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SGI Intros 2Gb Fibre Channel Raid Array and SAN for High-Performance Technical Computing

(October 22, 2001)
SGI announced the availability of SGI Total Performance 9400 (TP9400) 2Gb RAID storage arrays with SAN fabric connectivity. SGI is the first systems vendor to offer a complete 2Gb SAN (storage area network) solution, including switches, HBAs (host bus adapters), RAID and tape devices.

The 2Gb technology enables simplification while increasing I/O throughput that HPC customers require in a high-performance SAN. The substantial increase in performance and capacity is an important benefit for creative and technical computing customers, which range from manufacturing, biotech and motion picture production to global weather forecasting, simulation and government intelligence gathering and analysis.

SGI(TM) TP9400 is a highly scalable Fibre Channel RAID storage subsystem designed for medium and large high-performance environments that value data storage with continuous availability. Most significantly, the complete 2Gb SGI TP9400 solution could double the throughput and the speed at which information can be moved across Fibre Channel.

To complement the performance enhancements of the TP9400 storage system, SGI is also introducing a 181GB disk drive, a significant expansion of capacity for the TP9400, by more than doubling the current capacity in the same amount of real estate. A single 19-inch rack subsystem can accommodate 20TB of user data. SGI further enhances the value of its products by providing heterogeneous host support for the TP9400, including SGI(TM) IRIX, Linux, Windows NT, Windows 2000, and Solaris platforms. This multi-OS capability will also allow support for the recently announced SGI CXFS clients for various hosts in a clustered filesystem.

Ongoing partnerships and alliances with leading industry manufacturers ensure that SGI solutions deliver 2Gb performance throughout the SAN -- from TP9400 RAID arrays to tape libraries, switches and HBAs. Brocade Communications Systems today announced the Silkworm 3800, a 2Gb Fibre Channel switch, that plays a significant part in the SGI 2Gb SAN infrastructure solution. SGI, through its partnership with StorageTek (NYSE: STK), is now delivering 2Gb T9840B drives (the only 2Gb Fiber Channel tape drive in the industry), designed for high-performance, nonstop use.

SGI is also introducing 2Gb host bus adapters for SGI(TM) Origin 3000 and SGI Origin 300 high-performance servers, which round out the components needed to ensure the ultimate performance of a 2Gb SAN.

Technical computing customers with multiple operating systems will greatly benefit from the new 2Gb SAN coupled with the recently announced SGI CXFS Version 2.0 -- the world's most scalable journaled and clustered filesystem -- with extended capabilities to support the Solaris operating system. SGI CXFS is a clustered solution that provides a single filesystem accessible on a heterogeneous SAN from multiple hosts. With Version 2.0, SGI IRIX customers can seamlessly share data with Solaris OS-based systems in real time, thereby increasing productivity and reducing costs. Built on the high-performance SGI(TM) XFS filesystem and the next-generation SGI XVM volume manager, CXFS enables multiple computers direct access to a shared filesystem, which means all systems in a CXFS environment have access to the same file at the same time at local or near-local speeds.

The SGI TP9400 storage array is the highest tnd high-capacity disk drives, providing up to 20TB of storage in a single 19-inch rack, parallel high-performance controllers with multifunctional cache modules and advanced cache management microcode, the TP9400 storage system can enhance the throughput of nearly any application.

SGI TP9400 2Gb RAID storage array with SAN fabric connectivity will be available later this quarter. An entry-level 2Gb SAN solution consisting of a 16 port switch, 2 HBAs, one dual-port RAID controller with 360GB storage capacity would have a list price under $100,000 (U.S.).

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