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RAID No More: GPUs Power NSULATE for Extreme HPC Data Protection

In this demo, Alexander St. John from Nyriad removes a dozen SSDs from a live filesystem.

In this video from GTC 2018, Alexander St . John from Nyriad demonstrates how the company’s NSULATE software running on Advanced HPC gear provides extreme data protection for HPC data. As we watch, he removes a dozen SSDs from a live filesystem — and it keeps on running!

“What we’re showing is that GPUs are actually superior for storage processing compared to any other storage technology. So this is the first time you’ll see this live, but 10 years from now, no one will have ever heard of using a RAID controller for storage because because GPUs are better now.”

RAID6 was standardized in 1993 in an era of single-core computing. For exascale computing, RAID is an obstacle to higher performance and resilience. NSULATE revolutionizes the role of the storage controller by replacing a fixed-function RAID controller with a powerful general-purpose GPU. Using a GPU as a storage controller enables the calculation of several storage functions on the same high performance controller, enabling more efficient storage processing without sacrificing performance. This enables modern storage appliances to deliver unprecedented speed, scale, security, storage efficiency and intelligence in real-time.

Nyriad describes itself as an “Exascale storage company.” What makes NSULATE special?

Extreme Resilience. With technology developed for the SKA Telescope Project, NSULATE offers extreme data resilience. It uses a GPU to generate erasure encoded parity calculations to enable automatic data recovery on scales impossible with a RAID card or a CPU. While traditional RAID and erasure coding solutions support parity calculations between 2 and 6, NSULATE supports real-time Reed-Solomon erasure coding up to 255 parity. Stable I/O throughput can be maintained even while experiencing dozens of simultaneous device failures and corruption events across an array.

Continuous Verification. NSULATE adds support for cryptographic data verification and recovery to all storage applications. NSULATE includes a complete suite of hash functions for corruption detection and recovery, including CRC32C as well as the NIST compatible cryptographic hash functions, SHA2 & SHA3. NSULATE also includes support for blockchain cryptographic hash functions SHA2 Merkle & SHA3 Merkle for blockchain auditable storage solutions.”

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