Fujitsu Siemens has announced a new family of storage devices - CentricStor FS (File Services). They are aimed at storing the explosion in unstructured data that organisations are struggling to contain. CentricStor FS will ship on 26th September with capacities ranging from 14.4TB up to 384TB. The entry level FS2000, which will have 24TB of storage will costs Euros 50,000 while prices for other models such as the FS4000 and FS8000 are yet to be announced.
Unlike other vendors who are concentrating on de-duplication and block level storage, Fujitsu Siemens is concentrating on file centric storage allowing it to integrate easily with applications. Dr Helmut Beck, Vice President Storage Business, Fujitsu Siemens Computers says "storage growth is growing at 70% per annum. This is mostly due to unstructured data, mainly files and email attachments. 80% of the files that companies keep on their storage are not used or access for more than 1 year and no-one knows what is in them."
Part of the problem, according to Beck "is that the way companies work with data is changing. The introduction of Web 2.0 tools into companies means that anyone can now create data. Wikis are replacing traditional Intranets. Instead of a couple of admins creating and controlling the Intranet data, anyone can now contribute and that is causing an explosion in data.
"We are also expecting Internet traffic to grow to over 20EB over the next few years. To manage this data growth we need an integrated system."
This is where Fujitsu Siemens is pitching the CentricStor FS. At one level this is not a simple replacement for NAS or SAN devices. The CentricStor FS will be sold as a clustered solution. This not only adds resilience but it also provides much faster access to the data in a way that traditional NAS and SAN devices can't.
As well as the basic device only being available as a clustered solution with replication between boxes, there will be several in-box features for reliability. There will be support for both RAID 5 and RAID 6 depending on the customer needs. There will also be a spare disk by default which will automatically migrate and recreate data should a disk fail.
There is also an integrated service approach with the CentricStor FS. As soon as the internal management software detects any problems, it will be able to contact the Fujitsu Siemens support team with details. This will enable them to analyse the data and contact the customer before drives actually fail. Offered as part of the solution contract it will run 24x7 ensuring that storage teams get the maximum opportunity to replace hardware before failure causes any interruption.
Beck claims that Fujitsu Siemens will use standard servers and drives that will refresh in the same cycle as your standard servers. What isn't clear is how you will be able to add storage or replace drives. Most storage vendors currently charge a significant premium for drives and require that you only buy from them in order to maintain your warranty. Beck was not prepared to comment as to whether you could purchase replacement drives at market rates.
With an entry price of Euros 50,000 for the FS2000, Fujitsu Siemens is not targeting the mid-market. There is no deduplication technology and Beck avoided the phrase Thin Provisioning. Beck did say that the de-duplication technology currently in use in the CentricStor VTA is being considered for the next version of the CentricStor FS but would not commit to a date.