Seagate-led SAGE Project Delivers Update on Exascale Goals

By John Russell

November 29, 2016

Roughly a year and a half after its launch, the SAGE exascale storage project led by Seagate has delivered a substantive interim report – Data Storage for Extreme Scale. It outlines technical details of progress to date and architectural plans moving forward. Of particular note is progress on co-design for use cases and applications expected to benefit most from exascale. There’s also been a fair amount of work to be able to accommodate big data and traditional HPC workflows in the same environment.

“We’ve tried to give ourselves lofty goals,” said Malcolm Muggeridge, senior engineering director at Seagate based in the U.K. who is leading the initiative. “We would like to become the platform of choice in exascale for storage solutions and will have the technology addressing that space in the 2022 timeframe. The main piece of work that has been completed [so far] is co-design activities.”

You may recall that SAGE (StorAGe for Exascale Data Centric Computing (SAGE) system aims to implement a Big Data/Extreme Computing (BDEC) and High Performance Data Analytics (HPDA) capable infrastructure suitable for Extreme scales – including Exascale and beyond. SAGE is one of 15 projects recently funded under Horizon 2020. Direct funding is actually through the European Technology Platforms (ETP) organization – “industry-led stakeholder groups recognized by the European Commission as key actors in driving innovation, knowledge transfer and European competitiveness. ETPs develop research and innovation agendas and roadmaps for action at EU and national level to be supported by both private and public funding.”

sage-seagate-architectureThe new white paper is a fairly extensive document that follows a nine-month formal project review last June and includes work completed since. Among the topics covered are: platform requirements; systems architecture; platform components; and ecosystem elements. Launched in September of 2015, SAGE tackles eight research areas: “the study of the 1) application use cases co-designing solutions to address 2) Percipient Storage Methods, 3) Advanced Object Storage, and 4) tools for I/O optimization, supporting 5) next generation storage media and developing a supporting ecosystem of 6) Extreme Data Management, 7) Programming techniques and 8) Extreme Data Analysis tools.”

According to the report, the SAGE storage system will be capable of efficiently storing and retrieving immense volumes of data at extreme scales, with the added functionality of “percipience” or the ability to accept and perform user defined computations integral to the storage system. SAGE will be built around the Mero object storage software platform and its supporting ecosystem of tools and techniques, that will work together to provide the required functionalities and scaling desired by extreme scale workflows.

One important goal is accommodating new storage technologies, such as non-volatile RAM (NVRAM). Leveraging object storage to assist ‘in-memory, closer-to-memory” computing is another. In an earlier interview Sai Narasimhamurthy, Seagate research staff engineer responsible for coordinating the technical work, told HPCwire that the stack would “have memory at the top, various NVRAM technologies in the middle, of course you have your flash technology as well as part of the stack, and then you have scratch disks and then archival disks.”

“You could have an object, or a piece of it, lying in high speed memory, a piece of it in NVRAM, and a piece of the object lying in scratch based upon the usage profile of the object,” explained Narasimhamurthy. “The view of the object is transparent to the application, it’s just I0 to an object, but on the back end you could have various types of layout which could be very interesting because you could optimize your layout for performance or for resiliency. You could do all sorts of things.”

sage-seagate-codesignClearly there are big goals for the project. Co-design is a critical early element in defining functional requirements, emphasized Muggeridge, “We have carefully selected use cases that reflect these data-centric applications. The use cases provide specific inputs that are designed to fine tune/modify the framework for the SAGE architecture.”

Muggeridge noted there is range of requirements drivers. The report calls out: inputs from the BDEC community and the US Department of Energy labs; data needs for big science, as exemplified by the Square Kilometer Array and the Human Brain Project; and Extreme scale I/O requirements drafted by the ETP; and extreme scale data needs highlighted by the HPDA community. The information was gathered mostly through workshops.

Top-level objectives have also been established and are largely familiar. One calls for the ability “to store and retrieve extreme volumes of data approaching orders of ~Exabyte for a given problem”. Another is the ability to manage workflows that include data from simulations and instruments. Not surprisingly, data IO rates, data integrity, data analytics, among other capabilities are being targeted. Indeed the first part of the project has been largely ‘definitional’ with a roll out of demonstrations planned for the next year.

Use of co-design principles to inform these objectives is a distinguishing feature of the project. SAGE has selected several use cases (applications) and spelled out in detail the parameters being measured. Use cases “cover a broad range of domains, including data from some of the world’s largest scientific experiments (including one of the world’s largest nuclear fusion facilities and one of the largest synchrotrons in Europe), aside from extremely data-centric HPC codes.” Below is a table with the uses cases selected.

sage-seagate-use-cases

So far, SAGE has gathered the first formal list of inputs from all of the specified use cases. “This phase included gathering inputs on formal I/O characterization, SAGE architecture analysis, data retention characterization and data scaling analysis, which was an analytical study of how data and I/O requirements of the use cases would scale on a future basis.”

sage-seagate-metrics

The SAGE system is built on multiple tiers of storage device hardware technology (see figure below). SAGE does not require a specific type of storage device technology, but typically it would include at least one NVRAM tier (Intel 3DxPoint technology is a strong contender at the moment), at least one flash tier and at least one disk tier. Together, these tiers are housed in standard form-factor enclosures and provide their own compute capability, enabled by standard x86 embedded processing components. Moving up the system stack, compute capability increases for faster, lower latency devices.

Mero, the object storage software first developed by Xyratex and now being extended by Seagate, is layered on top of this hardware stack, providing fundamental management of object I/O and storage across tiers. Essentially, Mero forms the core of the SAGE system. Mero is presented to users through the Clovis API. Everything above Clovis forms the SAGE ecosystem components.

sage-seagate-system-stack

Much remains to be done but it seems as if SAGE is making steady progress. Demonstrations, some at the Julich Supercomputing Centre, are expected over the next year or so. This latest paper is best read in full for current technical details of SAGE plans.

Link to new SAGE paper (Data Storage for Extreme Scale): http://sagestorage.eu/sites/default/files/Sage%20White%20Paper%20v1.0.pdf

 

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!

Intel’s Optane/DAOS Solution Tops Latest IO500

August 11, 2020

Intel’s persistent memory technology, Optane, and its DAOS (Distributed Asynchronous Object Storage) stack continue to impress and gain market traction. Yesterday, Intel reported an Optane and DAOS-based system finishe Read more…

By John Russell

Summit Now Offers Virtual Tours

August 10, 2020

Summit, the second most powerful publicly ranked supercomputer in the world, now has a virtual tour. The tour, implemented by 3D platform Matterport, allows users to virtually “walk” around the massive supercomputer Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Supercomputer Simulations Examine Changes in Chesapeake Bay

August 8, 2020

The Chesapeake Bay, the largest estuary in the continental United States, weaves its way south from Maryland, collecting waters from West Virginia, Delaware, DC, Pennsylvania and New York along the way. Like many major e Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Student Success from ‘Scratch’: CHPC’s Proof is in the Pudding

August 7, 2020

Happy Sithole, who directs the South African Centre for High Performance Computing (SA-CHPC), called the 13th annual CHPC National conference to order on December 1, 2019, at the Birchwood Conference Centre in Kempton Pa Read more…

By Elizabeth Leake

New GE Simulations on Summit to Advance Offshore Wind Power

August 6, 2020

The wind energy sector is a frequent user of high-power simulations, with researchers aiming to optimize wind flows and energy production from the massive turbines. Now, researchers at GE are preparing to undertake a lar Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

AWS Solution Channel

AWS announces the release of AWS ParallelCluster 2.8.0

AWS ParallelCluster is a fully supported and maintained open source cluster management tool that makes it easy for scientists, researchers, and IT administrators to deploy and manage High Performance Computing (HPC) clusters in the AWS cloud. Read more…

Intel® HPC + AI Pavilion

Supercomputing the Pandemic: Scientific Community Tackles COVID-19 from Multiple Perspectives

Since their inception, supercomputers have taken on the biggest, most complex, and most data-intensive computing challenges—from confirming Einstein’s theories about gravitational waves to predicting the impacts of climate change. Read more…

Research: A Survey of Numerical Methods Utilizing Mixed Precision Arithmetic

August 5, 2020

Within the past years, hardware vendors have started designing low precision special function units in response to the demand of the machine learning community and their demand for high compute power in low precision for Read more…

By Hartwig Anzt and Jack Dongarra

Intel’s Optane/DAOS Solution Tops Latest IO500

August 11, 2020

Intel’s persistent memory technology, Optane, and its DAOS (Distributed Asynchronous Object Storage) stack continue to impress and gain market traction. Yeste Read more…

By John Russell

Summit Now Offers Virtual Tours

August 10, 2020

Summit, the second most powerful publicly ranked supercomputer in the world, now has a virtual tour. The tour, implemented by 3D platform Matterport, allows use Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Research: A Survey of Numerical Methods Utilizing Mixed Precision Arithmetic

August 5, 2020

Within the past years, hardware vendors have started designing low precision special function units in response to the demand of the machine learning community Read more…

By Hartwig Anzt and Jack Dongarra

Implement Photonic Tensor Cores for Machine Learning?

August 5, 2020

Researchers from George Washington University have reported an approach for building photonic tensor cores that leverages phase change photonic memory to implem Read more…

By John Russell

HPE Keeps Cray Brand Promise, Reveals HPE Cray Supercomputing Line

August 4, 2020

The HPC community, ever-affectionate toward Cray and its eponymous founder, can breathe a (virtual) sigh of relief. The Cray brand will live on, encompassing th Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Machines, Connections, Data, and Especially People: OAC Acting Director Amy Friedlander Charts Office’s Blueprint for Innovation

August 3, 2020

The path to innovation in cyberinfrastructure (CI) will require continued focus on building HPC systems and secure connections between them, in addition to the Read more…

By Ken Chiacchia, Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center/XSEDE

Nvidia Said to Be Close on Arm Deal

August 3, 2020

GPU leader Nvidia Corp. is in talks to buy U.K. chip designer Arm from parent company Softbank, according to several reports over the weekend. If consummated Read more…

By George Leopold

Intel’s 7nm Slip Raises Questions About Ponte Vecchio GPU, Aurora Supercomputer

July 30, 2020

During its second-quarter earnings call, Intel announced a one-year delay of its 7nm process technology, which it says it will create an approximate six-month shift for its CPU product timing relative to prior expectations. The primary issue is a defect mode in the 7nm process that resulted in yield degradation... Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Supercomputer Modeling Tests How COVID-19 Spreads in Grocery Stores

April 8, 2020

In the COVID-19 era, many people are treating simple activities like getting gas or groceries with caution as they try to heed social distancing mandates and protect their own health. Still, significant uncertainty surrounds the relative risk of different activities, and conflicting information is prevalent. A team of Finnish researchers set out to address some of these uncertainties by... Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Supercomputer-Powered Research Uncovers Signs of ‘Bradykinin Storm’ That May Explain COVID-19 Symptoms

July 28, 2020

Doctors and medical researchers have struggled to pinpoint – let alone explain – the deluge of symptoms induced by COVID-19 infections in patients, and what Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Intel’s 7nm Slip Raises Questions About Ponte Vecchio GPU, Aurora Supercomputer

July 30, 2020

During its second-quarter earnings call, Intel announced a one-year delay of its 7nm process technology, which it says it will create an approximate six-month shift for its CPU product timing relative to prior expectations. The primary issue is a defect mode in the 7nm process that resulted in yield degradation... Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Nvidia Said to Be Close on Arm Deal

August 3, 2020

GPU leader Nvidia Corp. is in talks to buy U.K. chip designer Arm from parent company Softbank, according to several reports over the weekend. If consummated Read more…

By George Leopold

Supercomputer Simulations Reveal the Fate of the Neanderthals

May 25, 2020

For hundreds of thousands of years, neanderthals roamed the planet, eventually (almost 50,000 years ago) giving way to homo sapiens, which quickly became the do Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

10nm, 7nm, 5nm…. Should the Chip Nanometer Metric Be Replaced?

June 1, 2020

The biggest cool factor in server chips is the nanometer. AMD beating Intel to a CPU built on a 7nm process node* – with 5nm and 3nm on the way – has been i Read more…

By Doug Black

Neocortex Will Be First-of-Its-Kind 800,000-Core AI Supercomputer

June 9, 2020

Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center (PSC - a joint research organization of Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh) has won a $5 million award Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

HPE Keeps Cray Brand Promise, Reveals HPE Cray Supercomputing Line

August 4, 2020

The HPC community, ever-affectionate toward Cray and its eponymous founder, can breathe a (virtual) sigh of relief. The Cray brand will live on, encompassing th Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Leading Solution Providers

Contributors

Nvidia’s Ampere A100 GPU: Up to 2.5X the HPC, 20X the AI

May 14, 2020

Nvidia's first Ampere-based graphics card, the A100 GPU, packs a whopping 54 billion transistors on 826mm2 of silicon, making it the world's largest seven-nanom Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Australian Researchers Break All-Time Internet Speed Record

May 26, 2020

If you’ve been stuck at home for the last few months, you’ve probably become more attuned to the quality (or lack thereof) of your internet connection. Even Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

15 Slides on Programming Aurora and Exascale Systems

May 7, 2020

Sometime in 2021, Aurora, the first planned U.S. exascale system, is scheduled to be fired up at Argonne National Laboratory. Cray (now HPE) and Intel are the k Read more…

By John Russell

‘Billion Molecules Against COVID-19’ Challenge to Launch with Massive Supercomputing Support

April 22, 2020

Around the world, supercomputing centers have spun up and opened their doors for COVID-19 research in what may be the most unified supercomputing effort in hist Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Joliot-Curie Supercomputer Used to Build First Full, High-Fidelity Aircraft Engine Simulation

July 14, 2020

When industrial designers plan the design of a new element of a vehicle’s propulsion or exterior, they typically use fluid dynamics to optimize airflow and in Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

John Martinis Reportedly Leaves Google Quantum Effort

April 21, 2020

John Martinis, who led Google’s quantum computing effort since establishing its quantum hardware group in 2014, has left Google after being moved into an advi Read more…

By John Russell

$100B Plan Submitted for Massive Remake and Expansion of NSF

May 27, 2020

Legislation to reshape, expand - and rename - the National Science Foundation has been submitted in both the U.S. House and Senate. The proposal, which seems to Read more…

By John Russell

Google Cloud Debuts 16-GPU Ampere A100 Instances

July 7, 2020

On the heels of the Nvidia’s Ampere A100 GPU launch in May, Google Cloud is announcing alpha availability of the A100 “Accelerator Optimized” VM A2 instance family on Google Compute Engine. The instances are powered by the HGX A100 16-GPU platform, which combines two HGX A100 8-GPU baseboards using... Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

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