Cluster Storage Is Now the Norm

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2007-07-03 Print this article Print

With more than 60 percent of the HPC market, cluster storage is now the norm for high-performance computing systems.

Cluster storage is now the norm for high performance computing systems. Six years ago, as cluster storage was just beginning to ramp up in production use, conventional, nonlinked storage systems constituted about 80 percent of the HPC market. That has all changed dramatically. Cluster systems took a majority (about 52 percent) of the market in the first quarter of 2006 and havent looked back, according to research company IDC. Storage clusters are now comfortably past the 60 percent mark in market share, researchers reported. Clustered storage is the linking of multiple storage servers to form a redundant ring of storage devices. Clustered storage systems typically perform multiple read/write requests through parallel access lines to the requesting computer. Old I/O bottlenecks in single access lines quickly go away in clustered systems with parallel lines.
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Besides the obvious benefit of more speed, what are the main advantages of using a cluster storage system, as opposed to a conventional, modular SAN (storage area network) or NAS (network-attached storage)? There are three major advantages to cluster storage systems, Robin Harris, an analyst with Data Mobility Group, told eWEEK. To read about MigrationIQ, Isilons latest addition to its clustered storage suite, click here. "First, they can scale I/O bandwidth to meet the most demanding data-intensive applications in financial modeling, biotech, geophysical and digital media," Harris said. "Second, management is much simpler because, as the capacity grows, you still access a single system rather than multiple arrays or filers spread across a SAN," he said. "Third, cluster storage is highly modular, so you buy what you need when you need it, and the performance and capacity scale as you add to it." Isilon Systems offers what it calls an intelligent automated clustered storage system powered by its own OneFS operating system, which is based on open-source FreeBSD. Rackable Systems, Exanet, Hitachi Data Systems and Network Appliance make up the rest of the leading cluster storage vendors. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, reviews and analysis on enterprise and small business storage hardware and software.
Chris Preimesberger Chris Preimesberger was named Editor-in-Chief of Features & Analysis at eWEEK in November 2011. Previously he served eWEEK as Senior Writer, covering a range of IT sectors that include data center systems, cloud computing, storage, virtualization, green IT, e-discovery and IT governance. His blog, Storage Station, is considered a go-to information source. Chris won a national Folio Award for magazine writing in November 2011 for a cover story on and CEO-founder Marc Benioff, and he has served as a judge for the SIIA Codie Awards since 2005. In previous IT journalism, Chris was a founding editor of both IT Manager's Journal and and was managing editor of Software Development magazine. His diverse resume also includes: sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News, covering NCAA and NBA basketball, television critic for the Palo Alto Times Tribune, and Sports Information Director at Stanford University. He has served as a correspondent for The Associated Press, covering Stanford and NCAA tournament basketball, since 1983. He has covered a number of major events, including the 1984 Democratic National Convention, a Presidential press conference at the White House in 1993, the Emmy Awards (three times), two Rose Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl, several NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, a Formula One Grand Prix auto race, a heavyweight boxing championship bout (Ali vs. Spinks, 1978), and the 1985 Super Bowl. A 1975 graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., Chris has won more than a dozen regional and national awards for his work. He and his wife, Rebecca, have four children and reside in Redwood City, Calif.Follow on Twitter: editingwhiz

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