An intelligent array of storage management

Storage management is becoming an increasingly complex undertaking as organizations struggle to manage a growing volume of information ' both text and digital content. Information technology staff at Crow Wing County, Minn., for example, saw server requirements growing quickly and became concerned about the need to provide attached storage devices for them.

Jim Eder, the county's director of information systems, said storage demand is growing at a phenomenal rate. 'We thought it would be good to buy a storage array and let our storage requirements grow within that small environment, as opposed to adding new disk drives every time we needed more storage.'

The county chose a storage technology from EqualLogic. For the first foray into the storage area network environment, IT officials deployed a small EqualLogic PS50. The system initially held about 1 terabyte of data stored on the seven 250G drives.

The EqualLogic PS Series of iSCSI arrays combines a self-managing, automated framework with a set of enterprise data services and fault-tolerant hardware architecture. No additional software and service costs are needed to initiate any of the data management and protection features.

Since Crow Wing County's initial purchase, IT employees have expanded the original PS 50 to its full capacity with 250G drives and 2T of data. They also purchased another PS 50 and populated that device with 500G drives for a total of 4T.

'We got into the PS 50 because of its price point,' Eder said. 'It is one of the least expensive but sophisticated' storage arrays on the market. 'Plus, we can run an iSCSI initiator as opposed to throwing [adapter] cards into servers and run Fibre Channel.'

The PS family consists of the PS50E, PS100E, PS100X, PS200E, PS800E and PS1600E. All configurations are completely interoperable and upgradeable.

Performance and capacity can scale from a single terabyte to more than 100T without disruption of data availability or application downtime, according to company officials. Pricing starts at $25,000.

About the Author

Rutrell Yasin is is a freelance technology writer for GCN.


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