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high-performance computing


Dell sees flash storage; flash at the server; convergence; soſtware-defined storage; and automation as key storage trends in 2014. Focusing on flash storage – Dell’s unique approach to flash storage is to first write data to high-performance, high- reliability flash (SLC) drives. As data ages, it is automatically moved to a second tier of lower-cost, higher-capacity flash (MLC) drives. Tis tiered approach offers cost reductions up to 80 per cent compared to all-flash arrays that don’t similarly optimise for cost or performance. With Dell Compellent SC8000 and Dell


EqualLogic PS6210 storage arrays, customers have come to us to plan the re-invention of their approach to storage, moving their businesses to a faster performing set of solutions that is future proof. Our new all-flash solution is designed to support


gains. So, in the future, storage systems that deliver speed of retrieval and accessibility, while maintaining security, will become increasingly important as a driver of business advantage. www.bull.com/storage/index.html


In IBM’s view, as scientific computing is becoming more data intensive, data access is becoming the bottleneck in scientific research, both between compute resources and storage, and among globally dispersed researchers in the scientific workflow. Flash, parallel data access, and worldwide shared access to data will be key enablers. At 4TB, disk drives are huge – so big that conventional RAID data protection is no longer tenable, making de-clustered RAID the way to protect data in the future. As scientific data continues to grow, so tape storage will become an economic imperative. Finally, all storage functions will be done in soſtware, for maximum performance, scale, and affordability. At IBM, that future is already here with our soſtware defined, flash accelerated IBM GPFS Storage Server which removes data bottlenecks, empowers global scientific collaboration, manages the full data life cycle cost effectively using tape, and ensures scientific data availability with de-clustered GPFS Native RAID. www-03.ibm.com/systems/storage


When OCF, the UK’s high performance server and storage cluster integrator, is working on customer integrations, it typically recommends its customers consider using some form of Hierarchical Storage Management (HSM) to


26 SCIENTIFIC COMPUTING WORLD


customer demands that have been limited previously due to the costs, at a price point that can significantly change the economics of a data centre. www.dell.com/uk/business/p/ equallogic-ps6210-series/pd


migrate data from expensive, high-performance tiers generally based on Disks/SSDs to a cheaper medium. Using tape for this most cost effective tier (especially for large, rarely accessed files) can be a very good example of this because tape is relatively cheap per TB. It uses practically no electricity and the time to retrieve data is a lot quicker than customers may expect. OCF has worked on a number of projects where this process has been managed, invisibly to end-users, using a combination of IBM GPFS and TSM for space management. www.ocf.co.uk


Panasas’ ActiveStor scale-out NAS solutions maximise productivity in enterprise and research environments by accelerating workflows and simplifying data management. Now in their fiſth generation, ActiveStor systems are optimised for the most demanding big-data workloads in energy, life sciences, manufacturing, media, and university research environments and have been deployed in more than 50 countries across the globe. ActiveStor ensures performance, easy


management, and superior reliability — scaling linearly to many petabytes of capacity and hundreds of gigabytes per second of throughput. ActiveStor is powered by the Panasas PanFS parallel file system, tightly integrated with an advanced bladed hardware architecture. Significant Panasas innovations include the DirectFlow protocol (standardised as pNFS in NFS v4.1) and the use of solid-state flash technology to accelerate the time to results for the mixed workloads commonly seen in heterogeneous IT environments. www.panasas.com.


Scalable Informatics is a provider of tightly-coupled fast computing, storage, and networking appliances. Its siFlash storage array holds record-setting results and offers the fastest measured sustained performance for stream and random I/O for end user applications, – up to 32 GB/s sustained reads and writes – and up to 3.2 MIOPs in 64-bay configuration. End-user sustained performance


running on a single unit is oſten superior to racks of systems, including flash- and SSD-based storage arrays. siFlash’s tightly- coupled design removes I/O bottlenecks for greater bandwidth, higher IOPS, and I/O throughput. Te array offers significantly more data processing power per unit rack space for cloud, cluster, computational, and storage workloads than traditional NAS/ SAN and Flash array systems. siFlash is also the current record holder


for ten of 17 STAC M3 benchmarks. It makes an excellent metadata server for high performance parallel file systems, very fast NFS and CIFS data storage, and web servers. scalableinformatics.com/products/ point-storage-compute/siflash


Silicon Mechanics has become an established market leader in the soſtware- defined storage industry – its goal is to provide businesses the flexibility and choice customers need to meet their ever-growing storage requirements. It has focused on combining best-of-breed x86 hardware with open-source soſtware to deliver enterprise solutions. Te zStax unified storage appliance is a hardware-agnostic solution that challenges legacy storage offerings by no longer requiring dedicated vendor-specific hardware. Delivered using key partnerships, zStax is a compelling and cost competitive offering. Silicon Mechanics’ strategy is to align and


evolve with emerging technologies in cloud computing infrastructure and big data to enable businesses to reduce infrastructure costs. As applications evolve and there is a growing emphasis on unstructured data, Silicon Mechanics is investing in research and development on new products that will meet exponential data growth through object-based storage. www.siliconmechanics.com


Spectra Logic is an industry leader in providing tape backup and archive solutions that exceed expectations and operational goals for HPC environments. Te Spectra Logic T-Series libraries have been designed for ease of use in multi-department research,


@scwmagazine l www.scientific-computing.com


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