Panasas and RoadRunner

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This week Panasas announced that RoadRunner, the recently announced master of the universe in HPC, is using their storage gear

The Panasas ActiveStor parallel storage system with its embedded parallel file system is an essential component in the Roadrunner deployment that maximizes I/O performance for simulation and modeling applications. Roadrunner will become a critical national security resource for some of the most important scientists in the United States and has the potential to fundamentally change scientific innovation.

…“We will be connecting the new system to our site-wide file system solution to enable global parallel access to our existing Panasas storage. Additionally, we will be adding significant Panasas storage resources to the global file system service to handle the additional parallel I/O load Roadrunner will generate. Panasas has been our production global parallel file system solution used concurrently by all our supercomputers for a number of years and Roadrunner will take advantage of the production Panasas storage system to make the new supercomputer useful quickly for scientists,” said Gary Grider, Deputy Division Leader of the Los Alamos High Performance Computing Division.

Cheryl Hall sent me an email (hi, Cheryl!) to let me know that

The Los Alamos Labs has deployed over 2 petabytes of Panasas ActiveStor 3000 products, comprised of over 200 Panasas AS 3000 storage shelves. The Panasas shelves are connected via Force10 gigabit Ethernet switches into Voltaire IB routers.

[UPDATE] Wanted to update you with a bit I read about RoadRunner’s storage at

Considering the scale of all this — not to mention Roadrunner’s weight of 500,000 pounds and cost of over $100 million — IBM confirms a fairly modest amount of external storage, at least by enterprise standards: The system’s builders plan to deploy 1.5 Pbytes of Panasas storage, via 200 of the vendor’s ActiveStor 3000 shelves, linked via 10-Gbit/s Ethernet switches from Force10. The 10-Gbit/s switches will hook up with InfiniBand switches from Voltaire (more on those momentarily). Roadrunner deploys 10-Gbit/s Ethernet adapters from MyriNet.

That hardly compares with the 14 Pbytes claimed by JPMorganChase ITers, along with other humongous SANs.