Dell Compellent Previews Flash Optimized Storage Tiering

By Pedro Hernandez

Placing data in its proper, most cost-effective place can stymie IT managers that are responsible for today's heavily virtualized, cloud-enabled infrastructures. Dell says that the answer lies in its updated suite of Compellent storage products.

The Round Rock, Texas-based PC and server maker unveiled new Dell Compellent offerings aimed at helping businesses deliver brisk application performance without breaking the bank. Tying the products together is the latest version of Dell Compellent Storage Center 6.4 automated tiering software.

In a blog post packed with business package delivery metaphors, Dell Storage vice president Peter Korce and general manager Alan Atkinson wrote that the software "is the first storage solution in its class to tier sub-LUN data across traditional rotating drives, write-optimized SSDs, and read-optimized SSDs."

Storage Center 6.4 factors into the company's new Dell Compellent Flash Optimized Solution, which takes an "intelligent" approach to data placement and retrieval on multiple flash storage technologies. Aimed at enterprise database, online transaction processing (OLTP) and other workloads that churn data, the arrays enable automated data tiering that accounts for the write-intensive nature of SLC SSDs and MLC's fundamentally read-friendly microarchitecture. According to Dell, the Flash Optimized Solution, which can used with traditional hard drives, "can reduce costs up to 75 percent compared to other flash-optimized solutions."

Also new is the Dell Compellent SC280, a "dense" 5U enclosure that can accommodate up to 84 drives and deliver up to 336 TB per enclosure or up to 2 PB of raw capacity in a 48U rack. Extending the Fedex metaphor to data storage, Korce and Atkinson wrote, "This is for your less-critical data that needs to be available for access but not at a 'flash-speed' expense and can be considered your 'ground shipment' of data."

Finally, the company unveiled Fluid File System (FluidFS) v3, which will debut on the Dell Compellent FS8600 NAS system later this year. FluidFS v3 supports 2 PB in a single namespace, roughly twice the capacity of its predecessor.

It will also feature policy-based deduplication, variable block data reduction and redundant data compression features. "Without the benefits of deduplication and compression, it would be like delivering the same package twice or placing a small folder in a large box for shipment," blogged the Dell executives.

Dell Compellent Storage Center 6.4, the Flash Optimized Solution and SC280 enclosure are planned for a third quarter release. Fluid File System v3 is expected to hit the market in the fourth quarter.

Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at InfoStor and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.

This article was originally published on June 06, 2013