Increasing Demand for File-Based NAS

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2010-04-28 Print this article Print

IDC Research Manager Noemi Greyzdorf told eWEEK that there has been increasing demand for file-based storage that includes NAS.

"Many applications support the NFS interface, and many virtualized environments, like VMware, are opting to run on NFS. That said, there has been a push to have a unified management platform for block and file," Greyzdorf said.

"The product Compellent has had, the Windows Storage Server, is inadequate when positioned against NetApp and [EMC] Celerra, as well as other NAS products. Many deals ask for both block and file interfaces, so customers were asking Compellent to have something more substantial at the same time.

"Compellent doesn't want to leave money on the table for its competitors or lose deals because they don't have a competitive NAS offering," Greyzdorf said.

The important thing to consider is the user interface, she said.

"Compellent is working hard on making sure that the block storage interface and NAS interface are similar so the end user feels like it is one system," Greyzdorf said. "This creates a lot of operational efficiencies. I think it also makes a huge difference that Compellent is rebranding the solution and taking responsibility for its support, which creates one neck to choke with a consistent support across block and file storage."

Finally, the use of ZFS matches the Compellent mantra that the intelligence is in the software and the hardware components can be commodity, Greyzdorf said.

"ZFS can run on any server [though Compellent will sell it as an appliance], making the support paradigm the same," Greyzdorf said. "This permits a simpler support paradigm then when dealing with custom hardware on the array or NAS appliance."

Compellent will demonstrate zNAS at the company's annual channel partner and end-user conference, C-Drive 2010, set for May 2 to May 6, 2010, in Minneapolis, Minn. Compellent plans to ship zNAS to all markets by the end of June 2010 exclusively through the company's international network of channel partners, Kornfeld said.

Excluding maintenance and services, Compellent unified storage with zNAS starts at about $84,000, which includes two clustered zNAS nodes; two clustered SAN controllers; 8.7TB of SAS storage capacity; and thin provisioning, automated tiered storage, snapshots, replication and storage resource management licenses.

Adding two clustered zNAS nodes to an existing Compellent SAN starts at $36,000, excluding maintenance and services, Kornfeld said.

Chris Preimesberger Chris Preimesberger was named Editor-in-Chief of Features & Analysis at eWEEK in November 2011. Previously he served eWEEK as Senior Writer, covering a range of IT sectors that include data center systems, cloud computing, storage, virtualization, green IT, e-discovery and IT governance. His blog, Storage Station, is considered a go-to information source. Chris won a national Folio Award for magazine writing in November 2011 for a cover story on and CEO-founder Marc Benioff, and he has served as a judge for the SIIA Codie Awards since 2005. In previous IT journalism, Chris was a founding editor of both IT Manager's Journal and and was managing editor of Software Development magazine. His diverse resume also includes: sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News, covering NCAA and NBA basketball, television critic for the Palo Alto Times Tribune, and Sports Information Director at Stanford University. He has served as a correspondent for The Associated Press, covering Stanford and NCAA tournament basketball, since 1983. He has covered a number of major events, including the 1984 Democratic National Convention, a Presidential press conference at the White House in 1993, the Emmy Awards (three times), two Rose Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl, several NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, a Formula One Grand Prix auto race, a heavyweight boxing championship bout (Ali vs. Spinks, 1978), and the 1985 Super Bowl. A 1975 graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., Chris has won more than a dozen regional and national awards for his work. He and his wife, Rebecca, have four children and reside in Redwood City, Calif.Follow on Twitter: editingwhiz

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