Compellent Adds 'Thin Replication' To Storage Center

The technology creates volumes at the remote site based on actual written data without needing space to be allocated beforehand.

Marc Spiwak, Contributor

October 13, 2006

2 Min Read

Compellent Technologies on Monday plans to unveil a major update to its SAN product, Storage Center, that brings new remote replication and disaster recovery capabilities.

Storage Center 3.5 adds a feature that Eden Prairie, Minn.-based Compellent dubs Thin Replication, which creates volumes at the remote site based on actual written data without needing space to be preallocated. It also sends only written data and not the whole data structure. Afterward, only changed blocks of data are transferred.

That capability speeds replications and cuts bandwidth requirements by as much as 50 percent, according to the company. A bandwidth simulation function also provides accurate estimates of bandwidth requirements up front, so that proper bandwidth can be purchased accordingly.

Storage Center combines a software suite with a modular hardware platform to form a SAN solution that can scale from 500 Gbytes to more than 300 Tbytes. Its dynamic capacity allows any size volume to be created, with space allocated in the normal fashion -- except that space is used only when written to, while unused disk space is kept available for whatever other needs surface.

Storage Center is built around a modular, highly available hardware architecture that makes it easy to add capacity, connectivity and bandwidth on demand. Unlimited amounts of space can be provisioned from a single, shared storage pool, and any number of drives, controllers and enclosures can be mixed and matched.

The Storage Center software optimizes utilization, automates replication and speeds data recovery. Data is automatically classified and migrated to the optimum tier of storage, based on how often the data is accessed. The software takes continuous snapshots, or Replays, which are space-efficient copies of the stored data at the time the snapshot is made, allowing recoveries to be made quickly and at any time. The software manages all disk drives as one resource, which helps improve performance and availability.

Storage Center is managed from a single interface, with simple point-and-click functionality. Multiple systems can be managed from the same interface, which also allows the monitoring of consumption and usage trends. In addition, Storage Center 3.5 brings a wizard-based setup that enables six-click replication.

Storage Center 3.5 costs about $100,000 for everything needed to have 6 Tbytes of storage at a primary site and 4 Tbytes at a remote site, according to Compellent.

MARC SPIWAK is a technical editor for the CRN Test Center.

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