WekaIO Announces Results with NVIDIA Magnum IO GPUDirect Storage in Microsoft Research Lab

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CAMPBELL, Calif., March 22, 2021 – WekaIO (Weka), the data platform for artificial intelligence/machine learning (AI/ML), life sciences research, enterprise technical computing and high-performance data analytics (HPDA), announced today results of testing conducted with Microsoft, which showed that the Weka File System (WekaFS) produced among the greatest aggregate NVIDIA Magnum IO GPUDirect Storage throughput numbers of all storage systems tested to date.

Weka solves the storage challenges common with I/O-intensive workloads, such as  AI. It delivers high bandwidth, low latency, and single-namespace visibility for the entire data pipeline, enabling chief data officers (CDOs), data scientists, and data engineers to accelerate MLOps and time-to-value.

The tests were conducted at Microsoft Research using a single NVIDIA DGX-2 server* connected to a WekaFS cluster over an NVIDIA Mellanox InfiniBand switch. The Microsoft Research engineers, in collaboration with WekaIO and NVIDIA specialists, were able to achieve one of the highest levels of throughput in systems tested to the 16 NVIDIA V100 Tensor Core GPUs using GDS. This high-level performance was achieved and verified by running the NVIDIA gdsio utility for more than 10 minutes and showing sustained performance over that duration.

WekaFS is the world’s fastest and most scalable POSIX-compliant parallel file system, designed to transcend the limitations of legacy file systems that leverage local storage, NFS, or block storage, making it ideal for data-intensive AI and high-performance computing (HPC) workloads. WekaFS is a clean sheet design integrating NVMe-based flash storage for the performance tier with GPU servers, object storage and ultra-low latency interconnect fabrics into an NVMe-over-Fabrics architecture, creating an extremely high-performance scale-out storage system. WekaFS performance scales linearly as more servers are added to the storage cluster allowing the infrastructure to grow with the increasing demands of the business.

“The results from the Microsoft Research lab are outstanding, and we are pleased the team can utilize the benefits of their compute acceleration technology using Weka to achieve their business goals,” said Ken Grohe, president and chief revenue officer at WekaIO.  “There are three critical components needed to achieve successful results like these from the Microsoft Research lab: compute acceleration technology such as GPUs, high speed networking, and a modern parallel file system like WekaFS. By combining WekaFS and NVIDIA GPUDirect Storage (GDS), customers can accelerate AI/ML initiatives to dramatically accelerate their time-to-value and time-to-market. Our mission is to continue to fill the critical storage gap in IT infrastructure that facilitates agile, accelerated data centers.”

“Tests were run on a system that has WekaFS deployed in conjunction with multiple NVIDIA DGX-2 servers in a staging environment and allowed us to achieve the highest throughput of any storage solution that has been tested to date,” said Jim Jernigan, principal R&D systems engineer at Microsoft Corp. “We were impressed with the performance metrics we were able to achieve from the GDS and WekaFS solution.”

NVIDIA DGX-2 server used a non-standard configuration with single-port NICs replaced by dual-port NICs.

About WekaIO
WekaIO (Weka) is used by eight of the Fortune 50 enterprise organizations to uniquely solve the newest, biggest problems holding back innovation and discovery. Weka solutions are purpose-built to future-ready the accelerated and agile data center. Optimized for NVMe-flash and the hybrid cloud, its advanced architecture handles the most demanding storage challenges in the most data-intensive technical computing environments, delivering truly epic performance at any scale, enabling organizations to maximize the full value of their data center investments. Weka helps the enterprise solve big IT infrastructure problems to accelerate business outcomes and speed productivity.