Isilon Aims to Simplify Mass Storage

Seattle-based storage vendor Isilon, whose disk-based "clustered storage" systems are used by large media companies including NBC Universal, Turner Broadcasting and Sony Pictures Imageworks, has developed a new operating system for its scaleable storage systems, OneFS 6.0, and a new software application aimed at managing content across multiple tiers of storage.

The new SmartPools application is aimed at a variety of enterprise-customers, including large media companies that use different types of storage for different applications. For example, a programmer might use high-performance "S-Series" Isilon storage with lots of input/output capacity for playout applications; X-Series storage for production applications where throughput is the priority; and less expensive, lower-performance NL-Series storage for "nearline" archive applications where the speed of access and transport is less important than cost-effectively storing reams of data.

SmartPools allows users to unify multiple Isilon storage performance tiers into a single file system, providing simplified data management and automated data movement. The concept is to allow customers to move data seamlessly between storage tiers. SmartPools can be used in combination with InsightIQ, Isilon's new storage analytics application, to allow administrators to optimize workflow performance by closely matching application demands with storage resources throughout their production and/or playout workflow.

"With Isilon's SmartPools, we'll be able to eliminate tedious, manual data migration tasks and better utilize our existing storage, while also freeing valuable human resources for higher-order priorities," said Sony Pictures Imageworks senior engineer Nick Bali in a statement. "The cost-savings potential is significant."

Isilon's OneFS 6.0 operating system, SmartPools data management application and InsightIQ system analytics application are all available beginning July 30th. OneFS 6.0 will be available as an upgrade for existing customers and will be standard with all new Isilon system purchases. SmartPools is listed at $3,950-$9,950 per node, depending on node model, while InsightIQ is listed at $1,950-$3,850 per node, depending on node model.