Dell extends SAN support to rival servers

Dell Computer Corp. on Monday announced that its PowerVault storage area network (SAN) product will now offer support for servers running Microsoft Corp. Windows from Dell rivals such as Compaq Computer Corp. IBM Corp. and Hewlett-Packard Co.

The new version of PowerVault SAN works with servers running Microsoft Windows NT and Windows 2000, the Round Rock, Texas company said in a statement. Dell introduced the new version at the Spring Storage Networking World 2001 conference in Palm Desert, California, which runs April 9 to April 11.

The benefits of the new PowerVault SAN are twofold, said Dan Tanner, a senior analyst for storage and storage management at Aberdeen Group Inc. in Boston. Initially, when the PowerVault SAN came out, Dell limited support for the SAN to its own products, he said. Now, corporations can integrate the PowerVault SAN onto a network with existing Windows servers from companies besides Dell. In turn, Dell gains a larger client base for its product, Tanner said.

"This is a net plus for Dell and the buyer community," Tanner said.

Dell's PowerVault SAN includes a Dell 660F disk array linked to a networking switch, which connects to cards that plug into the individual servers. Dell said it would demonstrate the product and its interoperability with Dell, Compaq, HP and IBM servers during the Spring Storage Networking World show this week.

An entry-level price for the PowerVault SAN is about US$30,000, said Dell spokesman Jim Mazzola. The entry level price buys a Dell 660F disk array with 200G bytes of storage, two Fibre Channel switches from Brocade Communications Systems Inc. and a host bus adapter to hook up to the Windows servers, Mazzola said. The PowerVault SANs top out at about $500,000 and offer 1T byte of storage, he said.

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