Dell’s EqualLogic and Compellent platforms are highly virtualized storage solutions that our customers find attractive for virtual computing environments. In fact, a vast majority of customers deploy both platforms in VMware environments for server and/or desktop virtualization.

Dell and VMware have a long history of strong partnership. Together, the companies have been innovating the next frontiers of virtualization in the enterprise IT for more than a decade now. Dell (and specifically, with the EqualLogic line) has been one of three storage vendors who have co-developed the storage technologies like VAAI and VASA with VMware. Dell has been supporting features like VAAI, VASA and SRM from the very first day of VMware announcement for each and every release – a testament of both companies working together not only at the core engineering level but also across many organizations like support, professional services and marketing.

In a recent paper, analysts from Taneja Group noted that VMware-based virtual server environments and the storage platforms that support them have evolved from the rapid growth phase of the last decade into a critical optimization phase. This translates to an increasing demand for virtual server and storage solutions that are more tightly integrated with one another, deliver higher performance with greater resiliency, and are easier to provision, optimize, and protect.

Virtual server and storage performance are inextricably linked, and VMware’s latest release – vSphere 5.0 – improves storage visibility, performance and availability through a set of new technologies like Storage DRS and VASA as well as improved APIs in VAAI and SRM.

Dell has worked closely with VMware to help customers take maximum advantage of the new storage enhancements in vSphere 5.0. EqualLogic Host Integration Tools for VMware (HIT/VMware), packaged as a virtual appliance, automates storage and virtual desktop operations for vSphere administrators with EqualLogic Datastore Manager and EqualLogic Virtual Desktop Deployment Utility.

EqualLogic leverages VMware’s storage APIs for better performance and utilization with full support of VAAI, VASA provider integrated with VMware storage DRS, and EqualLogic Multipathing Extension Modules (MEM) for VMware. Finally, EqualLogic protects virtual workloads for business critical vSphere environments with Auto-Snapshot Manager/VMware edition, Auto-Snapshot Manager/Microsoft edition and Storage Replication Adapter for VMware SRM.

 Figure 1: VMware vCenter integration of EqualLogic Host Integration Tools for VMware (HIT/VMware) virtual appliance

Recently, Taneja Group evaluated whether EqualLogic’s VMware integration tools deliver an enterprise-class storage platform that is highly optimized and directly addresses the performance, availability, data protection and complexity challenges common in today’s business critical virtualized data centers.

After extensive review, the Taneja Group concluded, “The comprehensive suite of tools offered by Dell EqualLogic are designed to integrate tightly with VMware vSphere and simplify storage management, streamline and optimize VDI deployments, improve performance by offloading functions to the storage array, when appropriate, and deliver an end to end data protection that is second to none in the market.

Check out the Taneja Group paper from here.