Dell is working very actively to train their partners in Dell EqualLogic SANs. The training consists of a large portion of the operator training, a bit of (pre-)sales training and also a large portion was what you could call a Q&A session.

I spent the last two days in Eindhoven at Core Education together with Froos to be one of the first in our company to follow this training.

Although I had to cross almost all of The Netherlands the training was fun. It started Tuesday with configuring the array, snapshotting, replication and stuff like that.

Wednesday started of by putting more than 1 SAN in a group. We also did an firmware upgrade. Oh man, what a breeze. Just evacuate one member in the group, upgrade, evacuate the other and you’re up and running again. Who’s talking about downtime??

We had the sales and Q&A session with Rob Bloemendal. IMHO you can put Rob into the list of evangelists this world has and needs. Not only does he know what his own products can and can’t do, he also knows what the competition does. It was refreshing. Rob doesn’t rant on other products like some other vendors, he knows all products have their strong and weak points.

Although the training should have ended at 17.00 we kept going on with questions. I can finally explain why the whole FC/iSCSI discussion is the wrong discussion. The whole 4GBit FC versus 1Gbit iSCSI has nothing to do with which one is faster, it’s all about IOPS and data/transfer characteristics.

We calculated an environment with a storage need between 80 and 100 TB. Based on IOPS and throughput we concluded that iSCSI is a serious alternative for FC.

If you want more info, just post a reply. We’ll get back to you :)