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Dell EMC EqualLogic Storage Systems – Product Brief

Last updated December 3rd, 2018 for end of year updates. Concise and unbiased 8-page overview of the features and functionality of Dell EMC EqualLogic. Download the free Product Brief now!

Overview

The Dell EqualLogic PS storage array series are multiple models for both entry and midrange iSCSI SAN storage systems offered under the Dell EqualLogic brand.  The Dell EqualLogic systems have a unique architecture both in the capability to join systems together into a cluster or a group, as well as the long list of included software features.  Most competitor systems in the entry and midrange market utilize a dual controller design attached to multiple back-end disk trays along with extra cost software features.

Each system (also known as a node) is housed within a single enclosure.  However, multiple systems may be joined together into a group known as a peer group.  Each enclosure houses between 12 – 24 SFF (2.5”) devices, or 12 LFF – 3.5” devices.  Additionally, an entire system / node must have the same type of disk drives and the same RAID level.

A Dell peer group will dynamically load balance data and access and across all elements of pool.  The primary differentiating factor in the entry-level systems is that a peer group is limited to two nodes.

Dell EqualLogic nodes (e.g. an enclosure) support dual controllers, with some “E” models supporting a single controller node.  Single controller nodes provide no HA in the event of a controller failure.  Controllers are active / passive, used for failover within a peer node only.

Usage

The Dell EqualLogic systems are targeted for usage in the entry and midrange space or remote offices that need either a SAN block storage solution and will use an iSCSI infrastructure.  The systems have proven to be easy to install and administer.  As midrange and entry storage systems, typical usages would be for block applications such as email, databases, and as LUNs attached to servers for shared storage.

  • Characteristics
    • Performance – The performance characteristics are based on the scaling of nodes in the cluster arrangement. As a scale-out storage system, capacity and performance scale at the same time.  The XS models have sub-volume automated tiering with SSDs.
    • Availability – A two node system can recover from the failover of a node. Multiple controllers in a cluster are used for capacity and performance scaling.
    • Replication for BC/DR – Asynchronous remote replication is available and included in the base software offering. iSCSI is the connection for replication.
  • Applications
    • The Dell EqualLogic PS series are targeted at applications that use block I/O such as email and databases in the midrange and entry market.
    • The advanced features of snapshot and replication included in the base software cost can be exploited with applications for consistent backups.
  • System environments
    • The Dell EqualLogic PS series are block storage systems accessed using iSCSI with standard iSCSI drivers on host systems. The systems work across a wide range of host operating systems.
  • Deployment and Administration
    • The PS systems have proven to be simple to install and administer.
    • The management is through the PS Group Manager to manage the multiple systems in the group.

Evaluator Group EvaluScale: Dell EMC EqualLogic – SAN Storage

Evaluator Group product review methodology “EvaluScale” assesses each product within a specific technology area.  The definitions of the criteria and explanations of how products are reviewed can be found in the  Evaluator Series Evaluation Guide. Download the product brief now to view the Evaluscale for this product.

Evaluator Group Opinion: Differentiating elements for Dell EMC EqualLogic

Dell EMC is continuing to offer the EqualLogic systems but no future development is in progress.  The systems are limited to iSCSI attach which will increasingly be replaced with NVMeoF using Ethernet.  Evaluator Group expects the usage of EqualLogic to decline in favor of other Dell EMC systems.


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