Performance and Efficiency Simplified for the Real World

There are many new technologies that promise speed and even cost-effectiveness, but they may not address the core requirements of your datacenter.

Datacenter veterans like you probably do not have visions of the latest storage product dancing in your heads; instead you may be visualizing an overall solution that can improve your infrastructure.  In our conversations with customers, we have found that they require an affordable, easy-to-manage solution that can offer excellent performance for data-intensive workloads combined with high capacity storage for less frequently accessed data.   Of course, this also needs to come with the support that they have come to expect from Dell.   

Flash storage itself may not be the “magical’ solution that saves the day, but can be added as an integral part of your overall infrastructure. When you’re thinking about incorporating new technologies like flash or data reduction into your storage infrastructure, you may be asking questions such as, “How difficult is it to manage,” “Will it work within my existing environment” and “What are the upkeep costs over time?”  In other words, “Can my solution be as fast as I need it to be, simple to manage, cost-efficient and long-lasting?”

That is a question only you can answer after careful analysis of your datacenter requirements, but I believe you will find that the Dell EqualLogic PS6210 arrays and the EqualLogic FS Series with the Fluid File System v3 can help you meet your goals of attaining a high-performing and efficient datacenter. If you are hosting virtual desktops or managing performance-sensitive applications, like databases, the PS6210 all- flash or hybrid arrays may make your wish list.  If high performance is part of your goal, PS6210 flash-enabled arrays can achieve an impressive 2x the IOPS [ 1 ] for transactional databases and host 2.4x  the virtual desktops compared to the prior generation.[ 2 ]  In fact, in a study conducted by Principled Technologies, EqualLogic PS6210 hybrid arrays delivered up to 160% better application operations per minute (OPM) than a top competitive storage vendor.[ 3 ]

PS6210 arrays feature a re-engineered controller with higher-performance hardware including 4x the memory, 2x the 10GbE ports and enhanced software that optimizes flash performance.  The end result is ‘flash at the price of disk’ EqualLogic solutions [ 4 ] that can meet capacity and high performance requirements more affordably than HDD solutions.

Because of EqualLogic’s linear scalability for both performance and capacity, you can easily boost performance or add capacity as quickly as your requirements change.  In fact we recently demonstrated the power of EqualLogic’s scale-out architecture, by combining 8 flash-enabled EqualLogic arrays in a pool that delivered 1.2 million random read IOPS with less than 2-millisecond latency.[ 5 ]

On the other end of the spectrum, if keeping up with capacity growth in a cost-effective manner is also topping your list, the Dell EqualLogic FS7600 and FS7610 with Fluid File v3 can help you decrease the capacity needed for common enterprise file data by nearly 50% by de-duplicating and compressing redundant data when it’s no longer being accessed.[ 6 ] Additionally, the PS6210 series also offers 4TB hard drives (and many other drive configurations) to provide capacity that can scale beyond a petabyte in a single EqualLogic PS6210 group.

One of my favorite EqualLogic updates is to SAN Headquarters (SAN HQ) because it is a wish granted in response to our customers’ requests. EqualLogic’s full-featured monitoring and analysis tool integrates with Dell Tech Support Services via SupportAssist to automatically create support cases and deliver diagnostic logs to Dell teams.  SAN HQ 3.0 with SupportAssist now has the ability to automatically open support cases on a broader set of criteria, and includes case tracking, so you can see the status of your open EqualLogic support cases.   

As always, all EqualLogic arrays include our all-inclusive software licensing and offer continuous feature enhancements at no extra charge. Combining this with the ability to support new and old hardware in the same EqualLogic SAN increases the return on your EqualLogic storage investment. By delivering such lasting value, it’s no surprise that industry analysts say that EqualLogic has the lowest total cost of ownership over a five-year period compared to our competitors.[ 7 ]

A high-performing, simple-to-manage, cost-efficient and long-lasting solution may sound too good to be true, however 96 percent of our customers recommend EqualLogic to their peers.[ 8 ] Let us help you find the right storage solution for your data center, whether you need high capacity, the speed of flash, or both in one easy-to-use package. Contact your Dell representative to discuss your wish list and how Dell EqualLogic can improve efficiency and simplify performance.  Follow us on Twitter and Facebook and tell us your data center goals and challenges.

[ 1 ] Performance may vary depending on the workload and drive type. Based on September 2013 Dell performance testing comparing the PS6210XS and PS6110XS arrays with 4KB block and 70/30 read/write random.

[ 2 ] Performance will vary depending on the VDI workload. Based on October 2013 Dell performance tests using LoginVSI VDI workload generator tool.

[ 3 ] Principled Technologies Test Report, “OLTP with Dell EqualLogic Hybrid Arrays: A Comparative Study with an Industry-leading SAN Solution”, a November 2013 report sponsored by Dell. For the full report see:

[ 4 ] 1 PS6210S (SSD) can replace 4 PS6210XV (15K) arrays for a (30,000 IOPS OLTP database workload and 10TB of usable capacity) and deliver up to 35% more IOPS, 75% Rack U reduction, 64% lower latency, 8% more capacity and 11% lower price with lower power. Based on November 2013 Dell internal analysis of US list pricing, technical specifications and performance testing when comparing the PS6210XV and PS6210S arrays with 70/30 read/write random workload with 8K block size.  System comparisons will vary depending on the workload and configuration.

[ 5 ] Performance may vary depending on the workload and drive type. Based on September 2013 Dell performance testing using 8 PS6210XS arrays with Dell PowerEdge R620 and R610 servers and Dell Networking switches, using 100% read workloads.

[ 6 ] Based on May 2013 internal Dell analysis of the FS8600 NAS appliance with Fluid Data Reduction, using real-world home share environment comprised of Office files (21%), .GZ (19%) and .flate (19%) files, among others.

[ 8 ] Excerpted from a commissioned survey by Yankee Group on behalf of Dell, January 2013. Used with permission of Yankee Group.

About the Author: Peter Korce