Getting your signals straight

  Posted on behalf of Pete Korce, Vice President and General Manager, EqualLogic, NAS and Storage Core Technologies

In baseball, the pitcher watches the catcher and signals on what kind of pitch to throw next. Yogi Berra, prolific catcher for the New York Yankees for many years, once said, "If you don't know where you are going, you will wind up somewhere else.”1 Here at Dell, we want to make sure that doesn’t happen to you or your organization. So, we spend a lot of time listening to you—our customers—to determine what technology developments will serve your organization best. Earlier this year, we bought you the ne Dell EqualLogic Blade Array—an enterprise-class SAN delivered in an all-new blade form factor, enabling the convergence of servers, storage and networking within a single blade chassis (check out what our team has to say in Convergence and integration: Dell PowerEdge blades and EqualLogic storage with the CMC).

We take listening seriously at Dell, and at a Dell Storage Forum “Geek Bar” our customers approached us with some workload problems. This inspired our EqualLogic engineering team to develop a bigger, faster hybrid array with 41 NL-SAS drives and 7 SSD drives, giving you almost 85TB of capacity: the Dell EqualLogic PS6510ES and PS6500ES arrays, which started shipping in November. These arrays deliver exceptional performance, capacity, and cost effectiveness—to make sure that you are always ready for the next big thing. Baseball is a strategic game where being aggressive is generally the winning strategy.2 We believe the same is true when it comes to ensuring your storage can meet both your current needs and those requirements that come with exponential growth.

Yogi might say, “This is like deja vu all over again."  Because we don’t just ask and listen once, we make it an ongoing activity through channels such as:

  • Dell Storage Forum: Customer Councils (where we discuss our roadmap with trusted customers) and Geek Bars (where you can talk with our MVGs (Most Valuable Geeks) who design Dell Storage), as well as many interactive technical sessions with our technical teams.
  • Yearly surveys of our current customers administered by a third party to get a better understanding of who our customers are, what they do, and what they do and don’t like.
  • Topic-specific feedback surveys to get information about our customers’ infrastructure, for example, what size groups, how many pools, etc.
  • Follow-up phone calls with customers who answered the topic-specific feedback surveys to obtain more specifics, and just as importantly, find out what they want us to know!
  • Beta tests, where we not only give the code to selected customers, but have a beta buddy system where someone from engineering is partnered to be a conduit for the feedback. Some of the beta customers have been invited to speak with the development team and this has a strong influence on the user interface design. (You can sign up for beta tests on the EqualLogic Support website.)
  • Formal usability studies so we can see actual users performing hands-on tasks with EqualLogic hardware and software.
  • Social media conversations on Twitter and Facebook and the user community on Dell Tech Center.

We know you have a lot of choices when it comes to your storage, but once you choose EqualLogic arrays, we make the rest easy. "When you come to a fork in the road, take it," said Yogi Berra. Once you take the fork in the road that leads you to EqualLogic, you get to enjoy the benefits of our all-inclusive software. And since our software is multi-generational, you continue to add new functionality with no additional costs—enjoying a low total cost of ownership (TCO) and ease of management. All of our PS Series software has been updated recently and software updates can be downloaded from the EqualLogic Support website at no cost by customers with a valid support contract. Details on the latest updates can be found at

I hope you are with us this week at Dell World in beautiful Austin, Texas. If so, stop by and say “Hello” to our EqualLogic Engineering and Marketing staff at the Expo. Please keep sending us your signals so we can continue to innovate solutions that work for your team. You can also reach us through Facebook, Twitter and other Social Media channels.

Is your Storage provider responding to your signals?  If not, please contact your Dell Sales Representative who can help design an end-to-end solution that meets your needs. We want to help you pitch a perfect game!

About the Author: Alison Krause