Dell has announced new EqualLogic storage arrays that are designed to fit inside its PowerEdge blade chassis.
This will enable customers to combine server, storage and networking in a single enclosure. The firm also unveiled an update of the EqualLogic software and a new vStart configuration for cloud infrastructure.
Unveiled at Dell's Storage Forum in Boston, the EqualLogic PS-M4110 Blade Array provides all of the features of an EqualLogic storage array, but in a form factor that fits inside Dell's PowerEdge M1000e blade chassis.
Set to be available from the third quarter of 2012, this move will allow Dell customers to combine server, network and storage blades into a single enclosure, simplifying IT management and operations, according to the firm.
"It's a major step forward for Dell, delivering a streamlined datacentre solution that's targeted and built for fully virtualised enterprise SANs," John Everett, Dell EMEA storage business manager told V3.
Each Blade Array is a half-height but double-width blade that can hold up to 14 2.5in hard drives in a slide-out drawer arrangement.
However, using a peer-scaling architecture the Blade Arrays can scale in performance and capacity both within the blade chassis enclosure and outside of it using EqualLogic PS 6000 arrays.
"Wrapped around this is all the good things you get from EqualLogic, including the all-inclusive software pricing model," said Everett.
When combined with Dell's newer PowerEdge blade servers and Force10 or PowerConnect networking switches, the Blade Arrays allow customers to fit an entire datacentre within a single compact blade enclosure, according to Dell.
To prove this, Dell is offering just such a pre-tested configuration, the Dell Converged Blade Data Centre solution, comprising PowerEdge M420 server blades, Force10 MXL networking switches, and support for 10Gbit/s Ethernet Data Centre Bridging (DCB) to enable a single converged fabric.
"Somewhere between 70 and 80 per cent of our customers are asking for converged solutions that include storage, servers and switches with one simple management interface," explained Everett.
"What they want are pre-tested solutions that we can offer to them, which they can integrate and enable in a very short space of time."
Meanwhile, Dell also upgraded the EqualLogic platform with EqualLogic Array Software 6.0, which now provides real-time data protection using synchronous replication, plus the latest release of its performance analysis tool, SAN Headquarters 2.5.
Finally, Dell has added another configuration to its vStart line of pre-configured and tested solutions for private cloud computing infrastructure, set to ship in the US in July and globally later this year.
Topping off the line, the Dell vStart 1000 is also the first to be based on the firm's Compellent storage and Force10 networking kit.
The vStart 100 also features Dell's VIS Creator cloud automation and is Microsoft Fast Track Private Cloud validated with Microsoft System Center 2012.
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