Hewlett Packard announced a few days ago the launch of a new, "extreme" storage system designed to fulfill the needs of online and digital media
businesses. The ExDS9100 is meant to be a helping hand by simplifying multiple petabytes management, and also by lowering the cost considerably.
According to HP, the server is ideal for the businesses services provided by Web 2.0 and digital media firms that face large amounts of file based data coming from photo sharing, video-on-demand, streaming media and social networking, data requiring impressive storage space, as well as fast management and instant access. Moreover, other large enterprises as those in the oil and gas industry, security and surveillance sectors or genetic research meet the same problems and need the same facilities.
"The amount of HD (high-definition) TV content being captured by all those cameras adds up very, very quickly. At the Olympics, they actually have 2,000 cameras to capture everyone's move at any one time. Various police departments are looking at having their officers walk around with a camera in their hat or badge to cut down on paper work at the end of the day and for use in courtrooms," said Patrick Eitenbichler, director of marketing for HP StorageWorks.
"It is a growing market. There aren't thousands of these companies out there, but there's enough that there is a market. This is for companies that are adding a massive amount of storage to their systems regularly and quickly," said Andrew Reichman, a Forrester Research analyst.
Hp's ExDS9100 (StorageWorks 9100 Extreme Data Storage System) is designed to meet all these requirements. It can offer both the large storage space needed, as well as an integrated, simplified data management. The great advantage brought by this file-based network-attached storage (NAS) system is the single management interface it offers, unlike other similar systems that have scaled to multi-petabyte level.
The ExDS9100's interface allows administrators to directly manage petabytes of storage instead of having to work with groups of terabytes. The number of administrators needed to assure the management of these highly demanding data storage environments is smaller, thus costs being reduced.
HP presents ExDS9100 as the first in a series of offerings the company has for scale-out environments as some emerging categories, including cloud computing, that deliver services through the Internet. ExDS9100 comes with an architecture that provides cost-effective management for these environments, enabling customers to provide new services or improve their offerings to drive new revenue streams.
"Many companies are struggling with file-based growth - not only how to cope with the sheer growth, but also how to leverage their digital and static media to create additional revenue by delivering online services," said Mark Peters, analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group. "HP is aiming to address these dual market needs, which are much more than just petabyte scalability at an affordable price. Customers are looking for systems that combine scalability with simplified management, ease of use, and all-in-one application support. Put very simply, new business models require usability as much as storability."
The architecture of ExDS9100, unlike that of competing systems, is intended to permit independent provision of performance and capacity, allowing a greater flexibility in matching workloads with capabilities. Through this feature, a permanent access to critical business applications is ensured, no matter environmental changes, like the seasonal customer flood for online photo sharing companies or the rise of demand for high-quality streaming video from file services and media providers.
"As business requirements rapidly change and digital media files grow at exponential rates, many enterprises need to manage growth in a way that helps them profit from their storage infrastructure. That's where the ExDS9100 really delivers," said Dave Roberson, senior vice president and general manager, StorageWorks, HP. "The ExDS9100 is the only complete hardware and software system that provides a flexible and affordable solution for customers with massive capacity needs."
There are three primary components constituting the unified system HP ExDS9100. The performance block consists of energy-efficient HP BladeSystem chassis with blade servers capable of providing the optimal performance for running extreme capacity requirements. The system ranges from four blades that can deliver 200MB/second of performance each up to as much as sixteen blades featuring 12.8 cores per unit, capable of providing up to 3.2GB/second performance level. The capacity block can be scaled from three high-availability "storage blocks" offering 246TB of capacity up to 10 storage blocks and 820 TB of capacity. As the demanding Web 2.0 and digital environments make use of HP file clustering software, the system gives the advantage of running the applications directly from the server block, without the need of a software tier. There is only one graphical interface that allows administrators an easy and fast management of more storage.
"With the unified management system, it takes only one administrator for each petabyte worth of data, which is 5 times and 10 times less than previous systems," Eitenbichler noted. He also added that businesses would pay less than $2 per gigabyte of storage. "When customers buy storage of a similar nature, they pay between two and five times more per gigabyte," he told TechNewsWorld.
ExDS9100 will be available by the end of the fourth quarter of 2008.