Dell (Equallogic) PS5000XV

When Dell acquired Equallogic early this year, it bought an up-and-coming storage vendor. Our testing of the Dell PS5000XV shows that Equallogic was a first-rate choice.

Dell (Equallogic) PS5000XV

Score: 4 out of 5

Editor's note: This is a summary of our testing of this product, for a full rundown of how it fared in our testing across iSCSI SAN Server categories; please see our full coverage.

When Dell acquired Equallogic earlier this year, it bought an up-and-coming storage vendor. Our testing of the Dell PS5000XV shows that Equallogic was a first-rate choice. The PS5000XV is a 3U cabinet with 16, 15,000 RPM SAS drives. In the rear of the box are two hot-swappable,iSCSI controllers operating as a high-availability pair that sit along side hot-swappable power supplies. Other variations are available with either slower SAS drives or SATA drives.

One of the innovative parts of the Dell SAN server is that multiple chassis are automatically linked together and joined into a group at installation, and then managed using a single Java-based management tool. Each controller has three gigabit Ethernet ports (there is no separate management plane, one of the few things we didn't like about this system) that are automatically load balanced.

The PS5000XV has a full set of enterprise features, including snapshots, replication and thin provisioning, along with a flexible security model for access control to virtual disks..

There are certain limitations in small configurations. For example, the PS5000XV can only have a single type of RAID per chassis. We used RAID 5 for our testing. You can't split a chassis among different types of RAID. However, the easy configuration of multiple chassis into a single group would let you have different types of RAID in the same array.

In our performance testing, the PS5000XV was consistently in the top three finishers, which compensates for a fairly pokey management interface. Dell's PS5000XV packs enterprise features into a lower price than its two closest performance competitors (NetApp and LeftHand Networks), making it not just a great product if you need high-end performance, but also a great deal.

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