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IBM lands storage deal in Ohio

The Ohio Supercomputer Center picks Big Blue technology to manage a large repository of research data, a move that boosts the company's storage "virtualization" efforts.

The Ohio Supercomputer Center has picked IBM technology to manage a large repository of research data, a move that boosts Big Blue's storage "virtualization" efforts.

IBM said Friday that it is providing the Columbus, Ohio-based facility with hardware and software to increase the center's storage capacity fivefold, resulting in a system able to hold more than 600 terabytes--or 600 trillion bytes.

Data such as bioinformatics information, which is generated through shared research applications provided by the center, will reach thousands of researchers across the state of Ohio as a result of the agreement, according to IBM.

Paul Buerger, leader of systems and operations at the Ohio Supercomputer Center, said in a statement: "The capacity and performance of this new storage environment will allow researchers to attack problems that may have been difficult or impossible to address previously."

The center has begun phasing in IBM FastT storage servers as well as software products SAN File System and SAN Volume Controller. SAN refers to Storage Area Networks, which are networks for linking storage devices to computers for more efficient use and easier management.


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The two software products are key pieces of IBM's push to virtualize storage, which involves pooling storage hardware together. SAN File System, for example, is designed to link isolated server and storage hardware units so that vast amounts of data can be easily accessed, stored and managed.

The supercomputer center is the first publicly announced customer of the SAN File System product, according to an IBM representative.

IBM's storage virtualization products are part of its broader "on demand" computing initiative, which aims in part to provide information technology systems that smoothly handle spikes in usage. Sun Microsystems and Hewlett-Packard are working on related efforts.