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Frontiers in Advanced Storage Technologies (FAST) project


Working with vendors to develop new functionality in storage technologies generally not yet available to industry.  The NERSC project involves selecting particular technologies of interest, partnering with the vendor, assessing their hardware, and providing feedback or co-development to improve the product for use in HPC environments.

The FAST project involves establishing long-term development collaboration agreements to develop the following opportunities:

File system acceleration.  A Letter of Intent between DDN and NERSC describing our intent to field between 4-15 Infinite Memory Engine (IME) servers to provide between 50-150GB/sec of random read/write bandwidth to the NGF file systems at the facility.  In order to maximize our chances of successful development, NERSC intends to provide 2 x SFA12KEs at 35GB/sec of bandwidth as permanent storage for the IME servers to migrate ingested data from the IME servers (providing the front-end 50-150GB/sec) to for retention.  If the project is successful, DDN and NERSC expect to demonstrate that users of centerwide GPFS file systems can drastically benefit from having I/O route through the file system acceleration appliance on its way to the GPFS file system.

Embedded storage arrays.  An agreement between NERSC and Seagate to develop a future storage product where the GPFS software is installed on the disk controller(s) to provide a NSD server integrated into their storage array.  This has the advantage of reducing our current minimum amount of hardware required to add capacity or bandwidth to a GPFS file system.

Exascale storage software.  Currently assembling an environment to try advanced versions of Lustre with the Cray software and hardware stack to develop storage Quality of Service implementation.