By Dave Simpson
-- Capacity optimization is typically applied to secondary storage, but interest in applying data reduction technologies to primary storage is growing, and a couple of vendors made product announcements in this area at the Storage Networking World conference this week in Orlando.
For example, Storwize introduced the STN-6000i series of real-time data compression appliances, which the company claims can boost performance by up to 35% compared to previous models. Peter Smails, senior vice president of marketing at Storwize, says that the STN-6000i series, which can be used on primary or secondary data, can deliver sustained random access throughput of up to 800MBps.
Storwize also released the 3.6 version of its STN-OS, with enhanced reporting on capacity savings (by filer, share and file type), predictive modeling for capacity forecasting; Active Directory authentication, and support for centralized syslog servers.
Three models are available: the entry-level STN-6300i, STN-6500i and high-end STN-6800i. Pricing for the STN-6300i starts at $35,000.
Storwize competes to varying degrees with vendors such as NetApp, EMC, Ocarina Networks and Hifn.
Hifn, which was acquired last week by Exar Corp., used the SNW show to launch its BitWackr 250 and 255 cards, which provide hardware-based, real-time, inline data reduction capabilities such as data de-duplication, compression and thin provisioning for Windows servers. BitWackr combines block-based data de-duplication software with Hifn's DR 250 (PCI-x) or 255 (PCIe) cards, which implement hardware-based data compression and de-duplication hashing algorithms.
John Matze, vice president of storage system products at Exar, claims the cards consume only 1% to 2% of the host CPU cycles.
MSRP for the BitWackr 250 and 255 is $995. Beta versions are available now, with production shipments slated for the third quarter.
Also at SNW, Data Robotics introduced an upgraded version of its Drobo disk array, a "self-managing" subsystem that provides RAID functionality without the hassles of configuring RAID levels, taking the company from its primarily "prosumer" roots deeper into the SMB space.
The DroboPro array has an external iSCSI interface (or FireWire 800 or USB 2.0) and up to eight SATA disk drives, and includes protection against the simultaneous failure of two drives without having to move between RAID 5 and RAID 6.
Pricing for the DroboPro array ranges from $1,299 to $1,949 for a 3U rack-mount configuration with 4TB of capacity.