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EqualLogic brings 'simple' iSCSI SANs to UK

One of the growing band of iSCSI zealots has set up its first European office with the aim of making low cost and simplicity a winner with SMEs
Written by Colin Barker, Contributor

Storage vendor EqualLogic is opening a European headquarters in the UK, gambling that its own take on advanced but simple iSCSI SANs will work with our small business market.

EqualLogic's strategy is based on the iSCSI storage standard, which makes it cheaper and easier for companies to run a storage area network over Ethernet. The company only sells iSCSI boxes, which it calls the PS Series of storage arrays.

To appeal to SMEs — in EqualLogic's terms, companies from 300 to 3,000 employees — everything is contained within the arrays, including dual controllers, and all the software to support replication, snapshots and virtualisation. The array is a sealed unit which should not need anything added to it during its life.

A 7TB system will cost about £34,000.

"Other suppliers will sell you the array with a list of options," said Paul Klinkby-Silver, EqualLogic's vice-president for Europe, "but everything is included with this system. This is all you need."

According to EqualLogic, its storage it can run straight from the box and sets itself up. It also includes many high-end features such as dynamic load-balancing.

"If you find yourself running out or capacity on the storage server you can add another server, plug it into the network and then just let it run," said Klinkby-Silver. "The system will start to balance the load after about 20 minutes and then you leave it. Within a short time it will have split the load equally between the servers without operator intervention. This is of great appeal to SMEs."

Although EqualLogic is not well known in Europe, it has picked up around 60 users through third parties. The company has grown quickly, according to vice-president of marketing John Joseph, largely against NAS specialists Network Appliances and EMC.

"The [iSCSI storage] market is growing at 50 percent a year and we are growing faster than that," Joseph claimed.

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