Version 3.0 of EqualLogic's PS Series storage array firmware allows multiple pools of storage in a single SAN for flexible data segmentation. The refresh also coincides with the release of EqualLogic's new high-capacity PS400E, which uses 750 GB Barracuda ES hard drives from Seagate.
By allowing multiple pools of storage in a single SAN, each pool can be configured with capacity and performance characteristics to serve particular business or application needs, and all pools are managed from a single interface. Storage pools also allow data segmentation within the SAN by application, organization or location for flexibility and control, EqualLogic says.
Other new features include automatic data placement and load balancing; transparent data migration; and "consistency groups" that deliver snapshots of multiple volumes across arrays and pools, creating backups of related information for instant recovery of complete data sets.
Greg Schulz, founder and senior analyst at StorageIO, said EqualLogic "continues to move in the right direction" in its battle with the likes of LeftHand and NetApp by "focusing more on adding enterprise-class functionality, scalability, reliability, virtualization and performance, while simplifying management and use without enterprise-class prices."
Schulz said features such as cross-array pooling to isolate workloads and applications and implement tiered storage "should be a welcome upgrade for existing customers and open the door to new customers."
And cross-volume, cross-array data consistency and coherency for data protection is "something normally associated with top-end enterprise storage systems," Schulz said.
Still, Schultz said EqualLogic needs to add support for additional drive types such as high-performance SAS and SATA. 10Gb Ethernet will also become more of an issue for mid- to upper-end iSCSI vendors and customers who require greater performance and lower response time for time-sensitive applications, he said.