PNNL, SGI to team on storage technology development for data-intensive computing

Jun 24, 2004

Project aims to accelerate scientific research by shifting computation of large data to storage devices

The Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) today announced a research alliance aimed at enabling a new generation of fast and efficient storage technology for data-intensive computing. Part of a long-term collaboration between PNNL and Silicon Graphics, the alliance includes options for more than 2.5 petabytes of storage over the next two years.

PNNL will conduct research into "active storage," a groundbreaking effort to shift computation and transformation of data from client computers to storage devices. According to Dr. Eng Lim Goh, SGI senior vice president and chief technology officer, the effort "holds the promise of dramatic productivity breakthroughs for a broad range of computing disciplines saddled by large data."

The effort combines the expertise of SGI and PNNL in advanced storage technologies with the laboratory's mission to address national priorities in the chemical, physical and biological sciences. As the first phase of the alliance, SGI Professional Services will deliver a single 380 terabyte file system this summer to the William R. Wiley Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory located at PNNL.

PNNL scientists will be able to take raw data sets stored on the file server and conduct computations to identify data signatures and patterns before the data is transferred to client systems.

"By developing methods to perform computing inside the file system, we will be able to reduce the amount of redundant data transfers, which routinely undermines productivity and lengthens the time to solution," said Scott Studham, PNNL associate director for advanced computing. "This vastly more efficient approach to data-intensive storage promises to significantly speed scientific discoveries in life sciences, national security, and even film and video production."

The new file system is expected to sustain write rates in excess of 8GB/sec and demonstrate single client write rates of more than 600MB/sec. To achieve this performance, the new file system will leverage Lustre, an open source, object-oriented file system with development lead by Cluster File System Inc., with funding from DOE. Lustre currently is used on four of the top five supercomputers, including the PNNL cluster based on 1,900 Intel® Itanium® 2 processors.

"The research alliance taps SGI's expertise as a leading provider of storage solutions designed specifically for data-intensive environments, with robust and combinable solutions for intelligent consolidation, data lifecycle management and data protection," Goh said. SGI also plans to evaluate how the research effort may contribute to the evolution of the company's existing SGI® InfiniteStorage CXFSTM shared file systems.

"In this alliance with PNNL, we are committed to developing and delivering innovative storage technologies that solve problems unique to data-intensive environments," Goh said, noting that scientific and engineering dataset sizes are growing, generated by increasingly comprehensive simulations, or collected from increasingly sensitive and multi-modal sensors.

To increase the value of these datasets, SGI anticipates that data-intensive computing methods may emerge as another branch in computational science. "We've built systems with large, monolithic, globally addressable memories to contain these datasets in their entirety, which is one approach of solving the problem," Goh said. "The alliance with PNNL will work on another approach: in-storage analysis. We look forward to the possibility of incorporating results from this research into future versions of CXFS."

PNNL (www.pnl.gov) is a DOE Office of Science laboratory that solves complex problems in energy, national security, the environment and life sciences by advancing the understanding of physics, chemistry, biology and computation. PNNL employs 3,800 staff, has a $600 million annual budget, and has been managed by Ohio-based Battelle since the lab's inception in 1965.

The original press release can be found here.

Explore further: Audi to develop Tesla Model S all-electric rival

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

A place for carbon sequestration collaboration

Sep 17, 2010

A new, computer-based knowledge management system will help scientists collaborate more effectively while using their preferred modeling tools to conduct more comprehensive planning for safe, long-term underground ...

Russian capabilities benefit the hydrogen economy

Dec 13, 2006

The Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory has brokered a cooperative partnership between a U.S. firm, a Russian Institute and its scientists for commercialization of a miniature hydrogen ...

Recommended for you

Audi to develop Tesla Model S all-electric rival

2 hours ago

The Tesla Model S has a rival. Audi is to develop all-electric family car. This is to be a family car that will offer an all-electric range of 280 miles (450 kilometers), according to Auto Express, which ...

A green data center with an autonomous power supply

8 hours ago

A new data center in the United States is generating electricity for its servers entirely from renewable sources, converting biogas from a sewage treatment plant into electricity and water. Siemens implemented ...

After a data breach, it's consumers left holding the bag

9 hours ago

Shoppers have launched into the holiday buying season and retailers are looking forward to year-end sales that make up almost 20% of their annual receipts. But as you check out at a store or click "purchase" on your online shopping cart ...

Can we create an energy efficient Internet?

9 hours ago

With the number of Internet connected devices rapidly increasing, researchers from Melbourne are starting a new research program to reduce energy consumption of such devices.

Brain inspired data engineering

10 hours ago

What if next-generation ICT systems could be based on the brain's structure and its cognitive and adaptive processes? A groundbreaking paradigm of brain-inspired intelligent ICT architectures is being born.

User comments : 0

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.