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Fujitsu's Enormous Storage Sandwich

7:20 AM -- Fujitsu yesterday unveiled a hulking 1.36-Pbyte disk array, which the vendor is touting as the world's largest storage system. But it remains to be seen who will bite -- or even have an appetite. (See Fujitsu Adds New Eternus.)

Launched in Japan, the firm's new high-end offering is the Eternus8000, which, apparently, is more than three times larger than Fujitsu's previously largest array.

Fujitsu looks to have nudged aside the competition, too. IBM's current topline disk array, the DS8000, has a capacity of up to 192 Tbytes, although the vendor says that the architecture can scale to over 1 Pbyte. EMC's mammoth DMX-3 system has a maximum capacity of 1.1 Pbytes.

At least one analyst is impressed. "It's a big one -- this is the largest that I have heard of," says Tom Trainer, senior analyst at the Evaluator Group, adding that faster Fibre Channel and Gigabit Ethernet interfaces are making these gargantuan systems increasingly viable for users.

Still, information on pricing and beta customers is being kept under wraps by Fujitsu, though the vendor confirms that the system will be available in the U.S. later this year. That begs the question: Does anyone, apart from conehead scientists in shadowy government research labs, actually need this type of thing?

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