Introducing: Unified storage as dynamic as your business

 This blog posted on behalf of Emily Rund, Product Marketing Manager, Compellent NAS

We’ve all seen the statistics—by 2014, data centers will be asked to dedicate 4x more capacity to file than block1.  So for the last eighteen months, we’ve been driving hard toward the integration of our Fluid File System and Compellent roadmaps.  We developed a purpose-built NAS hardware platform, optimized for our file system architecture, and taken FluidFS beyond the limits of traditional unified storage.

Today, I’m excited to announce the official availability of the Dell Compellent FS8600 NAS appliance, the only scale-out NAS solution that unifies file and block with the efficiency, agility and resilience of Compellent.

You can read through all of the technical details here.  But in the meantime, what does it all mean for our customers?  Why is this solution a game-changer?

Game-changing efficiency for file and block

With the FS8600, users can keep CAPEX and OPEX in check while leveraging Compellent’s industry-leading block-level efficiencies for their file storage needs.   Automated Tiered Storage helps customers lower the overall cost of storage by automatically moving stagnant files to less expensive drives, and thin provisioning lets users over-allocate NAS capacity, but only consumes space when data is written.

I recently spoke with Fritz McCall, Director of Computing Facilities at University of Maryland Institute for Advanced Computer Studies, one of our FS8600 pre-release evaluation customers.  He remarked, “My Compellent Storage Center continues to do all the great things that Compellent does, like saving me the piles of money I don’t spend on 15k RPM disk.  Knowing that we can unify block and file storage on the same highly efficient and highly capable storage platform is a big win.”

Built-in resiliency ensures business continuity

The inherent resilience of the FS8600 adds another layer of data protection to our customers’ data centers without adding complexity.  Active-active controller pairs provide instantaneous failover without introducing idle resources.  Features like cache mirroring and failsafe journaling protect metadata to maintain data integrity.  And FluidFS-level snapshots and async replication complement the robust disaster recovery capabilities of Storage Center at the file system level.

Less complexity than traditional solutions

The rigidity of legacy file systems also limits IT functionality and business innovation. But the Compellent FS8600 lets users like Parker Moran, storage administrator at UNC-Wilmington, easily scale the file system up and out within a single namespace, freeing up management time for innovation.  After 10 weeks of testing, Parker noted, “The ability to expand capacity on the fly without any downtime gives us a lot of flexibility to keep pace with our constantly evolving block and file storage requirements.”

More best-in-class technology to come

So what’s next for Compellent and the Fluid File System?  With Ocarina dedupe and compression, AppAssure data protection and other technology IP in our portfolio, this is only the beginning.  Join the Dell Storage
community via Facebook and Twitter (Dell Storage and Compellent) to get all the latest Dell Storage news.

1IDC Worldwide Enterprise Storage Systems 2010–2014 Forecast Update: December 2010

About the Author: Alison Krause