EqualLogic unveiled a new storage array, the PS300E, its first product targeting enterprises as well as its traditional midrange customer base Tuesday at the Storage Decisions conference in New York. The storage area network (SAN) company also stepped up its partnership with Microsoft, announcing support for the vendor's new System Center Data Protection Manager (DPM) continuous data protection software.
The new EqualLogic array, due to ship Oct. 1, has a capacity of 7TB and uses 500GB SATA II (serial advanced technology attachment) drives, according to John Joseph, the company's vice president of marketing. The SATA drives feature native command queuing to facilitate more rapid data retrieval, he added.
"We had targeted the midrange," Joseph said in a phone interview Friday. "It’s the sweet spot in the market for us, but we've seen customers pushing us into running more and more applications on our storage devices." The number of applications running on a single storage device has gone from one or two to 10 or more, he added.
EqualLogic has worked closely with Microsoft to ensure full integration of all the EqualLogic PS Series storage arrays, including the new 300E, running on Windows with the software vendor's DPM, Joseph said.
The storage company became a Microsoft Gold Partner earlier this month, a certification which both allows EqualLogic to gain early access to Microsoft technology as well as boosting the marketing power for its products, according to Joseph. The two companies already had a long-standing relationship with Joseph estimating that EqualLogic and Microsoft engineers have been working on iSCSI for the past three years.
"More than 90 percent of our customers are running Microsoft in part of their operations," Don Bulens, EqualLogic chief executive officer and president, said in an interview Friday. "Fifty percent of our customers are running mixed operating system environments, the other half are running Microsoft alone."
Microsoft's DPM takes a series of snapshots of data that can be recovered by end users. Generally available Tuesday, the continuous data protection software has an estimated retail price of $950, which includes one server license and management licenses to protect three file servers.
Continuous data protection (CDP) is one of the hottest technologies in today's storage world since more and more customers want to be able to back up their corporate data when changes occur and then recover that information rapidly. Players both large and small either already have CDP products in the market or are gearing up to release them.
IBM released its Tivoli Continuous Data Protection for Files software last month, while Symantec is due to unveil its offering, formerly known as Panther and renamed Backup Exec 10d, at the Storage Decisions show this week. Symantec gained the technology through its acquisition of Veritas, which it completed in July. EMC Corp. is widely believed to be about to release a CDP product, according to Dave Russell, Gartner Inc.'s research director for storage software.
There is something of a religious debate over true CDP and near CDP, Russell said, with some vendors' products being able to save and recover data almost instantly compared with other offerings like Microsoft's DPM, which only take snapshots of data at specific points in time.