Where dreams and reality converge…powered by “u”

Muhammad Ali once said, “He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.” At Dell Storage, we take that philosophy to heart, always looking for ways to break through the traditional barriers of storage technology. In our quest to bring you groundbreaking solutions, we’ve made a number of bold, strategic storage acquisitions, starting with EqualLogic in 2007. We needed to revolutionize the storage form factor for a true convergence of servers, storage, and networking in a single chassis from Dell with fewer U’s—a dream inspired by “u.” It was a challenge that we happily accepted.

Like a prize fighter, we are only as good as our last fight. So now, in 2012, we bring you a TKO (total knock-out)…the new Dell EqualLogic Blade Array—an enterprise-class SAN delivered in an all-new blade form factor, enabling the convergence of servers, storage and networking within a single blade chassis. The EqualLogic Blade Array brings you all the power of peer-scalable, virtualized EqualLogic storage as well as its all-inclusive software model. Check out EqualLogic Product Manager Shanky Chandra talking about the new EqualLogic Blade Array in this short video:

With the announcement at Dell Storage Forum Boston, you’ve probably seen plenty of technical information and heard commentary on how our end-to-end converged blade solution changes the game. Read Brad Anderson’s blog  post to learn more about how Dell is building solutions for today’s IT challenges. You know that in addition to the 56TB of storage inside the blade chassis, you can scale up to 2PB outside the chassis—providing 60% higher usable capacity than competitors’ solutions.[1] You also might have heard that multiple EqualLogic Blade Arrays can be configured in under an hour with 55% fewer major configuration steps in a fraction of the time it takes for competitors’ solutions. [2] What you may not know is that internally we’ve referred to Dell Storage as the biggest little storage start-up ever, and in many respects it is true. From the top levels of management to the numerous individual contributors, there has been a spirit of cooperation, a pride of ownership, and a drive for success that is the hallmark of successful start-up companies. We’ve dreamed big, like Ali, in our quest to bring to life the Fluid Data architecture that eradicates the rigid boundaries of legacy storage solutions, because we understand that you need more flexible options. Our new converged blade solution and upcoming software releases were designed to meet your needs.

The EqualLogic team strives to emulate Ali’s agility and boldness (“float like a butterfly, sting like a bee”) as we innovate through the hardware and software, delivering exceptional functionality and enterprise-class features with true virtualization, snapshots, replication, auto-tiering, and load balancing, all at no additional charge. Or, as we like to call it, “enterprise power with everyday simplicity.” And, when it comes to power, the new EqualLogic Blade Arrays pack a powerful punch in enabling Dell’s converged blade solution. For example, a Dell converged-infrastructure solution with EqualLogic blade arrays, PowerEdge blade servers and Force10 blade switches can concurrently support up to 1,500 Exchange 2010 & SharePoint users and 1439 SQL Server users.[2]

Also announced at DSF, the new EqualLogic Array Software 6.0 offers you the flexible and powerful features you have come to know and rely on, along with the following:

  • Real-time data protection with Synchronous Replication and Volume Unmap
  • Data availability with Snapshot Borrowing and Volume Undelete
  • Ease of management with Single Sign-On
  • Improved data security, incorporating full-encrypting SED drives and IPSEC

Darren Thomas with the Dell's new EqualLogic Blade Array

EqualLogic SAN Headquarters, part of the all-inclusive software, enables Storage Administrators to analyze and optimize storage performance and resource allocation. With SAN Headquarters 2.5, available fall 2012, there will be support for the new EqualLogic Array Software 6.0 features and automatic diagnostic data collection and transmission to Dell Support, enabling Dell Integrated Support. And, the new version of Host Integration Tools for Microsoft (HIT/Microsoft 4.5) will bring a number of enhancements to Microsoft users this fall, including Auto-Snapshot Manager (ASM) for SharePoint. All software updates can be downloaded from the EqualLogic Support website when available at no cost for customers with a valid support contract.

Like any smart boxing trainer, I’ve been searching out the best-in-class fighters over the past 5 years and have added EqualLogic, Exanet, Ocarina Networks, Compellent, and AppAssure to the Dell Storage club, building a team of talented and committed professionals. We match the pace of data growth with our solutions and deliver what you need to keep your data safe, secure, and available—today and tomorrow. On behalf of my team here at Dell Storage, I invite you to keep in touch with us. You can reach us through Facebook, Twitter and other Social Media channels. We want to hear your thoughts, because they inspire us to find new ways to give “u” the power to do more.

[1] Based on testing by Dell Labs in May 2012. Actual results will vary based on configuration, usage and manufacturing variability.

[2] Source: Principled Technologies, Inc. “Data Center in a Box Performance Test: Comparing Dell and HP Blade Solutions,” an August 2012 report commissioned by Dell.

About the Author: Darren Thomas