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HP slims down extreme filer

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HP is offering a downsized turnkey configuration of its big-ass filer, the ExDS9100, and says DreamWorks Animation is using a bigger version to archive and back up its movies.

The Extreme Data System 9100 was announced just over a year ago as a high-capacity filer that scaled to 820TB. It had three components: HP's acquired PolyServe clustering filer software; so-called Performance Blocks using HP BladeSystem server blades running applications; and up to 10 Storage Blocks, 7U enclosures with 82TB of 3.5-inch SATA drives. Multiple ExDS9100s can be aggregated together to make one gargantuan filer.

What HP has done is to lower the ExDs9100 price by offering a base system configuration with a single Storage Block and two server blades priced at less that $2/GB, meaning under $164,000. This base system can scale up to the ExDS9100 maximum of 16 server blades and 10 Storage Blocks.

HP doesn't appear to have dropped the general ExDS9100 pricing as that is also priced at less than $2/GB, but more customers can now, in theory, afford to buy an ExDS9100 system with this relatively cheap starter pack.

DreamWorks is using a 170TB ExDS9100 as an online reference library for films such as Madagascar and Kung Fu Panda and to back up ongoing projects. It is not using the filer for online storage for this work, having previously chosen ProLiant DL385 servers with directly-attached MSA70 disk shelves and IBRIX Fusion file servers. ®

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