You Can’t Keep a Good god Down

In Greek mythology the Titans, known as the elder gods, ruled the earth until the Olympians tossed them out of power.

At Oak Ridge National Laboratory, one of the Titans is not only still with us and doing well, but this modern day diety just got a boost that will help keep it king of the hill for some time to come.

The world’s fastest supercomputer, Titan is capable of delivering a peak capability of over 27 petaflops, ten times more powerful than previous generations of ORNL computers such as Jaguar. This week the Lab announced that it has selected DataDirect Networks to build the world’s fastest file storage system to ensure Titan’s ascendancy in the world of HPC.

Built around DDN’s SFA 12K-40, the system is being designed with 40 petabytes of raw capacity capable of  “ingesting, storing, processing and distributing research data at unprecedented speed,” according to a DDN press release.  The DDN system will work with the Lab’s Lustre parallel file system with a Lustre performance of over one terabyte per second to handle the demands of Titan’s 299,008 CPU cores.

The world’s toughest questions demand the toughest storage and the fastest technology to drive new levels of scientific insight. DDN has spent the better part of a decade engineering a platform that is built precisely and efficiently for today’s Big Data challenges,” comments Jean-Luc Chatelain, chief technology officer at DDN. “As applications everywhere – from energy exploration to climate modeling to energy efficient car manufacturing – continue to drive extreme levels of computational simulation and data analytics, we’re proud to provide the data storage technology that makes such innovation and economic competitiveness possible. We’re honored to continue our long-standing partnership with ORNL today and to be part of the future of Big Data and exascale computing tomorrow.”

ORNL points out that Titan is architecturally unique in a variety of ways, and is a showcase for tomorrow’s computational requirements as Big Data continues to make inroads into the enterprise.

When building the world’s fastest system for data intensive computing, we carefully considered all aspects of high-throughput I/O infrastructure and how efficient storage platforms can complement our supercomputer’s efficiency,” says Buddy Bland, project director for the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility. “The ORNL and DDN teams have worked together to architect a file system designed to enhance the performance of our Titan supercomputer and enable our users to achieve unprecedented simulations and big data insights through massively scalable computing.”

The Olympians may have thought they dethroned the Titans, but as Yogi Berra once said, “It ain’t over till it’s over.”  Titan at ORNL, with some help from DDN, rules supreme…at least for now.

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