Compellent Technologies has launched a network-attached storage array aimed at consolidating file and block technologies onto a single platform. The new zNAS system uses the open-source ZFS file system

Key to the new offering is Compellent's Fluid Data management capability which allows users to manage and move data in a virtual pool of storage, regardless of whether it's a block or file system, and regardless of size.

Compellent has responded to the rise In unstructured data. According to the Unstructured Data in 2010: Trends to Watch report issued by Enterprise Strategy Group, it will be unstructured data, such as office documents, digital images and video, that will account for the bulk of growth within the data centre leading to greater demand for unified platforms.

"Fluid Data is our secret sauce that offers our customers greater granularity," said Bob Fine, Compellent's director of product marketing. "That's what differentiates us from the completion. There are other storage vendors who offer something similar but none of them have our level of granularity. We're so finely grained that we can go down to 2MB levels of granularity and can move files that small – no-one else can do this," he claimed.

Fine said that the use of ZFS as the platform for the NAS. ZFS from open source community offered a variety of feature, including 128-bit capability, error checking and scalability. "Scalability in particular is an important factor, we needed the capability to grow from a small system to a large one," said Fine.

The zNAS will be available in June and the costs starts at £54,600 for a system with two clustered zNAS nodes, two clustered SAN controllers, 8.7 TB of SAS storage capacity, and thin provisioning, automated tiered storage, snapshots, replication and storage resource management.