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Storage roundup: IBM powers Iridis III HPC environment; Drobo NAS targets SOHO market; and more

IBM powers university's Iridis III HPC environment; Drobo FS NAS devices targets SOHO market; LTO-5 Ultrium tape capability available in HP StorageWorks MSL; and more.

IBM powers university's Iridis III HPC environment

The University of Southampton has implemented 140 TB of IBM DS4700 SAN storage to support its deployment of the largest supercomputer in the UK education sector. The high-performance computing (HPC) environment -- Iridis III -- went live last November and is based on 1,008 eight-core Intel Nehalem processors in IBM blades; it provides modeling and computation services for scientific and engineering research at the university.

Storage for the HPC environment is provided by 160 spindles of 1 TB SATA in an IBM DS4700 array that connect to the HPC blades using InfiniBand, which is also used as the backbone between processing cores. File access is via IBM's parallel, highly scalable General Parallel File System (GPFS).

University researchers begin sessions on Iridis III with small meta files that set up initial conditions and large amounts of data are then generated as a simulation runs. Partial results are dumped to storage at fine-grained time intervals, so there can be millions of files per user.

"Storage is key because of the amount of data being generated," said Oz Parchment, the university's infrastructure services manager. "It's a massive step change from the storage requirements of an Exchange or ERP environment, and with thousands of nodes trying to talk to the storage, it needs to be robust."

Drobo FS NAS devices targets SOHO market

Data Robotics has introduced Drobo FS, a NAS device aimed at the small office, home office (SOHO) market. Drobo FS incorporates Drobo's BeyondRAID technology, which allows users to switch between single- and dual-drive redundancy and provides protection against up to two simultaneous drive failures. The Drobo FS connects directly to any Gigabit Ethernet network and expansion is possible to 10 TB.

LTO-5 Ultrium tape capability available in HP StorageWorks MSL

HP has announced the availability of LTO-5 Ultrium tape capability and products in its HP StorageWorks MSL tape libraries. LTO-5 tape products have nearly double the capacity of LTO-4 products, improved backup performance and built-in encryption. HP StorageWorks LTO-5 Ultrium tape cartridge, drives and MSL library are available now, while the HP StorageWorks Enterprise LTO-5 tape library will be available by the middle of 2010.

ESVA Phone Home service helps users avoid unplanned downtime

Array vendor Infortrend has announced its Phone Home service is now available for its Enterprise Scalable Virtualized Architecture (ESVA) family of SAN products. The service is designed around ESVA's SANWatch Notification Manager, and is designed to help users minimize unplanned downtime for their systems. Users can optionally set a preference for an Infortrend engineer to be dispatched as soon as an issue arises.

Data Locker Secure Drive uses hardware-based encryption

UK-based Origin Storage has announced the availability of its 1 TB Data Locker Secure Drive portable hard drive, which is secured by a six- to 18-digit PIN number entered directly into the device. The Data Locker uses a hardware-based encryption chip to seamlessly encrypt and decrypt data using military grade AES/CBC mode encryption, with the unit only allowing its hidden SATA drive — connected via USB cable — to mount when the correct PIN is entered via the LCD keypad. You can also use the LCD screen to change the Data Locker PIN, dismount the drive, toggle the encryption on or off, or wipe the drive clean. Price is £399 plus VAT.

Shoden to resell Avere NAS appliances

London-based Shoden Data Systems UK will resell Avere Systems' FXT Series of NAS appliances. Avere Systems specialises in tiered storage in NAS devices that use lower-cost high-capacity SATA hard drives, and is aimed at users of large files such as video editing operations.

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