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SGI Targets Cloud With Integrated Storage Platform

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SGI has launched an integrated server and storage system for cloud and data storage use

SGI has traditionally been focused on high-performance computing and large-scale workloads, but has now unveiled a new integrated server and storage platform for cloud and data storage use.

Dubbed SGI Modular InfiniteStorage, the core platform will be available as either SGI Modular InfiniteStorage Server or SGI Modular InfiniteStorage JBOD (just a bunch of disks) storage systems, SGI Director of Storage Products Floyd Christofferson told eWEEK.

Lego Approach

The new cloud storage system is powered by Altix scale-up and scale-out clusters, as well as Altix XE hybrid systems, which all run on Intel’s Xeon or Itanium processors. High-speed networking comes from InfiniBand connectivity or SGI’s NUMALink offering.

“Think of this as sort of a Lego-type approach, where we can interchange parts, depending upon the specific requirements,” Christofferson said. “It could be a storage server, very dense, and can have either one or two two-socket motherboards, which run the Intel Jefferson Pass processor. Or it could be a cloud systems server.

“Tied in there, we could have either 72 3.5-inch [hard] drives or 144 2.5-inch, 9.5mm HDDs, which also could be SAS/SATA SSDs [solid-state disks].”

When built into SGI’s standard D-Rack cabinet configuration, the system can supply up to a whopping 2.37 petabytes of raw capacity. As many as 40 discrete processors can be utilised within a single standard 19-inch rack footprint. This kind of density enables IT organisations to reclaim floor space and reduce power and cooling costs, Christofferson said.

Configuration Options

The same basic packaging could be reconfigured as a JBOD, Christofferson said. All of the servers and arrays are accessible from either front or back to aid with installation and maintenance – a non-trivial consideration because these are big and heavy machines.

SGI Modular InfiniteStorage is aimed at IT storage management environments that require data and compute to be tightly coupled, Christofferson said. This approach enables customers to pool processing and storage in the right proportions for best efficiency and in precisely the manner they need to keep pace with expanding data and application demands.

SGI customers include major national scientific laboratories, government and military agencies, oil and gas researchers, and other similar use cases.

A little background: Rackable Systems bought SGI – which once ruled Silicon Valley as a high-end workstations maker – in 2009 and adopted the SGI name.

SGI MIS Server and SGI MIS JBOD are now available for preorder. Pricing is available upon request and further information can be found here.