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Seagate joins hands with Intel, adds tasty IEEL to its pie and mash

Unifying two Linux-based distros to grow overall market

By Chris Mellor, 5 Apr 2016

Seagate is helping to unify the Lustre parallel file system software world by incorporating Intel Enterprise Edition for Lustre (IEEL) into its ClusterStor arrays.

Lustre is open source parallel file system software based on Linux, and some 40 per cent of the world’s fastest installed supercomputers use it.

Seagate has its own Lustre software, and this competes with Intel’s version, which Seagate competitor DataDirect Networks uses in its Lustre storage array products, such as the ExaScaler 7000 (ES7K).

Both Intel and Seagate Lustre distros are based on the Open SFS community release. Seagate says it will now adopt IEEL as its baseline Lustre distro, so combining the capabilities of the two Lustre software streams, distributions, development and support teams.

Seagate announced an ClusterStor L300 array running Lustre parallel file system software in November last year. It also sells ClusterStor arrays with IBM’s spectrum Scale (GPFS) parallel file system software. HPE resells ClusterStor arrays; Cray OEMs them as its Sonexion brand products; and SGI also acts as a reselling channel for ClusterStor.

Seagate VP and GM for HPC, Ken Claffey, had a prepared quote saying good things: “Driving the growth of HPC is a key focus for both companies. This focus reflects how we see the data centre of the future evolving – and together, we can achieve more. Intel’s commitment to the development of Lustre is outstanding. Adopting Intel’s distribution will help harmonise efforts, and benefit our customers and the community.”

The L300 will get the combined software and support Intel’s Omni-Path network for exascale computing. I think we can see the outlines of the deal here: “we’ll let you use OmniPath if you take our Lustre distro on board.”

Intel and Seagate have an IDC research VP singing off their hymn sheet, Steve Conway, and his canned quote said: “IDC expects the collaboration between … Intel and Seagate to accelerate this evolution of Lustre software for use in industrial production computing environments.”

It’s not just academic HPC that's the lure but more general enterprise use.

HP is certainly on board, too. Witness Bill Mannel, VP and GM for its HPC and Big Data efforts in its server biz: “This partnership between Seagate and Intel nicely complements the HPC Alliance that HPE and Intel announced last year, and will enable us to give our enterprise customers access to the technologies and solutions – as well as the intellectual property, portfolio services and engineering support – necessary for evolving their compute infrastructure to capitalise on a data-driven environment.”

Enterprise use is mentioned again here.

Cray is on board as well, and this lustrous lot can better take on Red Hat-backed Gluster, an alternative open source scale-out, parallel file system software product.

The thoughts of DDN, with its Lustre software supplier now enabling stronger competition from Seagate's ClusterStor crew, can only be imagined. ®

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