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Seagate embarks on renewed HPC push through partnerships with HP and IBM

Storage supplier hopes to increase the total addressable market for its ClusterStor appliance by joining forces with HP and IBM

Seagate is joining forces with IBM and HP to drive up sales of its ClusterStor scale-out storage systems, and – in turn – grab a bigger slice of the high-performance computing market.

The IBM partnership will see Seagate bundle Big Blue’s Spectrum Scale file management offering in with ClusterStor to create a new type of software-defined storage appliance for high-performance computing (HPC) users.

According to Ulrich Plechschmidt, managing director of cloud systems and solutions for Europe, the Middle-East and Africa at Seagate, HPC users tend to rely on scale-out storage systems that feature either IBM’s Spectrum Scale file system or the Lustre community’s open-source alternative.

Up to now, Seagate’s ClusterStor appliances have only featured Lustre’s file management software. So, by partnering with IBM, Plechschmidt claimed this should increase the total addressable market for ClusterStor.

As such, Seagate said there are five supercomputers in the world that require more than 1TB per second of I/O (input/output) performance, and ClusterStor is used in four of them.

“The HPC market is characterised by a relatively small number of very large supercomputer projects per year and per country, and all of those deals are multimillion-dollar deals,” he said.

“That part of the market is expected to grow as the data explosion we’re witnessing relentlessly continues. Our goal is to help solve the biggest data problems for the biggest customers worldwide with our systems,” he added.

Using HP as a route to HPC growth

To drive adoption of ClusterStor even further, the company has agreed to let HP resell the appliance as a complement to its wider Apollo portfolio of HPC-related products and services.

Bill Mannel, vice-president and general manager at HP, said it plans to use this extended portfolio to win more HPC deals in the bioinformatics, pharmaceutical, oil and gas and academic research markets.

“We’re confident ClusterStor – which HP has successfully utilised in oil and gas verticals – can help us achieve a high level of performance for additional workloads in other vertical industries,” said Mannel.

“Often these systems must provide scalability for growth, while also being easy to use in terms of efficiently managing and deriving value from hyperscale and high-performance computing. Seagate ClusterStor is targeted to address these types of requirements,” he said.

The Seagate partnership news is one of several announcements the company will be making the week of 13-19 July 2015 at the International Supercomputing Conference in Frankfurt, where it is also expected to unveil several new additions to its hybrid cloud data protection portfolio.

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