Compellent Technologies on Tuesday announced a new network-attached storage (NAS) array that consolidates file- and block-level storage on a single storage platform based on Sun Microsystems' ZFS file system.
The zNAS product is a 1U NAS gateway device that sits on top of Compellent's Storage Center 5 array. Through the company's recently announced Fluid Data virtualization management architecture, the new Compellent zNAS array can actively manage and move data in a virtual pool of storage, regardless of the size and type of block, file, or drive.
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The zNAS gateway's hardware consists of a server with dual Intel Xeon Quad-Core E5540 (Nehalem) processors, with 24GB or 48GB of memory. The gateway comes with 1Gbps Ethernet front-end connectivity (with 10Gbit Ethernet planned for later), and 8Gbps Fibre Channel back-end connectivity.
The array offers data replication, data snapshots, automated data tiering and thin provisioning, which allocates just enough storage to supply any given client server's needs without over-allocating capacity for an application. File-level data storage is expandable under a single global name space that Compellent said can scale to 16 exabytes with expansion disk arrays.
The zNAS array addresses the rise in unstructured data in enterprises, from e-mail and documents to photos and video. It will be in direct competition with EMC's NS Celerra and NetApp's FAS 3000 arrays, which also offer block- and file-level storage through a single product.
"We were hearing from our customers that we needed more support for file-based applications," said Bob Fine, director of product marketing at Compellent. "As we scoured the market looking for a file system ... our research led us to ZFS. It really gave us the advanced scalability we were looking for."
The Compellent zNAS offers a single interface for managing Unix, Linux and Windows file and block data. The array can handle several storage networking protocols, including Fibre Channel, Fiber Channel over Ethernet, iSCSI, CIFS, or NFS.
"It's not one technology to the exclusion of another. Customers are able to add new technologies as they want. They can start with iSCSI and Fibre Channel. Then, they can migrate Fibre Channel from one speed to another. It's all about upgrading the system over time without limits," Fine said.