Dell Takes Direct Approach With PowerVault MD1000

When it comes to storage, says Howard Shoobe, senior manager at Dell’s Enterprise Storage group, there are two kinds of people: “Server-centric and storage-centric.” While storage-centric people are concerned about storage management, utilization and server consolidation, server-centric customers are looking for ways to extend a server. That is, they want it to be easier to replace a server or add storage capacity. Most small businesses fall in the server-centric side.

It’s that server-centric crowd that Dell is aiming at with today’s introduction of the PowerVault MD1000, a direct-attached storage enclosure based on 3.5-inch serial-attached SCSI (SAS) drives, which promise customers significant gains in bandwidth, capacity, performance and value.

Dell claims that with the PowerVault MD1000 it is the first major storage vendor to offer a storage enclosure that incorporates 3.5-inch serial-attached SCSI (SAS) drives. (SAS offer an advantage over parallel SCSI by using a point-to-point serial interface that allows controllers to link directly to disk drives. SAS offers a performance improvement over traditional SCSI because SAS enables up to 128 multiple devices of different sizes and types to connect simultaneously).

SAS technology, according to Dell, means better performance for both mainstream and bandwidth-intensive applications. For example, customers can achieve four times greater bandwidth with 3.5-inch SAS drives versus traditional SCSI drives. And, compared with 2.5-inch SAS drive, the 3.5-inch SAS drives provide a 30 percent increase in data throughput and double the storage capacity.

Also, Shoobe said that 3.5-inch SAS drives offer that increased capacity and throughput more cost effectively than their 2.5-inch siblings. He pointed out that for the price of a 73GB 2.5-inch SAS drive, you can get a 146GB 3.5-inch SAS drive (the capacity of which tops out at 300GB)

Dell PowerVault MD1000
Dell says its PowerVault MD1000 storage enclosure offers more capacity and bandwidth for businesses looking to add storage to their servers

PowerVault MD1000 offers a capacity of 4.5TB per enclosure with the option to daisy chain three devices for a maximum of 13.5TB. It supports of 36GB, 73GB and 146GB drives operating at 15,000 RPM as well as 73GB, 146GB and 300GB drives operating at 10,000 RPM.

To make it easier for small business use the PowerVault MD1000, Shoobe said, the DAS device offers a user management experience common to other PowerVault products (e.g., 124T, 132T 136T tape autoloaders) and Dell PowerEdge 1850, 2850, 6800 and 6850 servers.

The MD1000 also supports Legato, OpenManage Server Administrator, Microsoft SQLServer 2005, Microsoft Exchange, Symantec Backup Exec, CommVault Galaxy and Galaxy Express software.

Shoobe said the MD1000 is well-suited for vertical markets such as engineering, design, architecture and other businesses with high-output, high-performance and high-reliability requirements. However, he points out, “Any small business that has at least one server and has backup or expansion needs can come to Dell.”

The PowerVault MD1000, Shoobe said, is also the industry’s first storage enclosure based on the recently proposed Storage Bridge Bay specification. In March, Dell, EMC, Intel and LSI Logic formed the SBB Working Group. The goal of the SBB specification is to standardize external disk subsystem technologies to give customers access to a broader range of storage products.

Pricing for the Dell PowerVault MD1000 starts at $4,200 and includes two 36GB drives, Shoobe said. The PowerVault MD1000 is available immediately worldwide.

Dan Muse is executive editor of’s Small Business Channel, EarthWeb’s Networking Channel and ServerWatch.

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