Panasas Takes on Tiered HPC Storage Headaches, New Offering Automatically Adapts to Workload Changes

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High performance storage vendor Panasas today released Dynamic Data Acceleration on its new PanFS  parallel file system, a software feature designed to overcome inconsistent performance by automatically adapting to changing small file and mixed workloads in HPC and AI application scenarios.

According to Panasas, the product alleviates the complexity and manual intervention of tiered HPC storage systems, “maximizing the efficiency of all storage media in a seamless, total-performance system that automatically adapts to changing file sizes and workloads.” In this integrated system, Panasas said, NVMe SSDs store metadata, low-latency SSDs store small files, and large files are stored on low-cost, high-bandwidth HDDs. “By dynamically managing the movement of files between SSD and HDD, and maximizing the full potential of NVMe, PanFS delivers the highest possible performance for HPC and AI workflows,” the company said.

“Diversity and change are the major watchwords in HPC applications today,” said Addison Snell, CEO at Intersect360 Research. “Technical computing has always raced to outdo itself year after year in pursuit of scientific or engineering advancement. Now data science and machine learning have also broadened the aperture of the types of workloads administrators have to manage. A high-performance storage system has to be able to incorporate and adapt to this kind of dynamic environment.”

PanFS is deployed on the commodity off-the-shelf hardware-based Panasas ActiveStor Ultra HPC turn-key appliance.

The Panasas offering is designed to eliminate headaches for system administrators dealing with parallel file systems requiring clumsy tiering and manual tuning to compensate for workload characteristics and changes. “The approach of piecing together various tiers to achieve performance leads to a level of complexity and inconsistent performance,” Panasas said, “that negatively impacts productivity and increases overall costs. In contrast, PanFS with Dynamic Data Acceleration automatically adapts to changing file sizes and workloads without tuning or manual intervention, delivering a consistent and fast total-performance HPC storage solution.

“The rate of change in high-performance workloads and the extension of parallel file systems to AI and enterprise use cases call for a file system that is predictably fast, resilient and reliable in the face of change,” said Jim Donovan, chief marketing officer at Panasas. “Adding Dynamic Data Acceleration to the latest version of the PanFS parallel file system on ActiveStor Ultra delivers an HPC storage solution that will remain consistently fast as your workloads change.”