Five Storage Technologies Dell Would Get With Compellent Acquisition

Dell's Acquisition Bid For Compellent: Compelling Technologies To Go

Dell on Monday signed a definitive agreement to acquire Compellent, a move that would give Dell one of the hottest storage vendors and some of the most important storage services customers are looking for as they move toward data center virtualization and prepare for the cloud.

The acquisition bid is not without some concerns. Industry analysts and solution providers see overlap between Compellent and Dell's EqualLogic offerings, both of which target midrange customers with solid modular storage offerings.

However, Dell is hoping the technological differences between the two make Compellent a compelling choice for it, especially after losing its last acquisition bid, 3PAR, to HP after a short but intense bidding war.

Turn the page to see the technology of Compellent, and see whether the move is right for Dell from a technology perspective.

Tech #1: Storage Virtualization

Compellent's storage arrays virtualize storage at the disk level to create a dynamic pool of shared storage resources that are available to all servers. Its virtualization technology lets users create hundreds of virtual volumes in seconds to support any virtual server platform and optimize the placement of virtual applications.

With Compellent, customers can create any size virtual volumes. Data is automatically restriped across all drives within a storage pool when capacity is added for non-disruptive scaling.

Tech #2: Thin Provisioning

Thin provisioning is the ability to allocate more capacity to specific applications or users than is physically available under the assumption that not all those applications and users will need the entire allocated space simultaneously. This allows extra physical capacity to be installed at a later date as the total amount of space actually used approaches the current installed capacity.

Compellent guarantees its thin provisioning technology will reduce the capacity needed to store customers' existing data by 40 percent when migrating to Compellent, or it will provide extra SATA and/or SAS hard drives and the appropriate licenses to make up the difference

Tech #3: "Live Volume" Storage Grid Technology

Compellent last month unveiled Storage Center 5.4, the latest version of its storage operating system. Its most significant new feature is Live Volume, which allows a single storage volume to simultaneously work across two Compellent Storage Center arrays and migrate between them as needed.

Each can be either the primary or secondary node, with the primary designation going to whichever is experiencing a heavier volume of input/output requests. Storage Center 5.4 also allows multiple systems to be tied together in such a way that a data volume can be migrated to other systems within the grid as needed.

It can be used with Compellent's replication technology for disaster recovery, or for updating storage without planning for downtime.

Tech #4: Full Range Of Storage Services

Compellent is one of the few storage companies to include some of the most important storage technologies and services in the price of its storage. Included as part of the core product: