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Dell EqualLogic PS4100E Virtualized iSCSI SAN Array
High-capacity enterprise-class GbE iSCSI array for efficiency and cost-effectiveness

Dell EqualLogic PS4100E Array

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The Dell EqualLogic™ PS4100E storage array is designed to provide exceptional capacity for your organization with up to 36 TB of NL-SAS storage in a 2U/3.5" drive solution.

  • Reducing the storage footprint by optimizing performance per rack U
  • Low cost entry point into EqualLogic PS Series
  • Remote site Storage Consolidation: Highest storage capacity in the PS4100 line
  • Simplifying data protection and disaster recovery at remote sites and small-to-medium businesses
  • Easy expansion to enterprise-class SAN with PS6100 arrays

Empower your small or midsize business with storage capacity and performance in the cost-effective EqualLogic™ PS4100E next-generation GbE iSCSI SAN arrays.

  • Maximum capacity: Deploy high capacity in small spaces with up to 36TB in a 2U chassis.
  • Optimized scalability: Take advantage of highly virtualized peer storage for linear performance and capacity scalability.
  • Management flexibility: Manage both file and block storage protocols through one console with EqualLogic Group Manager.

The Dell EqualLogic PS4100 Series of virtualized iSCSI SAN arrays are designed to bring enterprise-class features, intelligence, automation and reliability to remote or branch office, departmental and small-to-medium business (SMB) storage deployments.

The PS4100 Series addresses branch office and SMB storage needs with simplified administration, rapid deployment and an affordable price, while providing a full set of enterprise-class data protection and management features, solid performance, scalability and fault-tolerance. With up to 12 NL-SAS disk drives per modular array, the PS4100E can deliver up to 36TB of storage in a 2U/3.5” drive solution, providing outstanding capacity value and optimized performance per rack U.

To grow storage capacity and performance for remote office needs, two PS4100 arrays can be combined in a SAN group. To further scale out the SAN, EqualLogic PS6100 arrays can be added seamlessly without sacrificing the initial investment in PS4100 arrays.

All PS Series storage arrays include SAN configuration features and capabilities that sense network connections, automatically build RAID sets, and conduct system health checks to help ensure that all components are fully functional. The PS4100E is designed to be installed, configured, and serving storage in less than one hour. To improve enterprise-wide storage management, the EqualLogic SAN HeadQuarters (SAN HQ) software tool provides centralized performance and event monitoring of EqualLogic SANs across multiple sites, for instance PS4100 deployments at branch offices and PS6100 deployments in corporate data centers.

Offering built-in storage features previously available only to top-tier data centers, the PS4100E enables best-practice storage for remote, branch-office and departmental deployments. The EqualLogic PS Series arrays include the following enterprise data services and software features with no additional software licensing fees: SAN HQ multi-SAN historical performance monitoring, auto-replication, RAID load balancing, complete SAN virtualization, RAID load balancing, storage pools, thin provisioning and much more.

Built to make storage simple

Master your data-hungry tasks with EqualLogic PS4100E - powerful performance with easy, flexible management for small or midsize companies and enterprise branch offices.

Enterprise features for smaller deployments

Ideal for your growing storage needs, the PS4100E GbE iSCSI array is a Dell Fluid Data™ solution that offers a virtualized architecture, enterprise software and easy administration at an affordable price. 

  • Take advantage of a data-center class IT solution in small and midsize businesses as well as enterprise branch offices.
  • Integrate full snapshot, replication and application integration for data protection and disaster recovery.
  • Cut management time and costs with self-optimizing performance and automation.
  • Manage your enterprise-wide EqualLogic SAN, including PS4100 remote-site arrays, with EqualLogic SAN Headquarters.
  • Expand easily into a larger EqualLogic SAN by adding PS4100 (maximum two per group) and PS6100 arrays to scale capacity and performance.

Whether you’re consolidating a direct-attached storage (DAS) infrastructure, migrating data from an existing SAN or NAS system, streamlining data protection processes, or simply adding storage capacity, the Dell EqualLogic PS4100 series offers a solution. The proven, high-performance, self-managing storage arrays are designed to meet the requirements of your growing business.

Choose your array

Choose your array

Build capacity for your data center using PS4100E arrays. With 12 NL-SAS 3.5" HDDs and up to 36TB of capacity, the PS4100E has the lowest cost per terabyte in the PS4100 line.

The Dell EqualLogic™ PS4100 series enables you to choose the storage solution that best suits your small or midsize business or enterprise branch office. The PS4100 Series family features:

  • Dual controllers designed for built-in redundancy
  • Two GbE ports per controller
  • Dedicated 10/100 management port per controller
  • 6G SAS backplane
  • Options for 12 or 24 hot-swappable drives
  • 7.2K NL-SAS, 10K SAS or 15K SAS drives
  • Cache-to-flash memory destaging
  • Peer-scaling architecture that scales performance linearly
  • Vertical port failover, designed to enable you to maintain full bandwidth if a networking port fails
  • Group manager, which integrates all management into one console for both file and block storage protocols
  • Array firmware and host software with no additional licenses or fees

Grow confidently with new firmware featuresGrow confidently with new firmware features

Not only does EqualLogic's latest (v5.1) firmware release meet your current business needs, but also it can help you meet future demands from the growing era of virtualization.

  • Data center bridging: Enhance ethernet capabilities for an end-to-end Dell™ solution from host adapters to iSCSI target (available on 10GbE arrays only).
  • Load balancer enhancements: Balance data by auto-tiering hot and cold subvolume data.
  • Thin provisioning awareness: With VMware® Thin Provisioning awareness for vSphere™ v4.1, you can mitigate your risk of data loss and facilitate graceful data recovery.

Key Benefits:

Capacity where and when you need it

The EqualLogic PS4100E continues the EqualLogic tradition of performance scaling linearly with capacity.1 With up to 67% IOPS improvements on typical workloads over previous-generation EqualLogic arrays2, the PS4100 Series is designed to grow with your data demands—all while providing simple management and seamless expansion using innovative Fluid Data™ technology. Dell doesn't just sell you more storage—Dell delivers comprehensive end-to-end solutions to help you store and manage your data so you can efficiently move the right data to the right place at the right time for the right cost.

Modular design with enterprise reliability

PS Series arrays are based on a virtualized modular storage architecture that enables you to purchase only the storage you need when you need it. PS4100 Series storage arrays include SAN configuration features and capabilities that sense network connections, automatically build RAID sets, and conduct system health checks. All PS Series arrays in a SAN work together to automatically manage data, load balance across all resources, and expand to meet your growing storage needs. The reliable PS4100E also includes fault-tolerant capabilities through use of fully redundant and hot-swappable controllers, fan trays, power supplies, and disk drives with hot spares, as well as vertical port failover.

Feature-rich software portfolio

The EqualLogic PS Series arrays include innovative firmware and host software with no additional cost or software licensing fees. EqualLogic's latest firmware release offers new benefits to your organization so your hardware can continue to meet your current needs and be ready to grow with you as the demands of the virtual era increase:

  • Enhancements to Ethernet with Data Center Bridging can provide deterministic performance and a converged SAN and LAN network, designed to greatly reduce or eliminate dropped packets (available on 10GbE arrays only)
  • Sub-volume auto-tiering with enhanced load balancing for optimized storage pool performance
  • VMware Thin Provisioning awareness for vSphere™ v5 designed to provide a new level of reliability using thin provisioned volumes and facilitate graceful data recovery

EqualLogic Host Software extends the functionality of the array-based software enabling cooperation with the host. Host Integration Tools for Microsoft, VMware, and Linux products as well as EqualLogic SAN Headquarters (SANHQ) management software are included with your EqualLogic array purchase.

Find your storage solution

With a variety of systems built for capacity and performance, there is a Dell EqualLogic solution designed to suit your needs. And with comprehensive Dell Data Management Services that help plan, design, implement and support an efficient data management strategy and ecosystem, you can satisfy today's data availability, retention and recovery requirements while preparing to meet the demands of tomorrow.

1 Based on 2011 internal Dell testing. 2 Based on 2011 internal Dell testing comparing configurations of up to 3 Dell EqualLogic PS6100XV arrays to Dell EqualLogic PS6000XV arrays running Firmware v5.1 with IOmeter and FIO test tools in Microsoft® Windows® and Linux® operating system environments with typical block sizes (4 and 8K) and read:write mix (70:30 or 80:20).

Product Views:

Gallery360° ViewGallery360° View

Front View
Front View

Rear View
Rear View

Front Open (12 Drives) View
Front Open (12 Drives) View

EqualLogic peer storage technology Hot-swappable components plus automatically configured RAID levels (choice of RAID 5/6/10/50) offer full redundancy for robust protection.
EqualLogic peer storage technology
"Pay-as-you-grow" architecture scales out performance and capacity to meet business needs today and expands seamlessly for tomorrow, without adding complexity.

No single point of failure
Hot-swappable components plus automatically configured RAID levels (choice of RAID 5/6/10/50) offer full redundancy for robust protection.
EqualLogic PS Series arrays are fully compatible with previous generations of PS Series hardware and can be added to EqualLogic SANs online, with no disruption to services. Enables linear-scaling for disk drives, controllers, ports and cache. Performance can actually improve as you grow.
Seamless expansion across generations
EqualLogic PS Series arrays are fully compatible with previous generations of PS Series hardware and can be added to EqualLogic SANs online, with no disruption to services.
Scalable performance and capacity
Enables linear-scaling for disk drives, controllers, ports and cache. Performance can actually improve as you grow.

Technical Specifications:

  PS4100E PS4100X PS4100XV PS4100XV 3.5"
Great for Small and midsize businesses seeking cost-effective, high-capacity GbE iSCSI SAN arrays for their growing storage needs. Companies that need a storage solution that balances cost-effectiveness with high performance and high capacity for remote and branch office data centers. Companies seeking a powerful storage solution with strong random IOPS performance for remote office mid-tier scale-out iSCSI storage consolidation. Companies that need a storage solution that balances cost-effectiveness with high-performance and high-capacity for remote and branch office data centers.
Product configurations
Storage controllers Dual controllers, each with 4GB memory and cache-to-flash memory data protection
Network interfaces Two (2) GbE copper, One (1) 10/100 copper (optional management network only) per controller
Hard disk drives Twelve (12) NL-SAS hot-pluggable hard drives (Six (6) drive configuration available.) Twenty-four (24) 10K SAS hot-pluggable hard disk drives (Twelve (12) drive configuration available.) Twenty-four (24) 15K SAS hot-pluggable hard disk drives (Twelve (12) drive configuration available.) Twelve (12) 15K SAS hot-pluggable hard drives. (Six (6) drive configuration available.)
Drive capacities 3.5" 7,200 RPM NL-SAS drives available in 500 GB, 1 TB, 2 TB, or 3 TB 2.5" 10,000 RPM SAS drives available in 300 GB, 600 GB and 900 GB 2.5" 15,000 RPM SAS drives available in 146 GB 3.5" 15,000 RPM SAS drives available in 600 GB
System capacities 12 TB using twelve (12)
1 TB NL-SAS disk drives
24 TB using twelve (12)
2 TB NL-SAS disk drives
36 TB using twelve (12)
3 TB NL-SAS disk drives
7.2 TB using twenty-four (24) 300 GB 10,000 SAS disk drives
14.4 TB using twenty-four (24) 600 GB 10,000 SAS disk drives
21.6 TB using twenty-four (24) 900 GB 10,000 SAS disk drives
3.5 TB using twenty-four (24) 146 GB 15,000 SAS disk drives 3.6 TB using six (6) 600 GB 15,000 SAS disk drives
7.2 TB using twelve (12) 600 GB 15,000 SAS disk drives 
Technical highlights
Volumes Up to 256
Snapshots 128 per volume/up to 2,048 total per group
Volume connections per PS series group Up to 512 per pool/1024 per group
Host protocol Any standards-compliant iSCSI initiator
OS supported1 Windows 2000 Server, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2008, including Hyper-V™, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008 R2 including Hyper-V™, Windows XP, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, SUSE Linux Enterprise, Sun™ Solaris™, IBM AIX, HP-UX, Mac OS X, VMware ESX Server 3/3.5/4/4.1/5, ESXi 3.5/4/4.1/5, Citrix XenServer™, Novell NetWare
RAID support RAID 5, RAID 6, RAID 10, and RAID 50
TCP network support IPv4, IPv6 core support
Expansion option Can be combined with other EqualLogic PS Series arrays in the same SAN group, online. A maximum of two (2) PS4000 and PS4100 Series arrays can be in a group.
Reliability Vertical port sharing
Redundant hot-swappable controllers, power supplies/cooling fans, and hot-swappable disks
Individual disk drive slot power control
Enclosure monitoring system Automatic spare configuration and utilization
Automatic bad block replacement
Auto-Stat Disk Monitoring System (ADMS) to monitor health of data on disk drives
Management interfaces SAN Headquarters multi-group performance and event monitoring tool
Serial console
Ability to configure a separate management network
SNMP, telnet, SSH, HTTP, Web (SSL), host scripting
Multi-administrator support
Security CHAP authentication
Access control for iSCSI
Access control for management interfaces including RADIUS support
Notification methods SNMP traps, e-mail, syslog
AC voltage 100-240 VAC +10% single phase
700W (max, total), +5V up to 155W; +12V up to 624W; +5Vsb up to 10W
700 W (max, total), +5V up to 155W; +12V up to 624W; +5Vsb up to 10W 100-240 VAC ±10% single phase
700 W (max, total), +5V up to 155W; +12V up to 624W; +5Vsb up to 10W
100-240 VAC ±10% single phase
700 W (max, total), +5V up to 155W; +12V up to 624W; +5Vsb up to 10W
Frequency 50/60 Hz 50/60 Hz 50/60 Hz 50/60 Hz
Power factor 0.98 (minimum) 0.98 (minimum) 0.98 (minimum) 0.98 (minimum)
Power supplies Dual 700 W Dual 700 W Dual 700 W Dual 700 W
Dimensions Height: 2U / 8.68 cm (3.41 inches)
Width: 44.63 cm (17.57 inches)
Depth: 59.4 cm (23.4 inches)
Weight 26.76 kg (59 lbs) 24.49 kg (54 lbs) 24.49 kg (54 lbs) 26.76 kg (59 lbs)
Packaged Dimensions Length: 851 cm (33.50 inches)
Width: 629 cm (24.75 inches)
Depth: 395 cm (15.56 inches)
Packaged Weight 39.9161 kg (88lbs) 36.2873 kg (80lbs) 36.2873 kg (80lbs) 39.9161 kg (88lbs)
Rack Support Dell ReadyRails™ sliding rails for square-hole 4-post and 2-post racks 1U/2U Rail Attachment Brackets, designed to enable PS Arrays to snap into place with screws or other hardware

Dell VersaRails sliding rails for 4-post and 2-post racks 1U/2U Rail Attachment Brackets, designed to enable PS Arrays to be mounted in racks whose posts have round holes
Temperature range 5° to 40°C (41° to 104°F)
Storage temperature -40° to 65°C (-40° to 149°F)
Altitude For altitudes above 2950 feet, the maximum operating temperature is derated 1ºF/550 ft.
Operating Relative humidity 20% to 80% (noncondensing) with a maximum humidity gradation of 10% per hour
Operational shock Half-sine shock 31G +/- 5% with a pulse duration of 2.6ms +/- 10% in operational orientations only
Operating Vibration 0.26 Grms (5 to 350 Hz) for 5 minutes in operational orientations
Acoustics Category 4 <=7.2 bels at 23C +/- 2C
Air Quality Airborne contaminant level of G1 or lower as defined by ISA-S71.04-1985
Regulatory and Environmental Compliance Regulatory Model: E03J
Regulatory Type: E03J001
Supports and Services
Dell Support and Optional Storage Service Offerings 1-Year Dell Basic Service2 is included with all EqualLogic purchases. This service covers essential telephone support during local business hours, service parts logistics available in the locality, and access to software/firmware updates. Service upgrades are available supporting faster response times, extended hours and escalation options.
Dell Data Management Services help customers plan, design, implement and support an efficient data management strategy and ecosystem. This comprehensive suite of services provides flexible, personalized storage options that meet your company's specific business needs. Storage management costs and explosive data growth are top concerns for organizations–large and small. Our experts will build you a blueprint that addresses your company's storage issues today and in the future–providing fast time to value for your business. Rely on Dell to help you effectively manage your storage growth through simple and scalable service options that are right for your data, budget and business. Contact your Dell representative today for the answers to your storage challenges.
1 For a complete list of supported operating systems, please visit 2 Availability and terms of Dell Services vary by region. For more information, visit


Dell delivers comprehensive end-to-end solutions to help you store and manage your data so you can efficiently move the right data to the right place at the right time for the right cost. EqualLogic™ array software and host software are part of these solutions and are included with your EqualLogic array purchase - providing all the tools your organization needs for a complete SAN solution.

The EqualLogic advanced software features enables IT professionals to:

  • Virtualize storage environments easily
  • Protect business critical data
  • Optimize storage performance
  • Streamline storage management and operations

By using the advanced features in EqualLogic, IT departments can leverage existing investments and maximize the capabilities of PS Series. Let EqualLogic do the work for you, while still maintaining control of your storage environment.

Advanced Software includes:

The EqualLogic product overview shows how each EqualLogic software module integrates with the storage systems to enable capabilities for enterprise datacenters.

The EqualLogic product overview shows how each EqualLogic software module integrates


Dell believes that a well-planned and maintained storage infrastructure can support growing data requirements without the corresponding increase in cost and complexity. Intelligent data management allows organizations to optimize the value of their storage investment with a better use of resources. Dell Data Management Services can help customers design, implement, manage and maintain storage infrastructures that satisfy data availability, retention and recovery requirements.

Dell ProSupport™ — Faster, more reliable support services designed to address the technology challenges you face today. This new support portfolio is focused on your needs, time demands and budgets. 

Need professional support services that take care of both you and your employees’ IT needs 7x24? Choose Dell ProSupport to get access to a certified technician in two minutes or less.

Got an IT staff? Choose Dell ProSupport for IT and get tech-to-tech support, along with 7x24 access to Dell-certified technicians.

Dell ProSupport Service Model
Dell ProSupport Dell ProSupport for IT
Designed for organizations with limited or no dedicated IT staff.

  • 7x24 direct break-fix hardware and software support for your employees
  • Access to a certified technician in two minutes or les
Designed to provide tech-to-tech support for IT Professionals, Database Administrators and internal Service Desks or helpdesks.

  • 7x24 Direct access to Dell Expert Centers
  • Escalation management through Dell’s Global Command Centers
  • Collaborative hardware and software support
Next, Dell ProSupport Options align to the way you use technology — rapidly responding to your needs, protecting your investment, your productivity and your sensitive data, and providing enhanced proactive support services to reduce the risk and complexity of managing your infrastructure.
Speed of Response Protection Premium Proactive
Mission Critical - Perfect for server and storage environments where avoiding unplanned downtime and reducing recovery time through priority response are a must. The package includes priority 4-hour on-site service or optional 2-hour response with 6-hour hardware repair, Dell’s proven Critical Situation process, and emergency dispatch. Data Management and Protection 
  • Keep Your Hard Drive helps you retain control of sensitive data
Enterprise-Wide Contract — Provides enhanced proactive capabilities through:
  • Designated Service Delivery Manager
  • Performance benchmarking and custom reporting
  • Planning and assessments
Customization and Setup
Dell Server and Storage Deployment Services
Dell provides a comprehensive set of remote and on-site installation services for PowerEdge™ and PowerEdge SC servers, as well as PowerVault™, Dell | EMC and Dell EqualLogic storage products to help reduce the time required to get your system up and running. These installation services help:
  • Speed up deployment
  • Supply necessary expertise for correct installation
  • Minimize disruptions to your business
Comprehensive Training
Get the skills you need to keep pace in today's competitive IT environment with comprehensive training courses. Dell offers a vast array of instructor-led classes and online training courses in a range of topics from server maintenance to in-depth technical overview of specific systems.

Value-added services

Dell demonstrates its commitment to ensuring customer success not only by simplifying network storage with the EqualLogic PS Series, but also by delivering consistently superb customer and professional services. In addition to basic warranty services that include working-hour telephone support, expedited parts shipping, and access to software/firmware updates, Dell offers optional consulting services to enterprise IT staff and end-users.

Value-added services

Dell ProSupport
Dell ProSupport is a configurable suite of support services that enable you to build a solution that's right for your organization. A break from a traditional tiered structure, ProSupport enables you to choose a support model based on how you use technology and where you want to allocate resources. Do you need full service support or do you have an IT staff? Choose between ProSupport for End-User or ProSupport for IT. Once a model is chosen, you may further tailor your support level by selecting options to address everyday IT challenges, such as unplanned downtime, data and asset protection, support planning, resource allocation, software application management, and more. Both ProSupport models give you access to senior-level phone technicians 24x7x 365, next business day parts & labor, escalation management with a designated Technical Account Manager, and access to Dell's Global Command Centers for monitoring and management of critical situations.

Data Management Consulting from Dell
Dell offers a comprehensive suite of workshop, assessment, design, and implementation services to help customers get the most from their EqualLogic PS Series infrastructures. Focused on data management, application performance, data protection, and cost of ownership, Dell consultants can provide practical action-oriented plans, to help deliver specific, predictable and measurable outcomes through high-impact, short duration projects. Services include:

  • Data Management & Storage Technology Assessment analyzes account month-end performance data and recommends consolidation scenarios including iSCSI SAN options. We develop a tailored business case estimating the cost savings gained from the recommended technology options.
  • EqualLogic SAN Solution Design is an iSCSI SAN solution design, incorporating array, storage area network and integration of key applications.
  • EqualLogic Local Data Protection Design, focused on leveraging PS Series snapshot and clone capabilities for local data protection and recovery to meet your recovery point and recovery time objectives (RPO/RTOs).
  • EqualLogic Remote Data Protection Design, focused on leveraging PS Series auto-replication for remote or disaster recovery based on your RPO/RTO requirements.
  • EqualLogic Backup Integration Design, built to integrate your PS Series snapshot capabilities with your backup application for centralized backup management.
  • Data Migration, to facilitate a well planned migration from an existing storage entity (DAS, SAN, NAS) to the newly implemented EqualLogic SAN. Dell uses standard tools, a proven methodology and expert consultants to mitigate associated risk and minimize downtime.
  • EqualLogic Quick Start is a post implementation 2 day, on-site engagement that helps guide customers with best practice recommendations and accelerate the adoption of the feature-rich EqualLogic software portfolio.

Dell Infrastructure Services
Dell infrastructure services are designed to help customers automate and centrally configure, deploy, and manage their day-to-day end user computing and data center operations. These services extend a customer's existing on-premise IT infrastructure with off-premise cloud services designed to better address challenges with mobility, highly distributed organizations, security, compliance, business continuity, and disaster preparedness.

  • Deploy – Dell offers on-site installation of all Dell EqualLogic SAN solutions.
  • Operate – Dell can help optimize your storage, backup and virtual environments by focusing on remote monitoring, reporting and alerts, along with full remote management for storage and backup, freeing up IT resources.
  • Protect – Dell Data Center Backup Management services are available to assist you with reporting to help refine SLA requirements, to provide monitoring to improve process efficiency or for the full management of your backup environment.

EqualLogic PS Series Architecture:

Dell’s EqualLogic storage solutions deliver the benefits of consolidated networked storage in a self-managing, iSCSI storage area network that is affordable and easy to use, regardless of scale. By eliminating complex tasks and enabling fast and flexible storage provisioning, these solutions dramatically reduce the costs of storage acquisition and ongoing operations.

Patented page-based volume management enables automatic movement of data while it is in use. This technology provides the foundation for online expansion, automatic configuration and load balancing, performance optimization, and advanced software functionalities - all with continuous access to data. That means no downtime for increasing capacity, moving data between storage tiers, or load balancing storage, and most management tasks are handled by the array, not the administrator. As a result, the EqualLogic PS Series of arrays makes enterprise-class shared-block storage practical for all servers and applications.

With its unique peer storage architecture, the PS Series delivers high performance and availability in a flexible environment with low cost of ownership. Whether you are seeking to consolidate storage, migrate from DAS or NAS, streamline data protection, or expand capacity, the PS Series of proven, self-managing storage arrays will meet the demanding requirements of your business-critical environment.

Unique Peer Storage Architecture

The EqualLogic PS Series is based on a unique, peer storage architecture. In this context, peer describes the collaboration and equal partnership of a single, simple architecture; components and arrays function as peers, working together to share resources, evenly distribute loads, and collaborate to help optimize application performance and provide comprehensive data protection.

The result is an intelligent storage array that can deliver rapid installation, simple management, and seamless expansion. Using patented, page-based data mover technology, members in a storage area network (SAN) work together to automatically manage data, load balance across resources, and expand to meet growing storage needs. Because of this shared architecture, enterprises can use PS Series arrays as modular building blocks for simple SAN expansion (see Figure 1).

Unique Peer Storage Architecture
Figure 1. Grouping multiple Dell EqualLogic PS Series arrays helps increase capacity
and performance linearly—without increasing management complexity

Peer CircleThis architecture provides the basis for numerous features and capabilities, including peer deployment, control, provisioning, protection, and integration.

Peer deployment is a SAN configuration technology that can sense network topology, automatically build RAID sets, and conduct a system health check to help ensure that components are fully functional. Peer deployment enables IT staff to potentially install, configure, and deploy most EqualLogic arrays in minutes.

Peer control offers virtualized storage management with a single view. PS Series arrays are designed to be self-managing; systems are designed to continuously monitor storage resources and automatically load balance data across controllers, network connections, and disk drives to help deliver optimal performance. Peer control automates key functions for configuration, management, storage pooling, and data distribution, helping minimize the complexity of storage administration.

Peer provisioning enables administrators to dynamically provision resources to meet application requirements—including not only disk space, but also connectivity, security, performance, and data protection. When application requirements change, the storage configuration can change seamlessly. Peer provisioning is designed to simplify expansion while systems remain online; new arrays can be automatically added to the group and automatically connect to the SAN. Expansion is linear, enabling administrators to scale not only disk drives but also controllers, ports, cache, and performance as the environment grows. Peer provisioning enables enterprises to purchase storage on demand, which facilitates efficient use of both capital and storage resources. Advanced thin provisioning capabilities are included, giving administrators additional flexibility in providing storage to applications. Administrators can also allocate virtual storage to volumes up to preset limits and add physical capacity on demand. In both physical and virtual server environments, cloned volumes can be rapidly assigned to different servers to help meet changing needs.

Peer protection starts with a robust design that avoids single points of failure and is designed to provide greater than 99.999 percent availability. It also includes built-in features such as application-aware snapshots for quick recovery and remote replication for disaster protection. These features enable administrators to quickly create end-to-end solutions that can help provide comprehensive protection against multiple types of failure or outage.

Peer integration provides a comprehensive software toolkit to facilitate the deployment, ongoing management, and protection of EqualLogic SANs in Microsoft Windows OS environments and VMware environments. As a Microsoft Windows Simple SAN-designated solution, the EqualLogic PS Series is proven, interoperable, and easy to set up and manage for Windows platforms. EqualLogic Auto-Snapshot Manager/Microsoft Edition provides a feature-rich tool to help protect and recover data for Windows® applications and Hyper-V™ virtual machines. The EqualLogic PS Series is VMware HCL-certified and also includes advanced integrated tools including Auto-Snapshot Manager/VMware Edition and Site Recovery Manager Adapters to optimize data protection and disaster recovery in the VMware environment.

The EqualLogic peer storage architecture makes enterprise-class performance, scalability, and reliability possible in an intelligent, automated management framework that helps eliminate tedious administrative tasks while enabling easy best-practices storage management.

Peer deployment: Rapid installation

EqualLogic PS Series arrays can be fully functional within minutes of opening the shipping box. Built into the array is an automatic sensing and configuration technology that helps eliminate complex and cumbersome manual tasks, enabling a quick start. Once it identifies the network topology, this intelligence checks component functionality and automatically builds RAID sets. With a few simple steps and without special expertise, administrators can deploy an enterprise-class SAN seamlessly, without downtime. This capability helps eliminate the complex manual configuration of other SANs, allowing administrators to focus on servers and applications.

Peer control: Cost-effective enterprise data services

The PS Series has built-in storage features once relegated solely to top-tier data centers, enabling enterprise-class storage for virtually every size organization. EqualLogic PS Series arrays include enterprise software features such as automatic load balancing, automatic snapshot management, automatic replication, volume cloning, volume management, storage virtualization, thin provisioning, SAN boot capability, roles-based administrative management, historical performance trending and reporting, tiering and pooling, and multi-path input/output (MPIO) with no additional licensing fees.

EqualLogic Group Manager
Administrators can manage PS Series arrays in a SAN through a single interface—the EqualLogic Group Manager (see Figure 3). This Web browser–based Graphic User Interface (GUI) helps eliminatethe need for a dedicated management workstation or server and allows administrators to remotely manage virtually any aspect of their EqualLogic iSCSI-based SAN. In addition to using the Web interface, administrators can manage PS Series arrays using a scriptable command-line interface over Secure Shell (SSH) and Telnet. Built-in monitoring and notifications provide e-mail, syslog support, and comprehensive Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) monitoring and traps—all standard features.

Volume snapshots
PS Series arrays provide space-efficient snapshots that support up to 512 snapshots per volume, thousands of snapshots per array, and read-only as well as read/write snapshots. Snapshots can be used for quick recovery and offloading backup operations. PS Series arrays are designed to implement safe snapshot recovery in which data is not discarded unintentionally, helping provide the flexibility to implement true enterprise storage.

Automatic load balancing
The EqualLogic approach to optimizing performance is simple: maximize the horsepower of all available components in the SAN. Because of the unique peer storage architecture used by EqualLogic PS Series arrays, instead of relying solely on individual components to deliver high performance, peer control leverages all relevant components. It automatically load balances to seamlessly spread data across active storage resources, helping maximize performance by intelligently optimizing the available network connections, cache, controllers, and drives. Through this optimization, each PS Series array can support high transactional workloads and database applications. When multiple arrays are added together the PS Series quickly scales, and performance grows linearly with each additional array.

Tiering and pooling
The EqualLogic tiering capability enables administrators to prioritize applications within a SAN by placing them on separate storage resources, each optimally configured for the required service level of the application. Administrators can configure separate storage pools within a single SAN to help build an efficient, flexible, easy-to-manage storage environment. Using this "SAN within a SAN," administrators can gain the advantages of consolidation, but can also easily separate workloads as needed: by application, service level, disk type, cost, or even by department within the organization. For example, large, high-density SATA PS Series arrays can be placed in dedicated pools to provide capacity-oriented tiers of storage for files, near-line applications, archiving, and de-duplicated backups. At the other end of the performance spectrum, SAS and SSD arrays can be dedicated to high-transaction applications such as Exchange®, Oracle® or SQL OLTP, or consolidated, virtual desktop deployments. Because online data movement is built into all PS Series arrays, administrators can adjust application resources and move data between different pools of storage without downtime or disruption.

EqualLogic SAN Headquarters
Administrators can monitor all EqualLogic PS Series arrays, pools, and groups from a single location using the SAN Headquarters (SAN HQ) multi-group performance and event monitoring tool (see Figure 4). This centralized event and performance monitoring, historical reporting tool can assist with operational planning, trend analysis, and troubleshooting. Using the Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP), SAN HQ collects performance, alarm, and health status from your PS Series SAN. Flexible viewing options range from high-level group summaries to sophisticated analyses, including detailed statistics on performance, latency, capacity, volumes, and network activity. In addition, both pre-defined and customized views let administrators select their preferred method of accessing information.

Peer provisioning: Self-managing, scalable storage

The intelligence of peer provisioning combined with the modular design of PS Series arrays enables administrators to quickly and easily expand storage capacity without affecting data availability. They can start with a single storage array—then, when storage, performance, and network requirements grow, they can add more arrays to the group to scale the environment with more capacity, performance, and network bandwidth automatically. While scaling guidelines may vary by model, administrators can combine any EqualLogic arrays together in the same SAN. Configuring one or more EqualLogic PS Series arrays as a PS group enables administrators to manage the arrays as a single system with a shared pool of storage. EqualLogic peer provisioning automates the key functions needed to configure, manage, and scale storage, helping eliminate much of the complexity of storage administration. Each group member is automatically configured and participates in balancing the load, distributing data, and tracking host access to data, without requiring user intervention—helping keep storage management simple, regardless of scale.

The power of peer provisioning also enables a key feature: on-demand growth. Because capacity expansion in PS Series arrays is non-disruptive, administrators can add storage resources while applications remain online. As a result, you can purchase only the storage you need, when you need it - helping to prevent both underutilization and over provisioning and avoiding future downtime. With a PS Series SAN, enterprises can purchase the storage capacity they need today, and plan for future storage growth knowing that when they need to expand, they can do so easily and without taking the system offline. In addition, PS Series arrays are designed to fully integrate with Microsoft Virtual Disk Service (VDS), enabling application-level provisioning by supporting applications.

Thin provisioning is an important advanced feature of peer provisioning that enables the automatic addition of physical capacity on demand up to preset limits. Advanced thin provisioning helps make buy-as-you grow storage management and virtualization seamless for servers and applications. When administrators create a volume, they can size it for the long-term needs of the application without initially allocating the full amount of physical storage. Instead, as the application needs additional storage, capacity is allocated to the volume from a free pool. The EqualLogic implementation of thin provisioning provides enhanced flexibility and safety controls—with proactive, user-defined threshold alarms and controls, administrators can depend on automatic space allocation without worrying about reaching allocation limits or unexpected depletion of physical storage.

Peer provisioning can offer significant economic benefits to enterprises of all sizes, because they can purchase physical storage when they actually need it. These benefits include increased asset utilization, reduced management costs, reduced floor space footprint, reduced power and cooling costs, and smart, efficient capital expenditures.

Peer protection: Built-in availability and security

Peer protection encompasses comprehensive system monitoring and high-availability features such as e-mail home, multipath I/O, and auto-replication that help provide comprehensive protection against system failures or outages.

Comprehensive system monitoring
EqualLogic system monitoring capabilities are designed to provide administrators with a comprehensive view of the health and status of their SANs. SAN HQ provides centralized event and performance monitoring, historical reporting, capacity trending, and detailed analyses for groups, pools, and individual volumes. In addition, within the EqualLogic Group Manager, administrators can view the status of individual SAN components such as drives, power supplies, and controllers, as well as the overall system. PS Series arrays also include the Auto-Stat Disk Monitoring System (ADMS), which proactively scans disk drives in the background to help detect media anomalies and correct them. Combined with automatic sparing and spare utilization, this feature helps enhance protection and ensure optimal disk performance.

E-mail home
To help ensure the availability of systems and data, PS Series arrays come standard with group event notification methods (e-mail, syslog, and SNMP), but also allow administrators to enable e-mail home functionality. E-mail home can automatically contact EqualLogic customer support if a hardware component such as a disk, control module, fan tray, or power supply fails, or if the firmware on a PS Series array is updated. E-mail home functionality enables EqualLogic to rapidly respond to issues and assist administrators.

Multipath I/O
EqualLogic multipath I/O provides high availability and performance load balancing across multiple network ports (host bus adapters and/ or network interface cards) for Windows, Linux, UNIX, and VMware environments. By leveraging the ease and cost-effectiveness of Ethernet, multipath I/O helps remove single points of failure between the server and the storage.

EqualLogic's auto-replication remotely replicates data from one PS group to another over a standard IP network over long distances, helping provide high levels of data protection and disaster tolerance. Auto-replication offers the advantages of geographic isolation—a critical component in any true disaster recovery plan—without the traditional complexity. Administrators can quickly and easily configure volumes for replication, letting the PS Series arrays manage the underlying hardware resource complexity. A catalog of recovery points is maintained at each disaster recovery site, providing multiple points of recovery from which to choose in the event of a disaster—a choice that helps protect against "cascading" failures such as software viruses.

Making a disaster recovery site operational is simple, even if the primary site already stores terabytes of data. EqualLogic PS Series arrays enable administrators to perform an initial manual sync by copying primary site data to transportable media, physically shipping the media to the remote site, unloading the data, and then starting up the automatic replication. Automatic failover and failback functions enable non-disruptive testing of the disaster recovery deployment in addition to facilitating continuous access to data. Auto-replication is completely array based, helping free IT administrators from the arduous task of managing host-based software as well as the economic burden of host software licenses.

Peer integration: Powerful application data protection

Peer integration facilitates the deployment, ongoing management, and protection of EqualLogic SANs in Microsoft Windows environments and VMware environments.

EqualLogic Remote Setup wizard
Each PS Series array comes with the EqualLogic Remote Setup wizard, an easy-to-use tool that can transform the way administrators set up their SANs. From a Windows-based system, administrators can potentially have a PS Series array up and running in just minutes. Configuration of Microsoft® Multipath I/O (MPIO) between Windows-based servers and an EqualLogic SAN—a multistep operation with the basic Microsoft® iSCSI driver—can be vastly simplified with the Remote Setup wizard. This tool helps shorten configuration time and ensure that MPIO has been configured properly, helping maximize availability and performance. When administrators need more capacity or performance, they can also use the Remote Setup wizard to add members to their existing SAN.

EqualLogic Auto-snapshot Manager/Microsoft Edition
EqualLogic Auto-snapshot Manager/Microsoft Edition (ASM/ME) is a feature-rich application for protecting and recovering Windows application data, including protection for systems using Windows NT File System (NTFS), Windows Server including Hyper-V™, Microsoft SQL Server databases, and Microsoft Exchange Server storage groups. Included with all PS Series arrays is an intuitive, easy-to-use GUI that creates snapshots, clones, and/or remote replicas of file systems, SQL Server databases, and Exchange storage groups. ASM/ME also includes snapshot and recovery for Hyper-V™ virtual machines. Integration with Microsoft Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) provides hardware-based snapshots with full or differential copies. A scheduler with e-mail notification options is included to help simplify maintenance operations. In the event that recovery of a Hyper-V™ virtual machine, file system, SQL Server database, or Exchange storage group is necessary, ASM/ME provides several quick-restore options to help maximize the availability of critical data and applications.

Auto-snapshot Manager/Microsoft Edition is designed to allow administrators to safely take snapshots of, back up, and restore their Microsoft Windows Server based applications (including Hyper-V™ virtual machines) with advanced third-party backup software modules by supporting VSS and VDS interfaces. This capability helps eliminate the extensive system configuration and scripting that other systems may require for snapshot-based backups.

Peer integration helps simplify the deployment of shared SAN storage in Windows-based application environments, helping eliminate the worries of time-consuming storage management and free up time to focus on delivering enhanced Windows-based business solutions.

EqualLogic Auto-snapshot Manager/VMware Edition
EqualLogic Auto-snapshot Manager/VMware Edition (ASM/VE) is a data management tool designed to simply create and centrally manage online point-in-time copies of VMware virtual machines and VMFS datastores using PS Series SAN-based snapshots. ASM/VE provides an easy-to-use graphical interface that coordinates the creation, recovery, and scheduling of PS Series snapshots with vCenter and VMware's native snapshotting technology, enhancing protection, storage utilization, and performance of VMware-based virtual infrastructures. Integrated directly with standard VMware and EqualLogic application programming interfaces (APIs), ASM/VE understands the relationships and location of virtual machines, VMFS datastores, and PS Series SAN-based volumes. With intuitive SAN-centric and VMware-centric navigation and a built-in scheduler, the VMware administrator can simply and flexibly set snapshot creation schedules of individual virtual machines, groups of virtual machines, or even all virtual machines in a VMware data center, coordinating snapshot creation across all SAN-based volumes upon which the virtual machines reside.

EqualLogic Storage Adapter for VMware Site Recovery Manager
In traditional SAN environments, the cost and complexity of SAN-based replication can be cost- and resource-prohibitive for many businesses. PS Series arrays integrate directly with VMware Site Recovery Manager (SRM) to seamlessly automate disaster recovery management in virtual infrastructures, simply and affordably. VMware® SRM enables non-disruptive, automated testing of recovery plans and automates the recovery process using PS Series SAN-based data volumes replicated to the remote site using EqualLogic auto-replication. Auto-replication provides affordable and easy-to-configure replication over any distance using existing IP networks without requiring the purchase of additional software licenses or complex configurations. iSCSI connectivity allows organizations to use their existing Ethernet infrastructure for disaster recovery instead of a complicated and expensive Fibre Channel network. The EqualLogic Storage Adapter for VMware Site Recovery Manager is one title in the suite of EqualLogic Host Software included with every PS Series array, helping to reduce the cost and complexity of implementing disaster recovery.

Modular Design with Enterprise Reliability

EqualLogic PS Series arrays have a modular design that allows enterprises to purchase only the storage they need, when they need it—helping prevent both underutilization and over-provisioning. Its peer storage architecture uses industry-standard protocols, disk drives, and network interfaces to provide cost-effective connections and high-performance access to data across heterogeneous environments, including VMware, Microsoft Windows (including Hyper-V™), Novell NetWare, Novell SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Oracle Solaris™, HP-UX, Mac OS X, and IBM AIX environments.

Designed to meet and exceed the rugged requirements of the data center, EqualLogic engineered fault tolerance into the PS Series hardware design. Its components are fully redundant and hot swappable with dual controllers, standard dual fan trays, and standard dual power supplies. The hot-swappable controller module features high-performance 64-bit processors with a high-speed I/O bus. Each control module is equipped with 2 GB of high-speed battery-backed DRAM. Each disk drive is interconnected with its own independent, hot-swappable serial channel and secured mechanically with an inertia-dampening chassis that helps eliminate drive vibrations. Self-tuning controller caches are battery-backed and mirrored across controllers to help protect these components without compromising performance.

EqualLogic PS Series arrays support Serial Attached SCSI (SAS), and Serial ATA (SATA) disk drives with a variety of performance and capacity options. The PS Series also has an option for low-latency, high-performance Solid State Disk (SSD) drives. Available drive offerings may vary by system configuration.

Enterprise-class RAID protection governs hot-swappable disk drives, including RAID-5, RAID-6, RAID-10, and RAID-50 support; hot sparing; automatic rebuilds; accelerated rebuild times; advanced stripe integrity algorithms; online RAID set expansion; geometry transformation; and patent-pending predictive media-error detection and correction. Not only can administrators service the arrays without taking them offline, but the PS Series array isolates faults to help prevent cascading failures or loss of protection during service. The result is a high level of data protection and performance even during service procedures. The redundancy of the design eliminates single points of failure, helping to provide greater than 99.999 percent availability.

Standards-Based Design Means Savings and Full Compatibility

Dell’s EqualLogic storage solutions leverage both the cost advantages and management simplicity of Ethernet technology. EqualLogic PS Series arrays use industry-standard protocols, disk drives, and network interfaces to provide low connection costs and high performance access to data. In addition, EqualLogic storage solutions support all leading operating systems and host applications, eliminating application incompatibility problems.

EqualLogic PS Series Storage Compare:

EqualLogic unified, virtualized IP-based storage

Dell EqualLogic™ unified, virtualized IP storage is ideal for fast-growing companies and organizations. EqualLogic's frameless, peer storage architecture enables live, non-disruptive firmware upgrades and maintenance, as well as linear scaling of capacity and performance with each array added to the group. Advanced integration with leading operating system, hypervisor and application platforms helps streamline operations, optimize resources, and protect data in Microsoft®, Linux®, and VMware® environments. A groundbreaking, all-inclusive software model allows access to the latest product features, and enables multiple generations of EqualLogic PS Series to work seamlessly to provide file and block access from a single, virtualized pool.

Exceptional ease of management
EqualLogic storage is designed to provide rapid deployment, simple management and seamless expansion. All EqualLogic storage products include host integration tools to simplify operation in Microsoft Windows, Linux and VMware environments. A browser-based Group Manager interface helps streamline management, while application-layer integration helps simplify storage operations supporting industry-leading virtualization and database platforms.

Enterprise-class performance
A breakthrough, scale-out architecture gives EqualLogic storage performance and scalability once reserved for top-tier data centers, enabling best-practice storage for every size organization. Automated storage tiering, built upon solid state, SAS and nearline SAS disk technologies, migrates data automatically across storage tiers to optimize performance.

Unified, virtualized storage
With its unified, virtualized architecture, EqualLogic enables organizations to manage both block- and file-based storage in a group - through a single GUI instance - that can seamlessly grow to up to 2 PB1 in capacity, providing flexibility and operational ease for any mix of structured application data and unstructured file data.

Exceptional lifecycle economics
EqualLogic solutions represent a breakthrough in storage economics, from purchase to operation and upgrades. A cornerstone of Dell Fluid Data™ solutions, EqualLogic gives you the power to do more by helping you get the most from your data across its entire lifecycle. Its innovative implementation of the standard, IP-based iSCSI protocol enables both extensive virtualization and excellent return on investment. In addition to the comprehensive software bundled standard with each array, EqualLogic storage scales easily, on-demand and online, enabling storage growth without costly application disruptions, lengthy service engagements, or forklift upgrades. The all-inclusive EqualLogic software policy even enables multiple generations of hardware to run the latest firmware in a single, unified storage pool. As a result, EqualLogic storage provides exceptional flexibility at a low total cost of ownership.

Dell EqualLogic PS Series iSCSI SAN arrays

  PS6110 Series PS6100 Series PS4110 Series
Best for 10GbE enterprise environments GbE enterprise environments 10 GbE branch office and small- to medium- business environments
Chassis Height 2U 4U 2U 4U 2U 2U
Network Connectivity 10 Gb Ethernet 10 Gb Ethernet 4 x 1 Gb Ethernet 4 x 1 Gb Ethernet 10 Gb Ethernet 10 Gb Ethernet
Maximum Raw Array Capacity 13 TB 72 TB 13 TB 72 TB 21.6 TB 36 TB
Number of Drives 12 or 24 12 or 24 12 or 24 12 or 24 12 24
Drive Options SSD; Hybrid SSD & 10K RPM SAS; 15K RPM SAS 15K RPM SAS; 7.2K RPM NL-SAS SSD; Hybrid SSD & 10K RPM SAS; 15K RPM SAS 15K RPM SAS; 7.2K RPM NL-SAS 7.2K RPM NLl-SAS 7.2K RPM SAS
Cache 8 GB cache-to-flash memory for data protection
  PS4100 Series PS6010 Series PS6510 Series PS6500 Series
Best for GbE branch office and small- to medium- business environments 10GbE enterprise environments GbE enterprise environments
Chassis Height 2U 2U 3U 4U 4U
Network Connectivity 2 x 1 Gb Ethernet 2 x 1 Gb Ethernet 10 Gb Ethernet 10 Gb Ethernet 4 x 1 Gb Ethernet
Maximum Raw Array Capacity 21.6 TB 36 TB 32 TB 96 TB 96 TB
Number of Drives 12 or 24 12 8 or 16 48 48
Drive Options 15K RPM SAS 15K RPM SAS; 7.2K RPM
Hybrid SSD & 15K RPM SAS;
Cache 8 GB cache-to-flash memory for data protection 4 GB battery-backed memory 8 GB cache-to-flash memory for data protection
PS Series array software features
  • Browser-based Group Manager
  • Roles-based management
  • LDAP and Microsoft Active Directory integration
  • Flexible scripting options (Perl, Python, Powershell, CLI)
Data protection
  • Space-efficient snapshots
  • Multi-way replication
  • Clones & template-based thin clones
Storage virtualization
  • Port virtualization
  • Thin provisioning
  • Auto-load balancing & tiering
  • Storage pool-based partitioning
  • Online array decommissioning
  • Email home/email alerting
  • Detailed audit logging
  • Enclosure monitoring system
PS Series host software features
Microsoft integration
  • Auto-Snapshot Manager for Microsoft (Hyper-V™, Exchange, SQL Server and Windows file systems)
  • VSS and VDS providers
  • Enhanced MPIO
  • Remote Setup Wizard
  • Powershell tools
VMware integration
  • Host Integration Tools for VMware vSphere Plugin
    • Datastore Manager
    • Virtual Desktop Deployment Utility
    • Auto-Snapshot Manager for VMware
  • Storage Replication Adapter for VMware SRM
  • Enhanced MPIO (Mutipathing Extension Module)
Linux integration
  • Enhanced MPIO
  • Tuning & log-gathering utilities
  • Remote Setup Wizard
SAN Headquarters
  • Utilization & performance monitoring
  • Multi-site, multi-group monitoring
  • Events and alerts
  • Formatted reports, graphs and archives

Pricing Notes: