Isilon accelerates clustered storage

By Ann Silverthorn

—Isilon's announcements at this week's SuperComputing 2005 conference included a partnership with Microsoft on clustered computing and clustered storage, as well as an acceleration product for clustered storage.

At the show today, Microsoft introduced the public beta of Windows Compute Cluster Server 2003 software, the company's first official entry into the realm of high-performance computing (HPC). The software is designed to bring HPC to departmental and workgroup levels. The product's core platform is Server 2003 with Ethernet and InfiniBand support. (For more information on InfiniBand-related announcements at SuperComputing 2005, see InfiniBand makes a comeback at SuperComputing show)

Also today, Isilon announced that it will team with Microsoft to demonstrate the use of Isilon's IQ clustered storage systems with Windows Compute Cluster Server 2003. The two companies demonstrated the role clustered computing and storage can play in accelerating digital workflow, fostering enterprise collaboration, and reducing IT and infrastructure costs.

Isilon's clustered storage systems include the IQ 1920, 3000, 4800, and 6000, which are powered by the OneFS distributed file system and offer an InfiniBand option with Cisco's InfiniBand Server Fabric Switches for use in clusters. Isilon offers the InfiniBand option at the same price as the Gigabit Ethernet version. About 90% of Isilon's customers have chosen the InfiniBand option, according to company officials.

Isilon also announced a new product to boost the performance of its clustered storage systems. The IQ Accelerator can scale to provide 6GBps of total aggregate throughput from a single file system. Using Isilon's Dynamic Performance Acceleration (DPA) software, administrators can install the IQ Accelerator without interrupting users.

The IQ Accelerator will be available in the first quarter of 2006. Pricing has not been finalized, but it is expected to cost about one-third of the company's existing nodes, which are priced at $7 per gigabyte for high-capacity configurations (IQ 4800 and 6000) and $12 per gigabyte for high-performance configurations (IQ 1920 and 3000).

This article was originally published on November 15, 2005