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Seagate’s New Solutions Equip Enterprises for the New Data Economy

The company unveiled groundbreaking open-source software, developer community, and converged infrastructure innovations

Seagate Technology plc, a world leader in data storage and management solutions, introduced revolutionary open-source object storage software, a reference architecture powered by it, and a corresponding developer community. All three were built to manage the massive surge and sprawl of unstructured enterprise data. Today’s announcement was part of the company’s first annual Datasphere event.

“We live in a data economy,” said Seagate’s CEO Dave Mosley. “The value of enterprise data is too often untapped. Businesses struggle to access their data’s full potential. Seagate tailored its offerings to match the new information-hungry reality. The cost-effective, frictionless, and reliable data management innovations that Seagate unveiled today will help companies get more value out of their data.”

Solutions announced today include the 100% open source-based software CORTX: the collaborative open source CORTX Community; and the open, flexible reference architecture deployed as converged infrastructure Lyve Drive Rack, powered by CORTX.

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The CORTX Software

CORTX is hardware-agnostic open-source object storage software that gives developers and partners access to mass capacity-optimized data storage architectures. CORTX use cases include artificial intelligence, machine learning, hybrid cloud, the edge, high-performance computing, and more. Given customers’ preference for freedom from vendor lock-in, CORTX is open source-based and developed with the community. Several early adopters began testing the software and participating in the CORTX Community ahead of the launch.

Scientific communities with mass-scale data storage requirements cheered CORTX’s arrival.

An early adopter, The French Alternative Energies and Atomic Agency (CEA), has been testing a development version of CORTX for several years. The agency concluded that it is “now proving to be very powerful and flexible object storage, which can be used very effectively to implement very large-scale data storage,” in the words of Jacques-Charles Lafoucriere, Program Manager, CEA. “CORTX can very nicely work with storage tools and many different types of storage interfaces. We have effectively used CORTX to implement a parallel file system interface (pNFS) and hierarchical storage management tools. CORTX architecture is also compatible with artificial intelligence and deep learning (AI/DL) tools such as TensorFlow.”

Another early adopter, the UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA), a leader in fusion energy research and development, sees CORTX as a welcome and needed solution. “CORTX is novel in its very concept,” said Dr. Debasmita Samadder, Exascale Algorithms Specialist at UKAEA. “It is very exciting to try our application and explore its performance using this unique object data storage system.”

“As HPC Division Leader at Los Alamos National Lab, I am vigilant for opportunities to reduce the cost and complexity of our distributed data platforms,” said Gary Grider. “I am very excited to see what Seagate is doing with CORTX and am optimistic about its ability to lower costs for data storage at the exabyte scale. We will be closely following the open source CORTX and will participate in the community built around it, because we share Seagate’s goal of economically efficient storage optimized for massive scalability and durability.”

Early adopters of CORTX also include Toyota Motor Corporation and Fujitsu Limited, among other enterprises.

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The CORTX Community

CORTX Community is a group of open source researchers and developers working together to enable mass capacity object storage for the world’s proliferating data sets.

CORTX is now available for download and collaboration on GitHub. “Seagate delivers an open platform, with all the feature sets and roadmaps driven by the community—for the community,” said Jeff McAffer, Senior Director of Product at GitHub. “It’s the kind of setting in which innovation happens.”

While CORTX and CORTX Community are Seagate’s latest contributions to object storage, the company has long played a key role in its collaborative development. In the late 1990s, Seagate was a pioneering member of the industry consortium that created the very first object storage specification: the SNIA OSD standard. Seagate’s commitment to innovation and collaboration in object storage continues in CORTX and its many architectural optimizations.

Both offerings drew praise from Intel and WekaIO.

“Open source innovation in high-performance storage is critical to propel cloud, HPC, AI and communications networks to higher levels of performance in the coming data era,” said Bryan Jorgensen, Vice President in Intel’s Data Platforms Group. “Intel plans to work within the CORTX Community to enable and optimize this exciting open source technology with our relevant platform features, including Intel Optane persistent memory, Intel QuickAssist accelerators, and the DAOS file system. We will also be working with Seagate to integrate those same technology innovations within the mass capacity-optimized Lyve Drive Rack reference design.”

Shailesh Manjrekar, Head of AI and Strategic Alliances at WekaIO, weighed in as well: “As the provider of the world’s fastest file system, we are thrilled to partner with Seagate to meet our customer’s demands for high performance and exascale economic storage for use cases like AI/ML, life sciences, and financial services. We appreciate Seagate’s proven data storage expertise and look forward to participating in the CORTX open source development to create end-to-end solutions leveraging our transformative Weka AI solutions framework, where WekaFS provides the extreme performance and CORTX provides capacity and durability.”

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Lyve Drive Rack

Lyve Drive Rack is an open, flexible converged storage infrastructure that provides users with a ready-made reference architecture with which to deploy CORTX and build their own mass capacity-optimized private storage cloud. The solution democratizes hyperscale storage architectures. It offers economical and fast deployment of object storage, enabling discovery of valuable insights through rich data labeling of massive amounts of data. The enclosure’s capacities start at 1.34PB.

The Datasphere event featured a demo for Lyve Drive Rack. It was furnished with Seagate’s next-gen hardware innovation, the 20TB HAMR hard drives, showing that CORTX and Lyve Drive Rack enable fast adoption of mass-capacity drives for hyperscale applications. Shipments of Lyve Drive Rack and the 20TB HAMR drives are scheduled to begin in December.

Another early adopter of CORTX and Lyve Drive Rack, DC BLOX, provides resilient edge-connected colocation, networking, and storage infrastructure. “DC BLOX values Seagate’s leadership in tackling the rapidly increasing challenge of large-scale data storage and management with its CORTX object storage system,” said Peyton McNully, Chief Cloud Architect at DC BLOX.

Public cloud hyperscale storage infrastructures rely on the cost efficiency of mass-capacity devices to reduce the cost of storage. With today’s announcements, Seagate is bringing that same capability and economic benefit to the enterprise in an open architecture mode—the open-source data management software coupled with a multi-vendor reference architecture ecosystem.

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