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EqualLogic Firms Up Virtualization

EqualLogic is pumping up its virtualization and data management features to try and make its iSCSI SAN systems more enterprise friendly.

While EqualLogic is rolling out a new PS400E system that supports 10.5 TBytes -- its largest capacity array -- its firmware upgrade is likely to be a more valuable addition for users, since it works across the vendor's entire product line.

With the firmware upgrade, EqualLogic's PS IP SAN systems support:

  • Multiple storage pools in a a SAN, letting users set up application groups with specific service level requirements
  • Consistency groups to automate multi-volume snapshots across arrays and storage pools
  • The ability to manage different RAID levels in a SAN as one group

These features aren't exclusive to EqualLogic; most enterprise systems support them. Virtualization engines such as EMC's Invista, Hitachi's TagmaStore, and IBM's SAN Volume Controller (SVC) support them across different vendors' storage, while EqualLogic's only works within its own systems.

It offers EqualLogic the type of virtualization capabilities it needs to compete as an enterprise system, as opposed to a low-end iSCSI SAN. EqualLogic's price advantage -- the new PSE400E has a $66,000 list price for 10.5 Tbytes of SATA disk -- over enterprise systems may sway some users to bypass a few bells and whistles that the big boys offer.

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