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Vol. 6 No. 11 January 2008

Dell VP on virtualization, EMC and support

DARREN THOMAS, Dell's VP and general manager, enterprise storage, spoke to us about dealing with the complexities of virtualized storage, the future of Fibre Channel and Gigabit Ethernet, his company's relationship with EMC, and why some users say they're disappointed with Dell's storage product support. (Note: This interview took place before Dell announced its acquisition of EqualLogic.) Q: How do you manage the additional complexity that virtualization brings to the storage environment? Thomas: It's hard. Virtualization just means you can create abstraction layers above the hardware and set divisions not limited by sheet metal. But by creating one big storage pool out of a bunch of different vendor products that all have different capabilities--one can replicate, another can't, one has a limited number of snapshots--being able to keep track of all this convolution is hard. Now you get down to having to manage things by their capabilities. We had the ability to virtualize storage a long, long time ago. We could add and ...

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Features in this issue

  • 8Gb/sec Fibre Channel widens lane for SAN traffic

  • Unlimited storage

    Clemson University has big plans as it upgrades its data center—and those plans call for lots and lots of storage. Their new IT infrastructure is being built along the lines of the National Science Foundation's Cyberinfrastructure initiative. Clemson expects its new world-class facility to attract a new crop of young faculty who will find the storage, bandwidth and CPU resources needed to support their research efforts.

  • Taming storage virtualization

    Where storage virtualization should reside and how it should be applied depends on the size of the storage infrastructure, the type of applications running in it, and the levels of control and visibility required by administrators. We look at the leading storage virtualization products and help you decide which technology may be best for your storage shop.

Columns in this issue