Compaq and Dell improve their SANs

Compaq Computer Corp. and Dell Computer Corp. each announced improvements to their storage area network (SAN) offerings last month.

Dell’s new SAN – its fourth-generation version – is based on Dell’s PowerVault 660F Fibre Channel storage array, composed of 14 Fibre Channel disk drives in a single three-rack unit, rack-optimized enclosure, at seven terabytes of storage capacity in a standard rack. Customers using Dell’s SAN can integrate up to 20 servers and manage up to 70 terabytes of storage on one storage network, priced at US$0.045/MB, according to the company. Dell will offer the SAN hardware, software, service and support in optimized bundled configurations at about US$45,000 for an entry-level, high-availability SAN.

Meanwhile, Compaq revealed a five-fold increase in the capability of its SANs, to 20 switches and 320 ports. Compaq’s StorageWorks SANs can deliver up to 280 terabytes of on-line, upgradeable, modular storage with the expanded switch and port count in various server and storage array combinations, depending on enterprise-specific requirements, according to a Compaq release. Price details were not released.

Compaq also said it has improved its ProLiant Clusters for SCO UnixWare, extending the Quick Install capabilities to additional servers and StorageWorks products, as well as ProLiant Clusters for Novell Netware, offering support for Secure Path and Fibre Channel SAN switching. And, Compaq will offer the AXL300 Accelerator PCI Card as a new option for its ProLiant servers, at US$1,495. The Novell NetWare Cluster solutions and Quick Install Clusters for SCO UnixWare have starting prices at less than US$5,000, the company said.

Compaq also announced new capabilities for its ProLiant servers. Compaq said its ProLiant DL360 servers are available with Intel Corp. 1GHz Pentium III processors, starting at US$4,775. The company will offer free trial upgrades for its Compaq Remote Insight Lights Out Edition management cards, permitting network managers to use IPaq handheld computers to wirelessly perform remote server management. The free wireless upgrade for the Remote Insight Lights Out Edition management board may be downloaded early this month from http://compaq.com/manage, according to the company.

Dell, in Round Rock, Tex., can be found on the Web at www.dell.com. Compaq, in Houston, is at www.compaq.com.

• IDG News Service