Blue Waters Supercomputer Gets 380 Petabyte Storage System

The NCSA Blue Waters supercomputer adds a 380 Petabyte storage system, uses NVIDIA GPUs to help researchers make a breakthrough in HIV research, and a Japanese Observatory brings its Cray XC30 into production.

NCSA launches 380 Petabyte Storage System for Blue Waters.  NCSA announced that a 380 petabyte High Performance Storage System (HPSS) is now in full service production as a part of the Blue Waters supercomputer project. The HPSS is comprised of multiple automated tape libraries, dozens of high-performance data movers, a large 40 Gigabit Ethernet network, hundreds of high-performance tape drives, and about a 100,000 tape cartridges. “With the world’s largest HPSS now in production, Blue Waters truly is the most data-focused, data-intensive system available to the U.S. science and engineering community,” said Blue Waters deputy project director Bill Kramer. During acceptance testing the new HPSS at NCSA ingested 426 terabytes and retrieved 499 terabytes of data in 24 hours (averaging a total throughput of 38.5 terabytes per hour).  NCSA joined forces with the HPSS Collaboration’s Department of Energy labs and IBM to develop an HPSS capability for Redundant Arrays of Independent Tapes (RAIT)—tape technology similar to RAID for disk.

Blue Waters, NVIDIA aid breakthrough in HIV research.  The University  of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) announced that it has achieved a breakthrough in the battle to fight the spread of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) using NVIDIA Tesla GPU accelerators. In collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine researchers have, for the first time, determined the precise chemical structure of the HIV “capsid,” a protein shell that protects the virus’s genetic material and is a key to its virulence. Using 3,000 NVIDIA Tesla K20X GPU accelerators, the Cray XK7 supercomputer gave researchers the computational performance to run the largest simulation ever published, involving 64 million atoms. “GPUs help researchers push the envelope of scientific discovery, enabling them to solve bigger problems and gain insight into larger and more complex systems,” said Sumit Gupta, general manager of the Tesla Accelerated Computing Business Unit at NVIDIA. “Blue Waters and the Titan supercomputer, the world’s No. 1 open science supercomputer at Oak Ridge National Labs, are just two of many GPU-equipped systems that are enabling the next wave of real-world scientific discovery.”

Cray system in production for Japan Observatory. Cray announced that the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ) has put one of the world’s fastest supercomputers solely dedicated to astronomy into production. The new Cray XC30 supercomputer is used to run complex simulations allowing researchers to reproduce and observe astronomical phenomena in a virtual environment. Nicknamed “ATERUI,” the eight-cabinet Cray XC30 supercomputer has a peak performance of more than 500 teraflops and is located at NAOJ’s Mizusawa VLBI Observatory in Iwate, Japan. Researchers and scientists at NAOJ, and at universities and institutes throughout Japan, are applying the innovative supercomputing technologies offered in the Cray XC30 system towards performing highly advanced numerical simulations — experiments that they hope will one day answer longstanding questions, such as the formation of galaxies and the origin of the solar system.

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About the Author

John Rath is a veteran IT professional and regular contributor at Data Center Knowledge. He has served many roles in the data center, including support, system administration, web development and facility management.

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