EMC Shows Off HPC Capabilities of Its Unified Storage Platform

Gearing up for the SC11 supercomputing conference in Seattle, EMC Thursday signaled its intention to expand its high-performance computing (HPC) presence with new storage technologies.

EMC (NYSE:EMC) kicked things off by announcing that its VNX7500, powered by multi-core Intel Xeon processor 5600 chips, set a performance density record with the Lustre file system today, delivering 2 GB/s per rack. Fast Data storage firm Terascala used the industry standard XDD benchmark to validate that a single VNX7500 delivers up to 8 GB/s read and 5.3 GB/s write sustained performance on a 4U dual storage processor.

“With the VNX, we achieved the highest XDD benchmark throughput of any platform tested with the Terascala Integrated Storage Information System in a Lustre environment,” said Rick Friedman, vice president, Product Management, at Terascala. “In HPC environments—where performance is everything—the VNX7500 delivered.”

Lustre is an open source massively parallel distributed file system intended for large-scale cluster computing. It is one of the dominant file systems in government supercomputing and university research labs, capable of supporting tens of thousands of client systems. It also has a strong presence in a number of verticals that require intensive and demanding workloads, including media and entertainment, oil and gas, Internet service providers and financial institutions.

EMC said the VNX7500’s high throughput means that it is ideal for HPC customers using Lustre in environments like universities and laboratories where a high, single stream of performance is required.

“Lustre is driving new achievements and capabilities in the HPC community,” said Eric Herzog, vice president, Product Marketing and Management, EMC Unified Storage Division. “EMC extends its offerings in the HPC community with our VNX unified storage solution, which Terascala has validated with record-setting benchmark results. The VNX, optimized for HPC processing infrastructure, delivers customers enterprise-class five-9s availability, global support, and the sheer performance necessary to enable HPC customers with the industry’s most powerful storage for Lustre environments.”

EMC noted that its VNX7500 gives HPC customers the option to use enterprise Flash drives and its Fully Automated Storage Tiering (FAST) Suite to use Flash efficiently as both a high-performance storage tier and as a caching tier.

EMC plans to hold a proof-of-concept demonstration of the VNX7500’s capabilities at the EMC Isilon booth at SC11.

Meanwhile, the company also announced that it is collaborating with Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) under a joint Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) on a handful of proof-of-concept projects for the US Department of Energy’s exascale computing initiatives. The Department of Energy, together with the National Nuclear Safety Administration, have thrown their weight behind exascale computing to push computing capabilities past the existing petascale, a thousand-fold increase over current capabilities.

The CRADA between EMC and LANL also includes collaboration on other data intensive programs, including data storage systems, cyber security, data sharing and data mobility across domains, cloud computing, large-scale analytics and materials science. Together, EMC and LANL will seek to identify, evaluate and develop technologies for extreme HPC applications.

Thor Olavsrud is a contributor to InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals.

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