The Dell™ EqualLogic™ PS4000 Internet SCSI (iSCSI) storage array is designed to address the needs of remote office and small and medium business storage deployments using the same innovative EqualLogic virtualized architecture and full software feature set as previous generations of EqualLogic PS Series arrays. However, the EqualLogic PS4000 arrays offer an affordable entry point for smaller EqualLogic PS Series configurations to help remote offices get the benefits of data center–class IT solutions such as consolidation and virtualization. Dell EqualLogic experts will lead a technical discussion of the newly announced EqualLogic PS4000 iSCSI storage array.


Technical Community - Background Reading

Chat Transcript

DELL-ScottH Hey Hoosiercab and Cgeenoh. How you guys been?
HoosierCAB I'll mostly be reading the transcript; I'm wrestling with some Backup Exec "issues"
cgreenoh Chat works a fright in Internet Explorer 8; suppose I should add you guys to the Allowed list in Firefox, if I'm gonna visit more often. :)
hphenkel @grealish, :bestens, danke der Nachfrge
cgreenoh Yo, Scott
HoosierCAB But I'm eagerly awaiting my fine prize from the twitpic of my "data center" :)
grealish Bita
cgreenoh Had so much fun last time, figured I should get in here. Hell, I might even be buying CommVault.
HoosierCAB And, we paid $400 for that rack from a local manufacturing company when they decided bakers racks were better for their Dell PowerEdge 1850s
Dell-KongY @hoosiercab, yeah, congrats on winning the laptop bag
DELL-ScottH Wow, the whole company?!
grealish So are there many here from the VMware FT talk yesterday?
HoosierCAB It was brand new and unused
DELL-ScottH Yeah, congrats on the bag
HoosierCAB Not too many submissions; the other one I saw was...what I used to have to deal with
cgreenoh I was wondering what the exact definition of "data center" was, 'cause if it's an overall infrastructure I have two racks of Dell—but I'm not allowed to take pictures of them so I suppose it's moot anyway. :P
DELL-ScottH I missed the VMware roundtable on the FT; looks like it would be a good replay
Dell-KongY @grealish, I wanted to join but had a Doctor's appointment. How was it?
DELL-ScottH @cgreenoh, yeah I figured most people couldn't take pictures of their data center. I'm going to do an easier contest next time
grealish Good! Saved me from crawling through pages of white papers
Dell-KongY Yeah, next time it might be "office space," like in a field or something
grealish And today I got the blade rack, plus the software’s set up for FT testing
DELL-ScottH @hoosier, bakers racks?! Are they crazy?
cgreenoh I could take a picture of my old PowerEdge 2650 with PowerVault chassis on a steel rack in my office-side "server room" lol
DELL-ScottH Welcome back, Ujjwal! You find a power source?
cgreenoh Or the seven PowerEdge 2850s and PowerEdge 750s I have on my office floor, lol
HoosierCAB I'll try to get video when/if I convince the boss to let us smash our last PowerEdge 2550. Or PowerEdge 6450
Dell-KongY Welcome D_glynn
DELL-ScottH Nice
cgreenoh Smash? Noooooooooooooooooo!
Dell-d_glynn Hey Kong
Dell-KongY @hoosiercab, not smash us...our competitor ;)
grealish The best notes from the FT were Host HA clusters support up to four FT VMs with at least 2 GB net connectivity, and VMware is interested in case studies
Dell-d_glynn Hey Jeff. Hey all
DELL-ScottH Man! No smashing the Dell! Only HP or IBM :-)
Jeff_Junker Yo
Dell-KongY Did anyone see team USA versus Spain in futbol last night?
Ujjwal_Rajbhandari I did
Jeff_Junker Shutout, cool
Dell-KongY What a game for team USA
HoosierCAB Oh, we've got nothing else to destroy; all we've bought is Dell for ~eight years now
Dell-KongY Welcome Tom
Ujjwal_Rajbhandari That was a good game
Dell-KongY @hoosiercab :)
HoosierCAB The Sun and HP you can see in my data center pictures aren't ours. They were spec'ed by another dept
cgreenoh Scott, you don't destroy HP and IBM, you use it to prop up the Dell stuff while you're building it, as 400s make great table ends
DELL-ScottH Welcome back, Mrobbert. How are the mines?
DELL-ScottH @cgreenoh, Yes! Nice lamp tables
mrobbert Hi Scott, we're good here!
Dell-KongY @greenoh lol
Dell-KongY Welcome, Mrobbert. Considering iSCSI? ;)
HoosierCAB Not me, but former coworker: http://ck.cx/archive/938/, http://ck.cx/archive/944/ (thermite and harddrives). So, what's the story on these new EqualLogic PS4000s?
mrobbert We've actually got some EqualLogic PS6000s on order for our infrastructure, not HPC
cgreenoh I've got active quotes for a couple of EqualLogic PS6000s. If I can make the $# work
Dell-KongY @mrobbert and @cgreenoh, awesome!
erson Hi all
DELL-ScottH Alright, about time to kick it off
Jeff_Junker EqualLogic PS4000s are a great value starter system; foundation for iSCSI SAN
DELL-ScottH Welcome Erson
Dell-KongY Welcome back from vacation, @erson
erson Thanks a lot
Dell-KongY How was your time off?
cgreenoh Yeah, I'm interested in hearing about the EqualLogic PS4000s
erson Spain last week and was away on seminars by Microsoft last Tuesday
DELL-ScottH Today's topic is the Dell EqualLogic PS4000 Series. We've got a couple of guest chatters: Jeff Junker and Ujjwal Rajbhandari. Please introduce yourselves
Dell-KongY Welcome Todd
DELL-ScottH Please ask questions at any time, and a reminder that this chat is recorded, so tomorrow you can click any links you missed here in the transcript
Jeff_Junker Hello all
DELL-ScottH Welcome Todd
VirtualTodd Hello all!
DELL-ScottH Here's a link to some product information you can browse later on the EqualLogic PS4000: http://www.delltechcenter.com/page/equallogic+ps4000
DELL-ScottH Right-click links! Or the chat client dumps you out :-)
grealish BTW, just as you were speaking about HW, nothing gets bigger than this! http://twitpic.com/8efje
Ujjwal_Rajbhandari Hello all.
DELL-ScottH Welcome Dennis and Gerry
Dell-KongY Welcome Dennis_s and Gerry_holm
Dell-KongY So who's going to lead out with some questions on the EqualLogic PS4000s?
DELL-ScottH Reminder that you can click Action, Recent Room History to catch up on the chat
Jeff_Junker So as a foundation for this discussion, EqualLogic PS4000 is essentially a value meal–sized version of the EqualLogic PS6000—all the features, just not as scalable for items like total volumes, snapshots, and it has 2 GbE ports versus 4
DELL-ScottH Is there a paper or link that compares the differences in EqualLogic PS4000 to EqualLogic PS6000?
erson I would like to know the difference between EqualLogic PS4000 versus EqualLogic PS6000 besides the fewer ports on the controller and the limit of a two EqualLogic PS4000 in SAN group (and information about how that can be extended by adding EqualLogic PS6000)?
cgreenoh Dang, Erson, got my questions exactly
erson Cgreenoh, nice :)
Jeff_Junker You can expand at any time and get full features. The rule is no more than two EqualLogic PS4000s in a group; you can simply add an EqualLogic PS6000 (or EqualLogic PS5000) and expand
DELL-ScottH So if I start with EqualLogic PS4000 and then add EqualLogic PS6000, the volumes, snapshots, etc. increase to the limits of the EqualLogic PS6000?
Jeff_Junker You catch on fast ;-)
grealish Anyone know the price difference between the EqualLogic PS4000 versus the EqualLogic PS6000?
DELL-ScottH Is there full support for vSphere?
Ujjwal_Rajbhandari Since the EqualLogic PS4000 has all the software features of an EqualLogic PS6000, the EqualLogic PS4000 becomes a great array for a Robo
Dell-KongY Robo = remote branch office
Jeff_Junker Yes, same fundamental feature set as EqualLogic PS6000; same complete set of free software tools as well
VirtualTodd Is VMware SRM supported with EqualLogic PS4000?
grealish @scott, I guess with iSCSI, it's going to be support, plus the plug-in manager in the other PS Series works
Jeff_Junker Yes, full VMware support; same as EqualLogic PS6000
grealish My interest in the EqualLogic PS4000 is, can it support an MPIO? As in, can the controller handle the 2x GbE with different subnets?
DELL-ScottH FYI, for newbies to Equallogic, here's a good demo: www.equallogic.com/resourcecenter/assetview.aspx?id=5601
erson I bought an EqualLogic PS6000 recently; is there any other reason for me to not get an EqualLogic PS4000 when I expand, if I can live with the fewer ports on the EqualLogic PS4000?
Jeff_Junker Just that you can only grow your SAN to two EqualLogic PS4000s; MPIO works fine
Ujjwal_Rajbhandari Yes, MPIO is supported, and we have a DSM for Windows. We rely on the native Linux MPIO for the Linux distribution
grealish Cool, thanks, @ujjwal_rajbhandari:
cgreenoh Interesting, because an EqualLogic PS4000 would fit my bill nicely for low-impact services. Still need an EqualLogic PS6000 for my heavy SQL stuff. But if I can do a hybrid of the two, and not lose features, that could save me some $ and make it closer to reality
Ujjwal_Rajbhandari There are other limitations on the EqualLogic PS4000, such as fewer number of snaps, volumes, hosts, etc. that might discourage you from going with an EqualLogic PS4000 and [going] with EqualLogic PS6000
cgreenoh EqualLogic PS4000 is a 16-drive shelf too?
Jeff_Junker Yes
cgreenoh What's the largest SATA drive supported now?
erson When are you killing off the MD3000i? :)
Ujjwal_Rajbhandari Yes 16 drives and we offer 15,00 rpm SAS, 10,000 rpm SAS, and SATA
grealish About the controls, how quick is the failover?
Jeff_Junker 1 TB
erson I have recently unpacked an MD3000i; is there a trade-in program? :)
cgreenoh And when do you think you'll support 2.5" drives?
erson I want my bezels to match...
cgreenoh Erson, lol, geek
erson The word is that support for 2 TB drives is on the way...can you confirm that?
grealish Right guys, gtg early; thanks for the Q&A
DELL-ScottH Hey Jason, you made it anyway! Enjoy the pints!
Jeff_Junker Yes on the way for PS Series
Dell-d_glynn see ya, Darragh
cgreenoh The 2 TB drive support will rock my world, either that or 2.5" drive support…or both
grealish @scotth, will do ;)
erson I heard that the controller on the EqualLogic PS4000 is slower than on the EqualLogic PS6000, can you confirm that?
Ujjwal_Rajbhandari Slower and faster is always dependent on the I/O workload
Jeff_Junker Do you think stopping by the sports bar to drink a quart will ever catch on?
Ujjwal_Rajbhandari There is some difference in the controller between the EqualLogic PS4000 and EqualLogic PS6000. The EqualLogic PS6000 controller comes with 2 GB cache, the EqualLogic PS4000 with 1 GB cache
erson Ujjwal, wrong; the EqualLogic PS4000 also has 2 GB cache
JasonPowell Different number of I/O ports too
Jeff_Junker If you only use two ports on an EqualLogic PS6000 you can achieve similar results; depends on your exact workload disclaimer
Ujjwal_Rajbhandari Sorry about that…2 GB cache is correct
JasonPowell 4 I/O ports on the EqualLogic PS6000
Jeff_Junker EqualLogic PS4000 does have a third port for dedicated management network, if that floats your boat at all
hphenkel Is it possible to get the controllers replaced/upgraded for the case that 10GbE controllers are available?
JasonPowell Two I/O ports on the EqualLogic PS4000
Jeff_Junker As a general principle for the PS Series, yes, there is a road map for upgrades—not available yet
Ujjwal_Rajbhandari But the value of an EqualLogic array is that you can always have newer arrays work with your older arrays
JasonPowell Has Dell released I/O performance stats yet for the EqualLogic PS4000? I've not seen them yet
Jeff_Junker Trivia: A few weeks ago I built a SAN with eight generations of controllers, essentially all versions since the start of EqualLogic time...all running the same firmware, so the oldest array has the same feature set as the newest
Ujjwal_Rajbhandari We have some white papers with performance metrics in the works and should be out in a few days
DELL-ScottH Hey Dylan! How goes it?
cgreenoh What's the expected price difference percentage from EqualLogic PS4000 to EqualLogic PS6000, outside of specific configuration/premiere pricing differences, etc.?
DELL-ScottH @jeff, that is very cool; and what did it cost for those firmware upgrades?
Jeff_Junker Nutting honey
Dylan-L_Dell @dell-scotth, been better, Internet Explorer crashed mid-demo...
DELL-ScottH @jeff, we should start throwing in Shamwows with the upgrades :-)
Jeff_Junker Virtual shamwows; cool
erson Is there a spam limit on the chat?
Dell-d_glynn Not as good as virtual chickens ;)
erson /me has compiled a comparison on the tech specs from EqualLogic.com
DELL-ScottH Have you posted it somewhere?
erson Nope
Jeff_Junker Industrious of you
erson EqualLogic PS6000 volumes: up to 1,024 snapshots: 512 per volume; up to 10,000 total hosts accessing PS Series group: up to 512 per pool; 2,048 per group network interfaces: Four (4) copper GbE TCP network support: IPV4, IPV6 core support including JITC
erson EqualLogic PS4000 volumes: up to 256 snapshots: 128 per volume; up to 2,048 total hosts accessing PS Series group: up to 128 per pool; 256 per group network interfaces: two (2) copper GbE copper for I/O, one (1) 10/100 copper (optional management network only) per controller TCP network support: IPV4, IPV6 core support
DELL-ScottH Maybe on the TechCenter…thinking that might be a good place ;-)
erson Those are the only significant differences that I found when comparing the technical specifications on EqualLogic PS6000e and EqualLogic PS4000e
Jeff_Junker Like we said, value meal–sized
DELL-ScottH So I don't want to ignore @cgreenoh's question. Is there a rough percentage delta of price difference in EqualLogic PS4000 to EqualLogic PS6000?
erson What is the JITC network support on the EqualLogic PS6000?
Jeff_Junker That is, after eating the virtual chicken
cgreenoh Dang, I knew there was some special math word I should use in there: "delta"
DELL-ScottH @cgreenoh, yeah, have to ask nicely...because of course it all depends :-)
erson Delta would be very nice to know
Ujjwal_Rajbhandari Roughly half the cost of an EqualLogic PS6000. Don't quote me on it
cgreenoh Too late, I saved the chat log and am now sending to my rep: I want 50 percent price difference :)
erson On the list price or the real price? :)
DELL-ScottH Lol, be nice, or you get kick banned :-)
DELL-ScottH Just contact your rep and get pricing for both, then tell us :-) Or tweet it out
Ujjwal_Rajbhandari Lol
DELL-ScottH Or Jason can price them for us...Jason!
Jeff_Junker Oh, just re-hear the Kiss song with tweet lyrics in my head; clearly I need counseling
cgreenoh Oh I will. I'm calling the local storage reps tomorrow. They're salivating already; gotta get them updated perfmons. ;)
erson I got a really good discount on my EqualLogic PS6000e, but my MD3000i with the same hard disk configuration was about 1/4
erson So, where's the exchange program for those that have a totally unused MD3000i?
DELL-ScottH MD3000i is not bad, but I like the advanced feature set of the EqualLogic, and I get them all for free :-)
HoosierCAB Erson, eBay!
JasonPowell /me is on a conference call
DELL-ScottH eBay!
Dell-KongY Since both the EqualLogic PS4000 and EqualLogic PS6000 have 16 spindles each and have similar features sans the controller ports, is there any performance difference between two EqualLogic PS4000s versus two EqualLogic PS6000s?
Ujjwal_Rajbhandari Performance difference is very sensitive to workload and very difficult to quantify
cgreenoh I'd guess only if you need the throughput of extra Ethernet ports on the EqualLogic PS6000, am I right?
Ujjwal_Rajbhandari The architecture of EqualLogic PS Series arrays shines when you have many arrays in a storage pool
cgreenoh I mean, all things equal
JasonPowell Shameless plug: I'd be happy to quote any of the EqualLogic product line...just contact me before talking to anyone else :-) jason.powell@vr6systems.com
Jeff_Junker Just checked some list pricing deltas; approximately 20–40 percent less depending on unit configuration
JasonPowell And for the record, I'm also an EqualLogic user (we have three in the rack)
JasonPowell /me advertising mode off
erson Hmmm, I just might give my new sales rep. a call as well. Just for the hell of it…
Ujjwal_Rajbhandari With the limitation of two to a group there are limitations at the pool and group levels
hphenkel Same old question, how does the EqualLogic PS4000e compare to the MD3000i concerning performance and others—any reasons for the MD system—or is this system to be cancelled in the future as EqualLogic PS4000e will be the entry iSCSI model?
JasonPowell I'd be interested in seeing a nice comparison between PowerVault MD3000i and EqualLogic PS4000e
Dell-d_glynn @ujjwal/Jeff, what is the limit on the number of iSCSI sessions per pool?
watermarkgeek Wow, image jasonpowell here... =) Hey, pal
Jeff_Junker 128 per pool—limit two pools
JasonPowell We have a PowerVault MD3000i. Hoping we can get an EqualLogic PS4000e to play with in the future
JasonPowell Watermark! What’s up dude?
Jeff_Junker Waterboard, tell me
DELL-ScottH We've got plans to do some of the performance comparison testing between all these storage boxes that we sell. Might be some under-the-radar stuff because you can imagine all the different groups with all the different products we sell and resell
Dell-d_glynn Thanks, Jeff
JasonPowell Scotth, yeah, I'm sure Dell doesn't like competing against itself :-)
DELL-ScottH We're just going to do the tests and keep spindles equal and I/O ports equal and throw some different workloads at it and let the numbers speak for themselves
DELL-ScottH Yes, so true
watermarkgeek Like Jason, I would love to compare the PowerVault MD3000i with the EqualLogic PS4000. Obviously, we'd love to have one family of devices (the PS Series) if the pricing and performance is the right choice
DELL-ScottH It's probably our #1 request, and we get a bunch of pushback because of that
Tom Can you compare the EqualLogic PS4000/PS6000 with the EqualLogic PS5000?
DELL-ScottH That's part of our plan; use EqualLogic PS5000 as a baseline
JasonPowell Scotth, wish you could be here at our geekfest in Indiana
DELL-ScottH We need our EqualLogic PS4000 and EqualLogic PS6000 to get here
watermarkgeek The number of NICs per controller is a major difference between the units
DELL-ScottH Just looked at some of the pictures of the geeks lining up
watermarkgeek I wish I could be at the geekfest as well...
DELL-ScottH Looks like fun
Jeff_Junker Is that what they do in Indiana after the 500?
Tom How does that equate to performance? Are multiple NICs only necessary when you pass 2 or 4 GB? Or are their inherent advantages at lower speeds?
DELL-ScottH @watermark, yes, that's why we want to start with same spindles, same I/O ports, and then rev up to the maximum of each and run another comparison...so many different test cases we could run
JasonPowell Jeff_junker: http://citrt.pbworks.com/gcc-it-roundtable
HoosierCAB @jasonpowell, geekfest in Indiana?
watermarkgeek With more NICs you also have more options for redundancy as well as performance
JasonPowell Follow #citrt hashtag on twitter :-)
watermarkgeek We are happy with the performance of the EqualLogic PS5000 with three NICs, but not sure we'd need to go to four, but also not sure we'd want to drop to two
Jeff_Junker Should be ovaltable
DELL-ScottH Five guys...yum
cgreenoh Jason, tell Chris Green, Chris Green said hi. If you see him...
watermarkgeek Chris green just came in
JasonPowell Watermarkgeek. we ran with only two NICs on our EqualLogic PS1000e's for a year...no issues
erson Two GbE on each controller connected to two different switches with a trunk in between; the EqualLogic PS6000 can't do much better than that when talking redundancy, but more throughput
JasonPowell Cgreenoh, will do :-)
watermarkgeek We are running Exchange on the EqualLogic PS5000 now, so need to look at performance numbers again. I'm sure it is yawning
JasonPowell SAN HQ baby
erson Watermarkgeek, what version of Exchange are you using?
watermarkgeek Yep
watermarkgeek 2007
Tom So, if I’m not worried about redundancy or advanced features, is the EqualLogic PS5000 better then a PowerVault MD3000i?
Ujjwal_Rajbhandari We have some ESRP numbers on the EqualLogic PS5000 posted
JasonPowell Just unplug a NIC and see what happens
JasonPowell Tom, yes. Setup of EqualLogic is way, way easier than PowerVault MD3000i
watermarkgeek Tom, agree with Jason Powell
JasonPowell And management is simpler IMHO
erson Watermarkgeek, Exchange 2010 drops I/O as much as 2007 dropped, compared to 2003...in other words, a lot
watermarkgeek Good to know
cgreenoh Yeah, no fooling
JasonPowell Okay, I'd love to stay, but gotta go...39 burgers to order at Five Guys and room setup :-)
cgreenoh Hah! You boys (and girls) have fun
watermarkgeek Could you mail me one? Oh, wait, never mind
JasonPowell /me leaves chat open to review later
Tom Jason/watermark, so is it mainly setup, or is performance incrementally better? We are going to use it to backend a vSphere farm (two boxes)
watermarkgeek Tom, that is exactly what we are doing
Tom The costs are considerably more, and looking to justify the expense
watermarkgeek We have Exchange, SQL, and a ton of file/print-serving VMs—all on one EqualLogic PS5000 array. We have seen great performance from it
cgreenoh And how do you have the NICs set up?
Tom Do you have any idea on the number of IOPS you’re running?
watermarkgeek Using redundant iSCSI switches (active/active)
watermarkgeek Not offhand. But when I looked at SAN HQ a while back, I was amazed at how much lower it was than I thought it would be
cgreenoh What model switches?
watermarkgeek Extreme
erson The 6224 would be a good fit
watermarkgeek Extreme x300s to be specific
erson Connect using 10GbE, and 10GbE is available for uplink as well
watermarkgeek Or 350s...I can't keep their numbers straight
cgreenoh Thanks for the information
watermarkgeek Dell-scotth, so two is the maximum number of EqualLogic PS4000s that can be added to a group correct?
DELL-ScottH Yup
cgreenoh Planning our migration to SAN currently; always nice to have other pictures :)
DELL-ScottH Two and only two
DELL-ScottH Coming up on the end of the hour. Feel free to stay in the chat as long as you like; it's always open. Some of us may have to drop, so I'd like to thank everyone for joining
Tom What is the cache in the EqualLogic PS5000? 4 GB? Is that each controller or combined?
watermarkgeek Thanks for hosting
Dell-d_glynn @tom, 1 GB
erson Remember to attend the next chat about Dell iSCSI and virtualization
cgreenoh I'm out too; great chat again. See you guys next time
HoosierCAB Erson, Tuesday?
erson Yes
Dell-KongY Thank you, Ujjwal and Jeff, for your time and expertise. :)
Jeff_Junker Cache is per controller, so as you add arrays you also get cache and Gigabit Ethernet ports
DELL-ScottH Tuesday's chat link: http://www.delltechcenter.com/page/06-30-09+dell+iscsi+and+virtualization
Dell-KongY Thank you to everyone for attending and participating!
Jeff_Junker Off to have a quart
DELL-ScottH :-)
Tom Thanks, all!
Dell-KongY Scott, thanks for the link, and @erson, thanks for the mention
Jeff_Junker Might catch on....
Ujjwal_Rajbhandari Thank you all for attending
Dell-KongY Bring your iSCSI and virtualization questions next time
erson Off to unload some hay to the hayloft...you can't beat that!
DELL-ScottH Hmmm, dropping the kids off at the pool? :-) Thanks again; see everyone next week
erson I have an unused EqualLogic PS6000e with 16x 1 TB and an unused PowerVault MD3000i with 16x 1 TB. Send me an EqualLogic PS4000e with 16x 1 TB, and I'll give you some benchmarks :)
DELL-ScottH Hmmm. I have to get our 4000 first; maybe I'll order five or six
erson Dang, you need to start a Dell TechCenter in Sweden
Dell-d_glynn Lower cooling costs than Texas I'd imagine ;)
erson And a lot more bandwidth :) We're upgrading our office to 1 Gb for ~$260/month
DELL-ScottH Man, would love that bandwidth at the house. Alright, I'm off to install some Xsigo drivers on vSphere
erson Me too, why on earth did I buy a house outside the city? Had 1 Gb at my student home... that was pleasant. Ah, well, great chat everyone. Hope to see you all on Tuesday. Off to the hayloft