Crosswalk Launches iGrid Storage System


A startup launched by McData founder Jack McDonnell hopes to remake high-performance storage systems with a grid-like approach.

Westminster, Colo.-based Crosswalk on Tuesday launched its iGrid Intelligent Storage Grid System, which the company bills as a "vendor-agnostic grid technology that enables any application to access any authorized storage resource, any iGrid node to access any and all file systems, and any users to concurrently access any data they need for collaborative projects."

"We developed iGrid to meet the high-performance storage demands of computational grids and clusters in environments where productivity, results and time-to-completion are all being adversely impacted by existing inflexible storage architectures that are silo-based," said McDonnell, Crosswalk's founder and CEO.

McDonnell says iGrid changes all that by being "truly adaptable, enabling users to add storage capacity whenever it's needed, and to make each and every storage volume available to each and every application server and end-user. The bottom line here is that iGrid empowers collaborative project team members to focus on their work, not storage work-arounds."

Mark Stratton, Crosswalk's vice president of solutions, said the new iGrid 5100 offers easy to manage, expandable and scalable storage for HPC and compute grid environments. Media rendering farms are another market for the technology.

Crosswalk brings together commodity hardware to form grid nodes and create a storage grid system for a single unified resource. The platform uses a block-based back-end and a file-based front-end using NFS and CIFS protocols, with plans to add block-based iSCSI and F ibre Channel front-ends later. Access and collaborative workflow is a big goal of the platform.

Crosswalk says iGrid "leverages legacy investments, breathing new life into archaic architectures by establishing virtual links between existing storage resources and application servers. As a result, iGrid enables seamless data sharing across what were previously isolated applications and data silos."

iGrid also creates a single system view of the storage environment that simplifies management of computational grids. The technology also offers resiliency, with no single point of failure and no need to purchase duplicate resources.

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