Storwize, which specializes in data compression for primary storage (aka online storage optimization), this week enhanced its appliances and software to boost compression ratios (freeing up more capacity on primary storage), provide compression for existing data, and enhance availability.

The company now claims capacity savings of 50% to 90% — without performance degradation — on any CIFS/NFS NAS system via its real-time Random Access Compression Engine (RACE), which runs on the company’s STN series of compression appliances. In addition to freeing up capacity on primary storage devices, the space savings are “passed on” to secondary storage devices. In addition, the company’s compression technology can be used with data deduplication products.

The compression does not have any effect on downstream processes such as cloning, replication, backup, data deduplication and archiving.

The Compression Accelerator feature extends Storwize’s compression technology to existing data (in addition to the data that is compressed on-the-fly between clients and storage devices). The company claims that Compression Accelerator can compress up to 10TB per day, or 20TB/day in a dual-appliance, high availability configuration.

In a related enhancement, Storwize’s compression appliances now support high-availability NAS configurations.

Finally, the company introduced the Capacity Advisor, an SRM-style tool that enables administrators to analyze file types and view compression ratios by file type. The software also provides a “heat map” of compressed volumes, and graphs capacity statistics for predictive analysis and capacity-reduction analysis.

Pricing for Storwize’s STN compression appliances starts at $30,000 for a high-availability pair. Throughput ranges from 150MBps to 1,100MBps per device. The appliances can be configured with four Gigabit Ethernet interfaces on the low end to 16 Gigabit Ethernet interfaces (or four 10GbE connections) on the high end.

To address concerns about the performance impact of data compression, Storwize teamed with IBM to product a Performance Validation Report.

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