The Storwize Inc. STN-6000 appliance isn't complicated and does only one thing: Compresses data to reduce storage capacity by up to five times the uncompressed data. Even though the STN-6000 sits in the network, it doesn't degrade performance as data passes from the server to the appliance and then, compressed, onto the storage array. It integrates into the data path easily, without introducing any new single point of failure, and is transparent to users, apps, databases, and storage and network environments.
By reducing the amount of disks needed to store the compressed data, the storage array's electricity consumption and data center footprints are also reduced. Two of our judges thought the $22,000 price tag was a bit high and questioned whether it's more cost-effective to just buy more SATA disks and reduce capacity by implementing better storage management practices. But another judge countered, saying, "It's a good product to extend the life of many older NAS installations."