ThinkParQ Readies BeeGFS for Prime Time

By John Russell

May 28, 2019

With ISC19 fast approaching (June 16-20) ThinkParQ is ramping efforts to showcase its BeeGFS parallel file system’s growing market traction and to draw attention to the company’s efforts to develop the needed ecosystem of technology and channel partners to make BeeGFS successful. In a sense, it’s starting to feel like 2019 is BeeGFS’s break out year or at least its coming out year.

Today, ThinkParQ and NVMe block storage specialist Excelero released benchmarks in which Excelero’s NVMesh product helped BeeGFS achieve substantial speedups in file creation, metadata read, and IOPs. At ISC, ThinkParQ will have a range of activities including a BOF, which among other things will discuss forthcoming technical feature plans; host a joint demo with NetApp at ThinkparQ’s booth; and tout its growing channel.

BeeGFS, you may know, got its start as an in-house project (2005) at the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Mathematics (ITWM) and was called the Fraunhofer Gesellschaft File System (FhGFS). It was spun out in 2014 as BeeGFS under ThinkParQ and the race to commercialization began in earnest. While BeeGFS is “open source,” there are proprietary elements and services sold by ThinkParQ.

Helped by the relative turmoil in the parallel file system market – Lustre ownership changes (Intel to DDN) and IBM’s rebranding of GPFS as Spectrum Scale – BeeGFS has been steadily gaining ground including building up a channel. (For more background on BeeGFS, see HPCwire article, Move Over Lustre & Spectrum Scale – Here Comes BeeGFS?)

Here are four milestones in the last couple of years that highlight BeeGFS gains outside of Europe:

  • CSIRO. Dell EMC has been working to deploy BeeGFS at CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization) in Australia.
  • TACC. The Texas Advanced Computing Center has publicly said it’s evaluating BeeGFS and two national laboratories are reportedly doing the same.
  • Inspur and Pacific Teck. Inspur has become ThinkParQ’s exclusive distributor for China while Pacific Teck is leading a broader AsiaPac effort.
  • ABCI. Japan’s AI Bridging Cloud Infrastructure has deployed BeeGFS.

Today’s announcement was intended to further highlight BeeGFS’s NVMe-friendly nature at a time when NVMe is hot and especially useful for accelerated systems often slowed by IO bottlenecks. The CSIRO installation, for example, is a two-petabyte all NVMe solution targeting AI. Working with Excelero extends BeeGFS’s reach and enhances both companies’ go-to-market capabilities. Excelero offers software defined NVMe block storage. The companies have already successfully deployed NVMe storage clusters with BeeGFS and NVMesh to increase productivity of advanced GPU compute clusters.

Here’s an excerpt from the announcement:

“To demonstrate the possibilities of this new scale-out infrastructure, the companies used the industry standard mdtest and IOR benchmarks. The test system, say the companies, was a compact 2U 4-server chassis with a total of 24 NVMe drives, connected via a 100Gbit RDMA network to 8 BeeGFS client compute nodes. Tests were run on the exact same hardware configuration with BeeGFS utilizing the direct-attached NVMe vs. BeeGFS utilizing NVMesh logical volumes.

“Taking advantage of NVMesh to offload mirroring operations, BeeGFS file create operations were boosted 3x, while metadata read operations were boosted 2.5x. For small random file access, which is often considered to be especially critical for application efficiency, NVMesh’s low latency technology boosted BeeGFS 4K write IOPS to 1.25 million per second, a 2.5x improvement. By leveraging NVMesh distributed erasure coding for BeeGFS, customers can get up to 90% usable capacity while still tolerating drive failures. All the while, achieving 75GB/s streaming throughput from this entry-level system,” according to the release. (HPCwire has a few more details on the new offering here.)

ThinkParQ CEO Frank Herold provided HPCwire with a progress update prior to today’s announcement and while he touched on the Excelero collaboration he focused on broader plans for ThinkParQ’s commercial growth. Adding channel partners been a priority as has been establishing a larger footprint outside Europe. In 2019 alone, the company struck deals with Pacific Teck (February, AsiaPac), Inspur (March, China), and E8 Storage (April, U.S. and Israel) for varying types of collaboration. Last summer U.S.-based Advanced HPC became a “Platinum Partner” partner. Recently, ThinkParQ realigned its fiscal year with the calendar year. After a modest presence at SC18, the company will have a booth this year. As noted earlier, a wide range of activities is scheduled for ISC.

Landing Inspur was an important win. “We had our first orders from Inspur and that [seems] to be working well. China is hard to enter as a remote company. We are selling maintenance contracts only (Inspur) so it is not really selling the software stack,” said Herold. He noted it’s a price sensitive market with substantial regulatory issues and that Inspur is better able to handle those challenges.

The Pacific Teck deal is aimed more broadly at Asia. “I would not call them a distributor but would call them a go-to partner for BeeGFS in the region,” he said adding India is a key target with a good pipeline of “large opportunities” coming up.

The U.S. is of course a large market. Given the CSIRO project with Dell EMC, it’s natural to wonder if a more formal partnership might be in the works. They are already working together with a few customers, Herold allows, but declined to say more. Likewise, ThinkParQ is working with a large U.S. automotive manufacturer and a significant financial institution in the U.K. “We’re hoping to be able to talk about the automotive customer [reasonably soon],” he said, noting that financial services customers rarely talk publicly about what they are doing.

Noteworthy, there are several emerging options in the storage technology space. WekaIO is one that has had early success. Its marketing pitch is: “Matrix software is an NVMe-native, resilient file system that runs on commodity servers, delivering the highest bandwidth, lowest latency performance to any InfiniBand or Ethernet enabled GPU or CPU based cluster. Integrated tiering automatically and transparently migrates your cold data to any S3 or Swift compatible private cloud for low cost and limitless scale.”

Said Herold, “WekaIO has a completely different approach and go to market model, and different pricing. It’s a good product. I would say the target customer they are looking for is potentially different than [ours although] there is some overlap. We are focusing on customers at larger scale in mixed environment having NVMe but also having traditional storage needs. Weka is mainly focused on the NVMe side [and] expensive compared to what we offer.”

As always the market will be the ultimate arbiter.

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!

University of Chicago Researchers Generate First Computational Model of Entire SARS-CoV-2 Virus

January 15, 2021

Over the course of the last year, many detailed computational models of SARS-CoV-2 have been produced with the help of supercomputers, but those models have largely focused on critical elements of the virus, such as its Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Pat Gelsinger Returns to Intel as CEO

January 14, 2021

The Intel board of directors has appointed a new CEO. Intel alum Pat Gelsinger is leaving his post as CEO of VMware to rejoin the company that he parted ways with 11 years ago. Gelsinger will succeed Bob Swan, who will remain CEO until Feb. 15. Gelsinger previously spent 30 years... Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Roar Supercomputer to Support Naval Aircraft Research

January 14, 2021

One might not think “aircraft” when picturing the U.S. Navy, but the military branch actually has thousands of aircraft currently in service – and now, supercomputing will help future naval aircraft operate faster, Read more…

By Staff report

DOE and NOAA Extend Computing Partnership, Plan for New Supercomputer

January 14, 2021

The National Climate-Computing Research Center (NCRC), hosted by Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), has been supporting the climate research of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for the last 1 Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Using Micro-Combs, Researchers Demonstrate World’s Fastest Optical Neuromorphic Processor for AI

January 13, 2021

Neuromorphic computing, which uses chips that mimic the behavior of the human brain using virtual “neurons,” is growing in popularity thanks to high-profile efforts from Intel and others. Now, a team of researchers l Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

AWS Solution Channel

Now Available – Amazon EC2 C6gn Instances with 100 Gbps Networking

Amazon EC2 C6gn instances powered by AWS Graviton2 processors are now available!

Compared to C6g instances, this new instance type provides 4x higher network bandwidth, 4x higher packet processing performance, and 2x higher EBS bandwidth. Read more…

Intel® HPC + AI Pavilion

Intel Keynote Address

Intel is the foundation of HPC – from the workstation to the cloud to the backbone of the Top500. At SC20, Intel’s Trish Damkroger, VP and GM of high performance computing, addresses the audience to show how Intel and its partners are building the future of HPC today, through hardware and software technologies that accelerate the broad deployment of advanced HPC systems. Read more…

Honing In on AI, US Launches National Artificial Intelligence Initiative Office

January 13, 2021

To drive American leadership in the field of AI into the future, the National Artificial Intelligence Initiative Office has been launched by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). The new agen Read more…

By Todd R. Weiss

Pat Gelsinger Returns to Intel as CEO

January 14, 2021

The Intel board of directors has appointed a new CEO. Intel alum Pat Gelsinger is leaving his post as CEO of VMware to rejoin the company that he parted ways with 11 years ago. Gelsinger will succeed Bob Swan, who will remain CEO until Feb. 15. Gelsinger previously spent 30 years... Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Julia Update: Adoption Keeps Climbing; Is It a Python Challenger?

January 13, 2021

The rapid adoption of Julia, the open source, high level programing language with roots at MIT, shows no sign of slowing according to data from Julialang.org. I Read more…

By John Russell

Intel ‘Ice Lake’ Server Chips in Production, Set for Volume Ramp This Quarter

January 12, 2021

Intel Corp. used this week’s virtual CES 2021 event to reassert its dominance of the datacenter with the formal roll out of its next-generation server chip, the 10nm Xeon Scalable processor that targets AI and HPC workloads. The third-generation “Ice Lake” family... Read more…

By George Leopold

Researchers Say It Won’t Be Possible to Control Superintelligent AI

January 11, 2021

Worries about out-of-control AI aren’t new. Many prominent figures have suggested caution when unleashing AI. One quote that keeps cropping up is (roughly) th Read more…

By John Russell

AMD Files Patent on New GPU Chiplet Approach

January 5, 2021

Advanced Micro Devices is accelerating the GPU chiplet race with the release of a U.S. patent application for a device that incorporates high-bandwidth intercon Read more…

By George Leopold

Programming the Soon-to-Be World’s Fastest Supercomputer, Frontier

January 5, 2021

What’s it like designing an app for the world’s fastest supercomputer, set to come online in the United States in 2021? The University of Delaware’s Sunita Chandrasekaran is leading an elite international team in just that task. Chandrasekaran, assistant professor of computer and information sciences, recently was named... Read more…

By Tracey Bryant

Intel Touts Optane Performance, Teases Next-gen “Crow Pass”

January 5, 2021

Competition to leverage new memory and storage hardware with new or improved software to create better storage/memory schemes has steadily gathered steam during Read more…

By John Russell

Farewell 2020: Bleak, Yes. But a Lot of Good Happened Too

December 30, 2020

Here on the cusp of the new year, the catchphrase ‘2020 hindsight’ has a distinctly different feel. Good riddance, yes. But also proof of science’s power Read more…

By John Russell

Esperanto Unveils ML Chip with Nearly 1,100 RISC-V Cores

December 8, 2020

At the RISC-V Summit today, Art Swift, CEO of Esperanto Technologies, announced a new, RISC-V based chip aimed at machine learning and containing nearly 1,100 low-power cores based on the open-source RISC-V architecture. Esperanto Technologies, headquartered in... Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Azure Scaled to Record 86,400 Cores for Molecular Dynamics

November 20, 2020

A new record for HPC scaling on the public cloud has been achieved on Microsoft Azure. Led by Dr. Jer-Ming Chia, the cloud provider partnered with the Beckman I Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

NICS Unleashes ‘Kraken’ Supercomputer

April 4, 2008

A Cray XT4 supercomputer, dubbed Kraken, is scheduled to come online in mid-summer at the National Institute for Computational Sciences (NICS). The soon-to-be petascale system, and the resulting NICS organization, are the result of an NSF Track II award of $65 million to the University of Tennessee and its partners to provide next-generation supercomputing for the nation's science community. Read more…

Is the Nvidia A100 GPU Performance Worth a Hardware Upgrade?

October 16, 2020

Over the last decade, accelerators have seen an increasing rate of adoption in high-performance computing (HPC) platforms, and in the June 2020 Top500 list, eig Read more…

By Hartwig Anzt, Ahmad Abdelfattah and Jack Dongarra

Aurora’s Troubles Move Frontier into Pole Exascale Position

October 1, 2020

Intel’s 7nm node delay has raised questions about the status of the Aurora supercomputer that was scheduled to be stood up at Argonne National Laboratory next year. Aurora was in the running to be the United States’ first exascale supercomputer although it was on a contemporaneous timeline with... Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Julia Update: Adoption Keeps Climbing; Is It a Python Challenger?

January 13, 2021

The rapid adoption of Julia, the open source, high level programing language with roots at MIT, shows no sign of slowing according to data from Julialang.org. I Read more…

By John Russell

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

Programming the Soon-to-Be World’s Fastest Supercomputer, Frontier

January 5, 2021

What’s it like designing an app for the world’s fastest supercomputer, set to come online in the United States in 2021? The University of Delaware’s Sunita Chandrasekaran is leading an elite international team in just that task. Chandrasekaran, assistant professor of computer and information sciences, recently was named... Read more…

By Tracey Bryant

Leading Solution Providers

Contributors

Top500: Fugaku Keeps Crown, Nvidia’s Selene Climbs to #5

November 16, 2020

With the publication of the 56th Top500 list today from SC20's virtual proceedings, Japan's Fugaku supercomputer – now fully deployed – notches another win, Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Texas A&M Announces Flagship ‘Grace’ Supercomputer

November 9, 2020

Texas A&M University has announced its next flagship system: Grace. The new supercomputer, named for legendary programming pioneer Grace Hopper, is replacing the Ada system (itself named for mathematician Ada Lovelace) as the primary workhorse for Texas A&M’s High Performance Research Computing (HPRC). Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

At Oak Ridge, ‘End of Life’ Sometimes Isn’t

October 31, 2020

Sometimes, the old dog actually does go live on a farm. HPC systems are often cursed with short lifespans, as they are continually supplanted by the latest and Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Nvidia and EuroHPC Team for Four Supercomputers, Including Massive ‘Leonardo’ System

October 15, 2020

The EuroHPC Joint Undertaking (JU) serves as Europe’s concerted supercomputing play, currently comprising 32 member states and billions of euros in funding. I Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Gordon Bell Special Prize Goes to Massive SARS-CoV-2 Simulations

November 19, 2020

2020 has proven a harrowing year – but it has produced remarkable heroes. To that end, this year, the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) introduced the Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Nvidia-Arm Deal a Boon for RISC-V?

October 26, 2020

The $40 billion blockbuster acquisition deal that will bring chipmaker Arm into the Nvidia corporate family could provide a boost for the competing RISC-V architecture. As regulators in the U.S., China and the European Union begin scrutinizing the impact of the blockbuster deal on semiconductor industry competition and innovation, the deal has at the very least... Read more…

By George Leopold

Intel Xe-HP GPU Deployed for Aurora Exascale Development

November 17, 2020

At SC20, Intel announced that it is making its Xe-HP high performance discrete GPUs available to early access developers. Notably, the new chips have been deplo Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

HPE, AMD and EuroHPC Partner for Pre-Exascale LUMI Supercomputer

October 21, 2020

Not even a week after Nvidia announced that it would be providing hardware for the first four of the eight planned EuroHPC systems, HPE and AMD are announcing a Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

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