SGI debuts clustered NAS storage virtualisation disk archive gateway

SGI launches hybrid clustered NAS and storage virtualisation archiving for single view of disk, tape and object storage

Supercomputer and converged server/storage supplier SGI has announced a clustered NAS and storage virtualisation device that can scale to petabytes of on-board capacity.

The SGI Multiple InfiniteStorage Gateway is aimed at archiving use cases and can form a cluster of up to 64 nodes for total capacity in three figures of petabytes as well as act a gateway to multiple-supplier disk, tape and object storage systems.

The InfiniteStorage Gateway is effectively a combination of clustered NAS device with storage virtualisation capability.

Clustered NAS is file access storage that can be scaled out by the addition of nodes, but retaining a single file system view of the data held on all devices. As nodes are added, capacity and processing power increase.

Storage virtualisation allows customers to save costs because they can treat storage in multiple vendor environments as a single pool. Most mainstream storage vendors have storage virtualisation appliance products, such as IBM’s Storage Volume Controller, NetApp’s V-Series and EMC’s VPLEX.

The SGI Gateway is built on SGI’s virtualisation and storage tiering software, Data Migration Facility, which analyses data and moves it between media on a near real-time basis, according to usage characteristics defined by the customer.

The InfiniteStorage Gateway is marketed as an archiving tool and aimed at customers with big, unstructured data sets such as life sciences, media and entertainment and manufacturing.

But, according to managing director Rod Evans, the product can act as primary storage, with hot data moved from disk and tape to cache for online access.

The storage virtualisation device – available from June – appears as a NAS or iSCSI device on the LAN, with connectivity up to 10Gbps. It can also form part of an 8Gbps fibre channel fabric. It supports any disk drive type, including flash SSDs but not fibre channel. It will hold up to 72 3.5” drives or 144 2.5” HDDs for up to 276TB of capacity in a 4U form factor.

The InfiniteStorage Gateway builds on SGI’s existing high-end data archiving disk system family in ArcFiniti, aimed at high-end users and the Modular Infinite Storage NAS family (which uses Nexenta storage software), said Evans.

“We announced ArcFiniti a while ago; it’s a great product but has a 1PB entry point. As we have developed the Modular Infinite Storage products, that has given us the opportunity for a lower starting point.”

Read more on SAN, NAS, solid state, RAID