Dell launches new EqualLogic systems, bolsters VMware integration

Dell's new EqualLogic systems tighten integration with VMware's vSphere, which will be a big topic at VMworld.

Dell on Monday will roll out new EqualLogic storage systems and stepped up its integration with VMware's vSphere 5 cloud management software.

The hardware vendor has been stepping up its push into storage via the acquisition of Compellent, higher end systems. The company said it has generated more revenue and customers in the first half for Compellent, which has a current pipeline of $1.4 billion, than in all of 2010. Dell's aim is to offer a broad storage portfolio so it can double revenue to be a $4 billion to $5 billion business.

Travis Vigil, executive director of Dell Storage, said the company has built technology bridges between its various systems for easy integration. Dell's pitch to customers revolves around ending so-called "forklift upgrades" where data has to be migrated to a new system. "EqualLogic works with both current and previous generations and all work in the same virtual environment," said Vigil.

Among the key systems:

  • Dell launched the EqualLogic PS4100 Series, which is designed for SMBs and remote offices. These storage area networks support up to 36TB in an array. The PS4100 starts at $9,499.
  • The company also added the EqualLogic PS6100 Series systems. These systems are designed to handle up to 72TB in an array and 1.2 petabytes in a group. The PS6100 is aimed at mid-sized businesses. The PS6100 starts at $30,699.
  • Dell also said that its EqualLogic FS7500 network attached storage system is also shipping. The FS7500 starts at $32,700.

On the VMware side of the equation, Dell said EqualLogic's firmware 5.1 has "thin provisioning awareness" for VMware vSphere. As a result, the integration can save on recovery time and manage data loss risks. Dell has focused on VMware first given that 90 percent of its storage customers use virtualization and 80 percent of those customers are on VMware.

Over the third and fourth quarters, Dell and VMware will launch:

  • EqualLogic Host Integration Tools for VMware 3.1.
  • Compellent storage replication adapters for VMware's vCenter Site Recovery Manager 5.
  • And Dell PowerVault integration with vSphere 5.

Other software tools on deck will revolve around monitoring storage environments around the world and integration with multiple Microsoft hosts.

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