Cray Debuts ClusterStor E1000 Finishing Remake of Portfolio for ‘Exascale Era’

By John Russell

October 30, 2019

Cray, now owned by HPE, today introduced the ClusterStor E1000 storage platform, which leverages Cray software and mixes hard disk drives (HDD) and flash memory (SSD) to accommodate converged HPC-AI workloads at many scales. Cray described the new system as the final step in re-architecting its product portfolio for the exascale era. Cray also didn’t miss the opportunity to tout selection of ClusterStor E1000 for use in the first three planned U.S. exascale computers (Aurora, Frontier, and El Capitan with Cray as the prime systems contractor for the latter two).

For a company whose long-term health was sometimes questioned in recent years, Cray is riding high with prior worries about its standalone viability decisively resolved by the HPE acquisition. In a press pre-briefing, Uli Plechschmidt, director of storage product marketing, said the ClusterStor E1000 completes Cray’s product refresh – joining Cray’s Shasta architecture, Slingshot interconnect technology, and updated Cray software. He also reinforced Cray’s intent to serve a larger market.

“The exascale era is not defined by the size of the systems. It’s defined by the convergence of workloads – not just classic modeling and simulation running on the supercomputers or HPC clusters, but also methods of artificial intelligence like machine learning or big data analytics, all running on one machine. Going forward we’re going to focus on artificial intelligence joining the modeling and simulation because it’s the most disruptive workload from an I/O pattern perspective,” he said.

Cray expects new dense media packaging, a newly-designed memory controller, and new software (ClusterStor Data Services) – all tightly integrated with its system architecture – to help tame the data-flow challenge. Interestingly, the new controller uses AMD’s newest Rome generation CPU.

“To handle the massive growth in data that corporations worldwide are dealing with in their digital transformations, a completely new approach to storage is required,” said Peter Ungaro, SVP & GM, HPC & AI of Cray, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company. “Cray’s new storage platform is a comprehensive rethinking of what high performance storage means for the Exascale Era. The intelligent software and hardware design of ClusterStor E1000 orchestrates the data flow with the workflow – that’s something no other solution on the market can do.”

The ClusterStor E1000 is the latest addition to the ClusterStor product line, which Cray purchased from Seagate in 2017. Claiming the new system is the fastest in the world on several metrics, Plechschmidt said new dense storage media packaging could deliver up to 1.6TB/s and 50 million IOPS per solid state drive rack and up to 120 GB/s and 10 PB usable per hard disk drive base rack.

Also noteworthy, NERSC (National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center) will deploy the new ClusterStor E1000 on Perlmutter as its fast all flash storage tier, which will be capable of over four terabytes per second write bandwidth. “This architecture will support our diverse workloads and research disciplines,” said NERSC Director Sudip Dosanjh. “Because this file system will be the first all-NVMe file system deployed at a scale of 30 petabytes usable capacity, extensive quantitative analysis was undertaken by NERSC to determine the optimal architecture to support the workflows our researchers and scientists use across biology, environment, chemistry, nuclear physics, fusion energy, plasma physics and computing research.”

The rise of mixed workloads to support converged HPC/AI workloads is especially challenging for the storage system. As a general rule the sequential movement of large files typical of traditional modeling and simulation is reasonably well-served by less expensive hard disk drives. Conversely, the I/O management for AI (particularly training) often requires moving large numbers of small files, accessed at random, which is best handled by more expensive flash memory.

“IDC projects that even in the year 2023 there still will be an 8X price difference per gigabyte between hard disk drives and enterprise SSD. [Although] we actually think the SSD price performance improvement will go a little bit faster,” said Plechschmidt. Balancing cost-performance issue is a moving target with data management software as important as the hardware media.

Broadly, ClusterStor E1000 is a “factory engineered solution” in which users mix and match media to accommodate the specific I/O profiles of the workloads in the workflow. It can be configured three ways (list of scalable storage units (SSU) at the end of the article):

  • All Flash configuration. SSU-Fs only with up to 1.6 TB/sec (sequential read) and up to 50 million IOPS per storage rack.
  • All Disk configuration.
 SSU-Ds only with up to 120 GB/sec and up to 10 PB usable capacity per storage rack
  • Hybrid configuration.
 SSU-Fs as Flash pool and SSU-Ds as HDD pool in the same file system with ClusterStor Data Services software to orchestrate the data flow with the workflow in the most efficient way.

“The base rack contains at a minimum one 2U System Management Unit and one 2U Metadata Unit. To scale out, SSUs are added — at first filing up the remaining space in the base rack and then populating expansion racks,” according to Plechschmidt.

Here’s bit more technical detail from Cray literature:

“The new high-density enclosure will support 106 large form factor HDDs in 4 RU. Initially, the enclosure will support 4, 6, 10, 12, 14 and 16 TB HDDs followed by 20 TB and 24 TB HAMR drives respectively in the 2021 timeframe. The 2U storage controllers are using a single HDR/Slingshot NIC and 2x PCIe gen 4 SAS HBAs (16 lanes of 12 Gbit SAS) per node connecting to HDD enclosures. Initially, storage controller will support 1, 2 or 4 HDD enclosures. The HDD enclosure is designed as a fully redundant storage array with 2x SAS adapters and 2x fully configured side planes.

“As with current ClusterStor solutions, each HDD enclosure will support two disk pools (consisting of 53 drives each) configured with either GridRAID (when using LDISKFS) or ZFS…The main concept when configuring a ClusterStor E1000 solution is to combine flash and HDD based Scalable Storage Units to achieve the right balance between capacity and performance. The idea is to use Flash-based Scalable Storage Units (SSU-F) to achieve the peak performance and HDD-based Scalable Storage Units (D-SSU-x) composing the required usable storage volume. By combining these two volumes into a single namespace and using the intelligent software ClusterStor Data Services there no longer will be a need to overprovision a system to achieve performance.”

Cray’s new storage controller and software, ClusterStor Data Services, enable users to align the data flow with their specific workflows; in essence place the application data at the right time on the right storage media (SSD pool or HDD pool) in the file system.

Plechschmidt said, “ClusterStor Data services enables customers to orchestrate the data flow within the file system between the flex pool. There are three modes and we’re rolling them out in a phased approach”:

  • Scripted Tiering. Available at launch, allows power users to have total control (command line interface) over what data gets staged to what storage media and when. Cray is providing tools to help manage the process.
  • Scheduled Tiering.Expected in mid-2020, this is an automated method to promote data to flash then demote it back to HDD. “You can do it in the workload manager – a user needs to insert a couple of very simple workload manager directives and then, completely outside of the job runtime and application runtime, data gets promoted up, the job runs, and once the job completed, outside of the application runtime, the data gets demoted back to make space now for the next job.”
  • Transparent Tiering. On the roadmap for the first half of 2021, transparent tiering won’t require user input. It’s completely transparent and to the user, said Plechschmidt, although presumably some level of control will be possible.

For connectivity, it’s no surprise that ClusterStor E1000 has 200 Gbps Slingshot switches on top of the rack. Cray also provides 100/200 Gbps Ethernet and InfiniBand EDR/HDR connectivity. Lustre is the embedded file system.

“We have chosen to continue to embed Lustre because it simply is the highest-performance lowest-cost parallel file system for HPC and we’re hardening that for reliability at exascale,” said Plechschmidt, emphasizing the new platform is flexible and able to “embed other file systems or emerging file systems in the future [but] we are convinced that Lustre is the right file system for the foreseeable future.”

Entry configurations of Cray ClusterStor E1000 will start at around $200,000 including three years of basic customer support. “The first early access systems are planned to ship to customers in December 2019. First customer shipment for production systems is planned for Q1 CY2020 with full production availability planned for Q2 calendar year 2020,” said Plechschmidt.

 

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!

Russian Supercomputer Employed to Develop COVID-19 Treatment

March 31, 2020

From Summit to [email protected], global supercomputing is continuing to mobilize against the coronavirus pandemic by crunching massive problems like epidemiology, therapeutic development and vaccine development. The latest a Read more…

By Staff report

What’s New in HPC Research: Supersonic Jets, Skin Modeling, Astrophysics & More

March 31, 2020

In this bimonthly feature, HPCwire highlights newly published research in the high-performance computing community and related domains. From parallel programming to exascale to quantum computing, the details are here. Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Pandemic ‘Wipes Out’ 2020 HPC Market Growth, Flat to 12% Drop Expected

March 31, 2020

As the world battles the still accelerating novel coronavirus, the HPC community has mounted a forceful response to the pandemic on many fronts. But these efforts won't inoculate the HPC industry from the economic effects of COVID-19. Market watcher Intersect360 Research has revised its 2020 forecast for HPC products and services, projecting... Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

LLNL Leverages Supercomputing to Identify COVID-19 Antibody Candidates

March 30, 2020

As COVID-19 sweeps the globe to devastating effect, supercomputers around the world are spinning up to fight back by working on diagnosis, epidemiology, treatment and vaccine development. Now, Lawrence Livermore National Read more…

By Staff report

Weather at Exascale: Load Balancing for Heterogeneous Systems

March 30, 2020

The first months of 2020 were dominated by weather and climate supercomputing news, with major announcements coming from the UK, the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts and the U.S. National Oceanic and At Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

AWS Solution Channel

Amazon FSx for Lustre Update: Persistent Storage for Long-Term, High-Performance Workloads

Last year I wrote about Amazon FSx for Lustre and told you how our customers can use it to create pebibyte-scale, highly parallel POSIX-compliant file systems that serve thousands of simultaneous clients driving millions of IOPS (Input/Output Operations per Second) with sub-millisecond latency. Read more…

Q&A Part Two: ORNL’s Pooser on Progress in Quantum Communication

March 30, 2020

Quantum computing seems to get more than its fair share of attention compared to quantum communication. That’s despite the fact that quantum networking may be nearer to becoming a practical reality. In this second inst Read more…

By John Russell

Pandemic ‘Wipes Out’ 2020 HPC Market Growth, Flat to 12% Drop Expected

March 31, 2020

As the world battles the still accelerating novel coronavirus, the HPC community has mounted a forceful response to the pandemic on many fronts. But these efforts won't inoculate the HPC industry from the economic effects of COVID-19. Market watcher Intersect360 Research has revised its 2020 forecast for HPC products and services, projecting... Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Weather at Exascale: Load Balancing for Heterogeneous Systems

March 30, 2020

The first months of 2020 were dominated by weather and climate supercomputing news, with major announcements coming from the UK, the European Centre for Medium- Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Q&A Part Two: ORNL’s Pooser on Progress in Quantum Communication

March 30, 2020

Quantum computing seems to get more than its fair share of attention compared to quantum communication. That’s despite the fact that quantum networking may be Read more…

By John Russell

DoE Expands on Role of COVID-19 Supercomputing Consortium

March 25, 2020

After announcing the launch of the COVID-19 High Performance Computing Consortium on Sunday, the Department of Energy yesterday provided more details on its sco Read more…

By John Russell

[email protected] Rallies a Legion of Computers Against the Coronavirus

March 24, 2020

Last week, we highlighted [email protected], a massive, crowdsourced computer network that has turned its resources against the coronavirus pandemic sweeping the globe – but [email protected] isn’t the only game in town. The internet is buzzing with crowdsourced computing... Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Conversation: ANL’s Rick Stevens on DoE’s AI for Science Project

March 23, 2020

With release of the Department of Energy’s AI for Science report in late February, the effort to build a national AI program, modeled loosely on the U.S. Exascale Initiative, enters a new phase. Project leaders have already had early discussions with Congress... Read more…

By John Russell

Servers Headed to Junkyard Find 2nd Life Fighting Cancer in Clusters

March 20, 2020

Ottawa-based charitable organization Cancer Computer is on a mission to stamp out cancer and other life-threatening diseases, including coronavirus, by putting Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Kubernetes and HPC Applications in Hybrid Cloud Environments – Part II

March 19, 2020

With the rise of cloud services, CIOs are recognizing that applications, middleware, and infrastructure running in various compute environments need a common management and operating model. Maintaining different application and middleware stacks on-premises and in cloud environments, by possibly using different specialized infrastructure and application... Read more…

By Daniel Gruber,Burak Yenier and Wolfgang Gentzsch, UberCloud

[email protected] Turns Its Massive Crowdsourced Computer Network Against COVID-19

March 16, 2020

For gamers, fighting against a global crisis is usually pure fantasy – but now, it’s looking more like a reality. As supercomputers around the world spin up Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Julia Programming’s Dramatic Rise in HPC and Elsewhere

January 14, 2020

Back in 2012 a paper by four computer scientists including Alan Edelman of MIT introduced Julia, A Fast Dynamic Language for Technical Computing. At the time, t Read more…

By John Russell

Global Supercomputing Is Mobilizing Against COVID-19

March 12, 2020

Tech has been taking some heavy losses from the coronavirus pandemic. Global supply chains have been disrupted, virtually every major tech conference taking place over the next few months has been canceled... Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

[email protected] Rallies a Legion of Computers Against the Coronavirus

March 24, 2020

Last week, we highlighted [email protected], a massive, crowdsourced computer network that has turned its resources against the coronavirus pandemic sweeping the globe – but [email protected] isn’t the only game in town. The internet is buzzing with crowdsourced computing... Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

DoE Expands on Role of COVID-19 Supercomputing Consortium

March 25, 2020

After announcing the launch of the COVID-19 High Performance Computing Consortium on Sunday, the Department of Energy yesterday provided more details on its sco Read more…

By John Russell

Steve Scott Lays Out HPE-Cray Blended Product Roadmap

March 11, 2020

Last week, the day before the El Capitan processor disclosures were made at HPE's new headquarters in San Jose, Steve Scott (CTO for HPC & AI at HPE, and former Cray CTO) was on-hand at the Rice Oil & Gas HPC conference in Houston. He was there to discuss the HPE-Cray transition and blended roadmap, as well as his favorite topic, Cray's eighth-gen networking technology, Slingshot. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Fujitsu A64FX Supercomputer to Be Deployed at Nagoya University This Summer

February 3, 2020

Japanese tech giant Fujitsu announced today that it will supply Nagoya University Information Technology Center with the first commercial supercomputer powered Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Tech Conferences Are Being Canceled Due to Coronavirus

March 3, 2020

Several conferences scheduled to take place in the coming weeks, including Nvidia’s GPU Technology Conference (GTC) and the Strata Data + AI conference, have Read more…

By Alex Woodie

Leading Solution Providers

SC 2019 Virtual Booth Video Tour

AMD
AMD
ASROCK RACK
ASROCK RACK
AWS
AWS
CEJN
CJEN
CRAY
CRAY
DDN
DDN
DELL EMC
DELL EMC
IBM
IBM
MELLANOX
MELLANOX
ONE STOP SYSTEMS
ONE STOP SYSTEMS
PANASAS
PANASAS
SIX NINES IT
SIX NINES IT
VERNE GLOBAL
VERNE GLOBAL
WEKAIO
WEKAIO

Cray to Provide NOAA with Two AMD-Powered Supercomputers

February 24, 2020

The United States’ National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) last week announced plans for a major refresh of its operational weather forecasting supercomputers, part of a 10-year, $505.2 million program, which will secure two HPE-Cray systems for NOAA’s National Weather Service to be fielded later this year and put into production in early 2022. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Exascale Watch: El Capitan Will Use AMD CPUs & GPUs to Reach 2 Exaflops

March 4, 2020

HPE and its collaborators reported today that El Capitan, the forthcoming exascale supercomputer to be sited at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and serve Read more…

By John Russell

Summit Supercomputer is Already Making its Mark on Science

September 20, 2018

Summit, now the fastest supercomputer in the world, is quickly making its mark in science – five of the six finalists just announced for the prestigious 2018 Read more…

By John Russell

IBM Unveils Latest Achievements in AI Hardware

December 13, 2019

“The increased capabilities of contemporary AI models provide unprecedented recognition accuracy, but often at the expense of larger computational and energet Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

TACC Supercomputers Run Simulations Illuminating COVID-19, DNA Replication

March 19, 2020

As supercomputers around the world spin up to combat the coronavirus, the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) is announcing results that may help to illumina Read more…

By Staff report

IBM Debuts IC922 Power Server for AI Inferencing and Data Management

January 28, 2020

IBM today launched a Power9-based inference server – the IC922 – that features up to six Nvidia T4 GPUs, PCIe Gen 4 and OpenCAPI connectivity, and can accom Read more…

By John Russell

University of Stuttgart Inaugurates ‘Hawk’ Supercomputer

February 20, 2020

This week, the new “Hawk” supercomputer was inaugurated in a ceremony at the High-Performance Computing Center of the University of Stuttgart (HLRS). Offici Read more…

By Staff report

Summit Joins the Fight Against the Coronavirus

March 6, 2020

With the coronavirus sweeping the globe, tech conferences and supply chains are being hit hard – but now, tech is hitting back. Oak Ridge National Laboratory Read more…

By Staff report

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