Compellent delivers tiered 'SAN-in-a-box'

By Ann Silverthorn

—Today, Compellent introduced Storage Center QuickStart ILM, a turnkey SAN that automates tiered storage within a single enclosure. QuickStart automates data classification and data movement between storage tiers based on how often blocks of data are used. This eliminates the need for users to create policies based on the type of data or application as with most information lifecycle management (ILM) solutions.

Another difference between QuickStart ILM and other ILM products is that it moves blocks of data rather than entire files and volumes. Each block is time-stamped and if it sits unused, it will automatically be moved to lower-cost storage. Within one enclosure, high-performance Fibre Channel drives store frequently accessed data and lower-cost Fibre Channel drives store less-frequently accessed data. Data movement is bi-directional, so blocks that experience increased activity are automatically returned to higher-cost storage.

In many cases, as much as 80% of a company's data is inactive. Compellent claims overall disk expenditure reductions of up to 74% by moving this inactive data to lower-cost storage. It also claims higher performance by freeing up space on the higher-performance drives.

QuickStart ILM uses industry-standard hardware, including Xyratex disk drive enclosures on the back-end and a Supermicro server for the RAID controllers.

"We don't lock our customers into proprietary hardware implementations," says Bruce Kornfeld, vice president of marketing for Compellent. "From an investment-protection perspective, we don't require forklift upgrades. That's because our RAID controller has standard PCI slots on it. So a customer who is using Fibre Channel can add iSCSI to our RAID controller. We have a lot of customers using both Fibre Channel and iSCSI."

Pricing for Storage Center QuickStart ILM starts at $49,500 and includes a Storage Center SAN with 6.4TB of capacity split between 10,000rpm and 7,200rpm Fibre Channel drives, as well as features such as automated tiered storage, thin provisioning, and continuous snapshots. QuickStart ILM's modular architecture enables users to scale to more than 300TB on the same platform, with replication to multiple sites.

This article was originally published on June 26, 2006