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DDN EXA 5: Innovation at Scale

James Coomer is Vice President for Product Management, File Systems and Benchmarking at DataDirect Networks.

In this video from the DDN User Group at ISC 2019, James Coomer from DDN presents: EXA 5 – Innovation at Scale.

EXA5 brings our customers a whole new level of experience based on the Lustre filesystem. With huge performance boosts, better scaling properties and a strong appliance approach, this is Lustre like you’ve never seen it before. Fully featured, native file management, strong security, data integrity, container integration and a load more. James will talk about the major new features in EXA5 and about how we manage flash for complex and difficult use cases.”

Developed and optimized using the latest advances in filesystem software technology, EXA5delivers extreme performance, scalability, capability, reliability and simplicity. Augmented with feature-rich enhancements, EXA5 delivers a true global data platform capable of enabling and accelerating a wide-range of data-intensive workflows, at any scale.

Fully integrated DDN EXAScaler appliances combine the world’s fastest hyperconverged data storage platform with a truly parallel filesystem software in a package that’s easy to deploy, managed and backed by the leaders in data at scale. EXA5 is fully-optimized to deliver data with high-throughput, low-latency and massive concurrency using a shared parallel architecture that can scale flexibly for most technical and economic benefits. Building on over a decade of experience deploying parallel filesystem solutions in the most demanding environments around the world, DDN delivers unparalleled performance, capability and flexibility for users looking to manage and gain insights from massive amounts of data.

EXA5 allows for scaling either with all NVMe flash or with a hybrid approach, offering flexible scaling according to needs with the performance of flash or the economics of HDDs. Compatible with DDN’s A3I storage solutions, which are factory pre-configured and optimized for AI, deployment is made easy while reducing deployment time for an AI-ready data center. Together they provide full benchmarking, documentation and qualification with AI and GPU environments.

With the goal of expanding the boundaries of science as we know it today, we are excited about the arrival of advanced new technology that can dramatically increase the performance at scale of our systems, and specifically of our new Top 10 supercomputer, Frontera,” said Dan Stanzione, executive director, Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC). “DDN’s new EXA5 has the power to provide the best I/O performance our users have ever experienced, and greatly reduce the I/O bottlenecks in large scale computation. We believe that EXA5 will play a role in many of the groundbreaking discoveries scientists will make with Frontera.”

EXA5 features and capabilities include:

  • STRATAGEM – As DDN’s integrated policy engine, STRATAGEM enables platforms for transparent flash tiering  for high performance and efficiency. Featuring built-in fast and efficient data management, users can manage most active data to scale-out flash tiers from scale-out HDD tiers. It also automatically controls free space on flash, quickly responding to changing demands and efficiently scanning storage devices directly to find target files.
  • Expanded Integration with DDN Insight – With comprehensive monitoring for multi-solutions, DDN Insight provides unprecedented real-time visibility into software and appliances. Through deep real-time analysis, it derives the most value from storage infrastructures and sorts running jobs by metadata activity and throughput operations. With easy identification of problem jobs, it can quickly resolve performance issues. It is also extensively scalable, allowing for open back-end database and integration with other systems and switches to cope with millions of stats per second.
  • Gateway – With a NAS type interface, non-native DDN Lustre users can export filesystems through DDN CIFS and NFS gateways. Providing another avenue to get access to high performance data, the solution can scale horizontally as needed to maintain consistency and lock semantics with Linux/Unix and Windows systems.
  • Flexible Small File Acceleration – Complementary to granular metadata scaling, EXA5 opens the ability to scale across EXAScaler servers, allowing for efficient application of flash to small files. It also simply expands the domain of file sizes from a few KB to multiple MB.
  • Data Protection – EXA5 includes integrated end-to-end data protection using T10PI/DIX standard. With fully transparent applications, users are supported by EXAScaler through drives, resulting in minimal performance impact.
  • Security – Additional security measures including KMIP and FIPS support plus EXA5 auditing capabilities and multi-tenenacy.

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