Dell Number One in iSCSI SANs Worldwide
Dell is the worldwide leader for iSCSI storage area networks (SANs), with more than double the share of its nearest competitor in the first quarter 2008 according to industry analyst firm Gartner.(1) In addition, Dell EqualLogic storage solutions received a “Strong Positive” – the highest possible rating – in Gartner’s “MarketScope for iSCSI SAN Integrated Solutions”.(2)
New Business Models, Massive Storage Needs
Burgeoning new Internet-based businesses including application service providers and hosted services, proliferating social networking sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn and handheld mobile devices such as the BlackBerry are generating an unprecedented amount of digital content.
— IDC reported in March 2008 that the digital universe is expected to grow to nearly 1,800 exabytes(3) by 2011, a ten-fold increase over the next three years.(4)
— According to McKinsey & Company, demand for storage capacity has grown by more than 50 percent annually in recent years.(5)
This explosion of digital information is not only creating a monumental data storage challenge for IT managers as people continue to consume, create and store more information, but also it demands new storage solutions that move beyond the limitations of traditional solutions. The storage needs to be accessible, flexible, automated, easy-to-manage, and have the ability to scale on demand without disrupting ongoing operations.
Emergence of iSCSI
iSCSI, or Internet SCSI,(6) is a simple communications protocol that employs the Internet Protocol (IP) to connect servers with external storage devices. iSCSI’s advantages are that it runs over ubiquitous Ethernet networks and switches, can communicate over wide area as well as local area networks, and, because it runs on top of IP, it is an extremely flexible routed protocol that facilitates virtualization. Dell has invested in a broad range of iSCSI solutions ranging from entry-level PowerVault products to powerful Dell Equallogic solutions to massively scalable Dell/EMC products.
According to Forrester, there are both hard economic benefits as well as soft benefits in adopting iSCSI storage. “Given the hardware acquisition cost benefits as well as synergies in network staff and infrastructure, significant benefits can be gained from the use of iSCSI-based SAN architectures.” Among the soft benefits is “more virtualization within the protocol. iSCSI is inherently more virtualized than Fibre Channel… allowing for more granular addressing, especially important for virtual server environments.” (Forrester Research, Inc., February 2008, “Cost Comparison of iSCSI Versus Fibre Channel SAN Components”)
But iSCSI alone is not the answer – in the case of Dell EqualLogic, iSCSI is the enabling technology for the patented virtualization architecture at the heart of the Dell EqualLogic product line.
“We are seeing a tremendous opportunity for our storage systems across the board including our Dell/EMC, PowerVault and Dell/EqualLogic lines – especially with customers building virtual infrastructures and Internet-based businesses,” said Darren Thomas, vice president and general manager of Dell Enterprise Storage. “These applications require not only the inherent ease of use and accessibility of the iSCSI protocol, but the intelligent automation and dynamic virtualization such as those in the Dell EqualLogic architecture.”
Dell EqualLogic Customers Pushing the Envelope
Dell owns the premier enterprise-class iSCSI-based storage platform for virtual infrastructures following the acquisition of EqualLogic earlier this year. Dell EqualLogic PS Series SANs are ideal for the new age of Internet-based applications, which demand unpredictable increases in storage capacity while continuously serving up uninterrupted access to data. PS Series SANs offers a dynamic response to the unique demands of each application, learning and adapting to its behavior and adapting to shifting workloads to help ensure responsiveness and consistent uptime.
WhitePages.com is the most trusted and comprehensive source for consumers to quickly and easily find relevant, accurate contact information in North America. WhitePages has deployed 105 terabytes of storage on 32 Dell EqualLogic PS Series storage arrays to index over 180 million people. “That’s more than MySpace, Facebook and LinkedIn combined,” said Jack Valko, senior director of IT/Operations at WhitePages.com. “The number of rows in our database more than doubled last year. We can’t continue to be successful unless we have adaptable, reliable storage that tightly integrates with Linux and scales easily. With Dell EqualLogic storage we get all of that as well as great performance to meet current and future demand.”
AirClic provides mobile information services to more than 500 customers worldwide. The company focuses on developing mobile handset solutions that provide a simple, cost-effective means for a mobile workforce to capture and exchange information using wireless devices. AirClic’s Oracle-based application runs in a VMware virtual infrastructure on top of a tiered Dell EqualLogic SAN. “The impact of the Dell EqualLogic SAN on AirClic’s operations has been dramatic,” said Andy Monroe, vice president of technology at AirClic. “We know we can scale easily without disruption. Storage is not something we have to think about any more; so we can focus more on our customers and less on infrastructure.”
Dell Storage – Building Momentum Across the Board
In the first quarter of this year, Dell’s worldwide external controller-based storage revenue increased 21 percent year-over-year(1). Dell increased customer acquisition internationally, received positive industry validation, delivered new storage features and products, and became number one in open systems storage worldwide.
“We have been investing in every aspect of our storage business, from innovation in our direct attached product line to the acquisition of EqualLogic to highly sophisticated Fibre Channel solutions, in order to keep up with the unprecedented demand for storage,” said Thomas. “As a result, Dell has demonstrated strong momentum across the board.”
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(1) Gartner, Inc. “Quarterly Statistics: Disk Array Storage, All Regions, All Countries” by Robin Burke et al., June 6, 2008.
(2) Gartner “MarketScope for iSCSI SAN Integrated Solutions” by Robert Passmore and Roger Cox, June 9, 2008.
(3) One exabyte is roughly the equivalent of 100,000 libraries the size of the Library of Congress print collection. Source: http://www.theinquirer.net/en/inquirer/news/2003/11/14/cheaper-by-the- exabyte. (Due to its length, this URL may need to be copied/pasted into your Internet browser’s address field. Remove the extra space if one exists.)
(4) IDC White Paper sponsored by EMC, “The Diverse and Exploding Digital Universe,” March 2008.
(5) The McKinsey Quarterly, June 20008: Meeting the demand for data storage, by James M. Kaplan, Rishi Roy, and Rajesh Srinivasaraghavan.
(6) Small Computer Systems Interface is a set of standards for physically connecting and transferring data between computers and peripheral devices. The SCSI standards define commands. protocols, and electrical and optical interfaces.
Gartner MarketScope Disclaimer
The MarketScope is copyrighted June 9, 2008, by Gartner, Inc. and is reused with permission. The MarketScope is an evaluation of a marketplace at and for a specific time period. It depicts Gartner’s analysis of how certain vendors measure against criteria for that marketplace, as defined by Gartner. Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in the MarketScope, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest rating. Gartner disclaims all warranties, express or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.