Platform Enhances Virtualization

Wed, 12/14/2011 - 11:36am
Lindsay Hock
R&D December Data Management Dell

Travis Vigil, executive director, Dell Storage, inspects a new Dell EqualLogic PS6100 storage array at the company's Nashua, N.H. development laboratory. Photo: Dell Inc.

Trends in how people use, store, and manage data have a significant global impact on data center storage administrators and information technology (IT) budgets. While data center storage requirements are growing at a rate of 20 to 40% annually, the majority of data created today will never be accessed again. Organizations are creating, leveraging, and storing more information than ever before. According to market intelligence firm IDC, by 2020, data will grow to 35 zettabytes (Zb), 44 times the amount of digital information stored today; businesses will be responsible for 80% of this information. As IT organizations upgrade their technology infrastructures, two times the amount of data will be created during the process.

To meet future data management needs, Dell Inc., Round Rock, Texas, is pioneering the Dell Fluid Data architecture. The architecture is designed to help users address data management challenges associated with data center virtualization and data growth, and facilitate the movement of data from the server to storage to the cloud.

As part of this ongoing R&D effort, Dell introduced the EqualLogic PS Series arrays and supporting software in August 2011. The EqualLogic PS6100 and PS4100 family of virtualized, iSCSI storage offerings, together with Dell EqualLogic firmware v 5.1, offers storage solutions that integrate into existing environments without downtime overhaul, the company reports. Users can gain an estimated 67% performance improvement on typical workloads compared to the previous generation.

Unlike competitive architectures that require three to five years refresh cycles, Dell's EqualLogic platform is cross-generational, enabling customers to add new capabilities, such as network attached storage (NAS), without discarding existing investments.

Through Dell's collaboration with VMware, the technology is designed to integrate into highly virtualized data center environments. Dell worked with VMware, Palo Alto, Calif., to co-develop the specifications for all vStorage APIs for Array Integration (VAII) and, according to Dell, more than 70% of users now have EqualLogic arrays attached to VMware environments.

Dell EqualLogic storage technologies are used in more than 30,000 customer environments to support a range of needs. The solutions are onboard Carnival Cruise Lines ships to help the company manage customer and logistical data more easily and cost effectively. AccuWeather, a weather modeling company, leverages EqualLogic storage products to help more accurately predict weather patterns and other events. The platforms are also used by small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) to deal with increasing data growth and to address their storage scalability needs.

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