Permabit has expanded its product slate with new hardware that shows old SANs some new tricks.

The Cambridge, Mass.-based storage software company took the wraps off its first physical appliance, the Albireo SANblox. The aim, according to Permabit’s Tom Cook, is to help enterprises make the most out of their existing Fibre Channel-attached (16 Gbps) storage arrays by combining the company’s deduplication and compression software with hardware that slips fairly seamlessly into a storage network.

Albireo SANblox is “an immediate gratification item to the enterprise” that allows IT managers to simply “plug-in and save,” Cook told InfoStor. Administrators plug in a total of five cables — and the power supply — and they are “up and running with some minor configuration,” he boasted.

Practically all types of workloads benefit from the appliances inline data-shrinking capabilities, added Cook. Permabit’s HIOPS compression, which he claims is four times faster than competing solutions, can operate in OLTP workloads.

In mixed workloads — a 70/30 mix of reads and writes, to be precise — HIOPS can deliver up to 650,000 input-output operations per second (IOPS, 4K) in terms of single-server performance, according to the company’s figures. Additionally, HIOPS can cut the amount of data written to disc by 5x, allowing businesses to maximize the capacity of their SAN investments.

Proven to cope with high-transaction environments, Cook said SANblox readily slashes the storage capacity requirements for a wide range of virtual server, database, virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) and big data environments. Administrators can selectively apply SanBlox’s compression and deduplication to desired data sets.

HIOPs, combined with the company’s Albireo VDO deduplication software, helps the solution “deliver 6:1 data reduction in mixed primary workloads with all-flash, hybrid and traditional enterprise storage arrays,” stated Louis Imershein, Permabit’s senior director of product strategy in a company blog post. “This is the same software that’s already deployed in thousands of enterprise arrays today.”

Based, in part, on Red Hat Linux 6.5 and SAN connectivity technology from Emulex, the 1U device has been tested to work with storage industry stalwarts, including EMC VNX and VMAX, NetApp E-Series and Dell’s SC800 arrays. Further covering its bases, SANblox supports Fibre Channel switches from Brocade and Cisco and host bus adapters (HBAs) from QLogic, and of course, Emulex.

SanBlox’s architecture includes another perk, according to Imershein. The appliance leverages “Red Hat high availability [capabilities] to deliver HA” and its data protection safeguards, he said.