Companies Featured in This Article
EMC Corporation
Interwoven, Inc.
Isilon Systems
NXN Software

Sidebar: A Different Take on Disk Storage
Isilon Systems Inc., a startup digital media-centric storage company, believes that its soon-to-be-introduced disk array, IQ, is compelling for rich media archiving—and offers real advantages over systems from companies like Network Appliance or EMC.

“Customers are looking for richer ways to manage and grow and scale their systems; they don’t want something that can’t change. Our architecture is unique: it’s not static, and supports high concurrency and reliability,” says Brett Goodwin, Isilon’s vice president of business development.

Isilon’s solution consists of a rack-mountable network attached storage array made up of individual, independent nodes. Each node, according to Goodwin, is a 2U (3.5-inch) high file server containing 1.44 terabytes of storage. When multiple nodes are installed into a network—and Goodwin claims that customers always start with at least three nodes—they automatically reconfigure themselves into a fault-tolerant cluster, with a single address space. In other words, the IQ system looks like a single file server, no matter how many nodes are installed.

“Any number of nodes in a cluster—whether its 3, 30, or 100—and make them into one single network file system that’s very flexible, and can be scaled in both capacity and throughput. You can have file systems of hundreds of terabytes,” he says.

According to Goodwin, the company hasn’t yet made pricing public, but he boasts that the IQ system would cost 50 percent to 75 percent less, per terabyte, than competing storage systems.