Cray Rolls Out Scalable Flash Storage Solution for Lustre Workloads

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Today Cray announced the ClusterStor L300F Lustre-based scalable flash storage solution, designed for applications that need high-performance scratch storage to quickly store and retrieve intermediate results.

Flash is poised to become an essential technology in every HPC storage solution,” said Jeff Janukowicz, IDC’s research vice president, Solid State Drives and Enabling Technologies. “It has the unique role of satisfying the high-performance appetite of artificial intelligence applications even while helping customers optimize their storage budget for big data. With the ClusterStor L300F, Cray has positioned itself to be at the leading edge of next generation of HPC storage solutions.”

The L300F system will enable users such as engineers, researchers and scientists to dramatically reduce the runtime of their applications, allowing jobs to reliably complete within their required schedules, supporting more iterations and faster time to insight. Supplementing Cray’s ClusterStor portfolio with an all-flash storage option, the ClusterStor L300F system will integrate with and complement the existing L300 and L300N models to provide a comprehensive storage architecture. It will allow customers to address performance bottlenecks without needlessly overprovisioning HDD storage capacity, creating a cost-competitive solution for improved application runtime.

The ClusterStor L300F solution will simplify storage management for storage administrators, allowing them to stand up a high-performance flash pool within their existing Lustre file systems using existing tools and skills. This eliminates the need for product-unique training or to administer a separate file system. Using ClusterStor Manager, administrators can reduce the learning curve and accelerate time to proficiency, thereby improving ROI. When coupled with Cray’s exclusive monitoring application, Cray View for ClusterStor, administrators get an end-to-end view of Lustre jobs, network status and storage system performance. Cray View for ClusterStor provides visibility into job runtime variability, event correlation and trend analysis, and offers custom alerts based on any selected metric.

The flash ClusterStor L300F system will eliminate the I/O latency of hard drives and allows system architects to dynamically increase the performance SLAs to users for IOPS while lowering the effective cost ($/IOP) of providing the service. It will offer balanced performance, ensuring that IOPS performance is consistently delivered throughout the system. Like all ClusterStor options, the L300F model will contain both object storage servers and object storage targets, and it will scale linearly and with no performance loss. Moreover, users can be assured their data is well protected, as ClusterStor L300F storage will deliver redundancy throughout the storage system and features high availability.

At Cray we are committed to continue making ClusterStor the most capable HPC storage platform in the industry,” stated John Howarth, vice president of storage at Cray. “The L300F is another step in addressing critical customer requirements in the demanding HPC storage market.”

The ClusterStor L300F model joins the ClusterStor L300 and ClusterStor L300N storage systems in Cray’s portfolio. It’s a flexible storage system that will offer heterogeneous building blocks and support for new Lustre 2.11 functionality. Packing 24 SSDs into a 2U enclosure is ideal for customers running large volumes of small I/O workloads, and the L300F solution takes Cray’s storage offerings for HPC environments to a new level. The existing L300 model is an all-HDD Lustre solution, well suited for environments using applications with large, sequential I/O workloads. The L300N model, by contrast, is a hybrid SSD/HDD solution with flash-accelerated NXD software that redirects I/O to the appropriate storage medium, delivering cost-effective, consistent performance on mixed I/O workloads while shielding the application, file system and users from complexity through transparent flash acceleration.

Cray will be at ISC 2018. Visit Cray at booth #E-921 to learn more about how the ClusterStor L300F storage system delivers next-generation performance in the datacenter.

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