SGI enters high-end network-attached storage market

Silicon Graphics Monday announced that they are entering a new market with the introduction of a high-end network-attached storage device that gives customers in data-intensive environments the ability to handle medical imaging, computer-aided manufacturing environments.

Called the SGI File Server, the appliance has a capacity of over 50 terabytes. It supports Unix and Windows file types and uses the NUMAflex architecture, which is built on the Non-Uniform Memory Architecture.

The crowded NAS market is growing explosively. SGI's entry into the multiterabyte market will position it against EMC Corp. and Network Appliance Inc., who dominate the space. IDC predicts the NAS market will double from US$3.09 billion this year to more than $6.5 billion in 2003.

Rather than competing in the general NAS space, observers say that the company' move into NAS is likely to ensure that SGI devices are attached to networks of SGI servers and storage, observers say.

The SGI File Server also supports backup to direct attached tape, freeing the network from datta transfers. Further, it features a hierarchical storage management feature for data migration and a point-in-time copy capability to increase the availability of the data.

The SGI File Server comes in two models: the 830 has an Ultra160 SCSI JBOD (Just a Bunch of Disks) with up to 8.6 terabytes; the 850 has a Fibre Channel RAID array and up to 50 terabytes of storage. The 830 starts at $49,100; the 850 starts at $67,750.