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Dell adds entry-level SC4020 flash, hybrid EqualLogic arrays

Dell adds flash to low-end storage with all-flash SC4020 Fibre Channel and hybrid EqualLogic iSCSI arrays.

Dell today launched an entry-level all-flash array based on its Compellent Fibre Channel SAN platform, and low-end EqualLogic iSCSI arrays that include Dell's first entry-level hybrid array.

The flash systems were rolled out at the Dell World 2014 conference in Austin, Texas.

Dell is making the SC4020 low-end Compellent FC/iSCSI SAN array available with all-flash at a $25,000 starting price. Unlike its higher end SC8000 array, an all-flash SC4020 can be loaded with multi-level cell (MLC) SSDs.

The SC8000 uses more expensive single-level cell (SLC) drives along with MLC drives when configured for all-flash. SLC drives handle data writes and the MLC drives handle reads for the SC8000.

The SC4020 can use SLC drives for write-intensive loads, but the $25,000 starting price is for a system with six 480 GB MLC drives for 3 TB. The SC4020 has 24 drive bays and can scale to 120 drives with expansion shelves. The SC4020 can also mix hard drives and SSDs in a hybrid configuration.

"Our current [SC8000] flash solution has a combination of read- and write-intensive drives and the ability to tier between them and tier to lower tiers of media," said Travis Vigil, Dell's storage executive director.

"The Dell Compellent 6.4 OS [available a year ago] was really optimized for SSD tiering. Since then we have seen a seven times increase in capacity shipped on SSDs on SC systems on a quarterly basis."

Eric Sheppard, an IDC research director for storage, said the all-flash array market is maturing and it is starting to inch toward lower price points.

"It's still early for all-flash arrays but it's changing," he said.

Dell also is replacing its EqualLogic PS4110 and PS4100 with the PS4210 10 Gigabit Ethernet iSCSI arrays with configurations of up to 48 TB of storage in a 2U system. The series, which has five models and can scale up to 96 TB in two arrays, can be combined with other EqualLogic PS arrays in the same SAN group with a maximum of 16 total arrays per group.

The PS4210XL model is Dell's first entry-level hybrid flash EqualLogic array. The PS4210's auto-tiering feature stores frequently accessed data on SSDs and cold storage on hard disk drives. It targets mission-critical workloads like virtual desktop infrastructure, OLTP databases and other mixed workloads up to 80,000 random reads.

The PS4210 is available today, and the SC4020 with all-flash will be available in early 2015.

Next Steps

Dell adds unified storage to CompellentSAN with FS8600

Clustered NAS turns Dell EqualLogic into multiprotocol storage

Dig Deeper on All-flash arrays

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