Compellent, ONStor combine SAN, NAS

By Ann Silverthorn

—Compellent and ONStor this week announced an integrated NAS and SAN solution that also enables automated tiered storage. The bundle combines ONStor's Bobcat NAS gateway with Compellent's Storage Center array for storage of both block and file data. Compellent will sell, service, and support the entire solution.

The companies claim that customers can save up to 80% on the cost of drives via automatic migration of infrequently accessed data from higher-cost Fibre Channel to lower-cost Serial ATA (SATA) drives. In addition, Compellent's automated tiered-storage technology, Data Progression, doesn't require data-classification policies required by many information lifecycle management (ILM) products.

"Data classification requires companies to hold meetings with their business executives to decide which files are the most important, and they need extra software to classify the data and move it between Fibre Channel and SATA drives," says Bruce Kornfeld, vice president of marketing at Compellent. "Data Progression generates metadata on every block of data, indicating when it was last written to or read from. It moves data based on the usage of blocks, so the user doesn't have to classify it. They just enable the feature for an application, such as an Oracle database."

Jon Toor, vice president of marketing at ONStor, adds, "With [NAS] on the front-end, users apply the same model to their block data as they do to their file data. They can leverage their management bandwidth since they use the same management model, whether it's for Exchange data or their home directory."

If more performance is needed, users can add Bobcats on-the-fly. Compellent's Storage Center can scale to more than 100TB without bringing the system down.

Of ONStor's OEM partners, Compellent is currently the only one with an agreement to sell, service, and support the entire solution. In September 2005, ONStor and 3PAR teamed to provide UtiliCat, a combined NAS and SAN solution, which is co-branded, sold, and serviced by both companies.

Hitachi and Network Appliance have similar partnerships, as do Dell and EMC. Other vendors offering combined SAN and NAS solutions include BlueArc (Titan), NEC (NV7200G), and Pillar Data Systems (Axiom).

A 2TB entry-level NAS-SAN configuration with one Storage Center controller and one Bobcat NAS device costs $71,000. A more typical 6TB system with two Storage Center controllers, two Bobcat NAS gateways, and Data Progression software is priced at about $173,000.

This article was originally published on March 29, 2006