Computer Business Review

Compellent snags Savvis cloud storage deal

Steve Evans

14:58, October 20 2009

Automated tiered storage for Project Spirit

Compellent has won a contract from Savvis to supply cloud storage to Project Spirit, its public cloud service.

Project Spirit is described by Savvis as a next generation enterprise-class virtual private data centre that will offer cloud services on a shared infrastructure spread over Savvis’ 28 data centres.

The project was first announced in September this year, with a potential launch date of 2010. The other suppliers had already been announced: Cisco for the networking and VMware for the virtualisation capabilities, but until this announcement the storage supplier had not been revealed.

Compellent offers storage area network (SAN) products and traditionally targets SMBs in the financial, education and health care space.

Speaking to CBR about the deal, Bruce Kornfeld, VP of marketing at the firm, said that the deal is up there with the biggest the company has signed and added that it was Compellent’s price that attracted Savvis.

“I think it would have been virtually impossible for Savvis to deliver the Project Spirit without Compellent technology, as it would have been too expensive,” he said. “If you’re going to build all these farms of servers and storage the old fashioned way with over-provisioning and empty space, the price points just wouldn’t be competitive enough to attract customers.”

Compellent’s SAN offerings mix high-cost solid state drives (SSD) with less expensive SATA hard disks. Its automated tiered storage can move data around depending on how much it is used, so the in-demand data can sit at the top of the SSD while the lesser-used data can drop down. This means that storage space on the SSDs is optimised, improving utilisation rates.

Kornfeld says that this represents a cheaper way of storing data. “It’s a relief for an IT department not to have to move data to cheap disks, it just happens,” he said. “SSDs cost more but our technology means you don’t have to use as many. You get the performance benefit of SSDs without the cost burden of it.”

“As a key component of Savvis’ Project Spirit, Compellent will help us drive down the cost of lifecycle storage while preserving application performance for our customers’ mission-critical applications,” said Bryan Doerr, Savvis CTO. “Compellent’s open industry architecture enables Savvis to easily incorporate new storage technologies that allow us to stay on the leading edge of performance and cost reduction as storage advancements evolve over time.”



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