By Ann Silverthorn
—Storewiz this week introduced its third-generation data-compression appliances—the STN-6000 product line. Compared to the previous generation, these latest appliances are built around a new, multi-core compression architecture that features 10% better compression ratios and an enhanced read cache algorithm that improves system response times by reducing the number of I/O requests read from storage.
The STN-6300 is designed for departments, remote offices, distributed applications, and archival/compliance applications. The STN-6500 is targeted at enterprises and technical applications.
The appliances install between the storage devices and the IP networking switch, compressing all data that is written to the storage. They support the CIFS and NFS NAS protocols. When users want to access the compressed data, Storewiz transparently decompresses the data.
For back-office or chip-design applications, Storewiz claims a compression ratio of 3:1. Higher ratios—up to 5:1—can be realized on databases, according to company officials.
Users continue to access the same share names, and the file sizes display as the uncompressed size.
"If the application reads the file size, it will know that it has to read, for example, 10MB of data from the file," says Orli Amir, vice president of marketing for Storewiz. "If the application saw the file size as 3MB, it would access only part of the file."
"Since we compress the data in the data request, this enables us to support any type of access to data—sequential or random for applications such as databases," says Amir. "If we have a 1TB database, which is compressed to 300GB, the database works transparently with the compressed data."
Many users are concerned about how compression affects performance. Amir says the amount of processing time that a Storewiz appliance adds is negligible, and in some cases performance is improved since the storage is only presented with compressed data.
No software agents, drivers, or configuration changes are required for the STN-6000 appliances,which support both file- and block-level data compression for all tiers of storage.
The 2U rack-mountable STN-6300 and STN-6500 are priced from $22,000 and $42,000, respectively.