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!

With New Owner and New Roadmap, an Independent Omni-Path Is Staging a Comeback

July 23, 2021

Put on a shelf by Intel in 2019, Omni-Path faced a uncertain future, but under new custodian Cornelis Networks, OmniPath is looking to make a comeback as an independent high-performance interconnect solution. A "significant refresh" – called Omni-Path Express – is coming later this year according to the company. Cornelis Networks formed last September as a spinout of Intel's Omni-Path division. Read more…

PEARC21 Panel Reviews Eight New NSF-Funded HPC Systems Debuting in 2021

July 23, 2021

Over the past few years, the NSF has funded a number of HPC systems to further supply the open research community with computational resources to meet that community’s changing and expanding needs. A review of these systems at the PEARC21 conference (July 19-22) highlighted... Read more…

Chameleon’s HPC Testbed Sharpens Its Edge, Presses ‘Replay’

July 22, 2021

“One way of saying what I do for a living is to say that I develop scientific instruments,” said Kate Keahey, a senior fellow at the University of Chicago and a computer scientist at Argonne National Laboratory, as s Read more…

PEARC21 Plenary Session: AI for Innovative Social Work

July 21, 2021

AI analysis of social media poses a double-edged sword for social work and addressing the needs of at-risk youths, said Desmond Upton Patton, senior associate dean, Innovation and Academic Affairs, Columbia University. S Read more…

Summer Reading: “High-Performance Computing Is at an Inflection Point”

July 21, 2021

At last month’s 11th International Symposium on Highly Efficient Accelerators and Reconfigurable Technologies (HEART), a group of researchers led by Martin Schulz of the Leibniz Supercomputing Center (Munich) presented a “position paper” in which they argue HPC architectural landscape... Read more…

AWS Solution Channel

Accelerate innovation in healthcare and life sciences with AWS HPC

With Amazon Web Services, researchers can access purpose-built HPC tools and services along with scientific and technical expertise to accelerate the pace of discovery. Whether you are sequencing the human genome, using AI/ML for disease detection or running molecular dynamics simulations to develop lifesaving drugs, AWS has the infrastructure you need to run your HPC workloads. Read more…

PEARC21 Panel: Wafer-Scale-Engine Technology Accelerates Machine Learning, HPC

July 21, 2021

Early use of Cerebras’ CS-1 server and wafer-scale engine (WSE) has demonstrated promising acceleration of machine-learning algorithms, according to participants in the Scientific Research Enabled by CS-1 Systems panel Read more…

With New Owner and New Roadmap, an Independent Omni-Path Is Staging a Comeback

July 23, 2021

Put on a shelf by Intel in 2019, Omni-Path faced a uncertain future, but under new custodian Cornelis Networks, OmniPath is looking to make a comeback as an independent high-performance interconnect solution. A "significant refresh" – called Omni-Path Express – is coming later this year according to the company. Cornelis Networks formed last September as a spinout of Intel's Omni-Path division. Read more…

Chameleon’s HPC Testbed Sharpens Its Edge, Presses ‘Replay’

July 22, 2021

“One way of saying what I do for a living is to say that I develop scientific instruments,” said Kate Keahey, a senior fellow at the University of Chicago a Read more…

Summer Reading: “High-Performance Computing Is at an Inflection Point”

July 21, 2021

At last month’s 11th International Symposium on Highly Efficient Accelerators and Reconfigurable Technologies (HEART), a group of researchers led by Martin Schulz of the Leibniz Supercomputing Center (Munich) presented a “position paper” in which they argue HPC architectural landscape... Read more…

PEARC21 Panel: Wafer-Scale-Engine Technology Accelerates Machine Learning, HPC

July 21, 2021

Early use of Cerebras’ CS-1 server and wafer-scale engine (WSE) has demonstrated promising acceleration of machine-learning algorithms, according to participa Read more…

15 Years Later, the Green500 Continues Its Push for Energy Efficiency as a First-Order Concern in HPC

July 15, 2021

The Green500 list, which ranks the most energy-efficient supercomputers in the world, has virtually always faced an uphill battle. As Wu Feng – custodian of the Green500 list and an associate professor at Virginia Tech – tells it, “noone" cared about energy efficiency in the early 2000s, when the seeds... Read more…

Frontier to Meet 20MW Exascale Power Target Set by DARPA in 2008

July 14, 2021

After more than a decade of planning, the United States’ first exascale computer, Frontier, is set to arrive at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) later this year. Crossing this “1,000x” horizon required overcoming four major challenges: power demand, reliability, extreme parallelism and data movement. Read more…

Quantum Roundup: IBM, Rigetti, Phasecraft, Oxford QC, China, and More

July 13, 2021

IBM yesterday announced a proof for a quantum ML algorithm. A week ago, it unveiled a new topology for its quantum processors. Last Friday, the Technical Univer Read more…

ExaWind Prepares for New Architectures, Bigger Simulations

July 10, 2021

The ExaWind project describes itself in terms of terms like wake formation, turbine-turbine interaction and blade-boundary-layer dynamics, but the pitch to the Read more…

AMD Chipmaker TSMC to Use AMD Chips for Chipmaking

May 8, 2021

TSMC has tapped AMD to support its major manufacturing and R&D workloads. AMD will provide its Epyc Rome 7702P CPUs – with 64 cores operating at a base cl Read more…

Intel Launches 10nm ‘Ice Lake’ Datacenter CPU with Up to 40 Cores

April 6, 2021

The wait is over. Today Intel officially launched its 10nm datacenter CPU, the third-generation Intel Xeon Scalable processor, codenamed Ice Lake. With up to 40 Read more…

Berkeley Lab Debuts Perlmutter, World’s Fastest AI Supercomputer

May 27, 2021

A ribbon-cutting ceremony held virtually at Berkeley Lab's National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) today marked the official launch of Perlmutter – aka NERSC-9 – the GPU-accelerated supercomputer built by HPE in partnership with Nvidia and AMD. Read more…

Ahead of ‘Dojo,’ Tesla Reveals Its Massive Precursor Supercomputer

June 22, 2021

In spring 2019, Tesla made cryptic reference to a project called Dojo, a “super-powerful training computer” for video data processing. Then, in summer 2020, Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted: “Tesla is developing a [neural network] training computer called Dojo to process truly vast amounts of video data. It’s a beast! … A truly useful exaflop at de facto FP32.” Read more…

Google Launches TPU v4 AI Chips

May 20, 2021

Google CEO Sundar Pichai spoke for only one minute and 42 seconds about the company’s latest TPU v4 Tensor Processing Units during his keynote at the Google I Read more…

CentOS Replacement Rocky Linux Is Now in GA and Under Independent Control

June 21, 2021

The Rocky Enterprise Software Foundation (RESF) is announcing the general availability of Rocky Linux, release 8.4, designed as a drop-in replacement for the soon-to-be discontinued CentOS. The GA release is launching six-and-a-half months after Red Hat deprecated its support for the widely popular, free CentOS server operating system. The Rocky Linux development effort... Read more…

CERN Is Betting Big on Exascale

April 1, 2021

The European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) involves 23 countries, 15,000 researchers, billions of dollars a year, and the biggest machine in the worl Read more…

Iran Gains HPC Capabilities with Launch of ‘Simorgh’ Supercomputer

May 18, 2021

Iran is said to be developing domestic supercomputing technology to advance the processing of scientific, economic, political and military data, and to strengthen the nation’s position in the age of AI and big data. On Sunday, Iran unveiled the Simorgh supercomputer, which will deliver.... Read more…

Leading Solution Providers

Contributors

HPE Launches Storage Line Loaded with IBM’s Spectrum Scale File System

April 6, 2021

HPE today launched a new family of storage solutions bundled with IBM’s Spectrum Scale Erasure Code Edition parallel file system (description below) and featu Read more…

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…

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…

GTC21: Nvidia Launches cuQuantum; Dips a Toe in Quantum Computing

April 13, 2021

Yesterday Nvidia officially dipped a toe into quantum computing with the launch of cuQuantum SDK, a development platform for simulating quantum circuits on GPU-accelerated systems. As Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang emphasized in his keynote, Nvidia doesn’t plan to build... Read more…

Microsoft to Provide World’s Most Powerful Weather & Climate Supercomputer for UK’s Met Office

April 22, 2021

More than 14 months ago, the UK government announced plans to invest £1.2 billion ($1.56 billion) into weather and climate supercomputing, including procuremen Read more…

Q&A with Jim Keller, CTO of Tenstorrent, and an HPCwire Person to Watch in 2021

April 22, 2021

As part of our HPCwire Person to Watch series, we are happy to present our interview with Jim Keller, president and chief technology officer of Tenstorrent. One of the top chip architects of our time, Keller has had an impactful career. Read more…

Quantum Roundup: IBM, Rigetti, Phasecraft, Oxford QC, China, and More

July 13, 2021

IBM yesterday announced a proof for a quantum ML algorithm. A week ago, it unveiled a new topology for its quantum processors. Last Friday, the Technical Univer Read more…

Senate Debate on Bill to Remake NSF – the Endless Frontier Act – Begins

May 18, 2021

The U.S. Senate today opened floor debate on the Endless Frontier Act which seeks to remake and expand the National Science Foundation by creating a technology Read more…

  • arrow
  • Click Here for More Headlines
  • arrow
HPCwire