A New Approach to Storage and Data Management

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By Olivier Multon, Storage & Data Management Product Manager, Atos, BDS – Big Data & Security

With the expansion of data-intensive applications, storage has been highlighted as a critical factor in High-performance Computing (HPC). Data Management is key to optimize your entire system’s speed and performance. High-performance storage enables organizations to take full advantage of highly parallel applications and thus harness the power of supercomputing.

The “new” and “old” challenges – data with increased complexity 

The data tsunami pushes organizations to redesign their compute and storage solutions to be prepared for future needs. With the expansion of data-intensive applications, storage has been highlighted as a critical factor in HPC. Machine Learning and Data Analytics are creating many of the most challenging High-Performance Computing workloads as we move inexorably towards the Exascale era. Hybrid workload, new business models, e.g. HPC-as-a-Service, coupled with unceasing demand on capacity is adding new pressure to the storage and data management. At the same time, new capabilities, such as scalability, modularity, and cost optimization in storage are enabling customers to exploit the power of mixed workloads.

The highly scalable and modular solution to stay competitive

In Atos, we believe that HPC users just begin to feel the possibilities of hybrid computing. With the expansion of volume and complexity of data to be processed and analyzed, companies and research centers need high-performance storage solutions to optimize their research results and manage growing digital simulations. The nature of heterogeneous data needs a storage system capable of dealing with simulation, Data Lake, Artificial Intelligence, and Data Tiering using various dedicated file systems, such as IBM Spectrum Scale, Ceph, and BeeGFS. For such, our goal is to support our customers as trusted partners, in addition to meeting their specific needs.

A single-family of storage appliances

As a leader in digital services, Atos actively participates in initiatives to strengthen the industrial control of digital simulation and big data technologies. The BullSequana Xstor family of storage appliances is a new range of modular storage appliances from Atos designed for current and future HPC needs. The solution is focusing on performance, modularity, scalability, and cost-optimization to make sure that our client can reap the full benefits from the Exascale systems.

High level of Performance

BullSequana Xstor is dedicated to supercomputing solutions with high-performance storage features, including high-speed Interconnect and the highest level of density. The most recent hardware technologies in terms of PCI bus and caches have been integrated to provide hundreds of Gigabytes per second of data transfer when necessary.

Scale as You Grow
BullSequana Xstor supports both scale-out capabilities, using the most scalable filesystems, as well as scale-up capabilities by connecting multiple JBOD extensions that are available to match customers’ needs.

Modular Architecture
Its architecture has been designed with modularity in mind and has a unique virtualized software architecture taking benefit of available hardware and supports various storage software stacks from Atos and its partners. Depending on their requirements for workloads the users will be able to set up, administrate & troubleshoot heterogenous storage spaces by using a single interface.

With no compromise, BullSequana Xstor users will be able to reach the highest performances (Bandwidth in Data transfers) or overall huge storage capacity (multi Petabytes).

The various storage appliances are assembled and pre-tested in the Atos factory before being shipped to customer sites where they are ready to be integrated into existing environments and being operational as turn-key solutions.

Diversified use cases adapting specific needs

Parallel File Systems for High-performance Computing workloads
BullSequana Xstor systems using IBM Spectrum Scale are the perfect solution to benefit from a parallel file system dedicated to performance, resiliency, and scalability. On top of tens of thousands of existing customer references, the most powerful Petascale installations have for years relying on IBM Spectrum Scale.

Customers with different expectations and interests for other filesystem offers, as BeeGFS from ThinkParQ, will also be able to match their needs by choosing the corresponding BullSequana Xstor appliance in the product line.

Artificial Intelligence
Full flash BullSequana Xstor is perfectly suited to guarantee the low latencies and huge data transfers required by AI workloads.

Data Lake
Using Ceph-based Software-Defined Storage, BullSequana Xstor handles all your data and pushes even further your Data Lake applications in an HPC environment using storage technologies as Object Storage.

The High-Performance Storage System data tiering solution using BullSequana Xstor for disk caching is fully optimized for long-time archiving of huge data volumes with the lowest level of energy consumption.


BullSequana Xstor establishes the perfect foundation for building and supporting storage and data management solutions required by today’s data-centric architectures. It provides an improved way to master end-to-end solutions coupling supercomputing and data management.