both sets of cached data.
  • Having RAID conrollers in the storage array and cache coherency allows users to protect their data without having to sacrifice the performance benefits of caching.

Redundant components: Support redundant active/active RAID controllers, management ports and power/cooling to provide real security at the hardware level
Automated drive failure detection:Capable of automatically rebuilding a failed drive using an available hot-spare drive.
Intelligent battery monitoring: Intelligent software notifies you before the battery fails, helping to reduce unplanned downtime.
Hot-pluggable components: Remove and replace disk drives, storage controllers, power supplies, and cooling fan modules while the system remains running - without impacting operations.
RAID Levels: Supporting RAID levels 0, 1, 10, 5 and 6 offering flexibility in data protection and system performance characteristics.
Premium management functionality: Snapshot and virtual-disk copy capabilities that support hourly, real-time backups of your entire data environment.


Dell PowerVault MD3000 complete management

Simple Yet Powerful Storage Management

The MD3000 direct attached storage array delivers a seamless suite of intuitive task-based management capabilities. The Modular Disk Storage Manager can help automatically configure the system for optimal performance and availability.

Multi-host management: Flexibility to manage the entire network from a single console
Recovery guru: A support tool to help diagnose system problems and help determine an appropriate recovery procedure
Enhanced data protection: Optional snapshot and virtual disk copy features
Dell PowerVault MD3000 advanced data management

Advanced Data Management

For advanced availability, the PowerVault MD3000 direct attached storage array offers optional backup and data protection features: snapshot and virtual disk copy (VDC).

Snapshots are point-in-time copies of the data, so if a file is accidentally altered or deleted, it can be recovered easily by reverting to a previous state. Snapshots can be taken instantaneously, minimizing application downtime.
Virtual disk copy (VDC) is a full, replicated copy of a source data taken at a discrete point in time, enabling quick and seamless virtual disk relocation, and disk-based backup and recovery.

Learn More - Data Protection With PowerVault MD3000 Whitepaper

 SAS drives are used for high performance storage
Dell PowerVault MD3000 with SATA II disk drives easily handle large volumes of data at an excellent cost-per-Gigabyte
Excellent Drive Flexibility

The PowerVault™ MD family enables organizations to mix SAS and SATA drives delivering excellent flexibility to align data requirements with drive capabilities, speed, capacity and cost, to help optimize your storage environment.

SAS for Performance SAS can deliver the speed, performance and reliability to satisfy mainstream single server applications. SAS performance makes it ideal for demanding server applications such as email or database applications that store active and frequently changing information.

NEW Nearline SAS - Performance of SAS, Capacities of SATA The new 7.2K RPM SAS drives leverage the performance efficiencies of SAS making it ideal for customer who are looking for the low cost per GB but can't sacrifice performance. In everyday usage situations customers can see up to a 30% performance increase with the 7.2 RPM SAS drive over the 7.2 RPM SATA drives.     

SATA for Capacity
SATA disk drives deliver a compelling cost-per-Gigabyte alternative to SAS. SATA drives are ideal high capacity applications where data is accessed and modified less frequently, such as digital imaging, file archiving, audio/video storage, or back-up to disk applications.

NEW Energy Efficient SATA - Superior GB per Watt Solution
The new 5.4K RPM SATA drive offers customers a high capacity, energy efficient alternative to traditional SATA drives. Ideal for capacity intensive applications in a power constrained environments. This 5.4K RPM SATA drive can reduce power consumption up to 30% with less than a 10% degradation in random I/O performance over some 7.2K RPM SATA drives.


Active-Active RAID controllers for high redundancy

Active RAID Controllers

RAID controllers are the brains that govern everything that occurs within the PowerVault MD3000 disk storage enclosure, performing necessary calculations, controlling I/O performance operations, handling communication with management applications, and storing firmware. The PowerVault MD3000 direct attached storage array was designed to incorporate twin active/active RAID controllers with mirrored cache for high-availability. If one controller should fail, the surviving controller can handle the full processing load until its mate is brought back online.
Dell PowerVault MD3000 Hot-pluggable Technology

Hot-Pluggable Technology

Dell's PowerVault MD3000 direct attached storage array allows you to remove and replace redundant components without disruption to operation. In the rare event of component failure, disk drives, storage controllers, power supplies, and cooling fan modules are all hot-pluggable - you can remove and replace them for easy repair while the system remains up and running. The PowerVault MD3000 disk storage array enclosure contains two integrated power supply and fan modules - if one is removed the other can handle the demand, virtually eliminating downtime to your storage array.
Dell PowerVault MD3000 Hot-Spare Drives

Hot-Spare Drives

If a physical disk should fail in the PowerVault MD3000 storage array, the lost data can be automatically reconstructed onto a hot-spare drive using redundant data found on the surviving disks. When the failed disk is removed, a new physical drive can be inserted in its place, which is used as a new hot spare for other disks that might fail.

Support Services

Dell™ ProSupport™ — Faster, more reliable support services designed to address the technology challenges you face today. This new support portfolio is focused on your needs, time demands and budgets.

Need professional support services that take care of both you and your employees’ IT needs 24x7? Choose Dell ProSupport to get access to a certified technician in two minutes or less.

Got an IT staff? Choose Dell ProSupport for IT and get tech-to-tech support with Fast-Track Dispatch, along with 24x7 access to Dell-certified technicians.

Dell ProSupport Service Model
Dell ProSupportDell ProSupport for IT

Designed for organizations with limited or no dedicated IT staff.

Designed to provide tech-to-tech support for IT professionals, database administrators and internal service desks or helpdesks.

  • 24x7 direct break-fix hardware support for your employees
  • "How-to" support on popular software applications such as Norton AntiVirus™, Microsoft® Office, Microsoft Small Business Server, Intuit® QuickBooks®, Adobe® Photoshop® and Adobe Acrobat®.
  • Access to a certified technician in two minutes or less


  • 24x7 direct access to Dell Expert Centers
  • Fast-Track Dispatch for Dell-certified technicians
  • Escalation management through Dell’s Global Command Centers
Next, Dell ProSupport options align to the way you use technology — rapidly responding to your needs, protecting your investment, your productivity and your sensitive data, and providing enhanced proactive support services to reduce the risk and complexity of managing your infrastructure.

Mission Critical — Perfect for server and storage environments where avoiding unplanned downtime and reducing recovery time through priority response are a must. The package includes priority 4-hour on-site service or optional 2-hour response with 6-hour hardware repair, Dell’s proven Critical Situation process and emergency dispatch.Data Management and Protection
  • Keep Your Hard Drive helps you retain control of sensitive data
  • Hard Drive Data Recovery provides unlimited attempts to recover data from a failed hard drive
  • Certified Data Destruction wipes your hard drive clean and destroys data
Proactive Maintenance — Maximizes the availability and stability of your infrastructure proactively. The package includes a detailed system assessment and implementation of driver or firmware updates and upgrades for your server or storage systems.

Remote Advisory Options — Provides telephone and internet access to technical expertise for specialized applications and solutions such as Microsoft Exchange, Virtualization, virus remediation and more.

Customization and Setup

EDT Installation
Enhanced installation and configuration with Dell professional project management and documentation. A project manager will be acting as the single-point-of-contact for the entire installation project from presite audit to coordination of the installation and delivery of post-project documentation.


Comprehensive Training
Get the skills you need to keep pace in today's competitive IT environment with comprehensive training and certification courses. Dell offers a vast array of instructor-led classes and online training courses in a range of topics from server maintenance to in-depth technical overview of specific systems.