This page was put together by Jeff Junker, technical marketing consultant at Dell EqualLogic.
Now that the Dell™ EqualLogic™ PS Series has been value-meal sized into the EqualLogic PS4000 series storage area network (SAN), it’s important to tell you what you can do with this new array. Here’s the good news; it’s everything you can do with a EqualLogic PS6000 series SAN but on a smaller scale. The one exception is EqualLogic SAN HeadQuarters (SAN HQ), which is also included complimentary with the EqualLogic PS4000 series SAN, and offers the full super-sized, multisite management and performance analysis found in the EqualLogic PS6000 series SAN. For multisite deployments, SAN HQ is pragmatically a multisite status manager, allowing detailed historical reporting and analysis based on the rich statistics available for all EqualLogic PS Series arrays. The extra twist here is the many ways the data can be sorted and correlated and the insight, validation, and justification enablement it yields to SAN managers.Yes, that was a mouthful of information, but consider this: Let's say you have 20 remote sites of various sizes, a main data center, and a disaster recovery (DR) site. You have Microsoft® Exchange and Microsoft SQL Server® applications running at each location and essentially no IT staff at either of the remote sites. Historically, direct attach storage (DAS) or a simple network attached storage (NAS) device were the primary storage options, and on-site visits were often the primary method of provisioning new volumes and services. Now with EqualLogic PS4000 series SANs at the remote site enabling virtualized storage, you can logically provision new volumes with the SAN group manager application.In addition to remote provisioning and virtualization enablement, the EqualLogic PS4000 series SANs allow you to set up local snapshot schedules to protect data periodically during the day, as well as replication schedules to protect volumes and copy data to remote or DR sites. On the status monitoring side, one would expect storage volume information, thin provisioning status, capacity trending, and network link volume. You can also get link connection latency, and effectively you have a quality of service (QoS) monitor on your application volumes. For Exchange specifically, localizing where problems are—and maybe more importantly, where they are not—can facilitate application troubleshooting and save chunks of time knowing where not to look. Moreover, response time trending can add visual clarity to volume availability and perceptions that something changed for better or worse.Data can be sorted and correlated in many ways: across all EqualLogic SAN groups, a single group, pools (a tier of storage in a group), members (EqualLogic PS Series intelligent array), volumes (across multiple members), or even individual disk drives. You can even drill into an array and launch the Group Manager to enable provisioning or management of volumes or the many software features included for free (snapshot schedules, replication, thin provisioning, Auto-Snapshot Manager/VMware Edition, Auto-Snapshot Manager/Microsoft Edition, to name a few).The 20-something sites can all be monitored and managed from a single application screen, from your central or DR site or wherever you want (that is, VPN from home). When the call comes in for application storage analysis, SAN HQ yields a foundation of correlated information. Oh, and you can export all the data to Microsoft Excel for hard copy reporting and service-level agreement (SLA) confirmation too.
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