back to article Dell pivots to Asia with frugal flasher

Dell has revealed a new array – the SC4020 – and an aggressive plan to go after pure-play flash array vendors with a promise it will sell for under $US100,000. The SC4020 is, according to Dell storage supremo Alan Atkinson, a shrunken Compellent array. That's shrunken in a good way: everything Compellent arrays and Dell's Fluid …

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Blurring the lines between Compellent and EquaLogic. Maybe one day it will be the same tin, and you pick the storage OS?

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If you look at an EqualLogic controller, it isn't exactly an x86 processor in there. The OS would need to be ported over to a different processor architecture. Why bother? EQL storage layer is really primitive - the network stack is sophisticated and elegant. To take it to x86 or x64 would mean re-writing all the good stuff for the new processor - and at the end of all the effort you have a mediocre to poor storage layer running on an unproven platform.

Again, why bother? Take what's left of EQL down in the basement of Round Rock 1 and put them out of their misery. It was a good product whose time has past.

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Last I heard...

...Dell was letting go of a number of EqualLogic developers as part of their workforce reduction or realignment or whatever they're calling it. I do believe we are looking at the future of Dell storage here, maybe not now, but in a few years this maybe be the go-to product.

It looks like it may be the same Xyratex enclosure powering the 3PAR 7200 and IBM v7000 with more robust CPUs. 2 SAS ports and 4 FCP ports per controller, as well as 2 1GbE ports for replication and management.

If the FCP ports are on a PCIe card then there's no reason they wouldn't offer it with the quad port 1GbE or dual-port 10GbE cards. Compellent works at a much more granular and efficient level than EqualLogic with it's emphasis on the stripe over the RAID group and the tiny 512KB dynamic page over the 15MB size used by EqualLogic. I suspect EQL will remain in place for legacy customers but it wouldn't surprise me to see Dell try and move people over to the SC4020 as soon as possible.

I suspect we'll be hearing about EqualLogic to Compellent replication sometime in the very near future, and that will be a fairly sure sign that CML is Dell's vision for the future. (I had a few and I really did like them a lot).

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Also...

...it's not unified, it still requires FS8600 NAS controllers to provide the file services. You can get the spec sheet from the Aussie Dell site.

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