A new era needs new HPC/AI storage

October 30, 2019

New ClusterStor E1000 HPC/AI storage system from Cray, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company

Introduction / Executive Summary

High-performance computing (HPC) is changing fundamentally with disruptive implications for HPC storage. The classic modeling and simulation workloads running on supercomputers and large HPC clusters are joined by new workloads like machine learning and deep learning (ML/DL) running on mission- or business critical workflows on the same machine. In addition, high-performance data analysis (HPDA) of experimental and observational data from much more powerful instruments and machine-generated data from Internet of Things (IoT) sensors at the edge — soon connected by fifth-generation wireless (5G) cellular networks — is integrated into the workflow.

Cray calls this new era the exascale era and it’s characterized by converged workloads for crucial workflows running on the same machine, often simultaneously.

Cray saw this coming years ago and has developed the new Cray® ClusterStor® E1000 HPC/AI storage platform to enable HPC users to efficiently cope with the data explosion in this new paradigm.

Storage challenges facing today’s customers

Most customers have separate infrastructures for classic HPC (modeling and simulation workloads) and AI (ML/DL workloads) today.

  • Supercomputers and HPC clusters mainly based on compute nodes with CPUs served by HDD-based parallel HPC storage with storage capacity measured in petabytes (PB).
  • Artificial intelligence (AI) infrastructures mainly based on GPUs served by SSD-based enterprise network attached storage (NAS) with storage capacity measured in terabytes (TB).

The current status quo becomes a challenge once AI methods like ML/DL are running together with modeling and simulation workloads in workflows on supercomputers and HPC clusters. More than 50% of HPC users are already running machine learning programs today.[1] In general, HDD-based storage was designed for the write-intensive, sequential input/output (I/O) for large files. It is not well suited to serve the read-intensive I/O of a larger number of often small files that need to be accessed in random order during the training phases of ML/DL models.

As workloads converge, customers cannot easily stay on current HPC storage infrastructure. If they do, I/O bottlenecks will result in job pipeline congestion and expensive compute infrastructure will idle waiting for I/O to complete. At the same time, they also cannot scale their current AI storage — deployed in capacities of terabytes — to the petabyte scale capacities needed by supercomputer and HPC clusters running converged HPC and AI workloads. SSD storage is much more expensive than HDD storage today and IDC research shows that SSD in 2023 is projected to still be eight times more expensive than HDD in $/GB. [2]

Cray ClusterStor E1000 solves the exascale storage challenge

Customers should consider moving to the Cray® ClusterStor® E1000 HPC/AI storage solution.

“It is a flexible HPC/AI storage platform that leverages the strength of both SSD and HDD without incurring their respective weaknesses. ClusterStor E1000 solves the I/O bottleneck in the era of converged workloads without breaking the bank by orchestrating the data flow with the workflow through intelligent software. Cray saw the storage challenges of converged workloads coming as early as 2017 when development of the next generation ClusterStor storage system began,” says Uli Plechschmidt, director of storage product marketing for Cray.

Introducing the Cray ClusterStor E1000

Figure 1. Cray ClusterStor E1000 at a glance

Cray ClusterStor E1000 benefits

Performance: Meets the most demanding requirements of HPC/AI workloads with up to 1.6 TB/s and 50 million input/output operations per second (IOPS) per SSD rack and up to 120 GB/s and up to 10 PB usable capacity per HDD rack

Flexibility: All-SSD, all-HDD, and hybrid configurations orchestrating the data flow with the workflow through intelligent Cray software. Attaches to any supercomputer and any HPC cluster of any vendor via either 100/200 Gigabit Ethernet, EDR/HDR InfiniBand or the Cray Slingshot™ interconnect.

Scalability: Enables customers to start anywhere – as low as one-fifth of a rack – and to grow wherever they need to go. Up to and beyond the largest ClusterStor E1000 system already contracted (nearly 10 TB/s with more than 700 PB usable capacity).

Conclusion

The converged workflows of the exascale era break legacy HPC storage and AI storage models. The “cost of doing nothing” is either massive job pipeline congestion through I/O bottlenecks or spending most of the total system budget on storage. A storage solution is needed for the new era.

“Unlike HPC/AI storage-only vendors we believe that storage is a means to an end. The end being insights and breakthroughs that can make the world a better place to work and live in,” says Plechschmidt. “Cray has architected the ClusterStor E1000 in a way that can meet the storage requirements of converged workloads in the most efficient way. Exploiting the strengths of HDD and SSD without incurring their weaknesses — for HDD the challenge to serve random I/O of large numbers of small files and for SSD the high cost per gigabyte — by intelligent hardware design and through intelligent software that aligns the data flow with the workflow. Due to that differentiated design, customers who choose the ClusterStor E1000 typically will be able to achieve their storage requirements in a more efficient way — enabling them to spend more of their total system budget on CPU/GPU compute nodes when compared to alternative HPC/AI storage offerings.”

—————————————————————————————————————————–

References

1] Intersect360 HPC User Budget Map Survey: Machine Learning’s Impact on HPC Environments, September 2018.

2] IDC, Worldwide 2019-2023 Enterprise SSD and HDD Combined Market Overview, June 2019.

 

About Cray

About Cray Inc.

Cray, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company, combines computation and creativity so visionaries can keep asking questions that challenge the limits of possibility. Drawing on more than 45 years of experience, Cray develops the world’s most advanced supercomputers, pushing the boundaries of performance, efficiency and scalability. Cray continues to innovate today at the convergence of data and discovery, offering a comprehensive portfolio of supercomputers, high-performance storage, data analytics and artificial intelligence solutions.  Go to www.cray.com for more information.

CRAY and ClusterStor are registered trademarks of Cray Inc. in the United States and other countries, and Shasta and Slingshot are trademarks of Cray Inc. Other product and service names mentioned herein are the trademarks of their respective owners.

Copyright 2019

 

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!

Red Hat’s Disruption of CentOS Unleashes Storm of Dissent

January 22, 2021

Five weeks after angering much of the CentOS Linux developer community by unveiling controversial changes to the no-cost CentOS operating system, Red Hat has unveiled alternatives for affected users that give them severa Read more…

By Todd R. Weiss

China Unveils First 7nm Chip: Big Island

January 22, 2021

Shanghai Tianshu Zhaoxin Semiconductor Co. is claiming China’s first 7-nanometer chip, described as a leading-edge, general-purpose cloud computing chip based on a proprietary GPU architecture. Dubbed “Big Island Read more…

By George Leopold

HiPEAC Keynote: In-Memory Computing Steps Closer to Practical Reality

January 21, 2021

Pursuit of in-memory computing has long been an active area with recent progress showing promise. Just how in-memory computing works, how close it is to practical application, and what are some of the key opportunities a Read more…

By John Russell

HiPEAC’s Vision for a New Cyber Era, a ‘Continuum of Computing’

January 21, 2021

Earlier this week (Jan. 19), HiPEAC — the European Network on High Performance and Embedded Architecture and Compilation — published the 8th edition of the HiPEAC Vision, detailing an increasingly interconnected computing landscape where complex tasks are carried out across multiple... Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Supercomputers Assist Hunt for Mysterious Axion Particle

January 21, 2021

In the 1970s, scientists theorized the existence of axions: particles born in the hearts of stars that, when exposed to a magnetic field, become light particles, and which may even comprise dark matter. To date, however, Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

AWS Solution Channel

Fire Dynamics Simulation CFD workflow on AWS

Modeling fires is key for many industries, from the design of new buildings, defining evacuation procedures for trains, planes and ships, and even the spread of wildfires. 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…

Researchers Train Fluid Dynamics Neural Networks on Supercomputers

January 21, 2021

Fluid dynamics simulations are critical for applications ranging from wind turbine design to aircraft optimization. Running these simulations through direct numerical simulations, however, is computationally costly. Many Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Red Hat’s Disruption of CentOS Unleashes Storm of Dissent

January 22, 2021

Five weeks after angering much of the CentOS Linux developer community by unveiling controversial changes to the no-cost CentOS operating system, Red Hat has un Read more…

By Todd R. Weiss

HiPEAC Keynote: In-Memory Computing Steps Closer to Practical Reality

January 21, 2021

Pursuit of in-memory computing has long been an active area with recent progress showing promise. Just how in-memory computing works, how close it is to practic Read more…

By John Russell

HiPEAC’s Vision for a New Cyber Era, a ‘Continuum of Computing’

January 21, 2021

Earlier this week (Jan. 19), HiPEAC — the European Network on High Performance and Embedded Architecture and Compilation — published the 8th edition of the HiPEAC Vision, detailing an increasingly interconnected computing landscape where complex tasks are carried out across multiple... Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Saudi Aramco Unveils Dammam 7, Its New Top Ten Supercomputer

January 21, 2021

By revenue, oil and gas giant Saudi Aramco is one of the largest companies in the world, and it has historically employed commensurate amounts of supercomputing Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

President-elect Biden Taps Eric Lander and Deep Team on Science Policy

January 19, 2021

Last Friday U.S. President-elect Joe Biden named The Broad Institute founding director and president Eric Lander as his science advisor and as director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy. Lander, 63, is a mathematician by training and distinguished life sciences... Read more…

By John Russell

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

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

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

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

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

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 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

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

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

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