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EMC VNX & Dell EqualLogic

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Hi all

First time post and not that techie – would be grateful for any advice.

We are going to replace our 6 year old EMC CX310.

Only two vendors in the running EMC and Dell – our budget £44k inclusive of VAT both vendors have offered us the following solutions based on DPack and SP collects.

EMC VNX5200 £44K

1 x VNX5200 array with –

Dual Active/Active block storage controllers (SPs)

Intel Xeon E5-2600 4-Core CPU with 16GB RAM (per SP)

2 x FlexIO module bays (per SP)

2x 8Gb FC ports (4per SP for host connectivity)

Dual redundant UPS (standby power supplies)

Disk configuration –

8.35 UTB High Performance Pool (Estimated HOST IOPS: 1400) Block Storage comprising of,

18x 600GB 10k SAS

16.1 UTB Low Performance Pool (Estimated HOST IOPS: 288) Block Storage comprising of,

8x 3000GB 7.2k NL-SAS

Vault Drives comprising of

4x 600GB 10k SAS

Hot spares – 1x 600GB 10k SAS, 1x 3TB NL-SAS

2 x EMC Connectrix DS-300B (8 Ports Enabled per switch)

Software – Thin Provisioning, SAN Copy, Block Deduplication, Block Compression,

5 Years Enhanced Hardware and Software Support

EqualLogic PS6210XS £44k

EqualLogic PS6210XS, Ultra High Performance Hybrid Solid State and 10K SAS 2.5" Drives


17x 1.2TB 10K SAS 2.5" and 7x 800GB Solid State Drives - 26TB Capacity

Power Cord, C13 to C14, PDU Style, 12 Amps, 0.6M, Qty 1

Redundant Power Supply, 700W

Dual Controllers, 10Gb, High Availability with Failover

ReadyRails II Static Rails for 4-post Racks

5Yr ProSupport Plus and 4hr Mission Critical

PowerConnect 8132F, 24x 10GbE SFP+ Ports, up to 32 max via 40GbE Uplink Module


UK/Ireland 220V Power cord

PC 81xx 5Yr ProSupport and 4hr Mission Critical

The EMC falls within budget due to the FC switches being a lot cheaper than ISCSI

Decisions decisions! Happy to supply more info as required.

BTW we are a school with around 1500 users, Microsoft environment, Exchange, SQL, Sharepoint, SCCM etc… All Servers are VM`s using VMWare 4.1 Thanks in advance.

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Well you're looking at two proven solutions, so that's great and it looks like they're specced out very nicely. Do you have a lean either way or any gear from Dell or EMC in the environment already? Of course our hands on work in this case is limited to Dell. We've worked extensively with the EqualLogic and did the first hands on benchmarking of the PS6210XS here -

Our full review hasn't taken place, but we can answer any questions about the platform in general.

Unfortunately EMC is less open from an eval standpoint, but we're making progress there...but nothing that will help you in the immediate term. We have however had some light access to a VNX 5400 and could talk to some partners who have those units around if you have specific questions.

A question for you though...the EqualLogic has flash which is nice. And while the EqualLogic caching isn't highly sophisticated, it does work in a very set it and forget it way that provides discernible performance enhancements. How important is that single feature in this decision making process and what are your other key considerations now that both are in budget?

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Set it and forget it – I like the sound of that!

Other considerations – I guess the dilemma for us is that we have been using the EMC`s for the last 6 years and they have been flawless, absolute workhorses why change the vendor.

Both solutions will fulfil all of our requirements. I seem to be mesmerised with the EqualLogic SSD but can’t help feel sentimental about FC and EMC.

Unless someone can provide a compelling argument which could sway us either way it may come down to the toss of a coin.

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It really shouldn't come down to a toss of the coin, but again, all I can tell you personally is about our EqualLogic experiences which have been very good. I'd have to think there's a big upside with the flash caching, and if all else is equal in your mind, I'd lean toward more performance.

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One thing to consider, what is the size total of the EMC solution? On the Dell side you are looking at about 3U (2U array + 1U switch). Whats the power and size footprint of the EMC configuration? The EqualLogic array will easily win any performance battle from its 4TB of usable flash after RAID. That said if you can gain a lot with compression or deduplication, the EqualLogic array won't offer that functionality for block storage.

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