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Rackable kicks off storage cluster play

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SC06 Rackable Systems has moved to make good on its storage dreams and aspirations with a new clustered setup.

Okay, "new" probably is not the best word to use here. Rackable has basically taken the assets it acquired from Terrascale and turned them into the RapidScale SA3100 storage appliance. Rackable has aimed the box at customers looking to manage data spread across large Linux server clusters.

The new appliance allows Rackable to throw all the storage buzzwords it likes at customers. It can now talk about dodging parallel file systems in favor of a clustered file system, a global namespace, and a shared pool of data.

Rackable hopes the high-end storage talk will appeal to its existing server customers. The company has made a name for itself by selling Opteron-based systems to the likes of Yahoo!, Microsoft, and Amazon.

Storage currently accounts for about 15 per cent of Rackable's $80m to $100m in quarterly revenue, and the company would like to see that percentage rise over time. That's why it grabbed Terrascale for $40m back in August.

Terrascale's products have appealed to customers in the high performance computing arena – a segment that has been kind to Rackable as well.

The SA3100 appliance ships as a 3U system that can store up to 8TB of data or provide 6TB of usable disk in a RAID 5 configuration. Rackable brags that the appliance can show near linear scaling with 200MB/sec of throughput for one box, 1GB/sec for 5 boxes, 10GB/sec for 50 boxes, and 25GB/sec for 125 boxes.

The appliance starts at close to $39,000.

In related news, Rackable unveiled 1U, 2U and 3U servers running on Intel's new four-core Xeon chips. There's more on the gear here. ®

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