Parallel NFS Is the Future Standard to Manage Petabyte Level Growth

By Don Grabski

November 19, 2009

IT professionals are constantly being challenged to manage exponential growth that has reached petabyte levels. With more and more data taxing the system, performance sacrifices are always a consideration. And for applications that demand high performance and scale, the stakes are even higher because any I/O bottlenecks in the system can essentially bring a project to its knees.

So it’s no surprise that removing I/O bottlenecks can have a direct impact on the profitability of a business. By removing I/O bottlenecks, potential benefits include faster time to results, the deployment of more powerful analytical algorithms and filters, and the management of higher-resolution datasets. As pressures increase on IT to deliver even-higher levels of productivity and efficiency, a new generation file system standard will be required to maximize utilization of powerful server and cluster resources while minimizing management overhead.

Challenges of Networked Storage Systems

The question is, “How soon will we eliminate performance bottlenecks, non-scalable file systems, complex client management, vendor lock in and fork lift upgrades?” Most customers have independent networked storage systems that are not capable of achieving the ideal performance, capacity and client management utilization efficiencies. Storage administrators are constantly looking for ways to address these challenges by reducing management costs and increasing performance to lower total cost of ownership for networked storage purchases. Bottom line, organizations need to reduce operational costs, increase productivity or solve a unique problem for a competitive advantage.

Network File System (NFS) answers many of these challenges. NFS is a communication protocol to make data stored on file servers available to any computer on a network. NFS clients are included in all common operating systems and allow servers to communicate with the file system in the storage network. NFS also ensures interoperability between vendor solutions, allows users to have a choice of best-of-breed products in their storage networks, and eliminates risks associated with proprietary technology. NFS v4.1 protocol (approved December 2008) has resulted in many storage management enhancements. These include global name space, a feature that can help storage administrators configure different hardware components to look like a single system as well as head and storage scaling. In addition, storage administrators can now perform non-disruptive upgrades without impacting performance. Combined, these features reduce storage operating costs, improve storage network performance, and consolidate systems to reduce management hours.

Parallel NFS (pNFS) Kicks NAS Performance Up a Notch

pNFS kicks NAS performance up an order of magnitude by allowing users to access storage devices directly and in parallel by leveraging the combination of Parallel I/O and NFS. Files can be broken up and striped across NAS heads and, leveraging multiple data paths and processors, delivered in parallel to the requestor to provide a significant performance boost. pNFS also introduces the ability to bypass NAS heads for file delivery altogether. It supports block, file and object-based data files. Parallel I/O delivers higher levels of application performance and allows for massive scalability without diminished performance. Single sequential I/O patterns have many bottlenecks that adversely affect performance, including no load balancing and the inability to aggregate other devices. pNFS solves these issues by providing global name space functionality without requiring forklift upgrades while allowing storage administrators to scale performance and storage capacity without disruption. It also eliminates vendor lock-in, providing added flexibility for future upgrades. As a result, customers can further impact their bottom line by lowering their total cost of ownership and maximizing consolidation of storage.

pNFS Status

The estimated Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) ratification for pNFS completion is the end of 2009. pNFS for a standard Linux distribution is expected to be available in mid 2010. Storage customers ultimately have the power to accelerate adoption of new standards if and when they see the value. The first step is to learn more about pNFS and understand its value. Get involved — ask your application vendors and infrastructure providers what their plans are for supporting pNFS. The SNIA NFS Special Interest Group is the recommended source for community endorsed pNFS eduction content and events.

Subscribe to HPCwire's Weekly Update!

Be the most informed person in the room! Stay ahead of the tech trends with industy updates delivered to you every week!

DARPA, NSF Seek Real-Time ML Processor

March 18, 2019

A new U.S. research initiative seeks to develop a processor capable of real-time learning while operating with the “efficiency of the human brain.” The National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Defense Advanced Re Read more…

By George Leopold

It’s Official: Aurora on Track to Be First U.S. Exascale Computer in 2021

March 18, 2019

The U.S. Department of Energy along with Intel and Cray confirmed today that an Intel/Cray supercomputer, "Aurora," capable of sustained performance of one exaflops, will be delivered by the end of 2021 to Argonne Nation Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

NASA’s Pleiades Simulates Launch Abort Scenarios

March 15, 2019

NASA is using flow simulations running on its Pleiades supercomputer to help design the agency’s next manned spacecraft, Orion. Crew safety is paramount, so NASA engineers are using the HPC cluster to simulate and v Read more…

By George Leopold

HPE Extreme Performance Solutions

HPE and Intel® Omni-Path Architecture: How to Power a Cloud

Learn how HPE and Intel® Omni-Path Architecture provide critical infrastructure for leading Nordic HPC provider’s HPCFLOW cloud service.

powercloud_blog.jpgFor decades, HPE has been at the forefront of high-performance computing, and we’ve powered some of the fastest and most robust supercomputers in the world. Read more…

IBM Accelerated Insights

The Spark That Ignited A New World of Real-Time Analytics

High Performance Computing has always been about Big Data. It’s not uncommon for research datasets to contain millions of files and many terabytes, even petabytes of data, or more. Read more…

Why Nvidia Bought Mellanox: ‘Future Datacenters Will Be…Like High Performance Computers’

March 14, 2019

“Future datacenters of all kinds will be built like high performance computers,” said Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang during a phone briefing on Monday after Nvidia revealed scooping up the high performance networking company Mellanox for $6.9 billion. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

It’s Official: Aurora on Track to Be First U.S. Exascale Computer in 2021

March 18, 2019

The U.S. Department of Energy along with Intel and Cray confirmed today that an Intel/Cray supercomputer, "Aurora," capable of sustained performance of one exaf Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Why Nvidia Bought Mellanox: ‘Future Datacenters Will Be…Like High Performance Computers’

March 14, 2019

“Future datacenters of all kinds will be built like high performance computers,” said Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang during a phone briefing on Monday after Nvidia revealed scooping up the high performance networking company Mellanox for $6.9 billion. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Oil and Gas Supercloud Clears Out Remaining Knights Landing Inventory: All 38,000 Wafers

March 13, 2019

The McCloud HPC service being built by Australia’s DownUnder GeoSolutions (DUG) outside Houston is set to become the largest oil and gas cloud in the world th Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Quick Take: Trump’s 2020 Budget Spares DoE-funded HPC but Slams NSF and NIH

March 12, 2019

U.S. President Donald Trump’s 2020 budget request, released yesterday, proposes deep cuts in many science programs but seems to spare HPC funding by the Depar Read more…

By John Russell

Nvidia Wins Mellanox Stakes for $6.9 Billion

March 11, 2019

The long-rumored acquisition of Mellanox came to fruition this morning with GPU chipmaker Nvidia’s announcement that it has purchased the high-performance net Read more…

By Doug Black

Optalysys Rolls Commercial Optical Processor

March 7, 2019

Optalysys, Ltd., a U.K. company seeking to advance it optical co-processor technology, moved a step closer this week with the unveiling of what it claims is th Read more…

By George Leopold

Intel Responds to White House AI Initiative

March 6, 2019

The Trump Administration’s release last month of the “American AI Initiative,” aimed at prioritizing federal R&D investments in machine intelligence, Read more…

By Doug Black

IBM Pitches Quantum Volume as Benchmarking Tool for Gate-based Quantum Computers

March 6, 2019

IBM this week announced it had achieved its highest Quantum Volume number to date at the American Physical Society (APS) March meeting being held in Boston. Wha Read more…

By John Russell

Quantum Computing Will Never Work

November 27, 2018

Amid the gush of money and enthusiastic predictions being thrown at quantum computing comes a proposed cold shower in the form of an essay by physicist Mikhail Read more…

By John Russell

The Case Against ‘The Case Against Quantum Computing’

January 9, 2019

It’s not easy to be a physicist. Richard Feynman (basically the Jimi Hendrix of physicists) once said: “The first principle is that you must not fool yourse Read more…

By Ben Criger

ClusterVision in Bankruptcy, Fate Uncertain

February 13, 2019

ClusterVision, European HPC specialists that have built and installed over 20 Top500-ranked systems in their nearly 17-year history, appear to be in the midst o Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Intel Reportedly in $6B Bid for Mellanox

January 30, 2019

The latest rumors and reports around an acquisition of Mellanox focus on Intel, which has reportedly offered a $6 billion bid for the high performance interconn Read more…

By Doug Black

Looking for Light Reading? NSF-backed ‘Comic Books’ Tackle Quantum Computing

January 28, 2019

Still baffled by quantum computing? How about turning to comic books (graphic novels for the well-read among you) for some clarity and a little humor on QC. The Read more…

By John Russell

Why Nvidia Bought Mellanox: ‘Future Datacenters Will Be…Like High Performance Computers’

March 14, 2019

“Future datacenters of all kinds will be built like high performance computers,” said Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang during a phone briefing on Monday after Nvidia revealed scooping up the high performance networking company Mellanox for $6.9 billion. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Contract Signed for New Finnish Supercomputer

December 13, 2018

After the official contract signing yesterday, configuration details were made public for the new BullSequana system that the Finnish IT Center for Science (CSC Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Deep500: ETH Researchers Introduce New Deep Learning Benchmark for HPC

February 5, 2019

ETH researchers have developed a new deep learning benchmarking environment – Deep500 – they say is “the first distributed and reproducible benchmarking s Read more…

By John Russell

Leading Solution Providers

SC 18 Virtual Booth Video Tour

Advania @ SC18 AMD @ SC18
ASRock Rack @ SC18
DDN Storage @ SC18
HPE @ SC18
IBM @ SC18
Lenovo @ SC18 Mellanox Technologies @ SC18
NVIDIA @ SC18
One Stop Systems @ SC18
Oracle @ SC18 Panasas @ SC18
Supermicro @ SC18 SUSE @ SC18 TYAN @ SC18
Verne Global @ SC18

IBM Quantum Update: Q System One Launch, New Collaborators, and QC Center Plans

January 10, 2019

IBM made three significant quantum computing announcements at CES this week. One was introduction of IBM Q System One; it’s really the integration of IBM’s Read more…

By John Russell

IBM Bets $2B Seeking 1000X AI Hardware Performance Boost

February 7, 2019

For now, AI systems are mostly machine learning-based and “narrow” – powerful as they are by today's standards, they're limited to performing a few, narro Read more…

By Doug Black

The Deep500 – Researchers Tackle an HPC Benchmark for Deep Learning

January 7, 2019

How do you know if an HPC system, particularly a larger-scale system, is well-suited for deep learning workloads? Today, that’s not an easy question to answer Read more…

By John Russell

HPC Reflections and (Mostly Hopeful) Predictions

December 19, 2018

So much ‘spaghetti’ gets tossed on walls by the technology community (vendors and researchers) to see what sticks that it is often difficult to peer through Read more…

By John Russell

Arm Unveils Neoverse N1 Platform with up to 128-Cores

February 20, 2019

Following on its Neoverse roadmap announcement last October, Arm today revealed its next-gen Neoverse microarchitecture with compute and throughput-optimized si Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Move Over Lustre & Spectrum Scale – Here Comes BeeGFS?

November 26, 2018

Is BeeGFS – the parallel file system with European roots – on a path to compete with Lustre and Spectrum Scale worldwide in HPC environments? Frank Herold Read more…

By John Russell

France to Deploy AI-Focused Supercomputer: Jean Zay

January 22, 2019

HPE announced today that it won the contract to build a supercomputer that will drive France’s AI and HPC efforts. The computer will be part of GENCI, the Fre Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Microsoft to Buy Mellanox?

December 20, 2018

Networking equipment powerhouse Mellanox could be an acquisition target by Microsoft, according to a published report in an Israeli financial publication. Microsoft has reportedly gone so far as to engage Goldman Sachs to handle negotiations with Mellanox. Read more…

By Doug Black

  • arrow
  • Click Here for More Headlines
  • arrow
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!
Share This