Compellent rolls out packaged storage array

Startup Compellent Technologies Inc. launched a modular storage array last week that features integrated replication, provisioning, virtualization and data-recovery software that lets users license and turn on the components as they need them.

The company introduced Storage Center, a Fibre Channel, SCSI or Serial ATA array that links to Windows, Linux, NetWare and Unix servers and scales from one-half terabyte to more than 500 terabytes. Storage Center comes integrated with a number of applications including:

  • Dynamic Capacity, which lets users allocate space when data is physically stored.

    Dynamic Progression, a package that automatically moves data between different types of disks based on user-set rules.

  • Data Instant Replay, which lets users recover data within minutes.

  • Remote Instant Replay, which lets users replicate data to or from distant locations.

Storage Center will compete with mid-range EMC Corp. Clariion, Hewlett-Packard Co. StorageWorks and IBM Corp. TotalStorage Fast products. Unlike those products, customers don't have to buy separate software to manage their storage. The product also is differentiated from existing arrays in that it has both Fibre Channel and iSCSI connections so users can attach it to a SAN or Gigabit Ethernet network. Storage Center also lets users mix and match drive sizes and speeds.

Carla Hedding, network administrator with accounting firm Wolf Etter & Co. in Mankato, Minn., chose Storage Center when she moved from server-attached storage to a storage-area network (SAN). While installing Storage Center, Hedding underestimated the amount of storage space she needed. When she went to bring up the system, it failed. She added more drives and then restored data.

"In our old environment if the servers failed, backup from tape would have taken days," Hedding says. "With Compellent's Data Instant Replay, we were able to roll back and restore the data within a couple hours."

Analysts say Storage Center will simplify customer choices.

"Compellent is giving customers a lot of options and functionality without having to make a lot of hard technology choices," says Peter Gerr, senior analyst for the Enterprise Storage Group Inc. "With the Compellent box, customers don't have to integrate connectivity, software functionality and hardware themselves," Gerr says. "Rather than buying a disk array with absolutely no software and having to integrate separate software packages, Compellent applications can be simply turned on in the system."

The Storage Center starts at less than $30,000. Applications such as Data Instant Replay start at less than $10,000 each.

This story, "Compellent rolls out packaged storage array" was originally published by Network World.

Copyright © 2004 IDG Communications, Inc.

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