SAN-array vendor Compellent integrates NAS capability

Compellent announced Monday a new version of its Storage Center SAN array that supports both block- and file-level storage access.

The company, which has a relationship with network-attached storage vendor ONstor to bundle its NAS capability, has now adopted Microsoft’s Windows Storage Server 2003 R2, which provides unified SAN/NAS capability in a single box.

The new Storage Center SAN array now supports file deduplication, in which only one copy of a file will be stored even though several copies of the same file might exist. This capability should be able to save 35% in disk-space requirements, according to Compellent’s claims.

Further the NAS-based Compellent capability allows IT administrators to manage SAN volumes and multiple Fibre Channel or iSCSI connections.

Steve Merkel, CIO for Data393, a managed hosting and IT infrastructure provider in Englewood, Colo., anticipates the benefits of Windows-based NAS with block-level access.

“We are in the process of evaluating their NAS technology,” Merkel says. “We saw a need more and more need to have a managed storage offering for our customers that could handle NAS data. We do a lot of load-balanced Web farms, where NAS makes a perfect play for us. We also have multimedia companies that rely on file-based data.”

Additionally, the Compellent NAS server boots from the virtualized Storage Center storage system. It contains either Fibre Channel or 750GB Serial Advanced Technology Attachment hard drives and has the option of 4Gbit/sec Fibre Channel controllers.

The NAS hardware consists of a single dual-core 2.4GHz processor, 4GB memory, dual Gigabit Ethernet ports, dual-port 4 Gbit/sec. Fibre Channel or dual-port iSCSI connection, redundant power and cooling and diskless storage. Software with the NAS node consists of Windows Storage Server 2003 R2 Enterprise Edition operating system, integrated Multipath I/O (MPIO) for Fibre Channel or iSCSI failover and Virtual Disk Service (VDS) for volume management. Additionally, the Storage Center NAS supports the CIFS, NFS, HTTP and HTTPS protocols.

Storage Center Version 3.6 with NAS starts at about $36,000 with a diskless NAS platform running Windows Storage Server 2003 R2, Fibre Channel connection and 4TB of storage capacity. Adding a Compellent NAS platform to an existing Storage Center SAN starts at $10,000.

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