NCSA Adds 20PB to World’s Largest File Repository

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spectraToday Spectra Logic announced that NCSA has increased the capacity of the Spectra tape libraries that support the Blue Waters project, which is one of the world’s largest, most powerful supercomputers. The NCSA expanded its tape active archive capacity with the recent addition of 20 petabytes, and cited Spectra’s high performance, ease of use, affordability, scalability and excellent support received during the organizations’ two-year partnership.

Scalability was a key requirement for the Blue Waters project, and tape is the best platform to address the age of exponential data growth,” said Michelle Butler, senior technical program manager of National Center for Supercomputing Applications. “A 500PB disk system would have been financially astronomical and required a major migration every three years. The long shelf life of tape – up to ten years for tape drives and 50 years for tape media – was a valuable benefit to ensure data accessibility and reliability at an affordable cost.”

The Blue Waters project is designed to meet the compute, memory and data-intensive, needs of multiple scientists and engineers. NCSA uses four 19-frame Spectra® T-Finity tape libraries to provide 100 percent of the near-line tape data storage for its Blue Waters supercomputing system. Spectra T-Finity tape libraries provide the Blue Waters project with the ability to keep all near-line data accessible in an active repository, perform automated Data Integrity Verification for the data store, and deliver high performance read/write rates of up to 61 gigabytes per second. Each of the four Spectra libraries installed utilizes IBM’s enterprise-class TS1140 tape drive technology. This technology offers 150 percent higher performance than midrange tape drives and provides the NCSA with enterprise-class reliability, high capacity and a strong roadmap for the future.

High performance computing environments struggle with the triple challenges of data retention, archive changes and unpredictable growth – a trifecta that tape library storage solutions are uniquely suited to address,” said Brian Grainger, executive vice president of sales and sales operations worldwide. “Spectra Logic’s tape libraries are addressing HPC-market dilemmas in more than 70 large HPC sites in 15 countries worldwide including Australian National University, CSIRO, EPCC and NASA Ames.”

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