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When data writes come into a Compellent array with two-tiered flash storage, they first go to SLC for performance, Fine said. As the data ages, it is moved to MLC, and then to rotating disk, giving customers the right performance at the right cost, he said.
"By putting a small amount of data on SLC, our system costs 75 percent less than an all-SLC flash architecture," he said.
Dell also introduced a Compellent high-density storage enclosure that fits up to 84 3.5-inch hard drives into only 5U of rack space, which Fine said is about 2.8 times the density of traditional 2U disk enclosures with 3.5-inch hard drives.
"This is the highest-density storage capacity of any major storage vendor," he said. "This is the right complement for our new flash technology."
Dell also took advantage of its 2010 acquisition of Exanet, a scalable NAS technology developer, to double the addressable volume size to 2 petabytes of capacity in a single name space.
Also new to Compellent is policy-based deduplication, which gives administrators complete control over when dedupe is run and how it is run.
"This is the first time dedupe technology has been offered with Compellent," Fine said. "We're starting on the file side, and will move to offer block dedupe over time."
A tiered flash layer makes a lot of sense, said Davenport's Clifford.
"A key element of the Compellent architecture is its granular nature," he said. "Compellent is different from every other architecture. Other manufacturers build in RAID sets and lock customers into that architecture forever. Compellent takes all the drives in a tier and virtualizes everything. The drive is the horsepower, but the architecture puts the data where it is needed."
The next step in the evolution of storage tiering, if there is a cache, is to break it down into smaller steps and move it faster, which the new version of the Data Progression software now does, Clifford said.
"You can build a large pool of MLC cache and a smaller pool of SLC cache and get high performance at a lower cost."
The new high-density storage enclosures are also a logical progression of the Compellent hardware, Clifford said.
NEXT: Partners And The New Tiered Flash, High-Density Capabilities