Recently InfoWeek announced that Dell EqualLogic’s (EQL) PS 6010XVS won top storage award for 2011. The PS 6010XVS is a SAN array that comes with 8 Solid State Drives (SSD) and 8 15K rpm Hard Disk Drives (HDD). It’s fast and like all of EQL products comes with all the SAN storage management software at no additional fees. With EQL’s SAN management you also get auto-tiering which allows the SAN to automatically analyze I/O patterns to determine most used data blocks. Then the EQL SAN optimizes response by placing data on the appropriate disks.
The PS 6010XVS address two big challenges in OEM storage designs today. One is how to best use SSD for their performance and two is how to move data across the various tiers of storage that exist now compared to a few years ago. In my opinion, it solves these challenges because it right sizes the SSD to HDD and it knows how to migrate data (auto-tiering).
So what does that mean for Dell EQL OEMs? Here is my take on the benefits:
- No change to current application software: With no change to your current application software you can benefit from SSD products today. With an award winning solution that you can show your customers. That means being able to sell faster performance now and not be held by waiting for your own internal solutions.
- Auto-tiering: Auto-tiering within the EQL SAN means leveraging a ton of storage engineering know-how. The EQL engineers have done numerous studies across a wide range of storage use cases to create the right policy for moving data to the right disks. Unless your applications are a special use-case why repeat the engineering efforts and best of all its auto-tiering is just part of the EQL SAN software, read that as no additional license fees.
- Right sizing of performance to cost: The PS 6010XVS give you the right sizing of performance to cost. SSD are coming down in pricing, but they are still significantly more expense than HDD. Again, EQL’s storage engineering have studied the problem and created a SAN product that addresses the need for performance but not any price.
- Balance: For you it’s about have a single standard SKU item that is the balance you want from your storage provider. No need to buy half an array of SSD and half an array of HDD to get the same balance with all the associated additional costs.
- Improved performance: Improves performance of multi-tier applications like Virtual Desktop. Reduces time to boot multi-VM by up to 76%. If your applications are running virtually then the ability to place your base image on the SSD with their faster read performance will give you immediate performance gain and integrate easier on the PS 6010XVS.
Over the last five to ten years a lot companies have been developing products to make managing and using storage easier for end-user. We have seen that this is a winning formula, just read the newspaper on recent storage companies acquisitions, the question for all OEMs is how best to leverage other’s storage products within your product strategy.