Dell expands storage offerings

By Ann Silverthorn

—Dell this week unveiled new disk, tape, and storage management solutions in addition to introducing the ninth generation of its PowerEdge servers. The initiative includes new functionality for direct-attached storage (DAS), NAS, tape libraries, and management software.

Last month, Dell introduced PowerVault MD1000, a 3U DAS enclosure with 3.5-inch Serial-Attached SCSI (SAS) drives (see "Dell adds 4Gbps FC, 3.5-inch SAS"). The MD1000 now also supports Serial ATA (SATA) II drives, enabling approximately 7.5 terabytes of capacity. SAS and SATA drives can be mixed in the same unit, and they can be daisy-chained for up to 22.5TB of capacity.

On the NAS side, Dell expanded its Windows Storage Server NAS portfolio based on the new PowerEdge 2900 (tower) and 2950 (rack-mount) servers, and added replication.

"Branch offices are a hot topic with our customers," says Howard Shoobe, senior manager of the PowerVault disk portfolio for Dell. "Customers can put Windows Storage Server in one or more branch offices, and users at those locations can have local access to a file while the data is being simultaneously replicated to other locations. So, multiple users in different locations can use up-to-date files. And from a backup perspective, each branch office can back up to a central site, which can also be backed up."

Dell also addressed backup requirements by expanding its PowerVault ML6000 tape library line, which was introduced in December 2005 and is based on ADIC's Scalar i500 midrange tape library. New additions include a control module and an expansion module. The control module is a 5U library that houses robotics, 36 cartridges, and two LTO tape drives. The 9U expansion module holds 92 cartridges and up to four LTO drives. The ML6030 consists of a controller module and two expansion modules with up to 10 Fibre Channel or SCSI drives and a maximum native capacity of 87TB.

To help users better manage both their server and storage environments, Dell expanded the capabilities of OpenManage IT Assistant to manage its PowerEdge servers, NAS devices, and Dell/EMC SAN arrays from a single console. The improvement is designed to treat the data center "holistically" rather than separating the management of storage and servers.

Dell Storage Servers are priced from about $2,980, while the PowerVault MD1000 costs about $4,500.

The PowerVault ML6030 is priced from about $36,000, and the PowerVault ML6000 expansion module costs approximately $13,000.

This article was originally published on June 09, 2006