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!

AI-Focused ‘Genius’ Supercomputer Installed at KU Leuven

April 24, 2018

Hewlett Packard Enterprise has deployed a new half-petaflops research supercomputer, named Genius, at Flemish research university KU Leuven. The system is built to run artificial intelligence (AI) workloads and, as part Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

New Exascale System for Earth Simulation Introduced

April 23, 2018

After four years of development, the Energy Exascale Earth System Model (E3SM) will be unveiled today and released to the broader scientific community this month. The E3SM project is supported by the Department of Energy Read more…

By Staff

RSC Reports 500Tflops, Hot Water Cooled System Deployed at JINR

April 18, 2018

RSC, developer of supercomputers and advanced HPC systems based in Russia, today reported deployment of “the world's first 100% ‘hot water’ liquid cooled supercomputer” at Joint Institute for Nuclear Research (JI Read more…

By Staff

HPE Extreme Performance Solutions

Hybrid HPC is Speeding Time to Insight and Revolutionizing Medicine

High performance computing (HPC) is a key driver of success in many verticals today, and health and life science industries are extensively leveraging these capabilities. Read more…

New Device Spots Quantum Particle ‘Fingerprint’

April 18, 2018

Majorana particles have been observed by university researchers employing a device consisting of layers of magnetic insulators on a superconducting material. The advance opens the door to controlling the elusive particle Read more…

By George Leopold

AI-Focused ‘Genius’ Supercomputer Installed at KU Leuven

April 24, 2018

Hewlett Packard Enterprise has deployed a new half-petaflops research supercomputer, named Genius, at Flemish research university KU Leuven. The system is built Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Cray Rolls Out AMD-Based CS500; More to Follow?

April 18, 2018

Cray was the latest OEM to bring AMD back into the fold with introduction today of a CS500 option based on AMD’s Epyc processor line. The move follows Cray’ Read more…

By John Russell

IBM: Software Ecosystem for OpenPOWER is Ready for Prime Time

April 16, 2018

With key pieces of the IBM/OpenPOWER versus Intel/x86 gambit settling into place – e.g., the arrival of Power9 chips and Power9-based systems, hyperscaler sup Read more…

By John Russell

US Plans $1.8 Billion Spend on DOE Exascale Supercomputing

April 11, 2018

On Monday, the United States Department of Energy announced its intention to procure up to three exascale supercomputers at a cost of up to $1.8 billion with th Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Cloud-Readiness and Looking Beyond Application Scaling

April 11, 2018

There are two aspects to consider when determining if an application is suitable for running in the cloud. The first, which we will discuss here under the title Read more…

By Chris Downing

Transitioning from Big Data to Discovery: Data Management as a Keystone Analytics Strategy

April 9, 2018

The past 10-15 years has seen a stark rise in the density, size, and diversity of scientific data being generated in every scientific discipline in the world. Key among the sciences has been the explosion of laboratory technologies that generate large amounts of data in life-sciences and healthcare research. Large amounts of data are now being stored in very large storage name spaces, with little to no organization and a general unease about how to approach analyzing it. Read more…

By Ari Berman, BioTeam, Inc.

IBM Expands Quantum Computing Network

April 5, 2018

IBM is positioning itself as a first mover in establishing the era of commercial quantum computing. The company believes in order for quantum to work, taming qu Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

FY18 Budget & CORAL-2 – Exascale USA Continues to Move Ahead

April 2, 2018

It was not pretty. However, despite some twists and turns, the federal government’s Fiscal Year 2018 (FY18) budget is complete and ended with some very positi Read more…

By Alex R. Larzelere

Inventor Claims to Have Solved Floating Point Error Problem

January 17, 2018

"The decades-old floating point error problem has been solved," proclaims a press release from inventor Alan Jorgensen. The computer scientist has filed for and Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Researchers Measure Impact of ‘Meltdown’ and ‘Spectre’ Patches on HPC Workloads

January 17, 2018

Computer scientists from the Center for Computational Research, State University of New York (SUNY), University at Buffalo have examined the effect of Meltdown Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Russian Nuclear Engineers Caught Cryptomining on Lab Supercomputer

February 12, 2018

Nuclear scientists working at the All-Russian Research Institute of Experimental Physics (RFNC-VNIIEF) have been arrested for using lab supercomputing resources to mine crypto-currency, according to a report in Russia’s Interfax News Agency. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

How the Cloud Is Falling Short for HPC

March 15, 2018

The last couple of years have seen cloud computing gradually build some legitimacy within the HPC world, but still the HPC industry lies far behind enterprise I Read more…

By Chris Downing

Chip Flaws ‘Meltdown’ and ‘Spectre’ Loom Large

January 4, 2018

The HPC and wider tech community have been abuzz this week over the discovery of critical design flaws that impact virtually all contemporary microprocessors. T Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

How Meltdown and Spectre Patches Will Affect HPC Workloads

January 10, 2018

There have been claims that the fixes for the Meltdown and Spectre security vulnerabilities, named the KPTI (aka KAISER) patches, are going to affect applicatio Read more…

By Rosemary Francis

Nvidia Responds to Google TPU Benchmarking

April 10, 2017

Nvidia highlights strengths of its newest GPU silicon in response to Google's report on the performance and energy advantages of its custom tensor processor. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Fast Forward: Five HPC Predictions for 2018

December 21, 2017

What’s on your list of high (and low) lights for 2017? Volta 100’s arrival on the heels of the P100? Appearance, albeit late in the year, of IBM’s Power9? Read more…

By John Russell

Leading Solution Providers

Deep Learning at 15 PFlops Enables Training for Extreme Weather Identification at Scale

March 19, 2018

Petaflop per second deep learning training performance on the NERSC (National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center) Cori supercomputer has given climate Read more…

By Rob Farber

Lenovo Unveils Warm Water Cooled ThinkSystem SD650 in Rampup to LRZ Install

February 22, 2018

This week Lenovo took the wraps off the ThinkSystem SD650 high-density server with third-generation direct water cooling technology developed in tandem with par Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

HPC and AI – Two Communities Same Future

January 25, 2018

According to Al Gara (Intel Fellow, Data Center Group), high performance computing and artificial intelligence will increasingly intertwine as we transition to Read more…

By Rob Farber

AI Cloud Competition Heats Up: Google’s TPUs, Amazon Building AI Chip

February 12, 2018

Competition in the white hot AI (and public cloud) market pits Google against Amazon this week, with Google offering AI hardware on its cloud platform intended Read more…

By Doug Black

New Blueprint for Converging HPC, Big Data

January 18, 2018

After five annual workshops on Big Data and Extreme-Scale Computing (BDEC), a group of international HPC heavyweights including Jack Dongarra (University of Te Read more…

By John Russell

US Plans $1.8 Billion Spend on DOE Exascale Supercomputing

April 11, 2018

On Monday, the United States Department of Energy announced its intention to procure up to three exascale supercomputers at a cost of up to $1.8 billion with th Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Momentum Builds for US Exascale

January 9, 2018

2018 looks to be a great year for the U.S. exascale program. The last several months of 2017 revealed a number of important developments that help put the U.S. Read more…

By Alex R. Larzelere

Google Chases Quantum Supremacy with 72-Qubit Processor

March 7, 2018

Google pulled ahead of the pack this week in the race toward "quantum supremacy," with the introduction of a new 72-qubit quantum processor called Bristlecone. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

  • arrow
  • Click Here for More Headlines
  • arrow
Share This