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Isilon fattens clustered NAS with 1TB disks

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Scientifically speaking, storage vendor Isilon systems is hugifying its clustered NAS lineup. The storage firm is expanding its modular storage pool family by fitting 1TB drives into a new pair of nodes, boasting 250TB max capacity in a single rack.

The new clustered NAS offerings are the IQ 12000, a performance-oriented system; and the EX 12000, a capacity extension.

Each box contains 12 Hitachi 1TB SATA II disk drives, providing (yes, we'll do the complex math for you) 12TB capacity in each 2U node. They usurp Isolon's IQ 9000 as capacity king, which holds 750GB drives from Seagate.

The IQ 12000 uses Isilon's OneFS operating system that allows up to 1.6PB of data in about 60 nodes to be managed as a single volume and single file system. The EX 12000 is a storage extension node for those requiring the addition of capacity rather than all out performance.

The minimum configuration is five node cluster.

The hardware uses standard NAS file sharing protocols over Gigabit Ethernet for front-end connections, and InfiniBand for intracluster communication. Features include nearline archiving, disk-to-disk backup and restore and asynchronous replication for remote disaster recovery.

Isilon sees their clustered NAS storage fitting into the Web 2.0 crowd, where huge amounts of storage may need to be scaled at the drop of a hat.

The storage firm faces competition in the clustered NAS market from startups such as Panasas and ActiveStor, as well as storage giants, NetApp and EMC.

The Isilon IQ 12000 has a list price of $47,250 per node, while the EX 12000 lists at $29,250. But Isilon says they are willing to lower prices to the golden-tongued during negotiations — with a price as low as $2,000 per TB.

Isilon's storage ramp-up comes during turbulence, as the storage vendor suffers growing pains in its transition to a public company. They swapped heads last month — with founder Sujal Patel moving from chief technology officer into the CEO spot to satisfy a boardroom unhappy with sales since its IPO last December. ®

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