The temperature has been rising at DDN. Everybody has been working overtime, printing out datasheets, posters, presentations, slides etc. This is by far the best part of the year: it’s the SC’13 Conference in Denver, the annual get-together of “the real deal” of the scalable technology and high performance computing (HPC) industry. This is where it all happens – where research institutions, space centers, universities and government agencies come to find out what’s new in the industry and learn how to build bigger and faster supercomputers. And DDN is of course very much on their agenda.
HPC is our home turf; it’s what we are known for and where DDN’s success started in 1998. This is the industry for which we created EXAScaler and GRIDScaler, for example, scale-out parallel file systems designed for supercomputers that have the highest performance requirements.
In 2009, with over 10 years of experience in designing high-performance storage for Supercomputers, DDN embarked on a new adventure: Web Object Scaler or WOS as we call it, scale-out object storage for web and cloud applications. WOS was designed to store trillions of objects in a cost-efficient manner and serve petabytes of data to users spread all over the word. As object storage takes off, DDN WOS is staking its claim in a whole new industry, and – a little bit to our surprise – also becoming a darling in HPC.
The scalability and performance numbers of WOS have caught the interest of universities and research centers, and we’re seeing deployments of WOS for projects like research collaboration or genomics archiving, for which the integration with iRODS is a great asset.
Another such project, which we announced today at SC13, is the major WOS storage cloud project that is being deployed in the state of Florida: The Sunshine State Education & Research Computing Alliance (SSERCA – members, include Florida State University, University of Florida, University of South Florida, University of Central Florida, Florida International University and University of Miami) is deploying WOS to provide thousands of researchers across all disciplines seamless access to cloud-based scientific computing, communication and educational resources. They will be able to search, retrieve and archive vital research securely stored in a multi-site WOS cloud, initially sized at 12PB, but architected to scale far beyond that.
Innovation never stops at DDN: in September we launched GRIDScaler-WOS Bridge, which enables customers to integrate their GRIDScaler environments with WOS. Use cases are plenty; think of federating parallel file systems through the cloud, GRIDScaler archiving to an active Cloud Archive or building a cloud for DR purposes.
Universities or research centers can now deploy WOS storage clouds similar to the one SSERCA is building, which may be fully integrated with their GRIDScaler environment. But, there is of course much more than that. WOS-Bridge could, for example, be used on a multi-site medical campus to share sequencing data – and save the cost of acquiring multiple sequencers – e.g. one site could have a sequencer and scientists in other sites could review the data through WOS Access. At SC’13, we have been showcasing in our Booth #1307 live WOS-GRIDScaler storage tiering and data management demonstrations. We have also deployed an infrastructure that is representative for real-life use cases. And, it’s been an interesting week in terms of the discussions we’ve been having about how our customers and prospects consider using WOS.
Stay tuned – I’ll be sharing more on those use cases for WOS Bridge from the end user conversations we’ve had at SC13.