Supercomputer Titan to get world's fastest storage system

Apr 17, 2013 by Bob Yirka report
Credit: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

(Phys.org) —Officials at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) have announced the selection of the Spider II data storage and retrieval system from DataDirect Networks (DDN) to replace the existing system on the Titan supercomputer. They say it will give Titan the fastest such system in the world.

The Titan supercomputer (built by .) on the ORNL campus was named the fastest in the world in November of last year, and currently still holds that title. Adding the fastest and retrieval system will increase the entire computer's .

At the heart of Spider II are 36 SFA12K-40 —each capable of handling 1.12 petabytes of data. Together they will allow Titan to move 40 petabytes of data at 1.4TB/s. According to ORNL, that's equivalent to the amount of information in books stacked high enough to reach the moon. The system will have 20,000 disk drives to hold all that information and will use Lustre, the open source file-system software. In contrast, the current system is able to manage 10 of storage, running at 240GB/sec.

Titan is a more advanced version of the supercomputer Jaguar—initial costs, paid for by the U.S. Department of Energy, were approximately $60 million. New additions, including the beefed up , have raised that price to nearly $100. It's a big machine—it takes up 404 square meters of floor space, and consumes 8.2 MW of electricity. At peak times it can perform 27,000 trillion calculations per second courtesy of 18,688 AMD Opteron CPUs and 18,688 Nvidia Tesla K20X GPUs—it's ten times faster than any prior computer at ORNL. It also has 710TB of memory at its disposal.

The new upgrade will help scientists conduct research efforts that ORNL reps say either cannot be done any other way, or are too dangerous or costly. Expected uses for the computer will likely involve running applications that typically involve an enormous amount of data crunching such as developing models for weather or economic forecasting, searching for oil deposits or putting together information from millions of sources to help track and stop terrorist activity. Currently, ORNL has chosen 31 projects to run this year.

Explore further: Future air passengers may get unique, windowless view

Related Stories

Titan is also a green powerhouse

Nov 14, 2012

Not only is Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Titan the world's most powerful supercomputer, it is also one of the most energy-efficient.

'Jaguar' supercomputer gaining speed

Oct 12, 2011

Cray Inc. said it has sealed a deal to overhaul the US Department of Energy's "Jaguar" supercomputer, making it faster than any other machine on the planet.

Recommended for you

What's causing the recent string of data breaches?

25 minutes ago

It's Cyber Security Awareness month, which has me wondering: are we doing all we can to protect our data? To help answer this question, I sat down with Girish Bhat of Wave Systems—an important collaborator of Micron's—to ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

vlaaing peerd
1 / 5 (2) Apr 17, 2013
bandwidth usually is measured in bits per time, not bytes per time. Hence it should probably be 240Gb/s or 1920Gb/s depending if it was a typo or a misinterpretation.

nevertheless it is a tat faster than my desktop.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.