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Open Source Cloud Authors: Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Jeev Trika, Ed Featherston, Roger Strukhoff

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Dell’s 100,000th EqualLogic Storage Array Helps Connexions4London Increase Cloud Service Revenue

Connexions4London (C4L) installed the 100,000th Dell EqualLogic storage array as part of a growing infrastructure supporting its colocation and cloud services business. Since the 2008 EqualLogic acquisition, Dell has been the recognized leader in iSCSI-based storage for the past 18 quarters (IDC)1, growing its EqualLogic customer base from 4,000 to over 45,000 customers worldwide. Reaching this milestone underscores the value storage customers place on ease of use, virtualization integration and simple scalability without forklift upgrades.

C4L, a UK leading data center and connectivity solution provider offering a range of services, including colocation, IP transit, interconnects, data backup, data storage, virtualization, telecommunications, disaster recovery and cloud services, has added new Dell EqualLogic PS6100 storage arrays to its existing storage infrastructure. The company aggregates performance and capacity across multiple generations of EqualLogic arrays with its peer-scaling capabilities, easily integrating and managing new arrays along with those first acquired in January 2010. C4L uses its EqualLogic storage to host vast amounts of customer data in more than 40 data center locations.

“Our industry is fast-moving and competitive, so we have to be responsive and adaptable to change,” said Andrew Sturmey, solutions architect at C4L. “EqualLogic met our expectations from day one. It’s easy to configure and install – initially taking around an hour– and it deploys with every feature we need to manage data services for our customers, and seamlessly scales performance and capacity with ease every time we need to expand as our business grows.”

Dell EqualLogic’s peer scaling architecture and its all-inclusive software licensing model, which provides customers with all available new and upgraded array software at no additional cost, offers low total cost of storage ownership. Recent analysis by analyst firm Enterprise Strategy Group found that EqualLogic arrays have the lowest total cost of ownership over a five-year period, costing up to 47 percent less in smaller deployments and up to 55 percent less in larger deployments2 than comparable offerings. Dell’s EqualLogic product line is designed to deliver enterprise class features for IT generalists that are deploying highly virtualized data centers.

“We offer our EqualLogic customers an ownership experience that delivers enterprise storage with everyday simplicity, from installation and administration to integration and expansion across many generations of hardware,” said Travis Vigil, executive director of Dell Storage. “By identifying iSCSI and scale-out architectures as data center trends and by being a leader in the industry in simplifying virtualized infrastructure deployments, Dell has quickly arrived at this key EqualLogic milestone.”

Dell Investments Lead to Robust EqualLogic Portfolio Supporting Growing Customer Needs

Dell’s acquisition, integration and development efforts have enriched the EqualLogic product line over the past five years. Recent integration of the Dell Fluid File System into the EqualLogic FS Series enables customers to unify block and file with a highly scalable, high-performance clustered file system on top of traditional EqualLogic block-based arrays. Dell’s investment in product development and virtualization vendor relationships has led to a storage portfolio closely and easily integrated with VMware, Microsoft and Linux server environments. For the past two years, Dell EqualLogic has been recognized as the leading primary external storage array for virtual server environments by IDC research3.

Dell also has developed its EqualLogic products to be at the forefront of supporting various organizations and IT disciplines ranging from virtual server environments to virtual desktops and customers seeking simplification through converged IT solutions.

For example, the University of Connecticut School of Business has built a virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) by deploying Dell Virtual Lab using Dell EqualLogic storage arrays and Dell PowerEdge blade servers to provide a reliable and flexible IT backbone to run demanding applications in a VDI environment. With this flexible infrastructure, the university expects to save an estimated 30 to 40 percent on desktop hardware, resulting in approximately $318,000 projected CAPEX reduction for its School of Business computer labs over five years.

Additionally, the recent availability of Dell EqualLogic Blade arrays and Active System 800 enables customers to simplify their data centers by combining storage, servers and networking into a single blade chassis. Through this Dell innovation, customers can reduce their data center footprint and the time to set up and manage their IT infrastructure. Dell converges these various technologies to deliver an end-to-end data center offering that addresses some of the core challenges of customers today including limited resources, time and physical space.

Additional Customer Quotes:

“We’ve been able to grow our environment as our customer base grows by using highly scalable Dell EqualLogic storage,” said Donald Wilkins, IT director of Navicure, Inc. “We have one of almost every model that EqualLogic has ever produced, and they’re all running side-by-side. Two of us manage 34 arrays in just a few hours a week.”

“With Dell’s enterprise technology, including EqualLogic storage arrays, PowerEdge servers and Force10 switches, we can support up to 1600 users and roll out a new server in minutes rather than days,” said Tony Beardsley, group service delivery manager at Associated British Ports. “We worked closely with Dell to ensure our business objectives were aligned with the technology available to us. A significant proportion of our server estate was reaching end of life and we needed a smarter solution than replacing like-for-like. To attain a tangible cost saving required a reduction of physical servers, cooling requirements and reduced maintenance and electricity costs. Since moving to Dell’s enterprise technology we have seen a significant reduction in each of these areas to achieve an estimated 15 percent ROI. EqualLogic is easy to use and easy to scale over time with multiple model generations, enabling us to focus on driving innovative projects that move the business forward. Its all-inclusive software licensing model offers all the features that we can use today and allows us to plan for future disaster recovery initiative without having to worry about additional licenses.”

“After evaluating the Dell EqualLogic Blade Arrays, we could use them as a standardized, turn-key solution for our regional customers,” said Mike Quirin, IT manager for Ansaldo STS. “We could ship out a solution that is contained in one chassis and is quite easy to set up and operate.”

About Dell

Dell Inc. (NASDAQ: DELL) listens to customers and delivers innovative technology and services that give them the power to do more. For more information, visit www.dell.com.

Dell Storage Forum

Join us at Dell Storage Forum, the premier technical event for the Dell storage community. End users and channel partners learn how to optimize Dell storage to move their business forward with the Fluid Data architecture. Learn more at www.DellStorageForum.com or follow #DellSF on Twitter.

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Join us at Dell World 2012 – The Power to Do More. Technology professionals will learn from one another and identify key challenges and opportunities connected to the top forces changing business today. Learn more at www.DellWorld.com or follow #DellWorld on Twitter.

Dell, EqualLogic and Exanet are trademarks of Dell Inc. Dell disclaims any proprietary interest in the marks and names of others.

1 Source: IDC Worldwide Quarterly Disk Storage Systems Tracker, September 6, 2012

2 Source: ESG Lab Report, “Dell Equal Logic TCO Analysis – Multi-generational Manageability and Efficiency at a Low Cost,” an April 2012 report sponsored by Dell. For the full report, see: http://en.community.dell.com/dell-groups/dtcmedia/m/mediagallery/20097135/download.aspx

3 Source: IDC Multiclient Study: Server Virtualization 2010. End-User Survey Results, September 2010 © IDC 2010. Survey result does not reflect market share.

3 Source: IDC Multiclient Study: Server Virtualization 2011. End-User Survey Results, November 2011 © IDC 2011. Survey result does not reflect market share.

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