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Dell EqualLogic supports 10 Gigabit Ethernet copper for iSCSI SAN

Dell EqualLogic iSCSI SANs now support 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10 GbE) copper as well as optical, reducing the price of the higher-speed Ethernet.

Dell Inc. today introduced its next-generation Dell EqualLogic storage arrays, the PS6110 and PS4110 series, that support optical and copper 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10GbE) networking bandwidth for iSCSI storage-area networks (SANs).

The midrange PS6110 and entry-level PS4110 are designed with new controllers and utilize the same dense chassis as the PS6100 and PS4100 series that Dell rolled out last summer. The difference between the two product lines is a boost in IOPS performance and support for 10GbE. The PS6100 and PS4100 support GbE.

The PS6110 series, however, will replace the company’s older PS6010 line that does support 10 GbE but isn't fitted with the upgraded hardware with support for 10 Gigabit Ethernet copper bandwidth offered in the PS6100 and PS4100 systems. The older PS6010 series only offers optical connectivity.

“They're catching up on the 10 Gig Ethernet because they have the 6100 models out, but those don’t support 10 GigE,” said Russell Fellows, a senior partner at Boulder, Colo.-based Evaluator Group. “If a customer wanted 10 GigE, they had to go to the older 6010 model. They're essentially fixing that problem.”

The PS6110 and entry-level PS4110 iSCSI arrays can be configured with either the more expensive SFP+ optical or the cheaper 10GBASE-T copper, said Travis Vigil, executive director of Dell's EqualLogic product management.

“We believe 10GBASE-T will be an accelerator to 10 GigE,” Vigil said. “A lot of companies are looking at converged networks and using storage and networking in the same infrastructure.”

The PS6110 and PS4110 are dual-controller systems, but the PS6110 series controller holds more iSCSI connections and processes more IOPS.

The PS6110 comes in six models and can scale up to 72 TB in a single array and 1.2 PB in a pool. Four of the models come in a 2U form factor, supporting 200 or 400 GB enterprise multi-level cell solid-state drives (eMLC SSDs), 2.5-inch high-performance SAS drives, a hybrid configuration with a mix of SSDs and HDDs or 3.5-inch high-performance or high-capacity SAS drives. The other two models come in a 4U form factor, supporting 3.5-inch SAS and 3.5-inch nearline SAS.

The PS4110 series consists of four models, with no SSD option. They scale to 36 TB in one array and 72 TB in a group. The systems come in 2U enclosures, supporting 2.5-inch high-performance SAS and 3.5-inch high-capacity and high-performance SAS, and 3.5-inch nearline SAS.

Pricing for the PS6110 starts at approximately $39,000, while the PS4110 starts at around $18,700. Both include three years of Dell ProSupport services.

Dell is also enhancing the Dell EqualLogic Host Integration for Microsoft 4.0. The host integration software now allows IT managers to manage multiple Microsoft hosts from a single Auto-Snapshot Manager instance for centralized data protection, and protect and recover virtual machines in a Microsoft Cluster Shared Volumes (CSV) with a snapshot.

Finally, Dell is offering the Dell EqualLogic Host Integration Tools for Linux 1.1 for the first time, but the snapshot feature can't be activated from a central console.

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