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July 17, 2006

Corporate partners to test first object-based storage software prototype developed by U of M Digital Technology Center

MINNEAPOLIS / ST. PAUL (7/11/2006) As part of a unique partnership, the University of Minnesota Digital Technology Center’s Intelligent Storage Consortium (DISC) announced this week that several of its corporate partners will begin testing the first Object-based Storage Device (OSD) software developed at DISC by university graduate students and supervising faculty.

DISC, one of the leading storage research centers in the country, is a consortium that focuses on pre-competitive strategic research issues in storage system architecture and application intelligence. It is funded by corporate partners who want to tap the University of Minnesota’s strong research capabilities in the area of object-based storage technology.

“DISC is a great example of how the research expertise of the University’s faculty and students can be combined with the practical knowledge of industrial partners to produce solutions that anticipate market needs,” said Andrew Odlyzko, director of the Digital Technology Center. “The corporate members provide direct input on the direction of research, which results in systems that are relevant for their product development. The university obtains funding for student researchers, as well as a sense for the storage marketplace and where it is going. This results in providing students with the most relevant skills and experiences.”

DISC is supported by a growing number of members and affiliates including Sun Microsystems, LSI Logic, Symantec, ITRI, Seagate, McData, IBM and Unisys, as well as government agencies like Los Alamos National Labs, National Institutes of Health and the Office of Naval Research.

As part of the project, DISC members have agreed to place the OSD software prototype in the public domain for free public use later this year. By releasing the prototype the consortium hopes to expand interest in and the continued development of object-based storage technology.

Object-based data storage concepts originated through Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency funding in the mid-1990s. Interest in the concept has continued to grow among many data storage companies as rapid growth in installed disk storage capacity has led to major challenges in data sharing, scalability, security, performance and management.

For more information about DISC visit www.dtc.umn.edu/disc

Contacts: Rhonda Zurn, Institute of Technology
Mark Cassutt, University News Service, (612) 624-8038