Dell today announced a new appliance that allows its block-based storage area network (SAN) to store file-based data under one unified management interface.
Dell made the announcement from its first Storage User Conference in Orlando.
Unified storage offerings for small- and medium-sized businesses have been popular of late, with EMC recently announcing the integration of its Clariion SAN and Celerra NAS systems to create its VNX line of arrays. EMC's VNX line, however, is a single box.
The FS7500 can sit in front of the PS6010, PS6000 and PS4000 series SANs, acting as a gateway. The appliance supports single domain name space capability under which it is currently validated to store up to 510TB of data with file sizes of up to 4TB.
The FS7500 is integrated with EqualLogic's Group Manager storage management software, offering users a single interface for both block- and file-level data.
The appliance supports user accessible snapshots and the open Network Data Management Protocol for backup between primary and secondary storage. Each box has four 1Gbps IP ports per node for back-end iSCSI connectivity.
Dell also added Fibre Channel (FC) support to its entry-level PowerVault MD3600 platform with the MD3600f and MD3620f models. The arrays have four 8 Gbps Fibre Channel ports per controller and can connect to 64 hosts with an FC switch.
Additionally, the company announced version 5.1 of its management software, which includes enhancements for iSCSI data transport. The new software version supports networking via Data Center Bridging (DCB), a protocol that reduces packet loss for data transport over traditional Ethernet LANs to improve service in today's converged networks.
The Dell EqualLogic FS7500 and the 5.1 management firmware upgrade will be available in the third quarter of this year.
Lucas Mearian covers storage, disaster recovery and business continuity, financial services infrastructure and health care IT for Computerworld. Follow Lucas on Twitter at @lucasmearian or subscribe to Lucas's RSS feed . His e-mail address is email@example.com.