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NetApp's GX Targets HPC

After taking 31 months to integrate code acquired from Spinnaker for $300 million, Network Appliance has finally made its Data Ontap GX operating system for clustered NAS available. (See NetApp Ships Data Ontap GX.)

The new OS does not supplant NetApp's Data Ontap 7G operating system for commercial NAS. For now, the GX OS is available on NetApp's midrange FAS3050 and enterprise FAS6070 arrays. It incorporates global namespace and file stripping, two features that earmark the new OS for high-performance computing (HPC) and vertical markets, such as entertainment, oil and gas, and chip design. (See NetApp Annexes Spinnaker.)

Global namespace lets NAS systems scale to petabytes, and users can access data while it is moving between controllers and arrays. GX's file striping lets volumes scale across nodes for a performance improvement.

Pricing starts at $212,000 for a configuration of two FAS3050 nodes, Data Ontap GX, and 7 Tbytes of storage.

All this is aimed at NAS customers craving speed. "High-performance computing is a portion of the market specifically characterized by people creating large-scale computer farms," says Rich Clifton, GM of NetApp's network storage business unit. "This is a place where people continue to push the leading edge of what you can accomplish."

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