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The state of EqualLogic (according to me, of course)

It’s been a while since I have written 🙂 I’ve been happily chugging away implementing things (our personal ECM ‘cloud’ on equalLogic etc…)

But I have been pondering the state of things. So, to look back in time I have always been pleased with the ease of use (the best!), reliability, great customer support that we have received from EqualLogic. When they were acquired by Dell you can imagine that we had some trepidation. My experience with support was good (I did have to hang up on a clueless dude, and finally connected with an EqualLogic person who knew something) it also seemed that sometimes there was some disconnect between Dell owned EqualLogic and the Dell owned PowerConnect line. I had a couple of requests, I desired some sort of ‘group’ method of adding IP’s to the ACL (doing for each vmware server was tedious), I wanted an easier way to setup my switches for the EqualLogic infrastructure, and setting up for MPIO was quite the hassle. Well, fast forward to the new century….

As very well documented in this post http://www.rtfm-ed.co.uk/2011/03/13/using-dell-equallogic-hit-ve-plug-in/ you can now create EqualLogic volumes right from virtual center! And, you can auto-generate the ACL! Yes! thank you EqualLogic for answering my unasked question!

Win number 2: With the release of 3.2.1.3 for the PowerConnect you can enable autoconfig for iSCSI. If this detects an EqualLogic running firmware 5.0.2 it will setup your switch for it! Flowcontrol, MTU, spanning-tree portfast and unicast storm control! That is very, very cool! And once again adding to the ease of use I so enjoy with the EqualLogic family! (I envy new EqualLogic customers this!)

Now as far as switches go, I haven’t heard whether they have improved the update procedure (I believe it takes around three minutes which would cause an iSCSI time out) this of course is annoying when you have the ability to pretty much keep everything else live except the switches. I have heard of people who have two stacks of interconnected switches to allow for the upgrade (I didn’t know about this setup for our SME so we are stuck) so I am looking for this improvement! Also, to get a recommendation for a switch was like pulling teeth. For me, I think if you are going to go with say two PS6000ish you may as well get two PowerConnect 6248’s and stack them, you will never have to worry about running out of ports if you ever want to add an additional EqualLogic or two!

Setting up MPIO could not be easier when using the setup.pl script, nuff said.

Another complaint I had was that I couldn’t Google up the documentation I wanted! (If you can’t google it then it doesn’t exist) Well, the new Dell Tech Center with the

http://www.delltechcenter.com/page/EqualLogic+Configuration+Guide EqualLogic Configuration Guide ( and the EqualLogic Validated Components List ) is exactly what the doctor ordered!

That’s some of the good! (And it’s very good) There is also other really neat stuff like VAII support etc..

What’s the not so good? Dell\EqualLogic came out with a less than stellar 5.0 firmware that was doing some ‘bad stuff’. On the upside, it was good to see the support ‘engine’ go out and contact all of their customers using email, letters, and individual phone calls (multiple calls!) I’m glad that they take it seriously! For my part, I’m a little more sensitive to firmware upgrades now, and watch the twitter feeds for lots of ‘success’ tweets before I take the plunge. Actually, it got me thinking that some sort of volunteer :My firmware passed\failed reporting system would be useful for us as well as Dell, people who are bleeding edge can be ‘canaries’ for the rest of us. For now I guess everybody should keep tweeting their good\bad results! Maybe someone should invent a #hashtag format for it 🙂

This upcoming EqualLogic has me a little weary as well. Sometimes going ‘bigger’ and combining too many things together can lose the focused, community feel. This post by Seth Godin is interesting and also summarizes some of the reasons I go to these sort of things: One on one conversations and ‘seek out conversations that matter’

http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2011/03/your-sxsw-agenda-or-any-conference-for-that-matter.html

I’m looking for people who have problems like I do and how they solved them… and sometimes they want to know what I’m up to as well! Hopefully that won’t be lost at this conference!

The future….

Dell also purchased Ocarina… I’m waiting to see what they do with them 🙂 I’m sure they are working very hard at that integration!

In summary, I like LEGO’s 🙂 I like to snap them together and make things work. I like systems like that as well. The more DELL makes it so I can snap stuff together easily (that works), the better!

As an aside, Veeam is pretty cool stuff. They seem to ‘get it’ like I think EqualLogic ‘gets’ it. You guys should talk and make some magic together… just my 2cents

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4 Responses

  1. Last night, I’ve Log a Case to EQL and ask for help in setting ITA with EQL box.

    Then, it comes the answer, I extract part of it

    “Is ITAssist a dell product ?”

    Huh? 🙂

  2. Michael, Great post, always like your style, love the LEGO comment. Give us your feedback on what you liked best from last years EqualLogic conference, we know you will be honest. http://www.delltechcenter.com/thread/4524292/What+would+you+like+to+see+at+Dell+Storage+Forum+2011%3F

    Thanks,
    Lance (@iSCSIKing)

  3. We are experiencing random disconnects to the point our clusters are not failing over properly. DELL is not being much help and I am thinking firmware…

  4. I read using the 62xx in stacking configuration with your EQL was bad because when the main switch fails it causes the entire stack to reboot? Is that true? I was looking at getting some 62xx switches for our new EQL but was rethinking it.

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