SGI rolls out NAS appliances

Posted on October 27, 2006

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By Kevin Komiega

—Less than two weeks after emerging from Chapter 11, SGI hit the ground running with a pair of new enterprise-level NAS appliances for high-performance computing (HPC) environments and end users with large-capacity requirements.

SGI announced the InfiniteStorage NAS 4550 and 4050 systems. The 4550 is designed to support high-performance applications, and the 4050 is designed to meet high-capacity requirements.

SGI claims the appliances have virtually no file system size restrictions and can theoretically scale up to 18 exabytes.

The InfiniteStorage NAS 4550 is available in two models—a Streaming version and an Ultra version. The Streaming version is for applications such as media production, data mining, and oil and gas research. The Ultra version is for applications such as transaction systems, databases, and multi-user workloads of more than 500 users.

The NAS 4550 Streaming model features 300GB, 10,000rpm Fibre Channel drives, while the Ultra model uses 146GB, 15,000rpm Fibre Channel drives for high-throughput workloads.

The 4050 also comes in two models: a SATA server version and a Maximum Capacity version. The 4050 can scale up to 168TB of capacity. SGI is targeting the 4050 at applications such as archiving, secondary storage, online backup, and imaging.

All of the new NAS systems run SGI's InfiniteStorage NAS Manager 3.2 software with performance, diagnosis, and disk utilization monitoring. The software also allows administrators to automatically manage file system quotas.

Both the NAS 4550 and NAS 4050 use SGI's Altix 450 server and file system technologies.

SGI managed to make over its entire organization in less than six months after entering Chapter 11. The company installed a new management team and board of directors and recapitalized with $115 million in financing and the elimination of its long-term debt.

The company also forged ahead with its product road map while reorganizing and introduced a number of new servers, including the Altix XE line of servers and clusters, as well as the Altix 450 and 4700 blade servers.

Pricing for the InfiniteStorage NAS 4550 begins at $200,342 for the Streaming model and $238,655 for the Ultra model. The NAS 4050 SATA server is priced from $92,000, and the NAS 4050 Maximum Capacity model is priced from $400,000.

The appliances are expected to begin shipping in December.


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