[qi:gigaom_icon_cloud-computing] HP said today that it has agreed to buy IBRIX, a Billerica, Mass.-based maker of software that allows customers to build out scalable storage clouds. Terms of the deal, which will augment HP’s sales to businesses requiring high-performance computing, were not disclosed. Like Caringo and Parascale, IBRIX offers customers a way to create large storage clouds inside their data centers quickly using cheap, off-the-shelf gear.
It’s unlikely that HP would use IBRIX to build a hosted storage cloud of its own, but rather offer the company’s tools to its customer, which can then use the IBRIX storage cloud to keep tens of petabytes of data at the ready. IBRIX has been an HP partner for the last three years; it also has a partnership with Dell and EMC. As detailed in this story from The Register, HP’s servers were used in conjunction with IBRIX’s software in the creation of “Monsters v. Aliens,” allowing animators to keep up to terabytes of data accessible for animators to manipulate. From the story:
This HP-IBRIX architecture was a key technology element in the studio’s pioneering stereoscopic 3D animated film format used in Monsters vs. Aliens. This scale-out network-attached storage (NAS) file software had to provide access to millions of files, with, for example, more than 17 million in a single rendering working set. In the event, the parallelised file serving software enabled DreamWorks’ artists to do things up to five times faster.
The animation industry is a big user of high-performance computing, and a leading indicator of the types of performance needs we’ll see regular businesses adapt within the next decade. If big customers don’t want to use HP’s existing storage gear, buying IBRIX will still keep HP in the storage game.