Putting Data In Its Place

The Minneapolis-based vendor recently unveiled QuickStart ILM, a channel-only appliance consisting of its Storage Center software, which includes such capabilities as data snapshots, thin provisioning, and automated classification and migration data based on usage, said Bruce Kornfeld, vice president of marketing.

The key distinction, Kornfeld said, is its ability to migrate blocks of data instead of being limited to migrating entire files. "We track the usage of data blocks," he said. "As a block sits idle for a while, it moves to another tier. We are the only company to span a file across multiple tiers."

This advantage is especially relevant to large databases, where it is possible to put frequently accessed rows of data on high-speed storage and less-frequently accessed rows on low-cost storage, Kornfeld said. The user determines whether data is classified as frequently accessed, he said.

Pete Sperling, storage practice manager at ClearNorth Technologies, Eden Prairie, Minn., said Compellent's software has already proven itself in its ability to bring the benefits of multitiered storage. "Even with databases that are hit really hard, 30 percent to 40 percent of the data can be migrated downward," Sperling said. "That lets customers purchase tiered storage with less expensive disks."

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The QuickStart ILM bundle is list-priced from $49,500, which includes the software and a mix of high-speed and midtier Fibre Channel disks totaling 6.4 Tbytes.