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!

How ‘Knights Mill’ Gets Its Deep Learning Flops

June 22, 2017

Intel, the subject of much speculation regarding the delayed, rewritten or potentially canceled “Aurora” contract (the Argonne Lab part of the CORAL “pre-exascale” award), parsed out additional information ab Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Tsinghua Crowned Eight-Time Student Cluster Champions at ISC

June 22, 2017

Always a hard-fought competition, the Student Cluster Competition awards were announced Wednesday, June 21, at the ISC High Performance Conference 2017. Amid whoops and hollers from the crowd, Thomas Sterling presented t Read more…

By Kim McMahon

GPUs, Power9, Figure Prominently in IBM’s Bet on Weather Forecasting

June 22, 2017

IBM jumped into the weather forecasting business roughly a year and a half ago by purchasing The Weather Company. This week at ISC 2017, Big Blue rolled out plans to push deeper into climate science and develop more gran Read more…

By John Russell

Intersect 360 at ISC: HPC Industry at $44B by 2021

June 22, 2017

The care, feeding and sustained growth of the HPC industry increasingly is in the hands of the commercial market sector – in particular, it’s the hyperscale companies and their embrace of AI and deep learning – tha Read more…

By Doug Black

HPE Extreme Performance Solutions

Creating a Roadmap for HPC Innovation at ISC 2017

In an era where technological advancements are driving innovation to every sector, and powering major economic and scientific breakthroughs, high performance computing (HPC) is crucial to tackle the challenges of today and tomorrow. Read more…

At ISC – Goh on Go: Humans Can’t Scale, the Data-Centric Learning Machine Can

June 22, 2017

I've seen the future this week at ISC, it’s on display in prototype or Powerpoint form, and it’s going to dumbfound you. The future is an AI neural network designed to emulate and compete with the human brain. In thi Read more…

By Doug Black

Cray Brings AI and HPC Together on Flagship Supers

June 20, 2017

Cray took one more step toward the convergence of big data and high performance computing (HPC) today when it announced that it’s adding a full suite of big data and artificial intelligence software to its top-of-the-l Read more…

By Alex Woodie

AMD Charges Back into the Datacenter and HPC Workflows with EPYC Processor

June 20, 2017

AMD is charging back into the enterprise datacenter and select HPC workflows with its new EPYC 7000 processor line, code-named Naples, announced today at a “global” launch event in Austin TX. In many ways it was a fu Read more…

By John Russell

Hyperion: Deep Learning, AI Helping Drive Healthy HPC Industry Growth

June 20, 2017

To be at the ISC conference in Frankfurt this week is to experience deep immersion in deep learning. Users want to learn about it, vendors want to talk about it, analysts and journalists want to report on it. Deep learni Read more…

By Doug Black

How ‘Knights Mill’ Gets Its Deep Learning Flops

June 22, 2017

Intel, the subject of much speculation regarding the delayed, rewritten or potentially canceled “Aurora” contract (the Argonne Lab part of the CORAL “ Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Tsinghua Crowned Eight-Time Student Cluster Champions at ISC

June 22, 2017

Always a hard-fought competition, the Student Cluster Competition awards were announced Wednesday, June 21, at the ISC High Performance Conference 2017. Amid wh Read more…

By Kim McMahon

GPUs, Power9, Figure Prominently in IBM’s Bet on Weather Forecasting

June 22, 2017

IBM jumped into the weather forecasting business roughly a year and a half ago by purchasing The Weather Company. This week at ISC 2017, Big Blue rolled out pla Read more…

By John Russell

Intersect 360 at ISC: HPC Industry at $44B by 2021

June 22, 2017

The care, feeding and sustained growth of the HPC industry increasingly is in the hands of the commercial market sector – in particular, it’s the hyperscale Read more…

By Doug Black

At ISC – Goh on Go: Humans Can’t Scale, the Data-Centric Learning Machine Can

June 22, 2017

I've seen the future this week at ISC, it’s on display in prototype or Powerpoint form, and it’s going to dumbfound you. The future is an AI neural network Read more…

By Doug Black

Cray Brings AI and HPC Together on Flagship Supers

June 20, 2017

Cray took one more step toward the convergence of big data and high performance computing (HPC) today when it announced that it’s adding a full suite of big d Read more…

By Alex Woodie

AMD Charges Back into the Datacenter and HPC Workflows with EPYC Processor

June 20, 2017

AMD is charging back into the enterprise datacenter and select HPC workflows with its new EPYC 7000 processor line, code-named Naples, announced today at a “g Read more…

By John Russell

Hyperion: Deep Learning, AI Helping Drive Healthy HPC Industry Growth

June 20, 2017

To be at the ISC conference in Frankfurt this week is to experience deep immersion in deep learning. Users want to learn about it, vendors want to talk about it Read more…

By Doug Black

Quantum Bits: D-Wave and VW; Google Quantum Lab; IBM Expands Access

March 21, 2017

For a technology that’s usually characterized as far off and in a distant galaxy, quantum computing has been steadily picking up steam. Just how close real-wo Read more…

By John Russell

Trump Budget Targets NIH, DOE, and EPA; No Mention of NSF

March 16, 2017

President Trump’s proposed U.S. fiscal 2018 budget issued today sharply cuts science spending while bolstering military spending as he promised during the cam Read more…

By John Russell

HPC Compiler Company PathScale Seeks Life Raft

March 23, 2017

HPCwire has learned that HPC compiler company PathScale has fallen on difficult times and is asking the community for help or actively seeking a buyer for its a Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Google Pulls Back the Covers on Its First Machine Learning Chip

April 6, 2017

This week Google released a report detailing the design and performance characteristics of the Tensor Processing Unit (TPU), its custom ASIC for the inference Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

CPU-based Visualization Positions for Exascale Supercomputing

March 16, 2017

In this contributed perspective piece, Intel’s Jim Jeffers makes the case that CPU-based visualization is now widely adopted and as such is no longer a contrarian view, but is rather an exascale requirement. Read more…

By Jim Jeffers, Principal Engineer and Engineering Leader, Intel

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

Nvidia’s Mammoth Volta GPU Aims High for AI, HPC

May 10, 2017

At Nvidia's GPU Technology Conference (GTC17) in San Jose, Calif., this morning, CEO Jensen Huang announced the company's much-anticipated Volta architecture a Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Facebook Open Sources Caffe2; Nvidia, Intel Rush to Optimize

April 18, 2017

From its F8 developer conference in San Jose, Calif., today, Facebook announced Caffe2, a new open-source, cross-platform framework for deep learning. Caffe2 is the successor to Caffe, the deep learning framework developed by Berkeley AI Research and community contributors. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Leading Solution Providers

MIT Mathematician Spins Up 220,000-Core Google Compute Cluster

April 21, 2017

On Thursday, Google announced that MIT math professor and computational number theorist Andrew V. Sutherland had set a record for the largest Google Compute Engine (GCE) job. Sutherland ran the massive mathematics workload on 220,000 GCE cores using preemptible virtual machine instances. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Google Debuts TPU v2 and will Add to Google Cloud

May 25, 2017

Not long after stirring attention in the deep learning/AI community by revealing the details of its Tensor Processing Unit (TPU), Google last week announced the Read more…

By John Russell

US Supercomputing Leaders Tackle the China Question

March 15, 2017

Joint DOE-NSA report responds to the increased global pressures impacting the competitiveness of U.S. supercomputing. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Russian Researchers Claim First Quantum-Safe Blockchain

May 25, 2017

The Russian Quantum Center today announced it has overcome the threat of quantum cryptography by creating the first quantum-safe blockchain, securing cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, along with classified government communications and other sensitive digital transfers. Read more…

By Doug Black

Groq This: New AI Chips to Give GPUs a Run for Deep Learning Money

April 24, 2017

CPUs and GPUs, move over. Thanks to recent revelations surrounding Google’s new Tensor Processing Unit (TPU), the computing world appears to be on the cusp of Read more…

By Alex Woodie

DOE Supercomputer Achieves Record 45-Qubit Quantum Simulation

April 13, 2017

In order to simulate larger and larger quantum systems and usher in an age of “quantum supremacy,” researchers are stretching the limits of today’s most advanced supercomputers. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Messina Update: The US Path to Exascale in 16 Slides

April 26, 2017

Paul Messina, director of the U.S. Exascale Computing Project, provided a wide-ranging review of ECP’s evolving plans last week at the HPC User Forum. Read more…

By John Russell

Knights Landing Processor with Omni-Path Makes Cloud Debut

April 18, 2017

HPC cloud specialist Rescale is partnering with Intel and HPC resource provider R Systems to offer first-ever cloud access to Xeon Phi "Knights Landing" processors. The infrastructure is based on the 68-core Intel Knights Landing processor with integrated Omni-Path fabric (the 7250F Xeon Phi). Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

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