The grand challenges of science and industry that are driving computing and communications have created corresponding challenges in information storage and retrieval. An industry-led collaborative project has been organized to investigate technology for storage systems that will be the future repositories of national information assets. Industry participants are IBM Federal Systems Company, Ampex Recording Systems Corporation, General Atomics DISCOS Division, IBM ADSTAR, Maximum Strategy Corporation, Network Systems Corporation, and Zitel Corporation. Industry members of the collaborative project are funding their own participation. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory through its National Energy Research Supercomputer Center (NERSC) will participate in the project as the operational site and provider of applications. The expected result is the creation of a National Storage Laboratory to serve as a prototype and demonstration facility. It is expected that this prototype will represent a significant advance in the technology for distributed storage systems capable of handling gigabyte-class files at gigabit-per-second data rates. Specifically, the collaboration expects to make significant advances in hardware, software, and systems technology in four areas of need, (1) network-attached high performance storage; (2) multiple, dynamic, distributed storage hierarchies; (3) layered access to storage system services; and (4) storage system management.