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Linux Networx Debuts 'Super' Storage

Supercomputer vendor Linux Networx announced this week a new lineup of storage solutions, while also revealing that it is no longer developing its Xilo scalable clustered storage system.

Linux Networx has classified its new storage solutions under three tiers: Value, Ultimate and Premium Performance.

At press time specifications were only made available to internetnews.com for two models. The Linux Networx ST2822 and the ST6998 Storage Systems are geared specifically for supercomputer users, where storage, according to Linux Networx, is added typically as an afterthought.

The ST2822 has support for up to 122 SATA drives with a sustained throughput capability of 485 MB/s.

The ST6998 Storage System, on the other end. can handle up to 224 Fibre Channel drives with sustained throughput of 1600 MB/s.

The new storage solutions will integrate with Linux Networx recently launched midrange LS-1 and LS/X systems, as well as Linux Networx Advanced Technology clusters.

"We are not trying to compete with traditional storage vendors that serve the enterprise market," Anne Vincenti, Linux Networx director of storage, told internetnews.com.

"Our storage solutions are specifically designed to support the needs of supercomputing users who want to completely optimize their supercomputing investment through tightly integrated, optimized supercomputing-specific storage alternatives."

As opposed to other vendors' solutions in the HPC space, Linux Networx is not currently deploying its supercomputing storage solution with InfiniBand .

InfiniBand is also increasingly becoming popular as an HPC storage and enterprise storage interconnect.

Vincenti explained that Linux Networx's integrated offerings for ultimate and premium performance delivers parallel file systems over 4Gb and 2Gb Fibre Channel.

At some point in the future, Vincenti said, the technology may embrace Infiniband.

The Value Performance offerings are available with Gigabit Ethernet or Fibre Channel attach.

The new storage solutions will not be using Linux Networx Xilo clustered file storage system, which was originally announced in November 2004.

According to Vincenti, Xilo is no longer in active development.

Instead, Linux Networx is taking advantage of an OEM agreement it signed in December to use IBM's General Parallel File System, or GPFS.

"Linux Networx has determined that we can deliver more robust solutions more quickly by integrating Linux Networx GPFS with two performance hardware options," Vincenti said.

The Linux supercomputing company is coming off a "super" 2005, claiming that it finished the year with a 300 percent booking backlog over 2004 and adding new customers such as BMW, DaimlerChryseler, Audi, Glaxo SmithKline and Motorola, among others.

It also recently notched its biggest order ever.

Earlier this month, Linux Networx also announced that the Department of Defense had placed the "largest single order for Linux Supercomputers in the company's history" with a five supercomputer order.