Please share with the community what you think needs improvement with Dell EqualLogic PS series.
What are its weaknesses? What would you like to see changed in a future version?
We'd like the solution to have bigger sizing. We need more space and we can't get any. We'd love more memory storage space.
The number one is probably the scalability potential of the product. If I need to increase the capacity, I cannot. That's the main problem for us. If I need to have more space or more capacity, I need to replace the product. It would be ideal if we could scale without replacing the box itself.
EqualLogic has room for improvement but it is not likely a lot will happen because Dell is phasing the product out for end-of-life. What could be improved is their replication efficiency. I forgot what the minimum block size was, but I think it was maybe 64K blocks for replication. To make the effort to get that down to something smaller — even to the bit level — will allow the replication to be more bandwidth-efficient. When it is more efficient it will not require as much time, and that is critical. Right now, the block size is generally larger than their competitors. Because of that, it takes more bandwidth to do SAN (Storage Area Network) replication than other solutions. That has been an ongoing issue. Of course, as data sets grow in size, your backup window — the off-production hours for the environment — stays fixed. You have to push whatever amount of data you need to have backed up to the remote DR (Disaster Recovery) site within that window. We have had some of the replication jobs on EqualLogic run into the daytime production hours and that has caused issues. That they need to concentrate on more efficient replication is a way to summarize that, I guess. It just has to get pushed faster. There is also no onboard, inline deduplication capability. That is probably the biggest issue. Inline deduplication is something you have to do that on the fly. The deduplication capability is key to this type of solution now.
One problem with this solution is that synchronous replication requires lots of duplicated space. I wish Dell would address that issue. It really wastes a lot of space and it does so in a way that the amendment space required is inefficient. Once it is running it does not need as much space, but to start it up you need double the space on both your source and destination chassis. Another issue is that I can not mix RAID technologies. On one particular box, I can only set one RAID standard and not create multiple RAID sets. That is a limitation that I could do without. One feature that would have been nice on the EqualLogic box is the ability to recover on a file basis. It should not be limited to a volume scale. I do not know that it should be able to recover files being that it is a block-level device for storage. File-level is a completely different animal. But it would be nice to be able to have file recovery even if it is a block-level storage device.
* Performance and vision for the product were lacking. * DELL was taking on too many storage solutions, and it felt like the EqualLogic series was not aggressively supported.
Some of the new features include what they call auto-tiering, where data that needs to be on a faster storage, it would automatically detect that and move it to the faster storage or the most frequently accessed area. Data that doesn't move that much or is not accessed that often would go on a slower storage. It's more efficient, helps a company to maximize what they spend. This kind of storage costs a lot of money; they build that into the newer functionality and into newer SANs. If you are going to go with all-flash then it's very expensive but it has a lot of performance benefits and a lot of improvement in reliability. Some companies can afford leading edge. My company cannot afford leading edge, so we probably have to go one generation below.
We all know it's really hard to get good pricing and cost information.
Please share what you can so you can help your peers.