Compellent Brings Low-Cost Tiered Storage, Disaster Recovery To VARs

The Minneapolis-based storage vendor on Monday introduced two software modules for its Storage Center, a SAN appliance that works with Fibre Channel and/or SATA hard drives, said Phil Soran, the company&s CEO.

The first module, Data Progression, automatically migrates inactive data to a lower-cost tier of storage based on use patterns, Soran said. The key difference between Data Progression and other vendors' tiered storage solutions is that Compellent can migrate inactive blocks of data within a file instead of having to move an entire inactive file, he said. As a result, active data within a file can be on high-speed storage, while inactive data in the same file can be on low-cost storage.

For example, bout 80 percent of e-mail across all industries is inactive, according to Soran. "We move the inactive data to lower-speed storage at the block level, the only company to do so," he said. "For a Microsoft PST file, most vendors treat it as a volume. But we can put the active blocks on higher-speed storage, and the inactive blocks on slower storage."

Compellent also introduced Remote Instant Replay, a module for remote replication. Remote Instant Replay offers bidirectional replication between two separate sites--or from one site to several, or several to one--in synchronous, asynchronous or semi-synchronous fashion. Under semi-synchronous replication, the data movement is delayed slightly to allow for elimination of viruses, Soran said.

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The storage devices at both ends of the replication process can be two different technologies, he said. For example, a customer could put a high-speed Fibre Channel array in the primary site and a low-cost iSCSI array at the remote site.

What's more, the module allows customers to test disaster recovery plans at any time and as often as desired, without affecting business operations, Soran added. "With other disaster-recovery schemes, you have to plan ahead, create mirrors, break the mirrors, resync the mirrors, and so on," he said.

The new modules can be purchased as options to Compellent's Storage Center appliance. Data Protection lists for just under $10,000, and Remote Instant Replay lists for just over $10,000.

All of Compellent's revenue is generated via the company's channel partners.