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Rollout: EqualLogic's PS3000 Series

The Upshot

The faster storage processors and Serial Attached SCSI disks of EqualLogic's new PS3000 series of iSCSI arrays provide the performance needed to support transactional applications such as busy databases with steep IO requirements.

For iSCSI to compete in the enterprise market, it must offer scalability, reliability and performance to match Fibre Channel solutions. Adding SAS-based solutions to EqualLogic's iSCSI arsenal should satisfy storage admins who were hesitant to adopt SATA devices for high-performance or critical apps.

The 2.4-TB PS3800XV offers practically everything you'd want in a storage device. Its SAS drives outperform earlier-generation SATA models, though the raw throughput of its 16 15,000-RPM drives is still limited by the bandwidth multiple Gigabit Ethernet interfaces offer. Upcoming 10 GbE price reductions and the arrival of 10GBASE-T will eliminate that concern; a simple module replacement is likely to triple the PS3800XV's performance.

EqualLogic PS Series iSCSI

EqualLogic's newest enterprise-class iSCSI storage arrays combine the performance of SAS drives with some tasty features in the company's upgraded PS Series 3.0 firmware. With its move away from the SATA drives of earlier systems, EqualLogic has maintained the PS line's capacity, fault tolerance and management ease, but given a serious performance jolt to the PS3800XV and higher-capacity PS3600X.

The move from SATA (Serial ATA) to the speedier SAS (Serial Attached SCSI) was a natural choice, as these drives have a common backplane interface and complementary protocols. Many first-tier server vendors, such as Hewlett-Packard and Sun, are anticipating the retirement of the legacy parallel SCSI architecture by switching to SAS.

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