BACKGROUND: Harris Corporation, with worldwide sales of more than $3.6 billion, is an international communications, electronics and information systems company that provides a wide range of products and services for wireless and personal communications, digital television (DTV), health care records management, multimedia, automotive electronics, transportation, defense and office document management. Harris has more than 27,000 employees worldwide and provides products and services in more than 150 countries.
PLATFORMS: One eight-processor Silicon Graphics Origin2000 and six Silicon Graphics Origin200 workgroup servers.
PROBLEM SOLVED: Harris Corporation operates the Model 2000 OAS (On-line Archival System), a multi-terabyte digital data storage system which provides on-line archive, retrieval, backup and restore services to over 2,000 clients. We were operating a manual check-in/check-out system for the storage of off-line computer media, similar to the paradigm of a public library. We recognized the inherent inefficiencies in this operation and embarked upon a search for technical solutions utilizing commercially available software.
Vangard Technology, a leader in the mass storage marketplace for the past 10 years, performed a trade study over a six-month period on hardware and software architectures that would satisfy the requirements of such a large and complex installation. Vangard and Harris selected the Silicon Graphics server product line for its proven ability to manage large data installations with stringent data throughput requirements.
The eight-processor Silicon Graphics Origin2000 provides archiving services to the 2,000 users. The Origin product line is well known for its ability to move large amounts of data through the system. The Origin2000 controls six IBM MagStar tape drives, each of which is capable of streaming data at 9MB/s for an overall initial bandwidth of 54MB/s. Six Origin200 workgroup servers provide system-backup services. Each Origin200 has a locally attached IBM MagStar tape drive for dedicated backup services for the subscribed users.
PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: The Model 2000 OAS is highly available to over 2,000 user workstations at the time of system implementation. We anticipate significant growth in the enterprise data requirements in the near future, and we needed a growth path to over one petabyte of data capacity with our current technology and without major architectural changes.
STRENGTHS: Silicon Graphics Origin2000 utilizes an advanced version of cache-coherent non-uniform memory architecture (ccNUMA), providing a scalable input/output backplane that is critical to grow with future requirements.
WEAKNESSES: The availability of commercial off-the-shelf applications that support the IRIX operating system (Silicon Graphics' UNIX operating system) is limited compared to the competition.
SELECTION CRITERIA: The major reason for selecting Silicon Graphics was for the excellent input/output throughput capability and the ability to scale as the enterprise grows.
DELIVERABLES: The Origin2000 system successfully provides archive and backup services to over 2,000 heterogeneous clients.
VENDOR SUPPORT: Silicon Graphics and Vangard Technologies suitably supported both pre- and post-implementation.
DOCUMENTATION: The documentation is easy to understand and very thorough.
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