Xyratex Unveils Lustre Storage Appliance for HPC

By Michael Feldman

June 14, 2011

Xyratex is one of oldest and largest storage vendors in the world. The 25-year-old company booked $1.6 billion in revenue last year, yet few people have ever heard of it. That’s because it primarily sells its equipment through OEM relationships with companies like IBM, Dell, and NetApp.

Through these partnerships, Xyratex has been able to penetrate deeply into the enterprise storage space. In 2010, they shipped over 1.5 exabytes of external storage and claimed 19 percent of enterprise storage capacity. According to IDC, the company is the largest OEM disk storage system provider in the world.

And thanks to the Xyratex’s broad market reach, a significant chunk of this storage ends up in high performance computing environments — an estimated 375 petabytes in 2010. But in November of last year, Xyratex made a more strategic HPC play by acquiring ClusterStor, a startup led by Lustre inventor Peter Braam.

The acquisition brought Braam, as well as Lustre architect Peter Bojanic, to Xyratex to bootstrap the company’s Lustre development team. Prior to joining Xyratex, Bojanic had led the Lustre group at Oracle, the company that inherited the file system through its 2009 acquisition of Sun Microsystems. Sun itself had obtained the Lustre technology through its 2007 acquisition of Cluster File Systems, Braam’s and Bojanic’s original Lustre venture.

The reunion of Lustre expertise and technology at Xyratex bore its first commercial fruit this week. On Tuesday, the company announced ClusterStor 3000, a rack-scale Lustre storage solution purpose-built for high performance computing. Like Xyratex’s other storage offerings, ClusterStor 3000 will be available through OEMs — as yet unnamed.

According to Xyratex, single rack node versions of ClusterStor 3000 are currently under trial at the University of Florida and University of Cambridge, with additional beta sites pending in oil & gas, research, life sciences, and government. First commercial shipments are expected in the fourth quarter of the year.

HPCwire asked Xyratex’s director of Strategic Business Development Ken Claffey to describe the new offering, its value proposition, and how it’s positioning the product in the HPC storage landscape.

HPCwire: How did Xyratex come to the HPC business?

Ken Claffey: Xyratex is the largest OEM supplier of storage systems in the world, and while many may not recognize the name, most HPC data centers will have storage system based on Xyratex technology operating in their datacenters today. We pioneered the high density platforms that have become the cornerstone of HPC storage when we delivered our first high density storage platform some seven years ago.

In addition we acquired ClusterStor last year and have expanded the development team to nearly 150 developers since then. ClusterStor was focused on clustered file systems and their application in HPC.

HPCwire: There are other storage clusters on the market that incorporate Lustre. Why are you calling the ClusterStor 3000 the “first true Lustre storage appliance?”

Claffey: We have changed that positioning slightly upon getting feedback from the analyst community. However, the ClusterStor solution is different from other so called appliances through the level of integration it incorporates both at a hardware and software level, from the embedded firmware and diagnostic software within the platform all the way up to managing the entire storage cluster through a single management interface. All key technologies are integrated into a single ClusterStor system, providing the best in scale-out performance, reliability and ease of management.

HPCwire: What kind of storage density and the performance-per-watt does it deliver?

Claffey: The ClusterStor 3000 can support up to 672 3.5-inch drives in a single rack, delivering over 2 petabytes raw and 1.5 petabytes useable capacity per rack — the highest density in the industry. It provides over 20 gigabytes per second of file system performance per rack, with linear performance scaling as new racks and systems are added.

This is delivered through the ClusterStor3000 unique Scale Out Storage Architecture, that integrates object storage server, RAID and storage capacity within in a singular storage cluster building block called a scalable storage unit (SSU). Therefore, the ClusterStor 3000 can provide 1.5 petabytes of useable RAID6 protected capacity with more than 20 gigabytes per second performance all within a 20KW power envelope. The ClusterStor 3000 delivers the best capacity and performance per watt available.

HPCwire: What else is unique about the technology?

Claffey: The system has been designed from the ground up to be optimized for performance and density. But what it also does through the ClusterStor Manager is alleviate the pain points so often associated with HPC storage and Lustre-based HPC storage in particular; the challenges of installation, of tuning performance and stability; and taming the complexity of managing petabytes of data. It is in these areas where the ClusterStor 3000 really is groundbreaking.

HPCwire: What level of the HPC storage market are you targeting — large multi-petabyte installations for top-end supercomputers, large and mid-sized cluster installations, or both?

Claffey: The ClusterStor 3000 is targeted at petabyte and above installations, it can however scale from hundreds of terabytes to 30 petabytes and from 2.5 gigabytes per second up to a terabyte per second.

HPCwire: Who do you see as your competition for this product?

Claffey: Our competition will be other OEM suppliers such as DataDirect Networks.

HPCwire: What can you say about your OEM partnerships at this point?

Claffey: All we can say is that we are engaged in qualification with multiple OEMs and that we will be announcing partnerships later this year.

HPCwire: What’s on the drawing board for the ClusterStor product line?

Claffey: We have a robust roadmap planned for both the ClusterStor 3000 product line and ongoing enhancements to the Lustre roadmap working in conjunction with the broader community. We will announce these new features as they become available.

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!

UCSD, AIST Forge Tighter Alliance with AI-Focused MOU

January 18, 2018

The rich history of collaboration between UC San Diego and AIST in Japan is getting richer. The organizations entered into a five-year memorandum of understanding on January 10. The MOU represents the continuation of a 1 Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

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 Tennessee), Satoshi Matsuoka (Tokyo Institute of Technology), Read more…

By John Russell

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 and Spectre security updates on the performance of popular H Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

HPE Extreme Performance Solutions

HPE and NREL Take Steps to Create a Sustainable, Energy-Efficient Data Center with an H2 Fuel Cell

As enterprises attempt to manage rising volumes of data, unplanned data center outages are becoming more common and more expensive. As the cost of downtime rises, enterprises lose out on productivity and valuable competitive advantage without access to their critical data. Read more…

Fostering Lustre Advancement Through Development and Contributions

January 17, 2018

Six months after organizational changes at Intel's High Performance Data (HPDD) division, most in the Lustre community have shed any initial apprehension around the potential changes that could affect or disrupt Lustre Read more…

By Carlos Aoki Thomaz

UCSD, AIST Forge Tighter Alliance with AI-Focused MOU

January 18, 2018

The rich history of collaboration between UC San Diego and AIST in Japan is getting richer. The organizations entered into a five-year memorandum of understandi Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

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

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

Fostering Lustre Advancement Through Development and Contributions

January 17, 2018

Six months after organizational changes at Intel's High Performance Data (HPDD) division, most in the Lustre community have shed any initial apprehension aroun Read more…

By Carlos Aoki Thomaz

When the Chips Are Down

January 11, 2018

In the last article, "The High Stakes Semiconductor Game that Drives HPC Diversity," I alluded to the challenges facing the semiconductor industry and how that may impact the evolution of HPC systems over the next few years. I thought I’d lift the covers a little and look at some of the commercial challenges that impact the component technology we use in HPC. Read more…

By Dairsie Latimer

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

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

ANL’s Rick Stevens on CANDLE, ARM, Quantum, and More

January 8, 2018

Late last year HPCwire caught up with Rick Stevens, associate laboratory director for computing, environment and life Sciences at Argonne National Laboratory, f Read more…

By John Russell

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

US Coalesces Plans for First Exascale Supercomputer: Aurora in 2021

September 27, 2017

At the Advanced Scientific Computing Advisory Committee (ASCAC) meeting, in Arlington, Va., yesterday (Sept. 26), it was revealed that the "Aurora" supercompute Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Japan Unveils Quantum Neural Network

November 22, 2017

The U.S. and China are leading the race toward productive quantum computing, but it's early enough that ultimate leadership is still something of an open questi Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

AMD Showcases Growing Portfolio of EPYC and Radeon-based Systems at SC17

November 13, 2017

AMD’s charge back into HPC and the datacenter is on full display at SC17. Having launched the EPYC processor line in June along with its MI25 GPU the focus he Read more…

By John Russell

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

IBM Begins Power9 Rollout with Backing from DOE, Google

December 6, 2017

After over a year of buildup, IBM is unveiling its first Power9 system based on the same architecture as the Department of Energy CORAL supercomputers, Summit a 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

GlobalFoundries Puts Wind in AMD’s Sails with 12nm FinFET

September 24, 2017

From its annual tech conference last week (Sept. 20), where GlobalFoundries welcomed more than 600 semiconductor professionals (reaching the Santa Clara venue Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Leading Solution Providers

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

Perspective: What Really Happened at SC17?

November 22, 2017

SC is over. Now comes the myriad of follow-ups. Inboxes are filled with templated emails from vendors and other exhibitors hoping to win a place in the post-SC thinking of booth visitors. Attendees of tutorials, workshops and other technical sessions will be inundated with requests for feedback. Read more…

By Andrew Jones

Tensors Come of Age: Why the AI Revolution Will Help HPC

November 13, 2017

Thirty years ago, parallel computing was coming of age. A bitter battle began between stalwart vector computing supporters and advocates of various approaches to parallel computing. IBM skeptic Alan Karp, reacting to announcements of nCUBE’s 1024-microprocessor system and Thinking Machines’ 65,536-element array, made a public $100 wager that no one could get a parallel speedup of over 200 on real HPC workloads. Read more…

By John Gustafson & Lenore Mullin

Delays, Smoke, Records & Markets – A Candid Conversation with Cray CEO Peter Ungaro

October 5, 2017

Earlier this month, Tom Tabor, publisher of HPCwire and I had a very personal conversation with Cray CEO Peter Ungaro. Cray has been on something of a Cinderell Read more…

By Tiffany Trader & Tom Tabor

Flipping the Flops and Reading the Top500 Tea Leaves

November 13, 2017

The 50th edition of the Top500 list, the biannual publication of the world’s fastest supercomputers based on public Linpack benchmarking results, was released Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

GlobalFoundries, Ayar Labs Team Up to Commercialize Optical I/O

December 4, 2017

GlobalFoundries (GF) and Ayar Labs, a startup focused on using light, instead of electricity, to transfer data between chips, today announced they've entered in 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

HPC Chips – A Veritable Smorgasbord?

October 10, 2017

For the first time since AMD's ill-fated launch of Bulldozer the answer to the question, 'Which CPU will be in my next HPC system?' doesn't have to be 'Whichever variety of Intel Xeon E5 they are selling when we procure'. Read more…

By Dairsie Latimer

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