Virtualization Technology News and Information
Dell Delivers New Storage Solutions for the Virtual Era Built on Its Fluid Data Architecture
At its Dell Storage Forum customer and partner event, Dell today announced new solutions built on its Fluid Data Architecture to optimize cost, performance and protection as storage scales with a growing organization. New solutions include its first unified Dell EqualLogic platform, updated Dell EqualLogic software capabilities, a Dell Compellent demonstration of 16Gbps Fibre Channel, and the introduction of Fibre Channel on its PowerVault product line.

These solutions represent a milestone in Dell’s vision for a Fluid Data Architecture designed to help customers efficiently and flexibly manage data. Dell is uniquely unencumbered by legacy storage technologies and rigid philosophies that do not support customer needs in the Virtual Era. Instead, Dell is focused on the development and acquisition of storage intellectual property that delivers productivity and efficiency gains for highly-virtualized data centers.

Dell EqualLogic FS7500

The EqualLogic FS7500 adds scalable network-attached storage (NAS) capability to the EqualLogic product line – making it the only high-performance, scale-out unified storage for midsize deployments. The EqualLogic FS7500 uses the Dell Scalable File System, a high-performance, clustered file system based on Dell intellectual property. The Dell Scalable File System architecture incorporates features formerly found only at the very high end including advanced caching, load balancing and multi-threading for fast I/O processing. This is the first step toward Dell’s long-term vision of a uniquely feature-rich, highly-scalable file system. As with all EqualLogic products, new features will be made available to customers at no additional charge.

File storage systems historically have been difficult to expand because of file system size limitations and the complexity of managing multiple file servers. Unlike other unified storage solutions, with the FS7500, there are no 8, 16 or 50TB maximum limits on file system size. A single EqualLogic FS7500 file share can scale up to 510TB (raw capacity).

Customers consolidating applications onto a unified platform are demanding improved flexibility to react to unanticipated changes in their application environment; flexibility not delivered by legacy unified solutions. The EqualLogic unified storage platform provides online capacity and performance scaling for both file and block interfaces so customers can easily scale their platform to meet business requirements.

Key features of the EqualLogic FS7500 include:

  • N-way scalability with automated failover and a single namespace
  • Scale-out CIFS and NFS support
  • All-inclusive software delivery model
  • Scale a single share up to 510TB
  • Integrated EqualLogic management
  • User accessible snapshots
  • Network Data Management Protocol back-up

Dell EqualLogic software version 5.1

EqualLogic software version 5.1 provides significant enhancements for iSCSI networking via Data Center Bridging (DCB) support. As the industry leader in iSCSI storage, Dell helped drive this standard. Additional enhancements provide improved performance via automated load-balancing and enhanced integration with VMware environments.

Key features and benefits include:

  • DCB Support: DCB is designed to improve quality of service with consistent and even traffic flow in a converged SAN/LAN networking fabric.
  • Enhanced Load Balancing Capability: Provides the ability to automatically balance storage traffic between EqualLogic arrays and can boost performance up three times compared to environments running previous EqualLogic software versions.
  • Enhanced thin provisioning awareness with VMware vSphere 4.1: Designed to reduce recovery time and help mitigate the risk of potential data loss.

Dell Compellent Demonstrates 16Gbps Fibre Channel Infrastructure Interoperability

Today, Dell successfully demonstrated compatibility between a Dell Compellent Storage Center SAN with a Brocade 6510 16Gb Fibre Channel switch and a Brocade 1860 16Gb Fabric Adapter. This fall, Dell will continue to build on its leadership in enterprise storage by introducing 16Gbps Fibre Channel offerings. This new technology will help customers unleash the power of their SAN environments to support next-generation applications and cloud services. This increased performance can provide organizations investment protection and a future-ready infrastructure capable of overcoming the challenges of enormous data growth. By combining Dell's Fluid Data architecture with Brocade's 16Gbps Fibre Channel infrastructure, Dell is aligned to deliver high-performing SAN solutions that empower customers to stay at the leading edge of technology.

Dell PowerVault MD3600f and 3620f

The PowerVault MD3600f storage arrays provide 8Gb Fibre Channel connectivity while upholding the common hardware and software features in the PowerVault MD32x0/36 x0 series of arrays. Business continuity is a defining feature of these models for customers that require high availability and disaster recovery solutions.

Key features include:

  • With a total of eight 8Gbps Fibre Channel ports (four per controller) customers can have up to four redundantly connected servers in the configuration without needing a switch or 64 servers when using a switch.
  • Additional storage capacity can be added up to a maximum of 96 hard drives via the PowerVault MD1200 and/or MD1220 enclosures. Customers can also mix 3.5-inch and 2.5-inch enclosures behind their base units for drive tiering that best matches their application needs. Within each enclosure customers can mix SSD, SAS, near-line SAS, and self-encrypting drives.
  • Data protection options include snapshots, virtual disk copy and remote replication services.


“We continue to transform our storage business through acquisitions and developing our own intellectual property. Our Fluid Data Architecture provides a strategy that helps customers lower the complexity and cost of managing their data. Today’s announcements demonstrate significant progress toward that strategy with products that demonstrate the power of integration and innovation across our portfolio of solutions.” – Darren Thomas, VP and GM, Dell Storage


  • The EqualLogic FS7500 will be shipping in the third quarter of 2011.
  • The EqualLogic firmware release 5.1 will be available for download from the EqualLogic support site in the third quarter of 2011. EqualLogic software is included in the cost of the array. Customers with a valid Dell ProSupport agreement can download software updates without paying additional license fees.
  • Dell PowerVault MD3600f and MD3620f arrays will be available June 14, 2011.
Published Tuesday, June 07, 2011 6:17 PM by David Marshall
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