Visit additional Tabor Communication Publications
July 17, 2012
July 17 -- A new storage environment providing 7.8PB of storage and an additional 19.5PB of backup capability is to improve long-term data storage for hundreds of UK users of the HECToR (High-End Computing Terascale Resource) supercomputer. HECToR is hosted by EPCC at the University of Edinburgh and funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), and the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC).
The additional storage compliments HECToR’s existing 1 Petabyte of disk space. Although tightly integrated with HECToR, the new storage environment is built independently and - because it is designed to out-live HECToR - will be available for use with successive supercomputers.
The storage environment was designed and built by data processing, data management and storage provider OCF plc. It uses storage hardware from DataDirect Networks (DDN), and archive hardware and file management software from IBM.
“We needed a more a data-centric view of high performance computing,” says Professor Arthur Trew, University of Edinburgh. “Data persists beyond any computer, including HECToR, so we’re prioritising data storage, management and analysis. Doing this enables us to upgrade HECToR and integrate its successor without fear of impacting access to research data. Our expectation is that any future computer must be able to integrate seamlessly with our storage.”
Scientists currently store highly complex simulations on site at Edinburgh – file sizes vary from user to user, but each can potentially be gigabytes in size. The passage of data for further interrogation is unique to each researcher and may involve transferring the data to other data repositories off site, moving data to different parts of the country or simply “taking it home” using portable media.
Julian Fielden, OCF managing director, says: “There is lots of talk and consensus at the moment that the problem with big data isn’t really the capacity to store it, but how to access, use and find the data and, in doing so, make it into useful information. The collective investment of the research councils is cleverly helping to avoid this problem by making storage independent of the machine that generated it. Combined with good network access and IBM’s parallel file system GPFS, the data becomes easy to locate and use by any researcher irrespective of location.”
“As we enter the big data era, organisations in every field of endeavour are addressing the World’s most pressing scientific and medical questions – questions that would have been too complex to address just a few years ago,” says Bill Cox, DDN Vice President of Worldwide Channel Sales. “EPCC and its partner organisations have built a technologically advanced, state-of-the-art facility at the University of Edinburgh that opens a world of possibility to researchers across the UK. DDN is very pleased to join with OCF in assisting on this important project.”
The storage environment built by OCF now uses:
seamless storage capacity expansion to handle the explosive growth of big data and digital information;
Improved efficiency through enterprise wide, interdepartmental file sharing;
Proven commercial-grade reliability to eliminate production outages and eases information life cycle management with policy-driven automation;
Cost-effective disaster recovery and business continuity;
Active File Management to enable asynchronous access and control of local and remote files.
Contributing commentator, Andrew Jones, offers a break in the news cycle with an assessment of what the national "size matters" contest means for the U.S. and other nations...
Today at the International Supercomputing Conference in Leipzing, Germany, Jack Dongarra presented on a proposed benchmark that could carry a bit more weight than its older Linpack companion. The high performance conjugate gradient (HPCG) concept takes into account new architectures for new applications, while shedding the floating point....
Not content to let the Tianhe-2 announcement ride alone, Intel rolled out a series of announcements around its Knights Corner and Xeon Phi products--all of which are aimed at adding some options and variety for a wider base of potential users across the HPC spectrum. Today at the International Supercomputing Conference, the company's Raj....
Jun 19, 2013 |
Supercomputer architectures have evolved considerably over the last 20 years, particularly in the number of processors that are linked together. One aspect of HPC architecture that hasn't changed is the MPI programming model.
Jun 18, 2013 |
The world's largest supercomputers, like Tianhe-2, are great at traditional, compute-intensive HPC workloads, such as simulating atomic decay or modeling tornados. But data-intensive applications--such as mining big data sets for connections--is a different sort of workload, and runs best on a different sort of computer.
Jun 18, 2013 |
Researchers are finding innovative uses for Gordon, the 285 teraflop supercomputer housed at the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) that has a unique Flash-based storage system. Since going online, researchers have put the incredibly fast I/O to use on a wide variety of workloads, ranging from chemistry to political science.
Jun 17, 2013 |
The advent of low-power mobile processors and cloud delivery models is changing the economics of computing. But just as an economy car is good at different things than a full size truck, an HPC workload still has certain computing demands that neither the fastest smartphone nor the most elastic cloud cluster can fulfill.
Jun 14, 2013 |
For all the progress we've made in IT over the last 50 years, there's one area of life that has steadfastly eluded the grasp of computers: understanding human language. Now, researchers at the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) are utilizing a Hadoop cluster on its Longhorn supercomputer to move the state of the art of language processing a little bit further.
05/10/2013 | Cleversafe, Cray, DDN, NetApp, & Panasas | From Wall Street to Hollywood, drug discovery to homeland security, companies and organizations of all sizes and stripes are coming face to face with the challenges – and opportunities – afforded by Big Data. Before anyone can utilize these extraordinary data repositories, however, they must first harness and manage their data stores, and do so utilizing technologies that underscore affordability, security, and scalability.
04/15/2013 | Bull | “50% of HPC users say their largest jobs scale to 120 cores or less.” How about yours? Are your codes ready to take advantage of today’s and tomorrow’s ultra-parallel HPC systems? Download this White Paper by Analysts Intersect360 Research to see what Bull and Intel’s Center for Excellence in Parallel Programming can do for your codes.
Join HPCwire Editor Nicole Hemsoth and Dr. David Bader from Georgia Tech as they take center stage on opening night at Atlanta's first Big Data Kick Off Week, filmed in front of a live audience. Nicole and David look at the evolution of HPC, today's big data challenges, discuss real world solutions, and reveal their predictions. Exactly what does the future holds for HPC?
Join our webinar to learn how IT managers can migrate to a more resilient, flexible and scalable solution that grows with the data center. Mellanox VMS is future-proof, efficient and brings significant CAPEX and OPEX savings. The VMS is available today.