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Storage vendors make value plays

With the economy struggling at best vendors are flooding my
inbox with products that promise to deliver Peter Luger's or Ruth's Chris
quality at Sizzler, or at least Outback Steakhouse, prices.  Since I've never, alright never except for during
the Y2K lunacy, had the kind of carte blanche some of my Wall Street compatriots
had until the recent unpleasantness I've always looked to get the most bang for
my buck.

The first interesting value play to cross my inbox was Dell's
announcement of the Equallogic PS4000 line. Like their existing PS6000 it's a
16 drive SAS or SATA chassis with iSCSI controllers that support snapshots,
thin provisioning, replication and Equallogic's secret sauce of ease of use and
the ability to combine multiple arrays into a group that is administered and
accessed as one system. The kicker is you can pick up a PS4000 for just

So what did Dell do to make the PS4000 affordable? First
they offered a stripped down version with 8 250GB drives and just one
controller.  Then they
put a few limitations in the firmware build enabling 2 rather than 4 gigE ports
per controller, limiting snapshots to 128 per volume and most significantly
limiting the number of PS4000s in a group to 2. 

You can still mix and match Equallogic arrays from the original PS100E
to the 48 drive PS6500 or SSD PS6000S in groups with the 4000 you just can't
put more than 2 4000s in a group. 

Next came Fujitsu's DX60 midrange array that's starting
price is under $6000.  Now that's a
single controller model and the DX60 doesn't have sexy features like thin
provisioning at the moment but $6000 for a solid FC, iSCSI or SAS attached
array is a better deal than you'll get on a CX4 or FAS.

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