Lesson to Learn From IBM's 120PB Storage System

Word is circulating that IBM is constructing the largest and most elaborate data storage system to date for a yet unknown client. The 120PB storage system, containing 200,000 disk drives, is rumored to hold approximately a trillion files.

Beyond the budget of mere mortals, the colossal data storage system is expected to be a model for future generations of storage systems.

Traditional fans will not provide sufficient cooling for this gigantic system, so IBM has allegedly created a water cooling system to prevent the system from overheating.

The high-performance system is also said to be programmed for minimum to zero data loss, according to IBM. As disk failures occurs, the system will automatically rebuild the failed data at a faster speeds than normal. Although IBM chose not to disclose what type of data backup structure the 120PB would use, they did indicate that the 120PB is designed for approximately 1 million years between data loss events.

Although the client has not been disclosed, rumors have circulated that the system could have been designed to track worldwide weather systems or seismic waves. Either way, this client appears to be keen to the fact that the future of human success depends on computing massive amounts of data. In fact, 15 new petabytes of information are created every day, which is about 8 times more information than in all the libraries in the United States! Data allows us to see trends that would otherwise be buried under insurmountable piles of 1s and 0s.

What can you learn from the IBM 120PB? Data growth is the future. Inside your business data are the possible answers to your next cost problem and marketing strategy. The trick is deciding how to effectively store and compute that data.

You may not need 120PB of storage capacity, but expansion of your current storage array may be necessary. How can you follow the model of this data giant?

How do you expand your system, store more information, and accommodate new data demands without exceeding budget limits?

Used storage is the solution for many enterprises that need to expand their current data storage system. Enterprises that deploy used storage hardware solutions experience up to 60-70% savings and find that they can purchase 150-200% more storage.

Despite the lure of extensive savings, some enterprises are hesitant to deploy used storage hardware solutions because they do not have all the information. Here are some common myths about used storage:

1. USED STORAGE SYSTEMS ARE OLD – FALSE. Many vendors provide used storage equipment that is either current or N-1 generation. Much of the equipment is newer than gear in your data center today.

2. USED STORAGE EQUIPMENT IS FAULTY – FALSE. A reliable used storage vendor never resells "broken" or "repaired" equipment. Repeat customers demand reliable equipment backed by warranty, and reliable storage companies know that.

3. USED GEAR IS NOT FOR ME – FALSE. As soon as equipment is installed in your environment, it's "used" gear. A reliable storage vendor offers equipment equally reliable as your own datacenter.

The following storage systems and upgrades are available at 30-50% less than manufacturer prices:

Used EMC Storage Arrays, Upgrades, and Disk Drives

Used IBM Storage Arrays, Upgrades, and Disk Drives

NetApp Storage Arrays, Upgrades, and Disk Drives

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