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Compellent gives big-boy storage functionality to the little guy

Feb 26, 20043 mins
Data Center

* Compellent aims StorageCenter at midsize organizations

A new storage company officially rolls out its software this Thursday. Compellent, located in the Minneapolis area, has announced first customer shipments of StorageCenter, a system that includes a scalable hardware platform and a management suite that promises to deliver to midsize businesses capabilities that previously were only available to purchasers of high-end systems.

Whether or not this promise turns out to be true I will leave for you to judge.  But at the least, the product looks to be something worthy of some examination.

One thing different about this particular product rollout is that at the time of the announcement the company already has more than 40 installed systems at customer sites.  This is a large number for systems that are targeted at mid-range and high-end storage needs. Another thing that is different is that StorageCenter is only being sold through channel partners.  The company has no direct sales force, so these partners will not have to worry about channel conflict. 

Unfortunately, there isn’t much information on the corporate Web site at the moment, but here’s what I do know.

The product is a “SAN in a box,” or more accurately, a storage-area network in a single rack. The system is designed to address SAN management, backup and recovery, replication and volume management, and works with a mix of Fibre Channel, iSCSI, and SATA devices in various RAID configurations. All this scales from a single drive bay unit to whatever amount of storage fits these days in a fully populated rack. Whether Compellent’s StorageCenter SAN scales beyond a single rack is unclear at this time.

The whole thing is managed from a central management console.

What is likely to be a point of interest for readers looking to take advantage of tiered storage to address their information lifecycle requirements is that Compellent offers an opportunity to have a complete tiered storage SAN – high-end, mid-range and less costly drives – all in a single 19-inch rack mount environment. If that sort of approach to storage consolidation is of interest, it makes sense to give these guys a look.

If you want at peek at one of the Compellent boxes you’ll have to go to the company’s Web site ( and send an e-mail from there.  There is not much information on the site right now, which may prove to be a problem, but I’m willing to bet one of the channel partners will eager to supply you with whatever info you need.