CSIRO in three petabyte storage upgrade

The CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation) will bolster the storage capacity of its data centres to three petabytes (three thousand terabytes) following an AU$4 million deal with Hitachi Data Systems and Volante. The research organisation is consolidating file servers at dozens of sites across the Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales and Victoria, to a main data centre in each state and territory.

The CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation) will bolster the storage capacity of its data centres to three petabytes (three thousand terabytes) following an AU$4 million deal with Hitachi Data Systems and Volante.

The research organisation is consolidating file servers at dozens of sites across the Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales and Victoria, to a main data centre in each state and territory.

Mark Hipworth, service delivery manager, CSIRO, said many of the file servers were ageing. Reducing the number of storage sites would then make management easier, he said.

"We'll be merging a lot our file servers that are nearing capacity and end of life [into the data centres]."

Compounding the problem had been the disparate storage infrastructure across the CSIRO.

CSIRO used an array of competing storage solutions, such as Dell and Sun, but these could only be individually managed, according to Hipworth.

"We had no common storage systems across the organisation," said Hipworth.

Under the AU$4.4 million contract, awarded after an open tender, Hitachi and partner Volante will provide storage services and maintenance to CSIRO for three years from April 2006.

Hitachi infrastructure to be provided includes three NSC55 network storage controllers, three AMS500 modular storage systems and three Quantum tape libraries. The sites will run Hitachi's data protection suite software.

Three Cisco fibre channel connectors will also be used.

CSIRO's total storage capacity across Australia at present was around 315 terabytes, according to Hipworth.

Under the terms of the contract, this would increase to around three petabytes. The big leap in capacity was due to CSIRO expecting its scientists to run new projects in the next three years that would consume more and more storage space.

"We have some projects coming online later with sensory networks that will use up a lot of space," said Hipworth.

The deployment of the new infrastructure to the three data centres would take a number of weeks, according to Hitachi Data Systems Australia and New Zealand managing director, Mark Kay.

He said the win was significant for Hitachi as it had restructured its Canberra team over the last 12 months with the aim of winning more federal government business.

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