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!

D-Wave Delivers 5000-qubit System; Targets Quantum Advantage

September 29, 2020

D-Wave today launched its newest and largest quantum annealing computer, a 5000-qubit goliath named Advantage that features 15-way qubit interconnectivity. It also introduced the D-Wave Launch program intended to jump st Read more…

By John Russell

What’s New in Computing vs. COVID-19: AMD, Remdesivir, Fab Spending & More

September 29, 2020

Supercomputing, big data and artificial intelligence are crucial tools in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic. Around the world, researchers, corporations and governments are urgently devoting their computing reso Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Global QC Market Projected to Grow to More Than $800 million by 2024

September 28, 2020

The Quantum Economic Development Consortium (QED-C) and Hyperion Research are projecting that the global quantum computing (QC) market - worth an estimated $320 million in 2020 - will grow at an anticipated 27% CAGR betw Read more…

By Staff Reports

DoE’s ASCAC Backs AI for Science Program that Emulates the Exascale Initiative

September 28, 2020

Roughly a year after beginning formal efforts to explore an AI for Science initiative the Department of Energy’s Advanced Scientific Computing Advisory Committee last week accepted a subcommittee report calling for a t Read more…

By John Russell

Supercomputer Research Aims to Supercharge COVID-19 Antiviral Remdesivir

September 25, 2020

Remdesivir is one of a handful of therapeutic antiviral drugs that have been proven to improve outcomes for COVID-19 patients, and as such, is a crucial weapon in the fight against the pandemic – especially in the abse Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

AWS Solution Channel

The Water Institute of the Gulf runs compute-heavy storm surge and wave simulations on AWS

The Water Institute of the Gulf (Water Institute) runs its storm surge and wave analysis models on Amazon Web Services (AWS)—a task that sometimes requires large bursts of compute power. Read more…

Intel® HPC + AI Pavilion

Berlin Institute of Health: Putting HPC to Work for the World

Researchers from the Center for Digital Health at the Berlin Institute of Health (BIH) are using science to understand the pathophysiology of COVID-19, which can help to inform the development of targeted treatments. Read more…

NOAA Announces Major Upgrade to Ensemble Forecast Model, Extends Range to 35 Days

September 23, 2020

A bit over a year ago, the United States’ Global Forecast System (GFS) received a major upgrade: a new dynamical core – its first in 40 years – called the finite-volume cubed-sphere, or FV3. Now, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is bringing the FV3 dynamical core to... Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

D-Wave Delivers 5000-qubit System; Targets Quantum Advantage

September 29, 2020

D-Wave today launched its newest and largest quantum annealing computer, a 5000-qubit goliath named Advantage that features 15-way qubit interconnectivity. It a Read more…

By John Russell

DoE’s ASCAC Backs AI for Science Program that Emulates the Exascale Initiative

September 28, 2020

Roughly a year after beginning formal efforts to explore an AI for Science initiative the Department of Energy’s Advanced Scientific Computing Advisory Commit Read more…

By John Russell

NOAA Announces Major Upgrade to Ensemble Forecast Model, Extends Range to 35 Days

September 23, 2020

A bit over a year ago, the United States’ Global Forecast System (GFS) received a major upgrade: a new dynamical core – its first in 40 years – called the finite-volume cubed-sphere, or FV3. Now, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is bringing the FV3 dynamical core to... Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Arm Targets HPC with New Neoverse Platforms

September 22, 2020

UK-based semiconductor design company Arm today teased details of its Neoverse roadmap, introducing V1 (codenamed Zeus) and N2 (codenamed Perseus), Arm’s second generation N-series platform. The chip IP vendor said the new platforms will deliver 50 percent and 40 percent more... Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Oracle Cloud Deepens HPC Embrace with Launch of A100 Instances, Plans for Arm, More 

September 22, 2020

Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) continued its steady ramp-up of HPC capabilities today with a flurry of announcements. Topping the list is general availabilit Read more…

By John Russell

European Commission Declares €8 Billion Investment in Supercomputing

September 18, 2020

Just under two years ago, the European Commission formalized the EuroHPC Joint Undertaking (JU): a concerted HPC effort (comprising 32 participating states at c Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Google Hires Longtime Intel Exec Bill Magro to Lead HPC Strategy

September 18, 2020

In a sign of the times, another prominent HPCer has made a move to a hyperscaler. Longtime Intel executive Bill Magro joined Google as chief technologist for hi Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Future of Fintech on Display at HPC + AI Wall Street

September 17, 2020

Those who tuned in for Tuesday's HPC + AI Wall Street event got a peak at the future of fintech and lively discussion of topics like blockchain, AI for risk man Read more…

By Alex Woodie, Tiffany Trader and Todd R. Weiss

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

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

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

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

Google Hires Longtime Intel Exec Bill Magro to Lead HPC Strategy

September 18, 2020

In a sign of the times, another prominent HPCer has made a move to a hyperscaler. Longtime Intel executive Bill Magro joined Google as chief technologist for hi 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

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

European Commission Declares €8 Billion Investment in Supercomputing

September 18, 2020

Just under two years ago, the European Commission formalized the EuroHPC Joint Undertaking (JU): a concerted HPC effort (comprising 32 participating states at c Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Leading Solution Providers

Contributors

Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Powers Fugaku’s Storage, Scores IO500 Win

August 28, 2020

In June, RIKEN shook the supercomputing world with its Arm-based, Fujitsu-built juggernaut: Fugaku. The system, which weighs in at 415.5 Linpack petaflops, topp Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

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

DOD Orders Two AI-Focused Supercomputers from Liqid

August 24, 2020

The U.S. Department of Defense is making a big investment in data analytics and AI computing with the procurement of two HPC systems that will provide the High 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

Microsoft Azure Adds A100 GPU Instances for ‘Supercomputer-Class AI’ in the Cloud

August 19, 2020

Microsoft Azure continues to infuse its cloud platform with HPC- and AI-directed technologies. Today the cloud services purveyor announced a new virtual machine Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Japan’s Fugaku Tops Global Supercomputing Rankings

June 22, 2020

A new Top500 champ was unveiled today. Supercomputer Fugaku, the pride of Japan and the namesake of Mount Fuji, vaulted to the top of the 55th edition of the To Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

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

Intel Speeds NAMD by 1.8x: Saves Xeon Processor Users Millions of Compute Hours

August 12, 2020

Potentially saving datacenters millions of CPU node hours, Intel and the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign (UIUC) have collaborated to develop AVX-512 optimizations for the NAMD scalable molecular dynamics code. These optimizations will be incorporated into release 2.15 with patches available for earlier versions. Read more…

By Rob Farber

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