Dell's Fluid File System Gathers Momentum in Compellent Refresh

Posted on June 12, 2012 By Pedro Hernandez

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Dell announced Tuesday that it reached a significant milestone in its Fluid Data initiative. The server and storage provider's distributed file system now spans its Compellent, EqualLogic and PowerVault NAS platforms.

The move provides a unified foundation to deliver data protection and replication across storage systems that handle both block and file data. Getting Fluid File up and running on the Compellent architecture was the last hurdle to offering file protection and management across each of the company's primary storage platforms, according to Dell.

It's a systems and software integration approach that should help stretch storage resources and ease management, said Darren Thomas, vice president and general manager of Dell Storage.

"We are delivering a new customer experience across a tightly integrated set of products and solutions with shared capabilities across our portfolio -- driving up optimization, driving out the cost of forced end of life, and driving forward the speed and flexibility required by IT," states Thomas in a company release.

As proof, Dell debuted a unified SAN and NAS array comprised of new Compellent SC8000 and FS8600 systems.

The 12th generation PowerEdge-based Compellent SC8000 controller, which runs the 6.0 release of the 64-bit Compellent Storage Center operating system, houses two 2.5GHz Intel Xeon six-core CPUs and a third-generation PCIe bus. The SC8000 is available with 16 GB to 64 GB of 1333 MHz memory per controller, for a maximum of 128 GB for high-availability and failover-capable dual controller configurations.

Energy efficiency factors in, too. The system boasts hot swappable, Energy Star power supplies and Dell's Fresh Air tech, which lowers cooling costs by supporting operating temperatures of up 113°F or 45°C. SC8000 controllers go on sale this month.

Compellent's FS8600 NAS is a 2U system in 8 GB Fibre Channel and 1 GbE or 10 GbE flavors. The Fluid File-enabled FS8600 supports automated tiering and thin provisioning via Compellent Data Progression and Dynamic Capacity, respectively. The system will be available in the second half of 2012.

Dell also debuted an entry-level, Compellent-certified 16GB Fibre Channel switch, the Brocade DCX 6505. Dell maintains that the hardware will reduce network complexity, save space and help maximize overall port density by enabling "massive consolidation of legacy SANs." The Brocade DCX 6505 starts shipping this month.

Extending the Fluid File product deluge are new EqualLogic FS7600 1 GbE and FS7610 10 GbE offerings that work with new and existing PS Series arrays for unified storage. New, second-generation PowerVault NX3600 1 GbE and NX3610 10 GbE also bowed in.

A single PowerVault NX3600 system scales up to 576 TB while a dual-NX3610 can access up to 1 PB capacity in a single namespace. The new EqualLogic and PowerVault products ship during the second half of this year.

And just shy of four months after Dell acquired AppAssure for application-aware backups, it released AppAssure 5. The software targets Big Data environments with a new object based data repository that can back up larger data sets and new WAN optimization capabilities.

Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.

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