Posts Tagged ‘Compellent’

Compellent Storage Center 5 – Introduced

January 11th, 2010 6 comments

Compellent is introducing the new Storage Center 5 today (11th Jan, 2010). Some highlights of this announcement are: Dynamic Storage Architecture for Disaster Recovery, Automated Storage Tiering and Ease of Management for Virtual Data Centers.

Recently EMC introduced FAST (Fully Automated Storage Tiering) for its Symmetrix, Clariion and Celerra products. Compellent has been the market leader in the offerings around Automated Storage Tiering, which it introduced around 3 years ago.

Some granular highlights of the new Storage Center 5 are:

Portable Volume Replication: Data gets replicated to a portable external drive, encrypted and shipped to a remote site for disaster recovery purposes. Mounted through USB ports.

Scalable SAS Storage: Using Storage Center 5 now customers can scale their Compellent Storage from 6 drives to 384 drives in the same unit (serial number) and using the existing enclosures.

Automated Tiered Storage for RAID 6: All data is written to RAID10 devices and then using Automated Storage Tiering, the least active portions of the data is migrated to RAID6.

Virtual Ports: Addition of virtual ports through shared physical ports will allow the customers to reduce the active number of ports on a Compellent unit and the associated switches by 50%, these ports would be able to move through physical connections and can be shared. Support for both FC and iSCSI will be available with Virtual Ports.

Server Mapping: Automation of virtual server deployment with clusters for thin provisioned volumes, which will enable addition and removal of any servers any time without an outage, enables automated multi-pathing.

Introduction of Consistency Groups: Data recovery of applications, using snapshots.

Compellent Storage Center 5

Some Drawbacks of this announcement seem to be:

Portable Volume Replication: It is probably hard to understand why customers would replicate or copy data to portable volumes and then spend money to ship the drives to a remote site. May be agreeable with slow replication links, it may take weeks to replicate all the data, but is this best way to replicate data with shipping disk drives (portable volumes). Why not just replicate data directly to a remote site with a bit of high bandwidth connection. No way is this CDP (Continuous Data Protection).

Scalability: To reduce footprint, easy manageability of data and ever growing customer demands related to data, would a 384-drive system accomplish the scalability issue?

Cost: Even though Automated Storage Tiering is a big selling point within Compellent Architecture, the product has additional licensing cost compared to a base unit. Compellent should try to make the automated storage tiering feature an included feature with all its new generation products.

Seems like Compellent solution is sort of targeted for mid-tier markets, competing with the EMC Clariions, NetApp FAS series, HP EVA’s systems. It doesn’t seem like these units will be able to withstand the brutal I/O requirements of Enterprise class storage. May be my understanding of the Compellent architecture is not so deep.

Though it is worth noting that Compellent is a very strong growing company with last 16 positive growth quarters, +1B Market Cap and around 1700 customers in 35 countries.

Policy! Policy!! Policy!!!

October 20th, 2009 6 comments

It has been an exciting month, some new details are emerging related to automated storage tiering, workload distributions, workflow automation, SLA’s, QoS and how Policy based storage management can help solve these challenges. “Policy” as we all know in the “business world”, “advanced algorithms” as known in “scientific community” is used to solve complex storage challenges. This has been one of the favorite topics of discussion in the storage blogosphere these days.

Though there are two distinct groups of people, one favoring automation and the other half possibly thinking this technology brings no value-add in terms of how storage is utilized and managed today. This game was initially started by Compellent (Compellent Data Progression technology) about 4 years ago, then joined by Pillar Data Systems and now other OEM’s (including EMC, HDS, IBM) are starting to catchup on policy based automated storage tiering.

With private clouds in the near future and then hybrid clouds (a mesh of private and public clouds) in the horizon, automation, workload distribution, SLA’s, QoS will need to be monitored and managed to optimally run IT Infrastructures. Policy based management will create a new wave of storage management, automation and will act as a principle ingredient of hybrid clouds.

Generation 1 of policy based storage tiering works within a single storage subsystem.
Generation 2 in the near future should work across heterogeneous storage subsystems (by the same manufacturers).
Generation 3 over the next year or two will work across storage platforms irrelevant of the manufacturers.
Generation 3 of policy based management will include the entire stack of management. These products will be capable of not only managing the Storage, but also interact through policies at the Virtualization, Networking, Application, OS, Middleware and other layers in the stack of Infrastructure management..

We should see an up-rise of new emerging technologies that will create these external policy based engines for data movement automation. All infrastructure components including Storage, Virtualization, Networking, Application, OS, Middleware will provide the necessary API’s for these external engines to interact and enable data automation and workflow automation in the hybrid clouds (irrelevant of the manufacturers).

www links

Here are a few articles from the past month related to the topics of Policy, Automated Storage Tiering, Workloads, SLA’s and QoS.

Pillar (OEM)


Compellent (Partner Blog)



Your thoughts always welcome!!!