HP is talking up the ExDS9100 as a way to help companies scale up their storage and computing capacity and manage that capacity more easily. Today, in organisations with large amounts of data, it may take several administrators to manage one petabyte of data. HP wants to turn that around so a single administrator can manage several petabytes, Roberson said.
The platform consists of an HP BladeSystem chassis with room for 16 blade servers, in a rack that also accommodates storage controllers and high-density 'storage blocks' with as many as 82 hard drives. A base configuration will consist of four blade servers and three storage blocks, with 246 terabytes (TB) of storage.
Customers will be able to add either type of capacity independently of the other. One rack will hold as much as 820TB, but an extra rack of storage can be added for a total of 1.64 petabytes.
Applications that access the storage will run directly on the blade servers, taking advantage of HP file-clustering software. This eliminates a tier of software, according to HP. Both servers and storage can be managed through one management console. In addition, the high density of the platform allows for efficient use of space, cooling and power, according to HP.
The ExDS9100 is scheduled to ship in the fourth quarter. HP predicts it will cost less than $2 (£1) per GB in a typical configuration.