Hewlett-Packard is getting ready to launch the ExDS storage system, which will use up to 820 1T-byte drives for file-based storage, packaged in two 42U cabinets.
The system is an online content repository that comes in the shape of an appliance, according to Jim Haberkorn, a director at HP's StorageWorks division.
"We first designed the product specifically for streaming media and for static media," Haberkorn said, but the device is attracting interest from other sectors that face a dramatic rise in the amount of data they store.
Organisations that are interested in the new system have already looked at their old kind of storage, but have found it too expensive, that it takes up too much space or uses too much power for what they want to do, according to Haberkorn.
"Maybe they want to start an online backup service or start saving their customer's videos, or their snapshots themselves -- traditional storage doesn't allow them to reach the right economies in order to make that viable," Haberkorn said.
The system will cost less than U$2 (£1.90) per gigabyte or U$2,000 per terabyte. "That includes everything, so it includes the software, the hardware, the infrastructure, the cabinets, all the installation and all the services," Haberkorn said.
HP has emphasised easy installation and management and has used HP’s existing products including blade servers, in the devices.
Both the number of blade servers and the number of drives can be scaled independently, depending on how much performance and storage are needed.
The model for building these kinds of storage systems is Google. Although the search giant tries to maintain secrecy around the way it has managed to grow its infrastructure, Haberkorn, believes ExDS can deliver better performance than Google's in-house system. "We, for example, get double the density, they get 6T bytes per U, we believe, and we get 12T bytes," said Haberkorn.