HPC @ Uni.lu

High Performance Computing in Luxembourg

UL HPC: Storage Infrastructure Upgrade

In spring 2015, the main storage infrastructure of the Gaia cluster has been migrated from NFS to GPFS. The increase in computing capabilities through the addition of new computing nodes in 2014 had shown the limitations of the NFS technology, with a distributed setup with IBM’s GPFS being chosen to replace it after consideration of several state of the art distributed filesystem technologies.

  • Early GPFS benchmarks using IOR:

The transition of user home and work directories, was successfully performed at the end of April 2015, with no changes required in the user workflows. The performance obtained on the new storage setup increased by a factor of 2 compared with the previous monolithic architecture – GPFS sustaining more than 6GB/s for parallel operations.

In technical terms, four NetApp E5400 disk enclosures now provide 960 TB of raw storage, being attached to four pairs of storage nodes (shown right) that grant redundancy and failover, all connected to Gaia’s 40Gbps QDR InfiniBand network. Gaia’s (constantly updated) overview page shows a complete layout of this storage infrastructure, and below you will find the image of the racks hosting part of the GPFS and Lustre systems.