Apr 12, 2005

Seagate, Emulex and IBM Team up to Demonstrate Industry's First Standards-Compliant Object-Based Storage Devices

Seagate (NYSE: STX), along with Emulex and IBM, today unveiled a joint technology demonstration using Object-Based Storage Devices (OSD). Object-Based Storage is a new command set that is an extension of the current SCSI command set, which shifts or delegates more functionality and intelligence from the host into individual storage devices. The demonstration is the world's first of a prototype device that is compliant with the SCSI OSD command set standard ratified last year.

In addition, the demonstration marks the first time that OSD has been shown spanning the file system through to the drive. The technology demonstration between the companies signals the emergence of a new era in storage resource management that will also greatly impact and simplify many tasks in enterprise computing environments.

The demonstration shows two IBM metadata servers running an IBM Research shared file system with OSD support. Object-Based Storage is demonstrated at the subsystem level and at the disc drive level. The servers send objects over an Ethernet connection to an IBM OSD array, which then stores the objects on internal block-based hard drives, demonstrating the viability of the protocol at the iSCSI and controller level. The servers also send objects through a standard Emulex LightPulse LP10000DC dual channel Fibre Channel host bus adapter with enhanced drivers to an array of Seagate OSDs, demonstrating the viability of the protocol at the Fibre Channel fabric and disc level. The inherent flexibility of Emulex's firmware-based HBA architecture enables support for OSD. Both servers run on existing Fibre Channel and Ethernet networks.

The demonstration will be showcased during the Storage Networking World conference at Seagate's booth, #P13.

"OSD helps empower IT managers by reducing the complexity of storage management and IT resources, and ultimately alleviates the need to focus on many low-level tasks," said Brian Dexheimer, Seagate executive vice president, Global Sales and Marketing. "With today's industry-first demonstration, Seagate is again showing its leadership in developing the technologies that matter most to the enterprise."

"Emulex's Fibre Channel HBAs are an ideal building block solution for emerging technologies, such as OSD, because our unique firmware-based HBA architecture provides the necessary flexibility to support such new and innovative designs. We are pleased to team with IBM and Seagate to showcase emerging solutions that benefit the overall storage ecosystem," said Greg Scherer, chief technology officer, Emulex Corp.

Why Object-Based Storage?
Today, too many IT resources are tied up in low-level details and functions, because the storage environment exposes too much complexity. This not only results in a lot of wasteful activity, it also represents a big opportunity cost. Storage management software can mask this complexity only so much. Object-Based Storage reduces complexity at the source.

What is Object-Based Storage?
Object-Based Storage is a new command set that is an extension of the current SCSI command set and is carried over any of these interfaces: SCSI, iSCSI, Fibre Channel, or SAS. This command set shifts or delegates more functionality and intelligence from the host into the individual storage devices. It does this by managing and storing a file and its metadata together as one coherent object, maintaining the connection down to the Object-Based Storage devices (a controller, a disc array, or an individual disc drive).

Higher level infrastructure activities are delegated to the lowest-level devices, decreasing traffic and enabling new functionality that software alone cannot provide, enabling: greater scalability and performance, dynamic reconfiguration, host interoperability, native security, and enhanced reliability.

The result is that both IT and system builders benefit with more competitive storage solutions that allow them to focus on application and data characteristics, rather than low-level storage management.

About Seagate

Seagate is the worldwide leader in the design, manufacturing and marketing of hard disc drives, providing products for a wide-range of Enterprise, Desktop, Mobile Computing, and Consumer Electronics applications. Seagate's business model leverages technology leadership and world-class manufacturing to deliver industry-leading innovation and quality to its global customers, and to be the low cost producer in all markets in which it participates. The company is committed to providing award-winning products, customer support and reliability to meet the world's growing demand for information storage. Seagate can be found around the globe and at www.seagate.com.

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