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Compellent Comes Out Selling

Startup Compellent Technologies Inc. today unveiled its first product five months after it started selling the modular SAN system (see Compellent Launches Storage Center).

What's this? Sales first, then hype? In an odd reversal of the "brag first, deliver later" approach favored by many startups, Compellent put together a channel partner program and lined up customers before going public with its product (see Compellent Seeks Resellers).

Compellent now has 18 partners in 13 North American cities and plans to stick exclusively with indirect sales for the foreseeable future. It claims more than 35 customers, including HighJump Software , Ohio State University, and Oppenheimer Wolff & Donnelly LLP.

So much for sales. Now, the hype: Compellent calls its SAN product "Storage Center" and bills it as an open platform that allows companies to mix and match Fibre Channel, iSCSI, and SATA drives, controllers, and enclosures. To this Compellent has added mirroring, replication, resource and storage management, and scaleability software. Compellent hopes to gain traction in the small to medium enterprise (SME) market with its modular system, then capitalize on repeat business.

"It's not a revolutionary design," says Enterprise Storage Group Inc. research analyst Peter Gerr. "They've pulled together a lot of disparate pieces and integrated them, instead of leaving integration to their partners or customers. It limits choices customers have to make."

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