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Terrascale Moves Out of the Lab

Startup Terrascale Technologies today unveiled a family of prepackaged InfiniBand clusters in an attempt to ease the strain on users wrestling with different pieces of storage kit. (See Terrascale Intros Storage Blocks.)

The new offerings include three different storage blocks” of prepackaged server clusters. Each cluster comprises either four, six, or ten “storage bricks,” which is Terrascale-speak for the data servers running the startup’s Terragrid software.

By repackaging its existing wares, Terragrid is making a bid for business beyond the ivory-tower high-performance computing world in which it's played up to now. A pitch for the new packaging is that Terragrid's software lets users create a pool of stored applications on multiple servers without adding a separate distributed file system from a third party -- such as IBM Corp., PolyServe Inc., or Sistina Software Inc. (See Terrascale and Terrascale Takes $2.75M to the Bank.)

Terrascale also claims to have added an additional layer of security to its wares. By building a software-based data protection algorithm into its prepackaged clusters, the startup says that one of the servers can automatically rebuild data across the cluster in the event of a system crash or component failure.

At least one user sees the combination of clusters, security, and pooled applications as an advantage. “This is a good idea,” says Dr. Peter Sobe, assistant professor at the University of Luebeck in Germany, which already uses Terrascale’s software. "It will probably make programming easier, and it could also enable users to share data faster on their shared storage systems." Sobe, who works closely with Luebeck's existing InfiniBand cluster, is also a fan of the concept of prepackaged, fault-tolerant clusters. (See Luebeck Looks to Clusters.)

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