New Dell EqualLogic Arrays

Dell unveiled an update to 2 of their EqualLogic PS series array platforms today along with their first sub-$10k array. The new PS6100 and PS4100 series arrays are a refresh of their PS6000 and PS4000 units. The new boxes are being touted as having up to a 67% improvement in I/O performance. 

Here are the major new features for each:
– shrinks down to 2U
– 24 x 2.5″ drives – up to 21.6TB
– 12 x 3.5″ drives – up to 32TB
– Now starting at under $10,000

– 2U version with 24 x 2.5″ drives – up to 21.6TB
– New 4U design with 24 x 3.5″ drives – up to 72TB
– NEW Dedicated management port


Both arrays will ship with the latest 5.1 firmware and are certified for VMware’s vSphere 5.0 storage APIs (VASA, VAAI, etc.). The SSD options will go up to 400GB per drive, which I’m sure will be slightly over the $10,000 starting price in the PS4100. 

This may sound lame, but the addition of the dedicated management port on the PS6100 is something that I’m very excited about. I never understood why there was one on the PS4000 but not the PS6000. It was maddening to lose 25% of my total network throughput on an array if I needed to attach it to a dedicated management network.

Being in the market for a Sumo (Dell’s EqualLogic Monster PS6500 series array), I was hoping that those would get the same refresh, and even though I knew it wasn’t going to be refreshed yet, I’m still a bit bummed that I may have to purchase it just before it gets its own upgrade.

Oracle Hates Me (and most everyone)

So, the bright side of Oracle hating the world (as evidenced through their arcane licensing structures) is the chance to get to do some creative technological circus acts and learn a lot in the process.

Here’s my original configuration:
Oracle 10g installed on a bare metal Dell PowerEdge 2850. Single Socket, Single Core, Hyperthreading turned off.

Why? Licensing. Even with Oracle’s ‘generous’ educational discounts, we cannot afford anything more. We license per core rather than per user/connection out of cost considerations. While this isn’t a terrible setup, it allows for no other protections other than backup (to tape, currently). Oracle does not allow you to bring much into the equation of data protection/redundancy/resiliency without, what? Oh yeah, more licensing. Want to replicate? License. Want to virtualize? Nope, gotta license all of your hosts cores. Ridiculous. Now, I’ve read a bunch of blogs and heard a bunch of users talk about ways using cluster tweaks to say they fall within Oracle’s virtualization scheme, but our Oracle rep (who likes to visit us often to check for compliance) has yet to confirm this does in fact fall within compliance.

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