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December 08, 2009


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great blog, thanks for the info.


Can we say FAST is the Compellent counterpart but (much) more cheaper and not as advanced?

I guess the wide availability of the EFD at EMC has leveraged FAST :)



I also thought that this is just the same thing Compellant has been doing for years. Question is .. Is EMC going to be charging for this?

Chad Sakac

@pironet, @za_mkh - there's no question that Compellent was the first mover (IMO) around "automated tiering". I certainly don't think we're trying to take away from that. Analagously, Thin Provisioning had 3PAR being the first mover. Datadomain was the first mover for target-based data dedupe. Copan was first mover on dense storage configs. Netapp was first mover on unification of NAS and block. EMC was the first mover on consistency tech (years ago) EFD in enterprise arrays (recently), and the idea of scale-out x86-based enterprise (any IO served by any port/brain/cache/bus/disk + support for open systems and mainframe) platforms.

Each of us innovates in different ways, each of us does something first. When someone does something that is a good idea (fully automated data movement/optimization) - the industry as a whole moves.

I think eventually this idea of leveraging multiple tiers automatically will (likely) become something everyone needs to do.

What we think we do well:

1) we think that the maximum value of the idea of FAST comes from EFD coupled with massive (but very slow) SATA/SAS (we now offer 2TB SATA in our configs)
2) at very large scale - the number of simultaneous moves and speed/impact of the mobility actions becomes really, really important.

These are just some of the things we think people will like about FAST.

Also, of course, there are loads (loads!) of things we do on top of FAST. Think VMware integration (vCenter plugin and vCenter API), production dedupe on NAS (heck, NAS in general). Support for dense configurations (30 disks per 3U) came out (as well as thin zero reclaim on symm).

Will we charge for this? The FAST pricing starts between $5K-22K.

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