Forward IT, SXiQ score CSIRO storage contracts

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Forward IT, SXiQ score CSIRO storage contracts

The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) has awarded Canberra-based Forward IT Solutions and Melbourne-based SXiQ Digital with contracts to supply storage solutions.

Forward IT was awarded $2.7 million to provide disk storage solutions and a software-defined object storage platform from NetApp, while the SXiQ deal covers just over $560,000 for tape storage.

“CSIRO conducted a Request For Quote process via CSIRO’s Scientific Compute, Data Hardware and Associated Services panel,” a CSIRO spokesperson told CRN.

“This process ultimately assessed Forward IT Solutions’ response as being the best value for money outcome for this requirement. CSIRO looks forward to working with Forward IT on implementing this solution.”

The agency also included five years of maintenance, support and warranty for the disk storage and object storage deal, so the contract with Forward IT runs from December 2019 to December 2024. The contract with SXiQ is shorter at December 2019 to December 2022 as it only requires two years and nine months of support.

In the request for quote (RFQ), CSIRO sought a “general-purpose file system solution” that will work across disk, cache and tape and address a minimum of 10 petabytes and a maximum of 15 petabytes of block storage. The solution replaces the agency’s current Oracle tape library capability for holding data archives, which is approaching end-of-life.

A large chunk of the storage will be allocated to the agency’s Canberra office, requiring at least seven petabytes of usable capacity. Other offices will require between 0.2 to 1 petabyte capacity each.

The software-defined object storage platform was sought to replace existing storage products. Requirements included no vendor lock in on proprietary hardware, up to 20 petabytes of software licensing, cloud integration and support for large datasets.

The new tape drives supplied by SXiQ was to supplement the CSIRO’s existing IBM tape libraries for long term storage The RFQ required 16x additional IBM TS1160 drives with tape media that are compatible with IBM TS4500 tape libraries.

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