Dell doubles SAS storage solution to 6GB/s


Dell Inc. is expanding its PowerVault line with a 6GB per second serial attached SCSI (SAS) storage solution. PowerVault, one of three brands within Dell’s storage portfolio, focuses on direct-attached storage (DAS) solutions and previously included several 3GB per second SAS products. 

The 6GB/s SAS indoor portfolio is is a “fully integrated, tested and differentiated” end-to-end solution, said Howard Shoobe, senior manager at Dell. 

The transition from 3GB/s to 6GB/s not only increases scalability and the amount of bandwidth that the storage products can handle, it “parallels the transition inside the server from PCI 1.0 to PCI 2.0, where that throughput also doubles,” he said. 

Dell has also increased the input/output operations per second (IOPS) from 35,000 to 55,000. 

The new portfolio includes five products: three PowerEdge RAID controllers (PERC) and two PowerVault enclosures for external storage expansion.

The entry-level PERC H200 and high-performance PERC H700 are internal storage controllers, while the PERC H800 is an external storage controller that supports the new PowerVault MD1200 and MD1220 storage enclosures. 

The products feature deployment flexibility with the ability to mix solid state drives with hard disk drives, as well as 2.5-inch and 3.5-inch SAS drives and scalability by expanding to support up to eight enclosures. This equates to 96 3.5-inch drives, 192 2.5-inch drives or mixture of both, Shoobe noted.
Redundant pathing with automatic I/O load balancing is a third key feature that “further increases performance and reliability in a direct attached environment,” he said.
The 6GB/s solution acts as a foundation for next-generation storage technology, Shoobe pointed out. Dell plans to continue to invest across its storage portfolio to meet a broad set of needs, he said.
The new products fit very well in the Dell portfolio, according to Roger Cox, research vice-president at Gartner Inc.’s Global Storage Research unit.
“They are also going to fit well in the HP and the IBM portfolio. All three of those companies sell a lot of Intel-based servers, so it’s a good move for Dell to have this kind of performance and technology at the forefront of their product portfolio,” said Cox.
Dell now has the fastest serial attached SCSI technology that’s available from a technology perspective and all vendors are moving in this direction, he pointed out.
The kind of performance users can get out of the new grid controllers and JBOD (just a bunch of disks) enclosures is important in terms of being able to handle more Microsoft Exchange mailboxes, noted Cox.
“In the direct-attached storage world, it’s Microsoft’s position that the best practice for Exchange is direct storage,” he said.
Cox also highlighted the use of 2.5-inch drives as having a positive impact on the environment within a data centre. “The use of the 2.5-inch drives has a positive impact on reducing power requirements, cooling requirements and space requirements,” he said.
Pricing starts at USD$5,145 for the MD1200 and $5,637 for the MD1220.

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