June 19, 2006
Network Appliance Inc. is now shipping its Data ONTAP GX operating system, giving customers with high-performance computing (HPC) applications throughput, flexibility, and simplicity and reliability. Data ONTAP GX is the result of over two years of strategic engineering work, combining the global namespace functionality of SpinOS (which NetApp acquired when it bought Spinnaker Networks) with the key data management, performance and high-availability features of Data ONTAP 7G.
HPC customers in the areas of energy (seismic processing applications), entertainment (movie content creation and visual effects rendering) and electronic design automation (chip design and simulation) have an insatiable demand for extreme levels of performance. Data ONTAP GX delivers what those customers need, along with a single global namespace, which enables multiple nodes to be presented to applications as a single system and data to be moved between storage nodes and/or tiers transparently, simplifying data retrieval and management. Coupled with the new FAS6070 and/or FAS3050 system, HPC customers can leverage the clustered file system technology inherent in Data ONTAP GX, which enables individual files or datasets to be striped across multiple nodes. For instance, Data ONTAP GX, coupled with the new FAS6070, scales in capacity up to 6 petabytes and achieves unprecedented industry performance of more than 1 million operations per second, based on the SPEC SFS benchmark.
"As beta testers of Data ONTAP GX, we were impressed with its performance and stability," said Steve Kowalski, senior systems architect for research and development at Sony Pictures Imageworks. "Our technology profile at Imageworks is a hybrid, combining elements of enterprise infrastructure with high-performance computing. Data ONTAP GX from NetApp delivers high-performance features today, and we look forward to the enterprise features on the Data ONTAP GX roadmap."
"NetApp is not asking me to trade management ease or system reliability for massive scale-out and amazing performance," said Michael Thompson, senior systems engineer at Industrial Light & Magic. "Data ONTAP GX has been very impressive, with huge data throughput, a single global namespace scalable to multiple petabytes, no client-side software requirements, and ease of moving data between controllers and/or storage tiers. All this has me convinced that it's the best HPC storage solution out there."
"Performance is obviously an important criterion for HPC, but it's not the only criterion," said Addison Snell, research director for HPC at IDC. "HPC customers cite ease of management, scalability, and data protection features as critical in making purchase decisions. Storage vendors who take a broader view of what HPC customers need will find themselves in a better position to address all of the customer's concerns."
Data ONTAP GX distinguishes itself among competitors with:
"Until now, storage solutions have constrained HPC customers with large compute clusters," said Patrick Rogers, vice president of marketing, products and alliances. "With Data ONTAP GX, NetApp enables HPC customers to unleash the value of their Linux compute clusters, providing the extreme performance they crave while bringing a new level of management simplicity to HPC environments."
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