Storage highlights from Supercomputing 2010

Posted on November 18, 2010 By Dave Simpson


By Dave Simpson

November 18, 2010 – High-performance storage vendors were out in force at this week’s Supercomputing 2010 (SC’10) conference in the Big Easy. Among those introducing (or pre-announcing) products were Voltaire, Chelsio, Virident, Terascala, NextIO, BlueArc, and Penguin Computing. Here’s a quick rundown.

In conjunction with Supermicro, Voltaire introduced the Voltaire-Supermicro RapidStorage Appliance, which combines Voltaire Storage Accelerator (VSA) software with Supermicro’s SC417 Double-Sided Storage Servers. Citing benchmarks at a financial services institution, Voltaire claims that a five-appliance cluster can deliver 2.5 million I/Os per second (IOPS) and 30GBps of throughput with average access times of 70 microseconds.

The VSA software provides acceleration and clustering functionality over 10GbE and InfiniBand fabrics, and leverages the iSCSI or iSCSI RDMA Extension (iSER) protocols. Supermicro’s 4U SC417 Double-Sided Storage server supports up to 43TB of SAS disk capacity.

Voltaire also announced that it has certified Emulex’s 10GbE OneConnect Universal Converged Network Adapters (UCNAs) with Voltaire’s Vantage 10GbE switches and software, including the company’s Unified Fabric Manager (UFM) software.

Chelsio Communications released Version 2.0 of its Unified Storage Server (USS) software, which supports file and block I/O and 10GbE connectivity with the iSCSI SAN, NAS and RDMA (NFS and Lustre) protocols. USS 2.0 also supports HTTP file sharing, thin provisioning volumes, volume cloning, redirect-on-write snapshots, instant restore from snapshots, volume encryption and replication compression.

Chelsio also showcased its Terminator 4 (T4) ASIC technology, including full offload of Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) and sub-3.5-microsecond UDP sockets latency. The T4 is a 10GbE controller that also offloads TCP, iSCSI, UDP and iWARP RDMA over Ethernet.

Virident Systems announced that its tachIOn solid-state disk (SSD) drive is now available with 800GB of capacity in a low-profile form factor. The flash-based RAID SSD plugs into a PCIe slot.

Related article: “Virident ships SLC SSDs for PCIe”

Terascala released the next generation of its Lustre parallel storage systems. The high-end Terascala DTS 4500 has 3GBps throughput per OSS, IB or 10GbE, and capacity of up to 180TB. The "low end" Terascala STS 1000 has throughput of 750MBps, and scales to 16TB per OSS or 320TB per rack. And the Dell-Terascala HPC Storage Solution includes a parallel file system, throughput of 2.4GBps, and capacity of 48TB to 336TB per OSS pair.

NextIO used the Supercomputing show to launch its vSTOR S200 storage system, which is based on 16 ioMemory flash cards from Fusion-io with a total capacity of 10.2TB. The company claims performance of 4.2 million IOPS in a 4U enclosure. Performance results are based on a configuration with four 3GHz quad-core AMD Opteron processors connected via PCIe links to the 16 ioMemory cards in the vSTOR appliance. The vSTOR systems will ship in “early 2011.”

BlueArc demonstrated a pre-release implementation of parallel NFS (pNFS) on the company’s scale-out NAS systems, Mercury hybrid-core architecture, and SiliconFS file system.

Penguin Computing launched the IceBreaker line of storage systems at Supercomputing 2010, with capacity ranging from 12TB to 160TB. A variety of models are available, ranging from the IceBreaker NX for direct-attached storage (DAS) to the IceBreaker EX, which includes a parallel file system. An IceBreaker SX implementation includes Lustre distributed file system technology.

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