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US Navy Bolsters Mega-SAN

How would you like to develop a disaster recovery plan for one of the world's largest SANs? With multiple Pbytes of storage, a hundred server farms, and half a million users, this is the challenge facing the IT team behind the Navy and Marine Corps Intranet (NMCI).

"It's probably the largest storage system in the world," explained Akira Robinson, a computer scientist working as a civilian consultant on the project, during a presentation at the Storage Decisions event in New York today. "Each user has 100 Mbytes of storage [and] they also have 50 Mbytes of Exchange space."

The massive Intranet provides a Web-based communications infrastructure for 450,000 Navy and Marine personnel, as well as civilians working within the two branches of the U.S. military.

EDS is the primary contractor for the $9 billion project, which it describes on its Website as "the world's largest, most secure private network". Despite a series of performance and payment disputes, the Department of the Navy extended EDS's contract last year, taking the deal through to 2010.

Dell provided the initial 2-Pbyte storage infrastructure for NMCI back in 2000, although NetApp and EMC have since got involved with the project.

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