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Supercomputer-maker Cray offers cold storage to hungry Big Data boys

Cryogenic arrays? Not quite, but it'll all end in TIERS

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Supercomputer supplier Cray is offering archival storage for cold data with automated movement across four storage tiers.

The product is a large-scale tiered storage archive solution intended for the HPC and Big Data markets.

Cray's Tiered Adaptive Storage (TAS) offering uses Storage Manager archival software from Versity, in which it has an investment, to provide a file system interface spanning four tiers of media, using SSDs, disk or tape.

Data is moved between tiers using policies, with the Versity software helping to make the actual data location transparent to users who access it - they just see files in a virtual file space.

It’s basically file virtualisation – where so many have tried and failed before. Perhaps the massive amounts of data involved and consequent high storage cost will make it worthwhile this time around the block – moving the data from the expensive creation and processing of storage tiers to cheap and deep archival storage.

Cray says TAS "includes all software and hardware, eliminating complexities associated with planning, designing, and building large-scale archives".

Cray TAS

Our view of Cray's TAS

Barry Bolding, Cray’s storage and data management VP, said: “We now have a complete tiered storage and archiving solution that combines our scaling expertise with proven block storage and tape technologies, while also providing integration with HSM features in future versions of the Lustre file system.”

We’re told the system "comes integrated, preconfigured, and tested at scale with all software and hardware". All the included hardware and software is supported by Cray.

There is a TAS brochure (PDF) here but it provides no information about configurations, availability and pricing. Neither does Cray’s release or its website. However, “[t]he Cray TAS solution will be on display in the Cray booth at the 2013 Supercomputing Conference held 17 to 22 November in Denver, Colorado". The stand reps should have more detail, so you'll hear more soon. ®

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