Compellent Performance Up, SAN Pricing Steady

Original article at Slashdot

Dell claims that any customers for its Compellent storage arrays will see a roughly 100 percent performance increase with the introduction of Compellent Storage Center 6.3, plus end-to-end 16-Gbit Fibre Channel technology.

In addition to Storage Center 6.3, the company has released new PowerVault MD3 array software with enhanced data protection, capacity utilization, and virtualization improvements. And on top of that, it issued new PowerVault appliances that integrate with AppAssure, NetVault and CommVault Simpana data protection software.

Bob Fine, a director and product director of Dell’s Compellent business, said that the company has previously taken incremental approaches to the platform’s code base, adding 64-bit OS support in January and transitioning off of EMC hardware and onto Dell’s own hardware in June. “In both of these cases, the primary aspect of these releases was stability,” he said.

With the new release of Storage Center, Dell has also moved to 16-gigabit Fibre Channel from end-to-end, from server to switch to storage, doubling the available bandwidth in addition to the performance improvements. Specifically, Fine said the Compellent architecture had undergone incremental improvements, in particular to the I/O stack and how Dell virtualized the storage.

“Here’s a very easy way to do twice as much,” Fine said. “You don’t have to have an outage, or replace an existing platform; from a cost standpoint this software is a no-charge firmware upgrade as long as you have a support contract in place. And that’s a pretty rare statement to make these days, to get customers that much more in terms of their productivity at this price point.”

Dell Compellent Storage Center 6.3 will enter beta in early 2013 and move to general availability in the second quarter, Dell said.

The new MD3 software release, available now, brings a virtualization layer and chunking architecture to the MD3 line, providing improved data protection and increased efficiency. This release also adds dynamic disk pooling—a self-healing, rebalancing technology for when a drive fails—plus iSCSI asynchronous replication, a first-ever feature within the MD3 line. The new software also doubles the snapshots from 256 to 512.

Additional enterprise enhancements to the MD3 software include Windows Server 2012 support, Active Directory, and LDAP support for automating and integrating Compellent storage with a corporate directory, and synchronous replication enhancements. New thin provisioning and VMware VAAI support are standard along with the arrays, a Dell spokesman said.

Dell also announced the Dell PowerVault DL4000, the first backup appliance based on Dell AppAssure software, which contains 5.5 TB of storage; its scheduled availability is the first quarter of 2013; Quest NetVault Backup 9.0, which combines Quest data protection with NetVault Extended Architecture and will ship in December; and Dell’s Dell PowerVault DL2300, which includes CommVault Simpana 9 for data backup, recovery, replication, archiving and de-duplication. The DL2300 is available now. The new DR4000 is a virtual tape (VTL) cost effective unit.

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