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Dell Updates EqualLogic Storage Line, Targets Linux And Acquires AppAssure

As part of this week's data center announcements, Dell is unveiling the next generation of its midmarket EqualLogic PS Series storage arrays, featuring 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10GbE) networking bandwidth, with increased storage capacity in a smaller footprint. The company says customers can improve performance for applications and workloads by 69% compared to previous-generation 10GbE EqualLogic arrays. In addition to two new models, Dell is also enhancing its software, and announcing the acquisition of AppAssure, a developer of application protection.

With up to 72 Tbytes in a single array and 1.2 petabytes in a single group, the PS6110 Series is configured with both optical (SFP+) and copper (10GBASE-T) 10-GbE networking. The PS4110 Series, Dell's first 10-GbE EqualLogic entry-point arrays, provides the same benefits and features as the PS6110, supporting up to 36 Tbytes in a single array and 72 Tbytes in a single group.

The EqualLogic software now features new versions of Host Integration Tools for Microsoft and Linux without additional costs or software licensing fees, and includes automated tiering and enhanced load balancing capabilities, key components of the Dell Fluid Data architecture. The updated release of Host Integration Tools for Microsoft is available now, while the Linux version will be available later this quarter.

In addition to delivering more performance in a smaller package, the new storage arrays and software upgrades allow the company broader access to the Linux market, one of its newer targeted audiences and a whole new market, says Travis Vigil, executive director, Dell EqualLogic. The Microsoft tools is another company first, with support for CSV Application Consistent SnapShot. "We are the first system vendor to build infrastructure to snapshot the entire Microsoft cluster," says Vigil. "It's a huge win for us because it helps our presence in the HyperV market."

Although he only had a week to play with the PS6110, Tjebe de Winter, CTO and cofounder of Cyso Hosting, was very impressed. The company, based in the Netherlands, is a B2B managed hosting provider that maintains, backs up and restores data for customers, creating custom-made solutions and delivering private cloud services. The company uses EqualLogic systems with a 10-GbE backend, Dell blade servers and VMware to build custom solutions for its customers. "It works really well," de Winter says. "You can see that EqualLogic is learning from the I/O techniques from the Compellent acquisition."

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