This is one of their sample reports but has some interesting points.
Here are a couple of call outs.
Info-Tech has found that for those enterprises looking to acquire a clustered iSCSI solution, EqualLogic and LeftHand Networks are often in a dead heat. Both have similar price ranges and features. Both have benefitted from x86 server virtualization and continue to partner with VMware and others to enhance virtual infrastructures.
What usually tips the decision toward one or the other is a preference for how each implements storage clustering. EqualLogic’s storage units are more comprehensive while LeftHand Networks’ approach is more hardware agnostic and granular.
Then here is the crux
EqualLogic’s PS arrays have larger capacities as well as full hardware redundancy in each box. An enterprise can start with a single PS array and have a complete storage solution including capacity, management features, and hardware redundancy. EqualLogic often wins in a showdown with LeftHand because the buyers feel more comfortable with a full featured hardware solution ready to go out of the box.
LeftHand’s SAN/iQ makes an individual server into a building block for a storage solution. A single “brick” can serve as a storage target, but to achieve hardware redundancy at least two bricks are required. This increases the upfront cost of the entry level. On the plus side, SAN/iQ can run on a variety of industry standard servers as well as a virtual machine – entry level SAN functionality can be provided to a virtual infrastructure without buying additional hardware.
With a year head start, Dell is further along in integrating EqualLogic into its products. Dell is making iSCSI a centerpiece of its storage offerings for mid-sized enterprises and EqualLogic PS-series products are the flagship. For example, when Dell rolled out new products for supporting virtual infrastructures in September 2008, the processing component was Dell server blades while the storage component was EqualLogic PS-series arrays. Dell also continues to sell more traditional storage arrays co-branded with EMC.
HP will be integrating LeftHand into its StorageWorks products. How LeftHand will fit into the overall strategy for HP is still a question mark. How will HP balance this new option – a server based clustered storage approach – against its existing traditional storage array business?
And the conclusion
Both vendors share in common a scalable clustered architecture, ease of installation and management, and a robust feature set. However, EqualLogic’s appeal is in providing a comprehensive solution in a hardware appliance. LeftHand’s strength is in providing a more agnostic basic building block for creating robust storage clusters. The software can even run on a VM to turn direct attached storage into a virtual SAN.
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