Dell introduced a number of enhancements to its storage software and hardware Thursday at the Dell Storage Forum Paris that help customers grow, manage and protect their data.

The company, who captured the leading market share for iSCSI in 2012 according to IDC, enhanced its Compellent, PowerVault MD3 storage arrays and its DL4000 backup appliance. In addition, Dell added a new backup appliance — the DL2300, which is bundled with CommVault Simpana 9 backup software.

Dell introduced new software for its Compellent Storage Center arrays that allows twice the performance of previous software with the company’s SC8000 controllers. In addition, it added 16Gbps Fibre Channel connectivity, which also increases throughput. Storage Center 6.3 now also supports Windows Server 2012, Microsoft Active Directory and the Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP). Added also is increased security with support for IPv6 and USGvG. Data protection is enhanced with the addition of synchronous replication, which includes checkpointing and can be deployed in a cascade or multi-node fashion. The new Storage Centter software is expected to be available in March of next year.

The company also enhanced its PowerVault MD3 arrays by adding a remote replication option using iSCSI and self-healing, dynamic rebalancing for data protection, which shares data across drives to reduce the effect of drive failures and decrease recovery time. The included snapshot functionality has also been enhanced with the ability to take as many as 512 snapshots per system. Thin provisioning has also been added to improve storage capacity utilization, as has SSD caching for increased application performance. Support for VMware’s vStorage APIs for Array Integration (VAAI) has also been added. VAAI  offloads storage operations to storage hardware, resulting in less CPU, memory and storage fabric bandwidth consumption.

Dell also announced the PowerVault DL4000 appliance, a 1U (1.75-inch) high box that comes configured with AppAssure backup software.(The company acquired  AppAssure earlier in 2012.) It’s software includes snapshot, replication, deduplication and compression features.  The DL4000 which is expected to be available in the first quarter of 2013, replaces the Dell PowerVault DL Backup to Disk Appliance – Powered by Symantec Backup Exec 2012.  The new appliance has a capacity of 5.5TB and is capable of backing up as much as 25TB on non-deduplicated data.Further for large enterprises, Dell announced the new PowerVault DL2300, which bundles CommVault Simpana 9 backup and recovery software. The DL2300 comes in two models — a value edition with 12-252TB of capacity and 96TB of deduplication capacity, and the enterpries edition, which has 30-480TB of useable capacity and 192TB of deduplication capacity.

Dell also rebranded the Dell|Quest NetVault Backup software. This software has been enhanced to support Windows 2012, Novell OES 11 and Microsoft SQL Server 2012. The NetVault Backup Software also now includes the ability to recover files from virtual machine image backups and point-to-point replication and support both Data Domain DD Boost and replication.

Finally, Dell announced enhancements to its deduplication and compression appliance, which is used in backing up data. The DR4100 is now based on Dell 12G PE hardware and supports non-disruptive capacity and supports compressed as well as encrypted replication.

Dell’s storage systems are now taking space alongside other storage arrays in customers of all sizes. For instance, Dell recently announced that it shipped its 100,000th EqualLogic storage array and has 41,000 products for EqualLogic alone.


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