IT professionals familiar with Compellent (Dell) have most likely heard the term “Fluid Data Architecture” (FDA). Having started my career in the data storage industry in 1989, I’ve seen dozens of vendor implementations of Hierarchical Data Management (HSM) and thought I’d delve deeper into the Compellent offering. I’ll try to boil down the 8 key features that are being promoted by Compellent as “must haves” for the IT director.

Here is a summary of the 8 core features we’ll be discussing:

1. Fluid Data Architecture – Storage is managed at the most granular level with built-in system
intelligence to enable the dynamic flow of enterprise data.

2. Storage Virtualization – Storage is virtualized at the disk level to create a flexible pool of storage
resources shared by all servers all the time.

3. Thin Provisioning – Allocation is completely separated from utilization so any size volume can be
created at any time, yet capacity is only consumed when data is written.

4. Automated Tiered Storage – Data dynamically cascades from tier to tier according to actual
usage, freeing up high-performance drives for mission-critical applications.

5. Space-efficient Snapshots – Continuous snapshots only capture changes in data for real-time
protection with instant recovery to any point in time.

6. Thin Replication – Data is replicated between local and remote sites using space-efficient
snapshots and native IP connectivity, eliminating the need for high-speed data links or identical
system configurations.

7. Unified Storage Resource Management – All storage resources are managed through a single,
point-and-click interface providing a complete view of the entire storage environment.

8. Open, Agile Hardware Platform – Storage is designed for persistence, not obsolescence,
leveraging a single, modular hardware platform coupled with technology independence.

With that list as a base, we’ll move ahead next time and discuss the Fluid Data Architecture.

Let’s get started with #1…Fluid Data Architecture

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