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HPSS Mass Storage

HPSS tape library The High Performance Storage System (HPSS) is a modern, flexible, performance-oriented mass storage system. It has been used at NERSC for archival storage since 1998. HPSS is intended for long term storage of data that is not frequently accessed.

HPSS is Hierarchical Storage Management (HSM) software developed by a collaboration of DOE labs, of which NERSC is a participant, and IBM. The HSM software enables all user data to be ingested onto high performance disk arrays and automatically migrated to a very large enterprise tape subsystem for long-term retention. The disk cache in HPSS is designed to retain many days worth of new data and the tape subsystem is designed to provide the most cost-effective long-term scalable data storage available.

NERSC's HPSS system is named and can be accessed through a variety of clients such as hsi, htar, ftp, pftp, and grid clients. For more information about the specific features of each HPSS client see Accessing HPSS.

Some characteristics of the NERSC HPSS system (January 2017)

    • Data stored in archive system: 90 PB, >179 million files
    • Growth Rate: 1 PB/month
    • Current Maximum capacity: 240 Petabytes.
    • Buffer (disk) cache: 288 Terabytes.
    • Average transfer rate: 100 MB/sec
    • Peak measured transfer rate: 1 GB/sec