Dell EqualLogic PS6000XV SAN storage appliance review

Dell’s new EqualLogic PS6000XV IP SAN appliance delivers great value, capacity and features – could it also be the fastest?

Price
£31,900

EXCLUSIVE

Recommended Award

Acquiring IP SAN specialists EqualLogic early last year gave Dell a solid range of enterprise solutions that has enabled it to compete on an equal footing with the established names in the network storage market. It hasn't sat still either and in this exclusive review we look at the new EqualLogic PS6000XV, which offers an extensive range of features and more than a few new ones as well.

The price includes a bumper bundle of extras including snapshots, thin provisioning and replication features certain other vendors consider optional and charge an arm and a leg for. The PS6000XV comes as standard with a pair of controllers for full fault tolerance and these have been redesigned with four Gigabit data ports and support for RAID6.

The controllers function in active/standby mode and all operations are synchronised across both controllers. The four network ports in the primary controller are all assigned their own IP address but are grouped together under a virtual IP address where the appliance carries out load balancing.

You can grow with demand as physical appliances are gathered together in groups and presented as logical storage pools. Each appliance manages its own RAID array but storage of all group members is made available as a single entity. Virtual volumes are created within this space and presented as iSCSI targets but the volume data is spread across all appliances and drives in the group. Expanding capacity on the fly is possible as you simply add new appliances to the group as required

We had no problems deploying the PS6000XV in the lab as Dell's new Windows Remote Setup Wizard searches for new arrays and provides a quick install routine. You choose a member name and assign it an IP address, pick your RAID array and decide whether to join an existing group or create a new one.

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