Cray, the Seattle Wash.-based supercomputer maker, today launched new software to addresses the storage management and data protection needs of big data implementations based on the open source file system, Lustre.

The company announced the software, called Cray Tiered Adaptive Storage (TAS) connector for Lustre, at the International Supercomputing Conference in Leipzig, Germany. Lustre is an open source parallel distributed file system used in clustered, high performance computing (HPC) environments that’s gaining popularity in corporate circles as businesses increasingly turn to big data solutions.

First, Cray’s TAS connector for Lustre provides foundation for big data backups, according to Barry Bolding, vice president of storage and data management for Cray. To date, “it has been impractical to backup or protect large Lustre file systems with enterprise-class technologies,” he asserted in a statement.

His company’s software, on the other hand, “can now deploy high performance Lustre storage systems knowing their data can be easily managed” without getting locked into proprietary platforms. Cray TAS connector for Lustre provides data protection and management capabilities “on any Linux or Lustre environment, regardless of vendor,” he said.

Cray TAS is the company’s archiving solution powered by the storage virtualization software from Versity, a San Francisco tech startup. It enables organizations to transparently migrate data across a maximum of four tiers of storage, which can be comprised of SSDs, disk-based storage and tape.

The connector extends this capability to Lustre-based storage setups, with support for petabytes’ worth of large file system support on nearline disk tiers, according to the company. Customers can manage data on tape archives that measure in the exabyte range. Quota-based migration policies and a healthy ecosystem of Linux tools round out the software’s benefits.

The software arrives just as enterprises and some storage vendors turn to Lustre as the software basis for their bid data storage solutions.

In April, Xyratex unveiled the company’s ClusterStor Secure Data Appliance (SDA), a line of secure big data storage systems designed to help the intelligence community and defense agencies provide secure data access while enabling organizations to effectively — and efficiently — manage ever-growing amounts of storage. ClusterStor SDA’s secret sauce is a multi-level storage security framework based on “modifications made to Lustre,” said Don Grabski, senior director of product management for the company.

Cray’s Bolding sees the writing on the wall, too. “Lustre is expanding into commercial and big data customers, and is the leading open parallel file system,” he stated.

“Cray TAS now provides a path for customers to protect and archive the data that is important to them, while driving down total-cost-of-ownership by putting it on the most inexpensive media possible,” added Bolding.

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