PSC to Expand Data Supercell Using Supermicro 12Gb/s SAS 3.0 SuperStorage Platforms

Monday, Aug. 11, 2014

The Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center (PSC) and Super Micro Computer Inc. (NASDAQ: SMCI) are pleased to announce delivery of the first Supermicro® 12-gigabit-per-second (Gb/s) SAS 3.0 SuperStorage platforms, for use in PSC’s Data Supercell archival system. Installation of these advanced-technology disk shelves marks the beginning of a new generation of high-throughput storage infrastructure. The SAS 3.0 technology will allow PSC to expand the volume of data stored in the petabyte-scale Data Supercell while maintaining speed of access for Big Data scientific users.

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“This deployment will allow PSC to offer the highest volumes of accelerated storage to the research community with cost-effective economies of scale,” says Michael Levine, PSC scientific director. “By offering such advanced technologies early, we continue to provide information processing performance at the edge of what is possible.”

The new, SAS 3.0 protocol-compliant disk arrays offer twice the bandwidth of the current SAS 2.0 technology in moving data in and out of multiple hard drives, Levine adds. The new units will allow the center’s scientific users to access data at peak speeds for twice as many drives as previously possible, improving the cost effectiveness of data storage. This will be particularly useful for researchers whose Big Data projects require access to massive datasets.

“Supermicro SuperServer and SuperStorage solutions are designed for extreme-scale, high performance deployments and our platforms have proven to be an exact fit for PSC’s most challenging projects,” says Tau Leng, Vice President of High Performance Computing at Supermicro. “In addition to the extreme density and 12Gb/s SAS 3.0 performance, our Green Computing architecture will provide the added benefit of increased energy efficiency to further reduce operational expenses and contribute to protecting the environment.”

With this new high performance, high-density, high-capacity and energy-efficient infrastructure, PSC and Supermicro continue a strong relationship that began in 2011, with the successful deployment of the Data Supercell. PSC developed the Data Supercell to provide academic and business “Big Data” users with archive-quality storage that has rapid retrieval times. All of the storage shelves and servers in the Data Supercell are Supermicro products.

“It’s always advantageous when our relationship with a technology innovator such as Supermicro allows us to collaborate on the design of solutions that will exactly fit our needs,” says J. Ray Scott, PSC’s director of systems and operations. “It’s something special when we have such an opportunity to contribute to the development of new products that will likely go mainstream in the tens of thousands of units or more.”

Supermicro 2U SuperServer® (SYS-6027R-73DARF) head nodes and 4U 44x 3.5” SAS 3.0 hot-swap HDD JBODs (CSE-847E2C-R1K28JBOD) will help address Big Data needs within the scientific community and set a foundation for the coming PSC Data Exacell. PSC will be validating the new hardware in conjunction with its recent $7.6-million, four-year National Science Foundation award to develop and test the Data Exacell, a next-generation system for storing, handling and analyzing vast amounts of data. PSC and Supermicro will continue to work together on innovative storage architectures for the next-generation computational scientist.