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EqualLogic: Thin Is In

EqualLogic has added thin provisioning to the roster of features in the latest version of software for its PS Series iSCSI SANs.

"You can now logically overprovision LUNs without physically doing so," says director of product management Eric Schott.

Thin provisioning is the technique whereby physical disk capacity is used only as needed by multiple applications, obviating the need to add storage in advance of fully utilizing it. (See 3PAR Debuts 'Thin Provisioning' and A Data Reduction Dossier.)

Up to now, thin provisioning has applied mostly to expensive Fibre Channel arrays. In the IP SAN world, LeftHand Networks' SAN/iQ software uses a similar method of drawing on storage only as needed. Indeed, LeftHand claims thin provisioning on snapshots as well as volumes of storage. Intransa says it's working on thin provisioning, among other features, with no date for delivery. Now, EqualLogic's entered the fray.

EqualLogic's making thin provisioning a standard feature of its operating system, so that customers can use it or not as they choose. They can convert storage volumes to or from thin provisioning, avoiding having to make any firm decisions about it. The new release will ship in Q2 and be free to all supported customers.

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