The National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) recently launched a storage infrastructure initiative designed to support the Blue Waters supercomputer, which is expected to have a peak performance of 11.5 petaflops and 1 petaflop of sustained performance.
NCSA is deploying 380 petabytes of tape storage and 25 petabytes of disk storage. The system will feature up to 1TBps of aggregate bandwidth over a 40Gbps Ethernet network. "We've been working heavily with ... networking vendors to make sure they're ready to go with the 40 gigabit Ethernet," says NCSA's Michelle Butler.
She notes the Ethernet network will include multiple 10Gbps channels that will connect to about 75 hosts. NCSA also will use a storage array delivering 100GBps of storage performance to offload data to a "nearline" tape library system. "That subsystem has to be able to offload that terabyte-per-second file system, so we needed a very large tape drive infrastructure to be able to offload that," Butler says. The storage requirements included up to 15 requirements for storage vendors, including that the tape library would have to fit into a certain square footage, could not exceed certain power and cooling requirements, and should meet certain reliability and performance standards.
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