Compellent has added an integral "diskless" NAS to its block-based Storage Center SAN, via Microsoft Windows Storage Server 2003 R2. (See Compellent Adds NAS to SAN.)
The move highlights a growing consolidation of NAS and SAN capabilities, as newer block-based storage vendors seek to compete against NetApp's dominance. "The general trend is to have block and file services out of a single box," says Arun Taneja of the Taneja Group consultancy. "NetApp has been a leader here, and most other vendors have the two elements pretty distinct... So this is par for the course. The industry expects Compellent to have something."
Compellent has collaborated with Microsoft to incorporate a 1U NAS box that rackmounts alongside the Compellent SAN. The NAS unit is packed with a dual-core 2.4-GHz processor, 4 Gbytes memory, dual Gigabit Ethernet ports, two 4-Gbit/s FC ports, redundant power and cooling, and the ability to boot from the Compellent SAN. The SAN holds the OS, configuration settings, and other key elements of the entire system.
iSCSI connectivity will be available early in August, Compellent says.
"We're eating our own dog food on this one," says Burce Kornfeld, VP of marketing for Compellent. "We've been saying boot from SAN is good for application servers. It's also good for NAS. We've created a boot DVD that tells the NAS server how to boot from the SAN, then tells it how to integrate with Microsoft's NAS application."