Gestalt IT Tech Field Day – Compellent

July 16th, 2010 by jason Leave a reply »

Gestalt IT Tech Field Day 2 begins with Compellent, a storage vendor out of Eden Prairie, MN.  Compellent has been around for about eight years and, like other well known multiprotocol SAN vendors, offers spindles of FC, SATA, SAS, and SSD via FC block, iSCSI, NFS, and CIFS.

Compellent’s hardware approach is a modular one.  Many of the components, such as drives and interfaces (Ethernet, FC, etc.), are easily replacable and hot swappable, eliminating the need to “rip and replace” the entire frame of hardware and providing the ability to upgrade components without taking down the array.

In April of 2010, Compellent introduced the new zNAS solution:

Compellent introduces the new zNAS solution, which consolidates file and block storage on a single, intelligent platform. The latest unified storage offering from Compellent integrates next-generation ZFS software, high-performance hardware and Fluid Data architecture to actively manage and move data in a virtual pool of storage, regardless of the size and type of block, file or drive. Enterprises can simplify management, intelligently scale capacity, improve performance for critical applications and reduce complexity and costs.

Fluid Data Storage is Compellent’s granular approach to data management

  • Virtualization
  • Intelligence
  • Automation
  • Utilization

Volume Creation

Volume Recovery

Volume Management


  • VMware
    • Leveraging many of the features mentioned above
    • HCL compatibility although I don’t see ESXi in the list which would be a major concern for VMware customers given that ESX is being phased out.  Compellent responded they believe their arrays are compatible with ESXi and will look into updating their VMware support page if that is the case.  VMware’s HCL also shows Compellent storage is not currently certified for ESXi. Significant correction to the earlier statement: VMware’s HCL for storage is inconsistently different than it’s HCL for host hardware in that the host hardware HCL lists explicit compatiblity for both ESX and ESXi, whereas the storage HCL explicitly lists ESX compatibility which implies equivilent ESXi compatibility. Compellent arrays, as of this writing, are both ESX4 and ESXi4 compatible.
  • Microsoft
    • PowerShell (for automation and consistency of storage management)
    • Hyper-V

Compellent performed a live demo of their Replay (Snapshot) feature with a LUN presented to a Windows host.  It worked slick and as expected. Compellent’s Windows based storage management UI has a fresh, no-nonsense, 21st century feel to it which I can appreciate.

We closed discussion answering the question “Why Compellent?”  Top Reasons:

  1. Efficiency
  2. Long term ROI, cost savings through the upgrade model
  3. Ease of use

Follow them on Twitter at @Compellent.

Thank you Compellent for the presentation and I’m sure I’ll see you back in Minnesota!

Note : Tech Field Day is a sponsored event. Although I receive no direct compensation and take personal leave to attend, all event expenses are paid by the sponsors through Gestalt IT Media LLC. No editorial control is exerted over me and I write what I want, if I want, when I want, and how I want.


No comments

  1. Dave says:

    We’re using a Compellent SAN with ESXi and it worked wonderfully.

    It seriously simplifies SAN management, its a great platform

  2. Justin Braun says:

    Hi Jason, it was great meeting you in Seattle. Compellent is certified with ESXi as the result of our certification with ESX. I see on Twitter you cleared this up but I thought I’d comment here for the benefit of your blog readers.


    Justin Braun
    Manager, Microsoft & Virtualization Solutions

  3. jason says:

    Thanks Justin, I made a visual correction to the blog post as well. I apologize for that misunderstanding. I definitely do not want to steer readers in the wrong direction.