Flash Storage Arrays in HPC Applications

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PCIe Gen 4

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In this week’s Sponsored Post, Katie Garrison of One Stop Systems explains how Flash storage arrays are becoming more accessible as the economics of Flash becomes more attractive.

onestopHigh-volume production over the next few years will accelerate this trend and high-capacity, high-performance Flash storage arrays will move to the forefront of HPC storage. For HPC applications like oil and gas exploration, VDI, and defense, the advantages of high-speed Flash arrays far outweigh traditional rotating disk arrays.

For HPC applications, this presents both challenges and opportunities. Although early Flash array implementations have focused on maintaining compatibility, more advanced systems will want to take advantage of the unique capabilities of Flash to simplify overall system architecture, increase performance and open up new mobile HPC opportunities. As large amounts of data are processed quickly it must be stored quickly or produce a bottleneck in the system. Flash memory allows the storing and retrieval of data more quickly than with conventional rotating disk storage. For example, rotating disks store data at about 12ms while Flash storage, or silicon disks, store data at about .1ms.

The Department of Defense is in the process of designing an automated intelligence program that will be implemented by every branch of the military. The program will collect, process, utilize, distribute and store a wide variety of intelligence data. The application of such technologic advancements as GPUs and Flash memory will definitely play a leading role in the deployment of this program. These components will allow computers to process data and produce scenarios and options to allow military personnel to see the bigger picture rather than getting bogged down by the individual pieces of intelligence. Such automation will allow the military to get accurate information on the battlefield, without putting people its own people at risk. It will also allow for better surveillance of targets to ensure more successful military operations.

The One Stop Systems Flash Storage Array (FSA) supports 200TB of storage using the SanDisk Fusion ioMemory™ SX600 cards. The FSA is used in military and oil and gas exploration mobile applications to get the storage system closer to the data collection points.

onestop 1One Stop Systems also has a Flash Storage SAN for HPC applications. The FSA-SAN provides 200TB of shared Flash RAIDed memory with a choice of the fastest SAN connectivity options including Fibre Channel, Infiniband and iSCSI. The included ION Accelerator software from SanDisk Fusion IO helps enterprises gain insight from information faster by improving application performance and shortening application response times, thus increasing competitive advantage.

onestop 2Comprised of a unique combination of a Haswell-based engine and 200TB Flash arrays, the FSA-SAN can be increased to a petabyte of storage with additional Flash arrays. Each 200TB array delivers 16 million IOPS, making it the ideal platform for high-speed data recording and processing with lightning fast data response time, high-availability and flexibility in the cloud. A local IPMI module optimizes each array’s parameters to the environment while allowing the power user to set features through SNMP or the built-in user interface based on the overall policy of the installation. Powered by the newest Intel E5-2600 v3 “Haswell” processors, the engine features up to eleven PCIe 3.0 half-height, full-length expansion slots and has a variety of front panel storage options.