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Seagate ClusterStor HPC includes CS300N for Lustre, GPFS file storage

Seagate claims the ClusterStor 300N system achieves 16 Gbps per box and 112 Gbps per 42U rack, with Nytro intelligence accelerating I/O workloads up to 1,000%.

Seagate Technology LLC expanded its line of scale-out storage for high-performance computing with the ClusterStor...

300N system, a hybrid design with models for Lustre and IBM Spectrum Scale file systems.

Seagate ClusterStor 300N (CS300N) is designed to run mixed HPC workloads in tandem without a performance hit. Seagate Nytro Intelligent I/O Manager flash-acceleration software is designed to improve the performance of sequential and small random writes.

The vendor said general availability of both file storage products is scheduled for January. 

The CS300N enclosure holds 12 Gbps SAS drives, with an embedded Intel Broadwell processor, Seagate 10 TB shingled magnetic recording hard disk drives and a pair of 3.2 TB solid-state drives as flash cache. 

In addition to ClusterStor 300N, the Seagate 10 TB HDDs are combined with upgraded Lustre-aware Robinhood orchestration and policy software in a larger version of Seagate ClusterStor A200 active archive tiered object store. The A200 is available now.

Hundreds of petabytes with Lustre and GPFS file storage

The CS300N joins Seagate ClusterStor L300, 9000 and 1500 for the open source Lustre parallel file system and the ClusterStor G200 for Spectrum Scale, formerly IBM General Parallel File System (GPFS). Seagate said ClusterStor 300N architecture provides a common platform for L300 and G300 file storage.

The base Seagate CS300N is a 42U rack that accommodates six Seagate Scalable Storage Unit (SSU) subsystem boxes. Each SSU is a 5U box, with 82 slots for 10 TB disks. Raw storage scales to 4.8 PB and approximately 3.3 PB of useable capacity with RAID 6 protection and 8+2 disk parity. A CS300N expansion rack supports seven SSUs, with 5.6 PB of raw and 4.5 PB of effective capacity.

Linux OS 6.5 is the operating system packaged with STX Lustre 2.5 and GPFS 4.2.1 file system software. Seagate Nytro Intelligent I/O Manager flash acceleration optimizes write performance of small random mixed workloads.

Seagate claims its CS300N achieves 16 Gbps per SSU and 112 Gbps per rack. Nytro intelligence is rated to accelerate I/O workloads up to 1,000%.

Hybrid flash and flash acceleration align writes with storage

Customers could scale Seagate ClusterStor 300N systems to hundreds of petabytes with additional racks, said Larry Jones, senior director of product management at Seagate, based in Cupertino, Calif.

Coupling hybrid storage with Nytro I/O intelligence boosts sequential write performance up to one-third and random mixed I/O performance up to twelvefold, Jones said. Nytro sits in the data path to capture misaligned writes in flash. The data is coalesced into fully striped writes to mechanical disk.

We're augmenting disk drives with enough flash to vastly improve the performance of the system.
Larry Jonessenior director of product management, Seagate

Nytro separates small I/O writes and sends them to flash. Larger I/Os gets moved to disk. Depending on the file location, client reads are served either from flash storage or the CS300N HDDs. As SSDs approach capacity limits, Nytro destages older data to be rewritten to fixed media.

"We're augmenting disk drives with enough flash to vastly improve the performance of the system," Jones said.

The Nytro intelligence is similar to a flash-based burst buffer used in other HPC systems. Nytro is compatible with the Portable Operating System Interface (POSIX). Customers install it via a POSIX API, rather than rewriting application code for a secondary file system. Proprietary Lustre or GPFS clients do not need to be installed on each node in a compute cluster.

Hardware for Seagate's ClusterStor 300N includes a Broadwell 14-nanometer CPU, a slot for a 16-lane Peripheral Component Interconnect network host bus adapter and connectivity via 100 GB Intel Omni-Path of Mellanox EDR or Ethernet.

The new release of A200 active archive scales to 6.5 PB per rack, up from 4.6 PB. New Seagate ClusterStor products are in preview this week at the Supercomputing 2016 industry conference in Salt Lake City.

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