Network Computing is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Unisys Pitches Petabytes

Unisys Corp. (NYSE: UIS), a relatively minor player when it comes to storage networking, hopes to be first with a major breakthrough -- a storage system capable of housing over 1 petabyte (Pbyte) of online storage.

The vendor says that within three years, a government-funded project at the Cornell Theory Center (CTC) will produce a disk-based system that allows real-time access to over 1 million gigabytes (or 1,000 terabytes) of stored information. Funded in part by a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF), the work will eventually be extended for enterprise use.

The point here is to allow scientists access to massive amounts of data at one time in order to analyze it. Telescope images, for instance, could be analyzed with special algorithms to find pulsars in space.

"No one today has put together a petabyte of online storage," insists Peter Karnazes, director of high performance computing at Unisys. There are other projects afoot, such as the European Organization for Nuclear Research, known as CERN. Late last year, IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM) announced plans to develop a petabyte storage system for CERN, but at press time spokespeople at IBM had not responded to inquiries for an update.

The problem is one of cost, according to Karnazes and his colleague Michael Salsburg, technology director of the Systems and Technology group at Unisys. "You can have a petabyte of online storage, but it will cost $100 million," Karnazes says. "We want to do it for a tenth of that."

  • 1